Dueling stages

When it came to home teams vs. visitors, audiences were the winners
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  December 20, 2011

It's been the visitors versus the home teams this year. Host-with-the-most ArtsEmerson, which launched in the fall of 2010, continued its barrage of intriguing guests, from Ireland's Druid and Abbey Theatres to New York avant-gardists Elevator Repair Service and Mabou Mines, to international pooh-bah Sir Peter Brook. But rather than roll over and play dead, our largest regional troupes, the Huntington Theatre Company and American Repertory Theater, presented strong seasons as well, including imports (England's Propeller at the Huntington) and exports (ART's The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess opens on Broadway next month) of their own. You Republicans can decide whether to call it a trickle-down, but there was also memorable work on smaller stages.


Mac1_main
GET ME REWRITE

Two of the most iconic scores in American musical theater, those of Porgy and Bess and Candide, have long been chained to troublesome librettos. But it's never too late to break free! And 2011 brought narrative improvements to both shows. ART unveiled The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, helmed by artistic director Diane Paulus, with a book retooled by Pulitzer-winner Suzan-Lori Parks. The result was an American classic given new momentum. And when Norm Lewis, a noble if painfully twisted Porgy, and Audra McDonald, a Bess palpably fighting her addictions, entwined their gorgeous voices around "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," audiences thought they'd gone to the Promised Land those Catfish Rowers keep singing about.  

READ the full review here.

Across the river, Obie-winning director Mary Zimmerman returned to Voltaire's 1759 novella to devise a new book for the Leonard Bernstein satiric operetta based on Candide. The result was a witty and imaginative production with shape as well as irony that fielded, in Lauren Molina, a daffily narcissistic Cunégonde glittering and being gay in a bathtub.

READ the full review here.

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >
  Topics: Theater , Theater, Arts, reviews,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CAROLYN CLAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ARTSEMERSON'S METAMORPHOSIS  |  February 28, 2013
    Gisli Örn Garðarsson’s Gregor Samsa is the best-looking bug you will ever see — more likely to give you goosebumps than make your skin crawl.
  •   CLEARING THE AIR WITH STRONG LUNGS AT NEW REP  |  February 27, 2013
    Lungs may not take your breath away, but it's an intelligent juggernaut of a comedy about sex, trust, and just how many people ought to be allowed to blow carbon into Earth's moribund atmosphere.
  •   MORMONS, MURDERERS, AND MARINERS: 10 THEATER SENSATIONS COMING TO BOSTON STAGES THIS SPRING  |  February 28, 2013
    Mitt Romney did his Mormon mission in France. But there are no baguettes or croissants to dip into the lukewarm proselytizing of bumbling elders Price and Cunningham, two young men sent by the Church of Latter-day Saints to convert the unfaithful of a Ugandan backwater in The Book of Mormon .
  •   THE HUMAN STAIN: LIFE AND DEATH IN MIDDLETOWN  |  February 22, 2013
    The New York Times dubbed Will Eno a “Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.”
  •   ZEITGEIST STAGE COMPANY'S LIFE OF RILEY  |  February 22, 2013
    Sir Alan Ayckbourn has written more than 70 plays, most of which turn on an intricate trick of chronology or geography.

 See all articles by: CAROLYN CLAY