KERPLOP! Is a Splashing Success

KERPLOP! Is a Splashing Success

imaginary beasts has gained notoriety for their impressive ensembles and inventive use of storytelling to transform an archaic medium into something wonderfully expressive and accessible for contemporary audiences of all ages.  I was ecstatic to see their annual Winter Panto, and I was not disappointed, as this year's panto surpassed many elements of last year’s award-nominated production.  This year, Kerplop! The Tale of the Frog Prince is a masterful use of a strong company of diverse cast members and purposeful storytelling that works on multiple levels of entertainment and humor.  For me, this Frog was King.

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A.R.T’s "Finding Neverland" : Lost but Soaring

The American Repertory Theatre has introduced their next Boston-to-Broadway commercial hit, Finding Neverland.  Following the life and work of J. M. Barrie, playwright and author of Peter Pan, the musical is an emotional voyage of soaring highs and valley lows; bring the whole family, but also bring the tissues.  Despite the artistic success of the Miramax film of the same name (and mostly the same story), Diane Paulus’s latest directorial endeavor (combined with the efforts of successful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein) is a mixed bag of pixie dust magic for the stage.  The musical combines the magical talents of Jeremy Jordan, Laura Michelle Kelly, and Carolee Carmello with the lackluster score of Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, leaving the production feeling like a Wickedrip-off rather than a work flying on its own merits.

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Fairy Tale Dreams Enjoyed in Newton Opera

On a Saturday night, I had the pleasure to see MetroWest Opera’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Why do I say that I had the pleasure? Because it was good. Like sickeningly sweet with gumdrops good. MetroWest Opera was founded in 2007, and it has produced at least one opera every year since then; I am disappointed that this show is my first exposure to the company. Hansel and Gretel marks their Newton debut, after being previously based in Weston. The First Baptist Church in Newton Center provided an ideal location for the growing company. First, the production was easily accessible via the Green D line from Boston, while also having plenty of parking behind the church or in a metered lot (I was unsure if you had to pay the meters on the weekends, but I did). Second, the church is gorgeous and, while the acoustics could use some fine-tuning—more on that later—the space provided ample room for audience seating and an expansive stage for the production. With sweet voices and delectable directing, this production stole my heart and satisfied my sweet tooth for opera.

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"La Cenerentola" Casts A Magical Spell of Delight

One of my goals for the new season is to broaden the scope of My Theatre’s Boston division. Therefore, I was delighted to attend Boston Opera Collaborative’s (“BOC”) La Cenerentola (“Cinderella”) by Gioachino Rossini. BOC delivers nothing better than a professional performance, for the viewing and listening pleasure of an audience of all ages. Performed at the historic Strand Theatre in Dorchester, BOC’s Cinderella was a pleasure, complete with superb singing, enjoyable acting, and exquisite musicianship and directing.

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