So Much Great Theater!

by | Sep 28, 2023 | What I'm Seeing and Hearing | 6 comments

[Patrice Jean-Baptiste as Petruchio: Petruchio Victorious/Ken Yotsukura photography]

There is so much great theater in Boston right now, and I have been thrilled to have a chance to see and review it. I was so impressed with Prayer for the French Republic at the Huntington that I saw it twice! If you like Tom Stoppard, you will love this very exciting theater-of-ideas set in Paris in 2016–2017 and brilliantly performed by Amy Resnick, Nael Nacer, Carly Zien, Joshua Chessin-Yudin, and the rest of the cast.

Honestly, I would have seen a lot of these twice if time had allowed. The Central Square Theater/Bedlam production of Angels in America, Part 2: Perestroika is stunning—heart-wrenching and healing all at once. I hope Eddie Shields gets some kind of MAJOR recognition for his knock-out performance as the dying Prior Walter, along with Maurice Emmanuel Parent as the nurse Belize and the hallucinatory Mr. Lies and Debra Wise as Ethel Rosenberg, a Mormon mom, and the Last Living Bolshevik! Assassins at Lyric Stage is consummate Sondheim—dark and witty and weird and compassionate all at once. For this one, I have to call out Robert St. Laurence as John Wilkes Booth and Christopher Chew as an assassin you’ve probably never heard of.

I can’t forget the Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s feminist twist on The Taming of the ShrewWow. They have taken this highly problematic Shakespeare play and used it to (ahem–my words, quoted in the publicity mailing) “[skewer] toxic masculinity.” I’ve seen lots of Shakespeare comedies that weren’t very funny—this one is hilarious. The clowning skills (Michael Toomey, clowning consultant) of this nearly-all female cast are superb, especially from Patrice Jean-Baptiste (Petruchio) and Joni Weisfeld (Tranio).

Finally, if you need a break from the presidential campaign blather, go ahead and indulge in POTUS: Or Behind Every Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. This much produced show, which debuted on Broadway a little over a year ago, is a political farce that is probably closer to reality than we’d like to believe. Rumor has it that Republicans think it’s about Bill Clinton, and Democrats think it’s about Donald Trump. (Note: the title of this review was created by the editor of the site—it’s a more graphic version of what I submitted. I suppose I could have complained—but I didn’t.)

I’m looking forward to Fat Ham, which I’ll see later this week.