Berklee’s adaptation of the famous musical Hair
Growing up as a child in a very musical and theatrical family, I developed a keen sense of distinguishing high quality shows from mediocre ones, in both visual and acoustic performing arts. Even the most nuanced distasteful details in a show can make me frown, which is why I always found it difficult to like live musicals. Whereas regular plays and musical concerts require a certain subset of performance skills, musicals require the full package: good production, acting, dancing, singing and very often a well-coordinated orchestra. With that said, I am so happy to wholeheartedly admit that I was astonished by Berklee College’s adaptation of Hair, which premiered last week at the Berklee Performance Center.
Footloose hits the stage at Berklee
Some films are met with lukewarm welcomes when they hit the screen, only to go on to serve as snapshots of the eras in which they were made. I’ve always considered Footloose (1984) to be one of these ugly ducklings that are met with initial flurries of derision, yet mellow with time and nostalgia into appreciable works. For it in particular, this transformation has largely been possible because of its uniqueness as a film — not because of the acting or directing, but rather because of the music. The plot tells the tale of a dance-happy teenage boy from Chicago by the name of Ren McCormack, who moves to a small, much less excitable town where dancing and rock and roll have been banned under the orders of local minister Rev. Shaw Moore, who is still traumatized by the long past death of his son and three others in an alcohol and party-related car accident. After some clashes with the town’s rather puritanical adults and falling in love with the preacher’s rebellious daughter, Ren manages to convince the minister to allow for prom to be held, albeit outside of town limits. Cue dancing, and credits roll to music from the 1980s.
Plants, blood and lots of singing
What could be more innocent than a musical that takes place in a flower shop? Well, a flesh-eating Venus flytrap, a psychotic dentist, and a name like “Little Shop of Horrors” certainly rules out any hope for a light-hearted show. The musical, based on the film by Roger Corman, follows a florist named Seymour, who tries to revive his flower shop by raising a Venus flytrap that lives off human blood.
The duel between good and evil
Jekyll & Hyde explores the blurred line between good and evil by exposing the inner demons of a well-intentioned man.
What do you do with a B.A. in English?
Avenue Q embraces the living, because no one is special, nothing is permanent, and regardless of the good and bad, you should stop worrying for now.
The Phantom lurking inside the Opera House
Loved by band geeks and theatre junkies alike, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera effortlessly combines mystery, suspense, romance, and emotional musical numbers all in one dark, harrowing tale.
They did succeed on Broadway (and in La Sala)
Monty Python’s Spamalot follows the adventures of King Arthur and his faithful sidekick, Patsy, as they embark on a journey across England to enlist knights and find the famed Holy Grail.
MTG’s sleepover extravaganza
MIT MTG puts on a performance to remember in their rendition of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat', including pillows, cookies and milk, and rainbow bedtime stories galore!
Come to the Fun Home! The Bechdel Funeral Home, that is
The musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s memoir ‘Fun Home’ explores the death of Bechdel’s father and her coming out as lesbian, and how we try to distill truth from painful memories but can’t because we only have the leftovers and the emotions that still pour from them.
Amusing-lee, this musical is a fun-filled romp through history
A political musical has never been so relevant. If all the dissatisfaction with Congress, the slow-moving turtle of politics, were condensed into a satirical look at the people who made our country, '1776' is that musical.
‘Reefer Madness’ makes you giggle for good reason
Based on the cult classic propaganda film, the musical ‘Reefer Madness’ is the tongue- in- cheek examination of what is definitely the source of all corruption: marijuana. As presented by the MIT Musical Theatre Guild, this production of ‘Reefer Madness’ earns a lot of laughs from the wacky plot and the efforts of the cast and design team.
Be our guest, be our guest, be our guest!
It’s a tale as old as time.
After you die...
Set to a techno-rock soundtrack that makes you want to put on a skeleton costume and dance, MTG’s rendition of Jasper in Deadland hits all the right spots.
Syzygies, capybaras, and catterjunes
In the program for MTG’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the director’s note mentions, “‘Spelling Bee’ knows exactly what it is like to have a weird hobby and celebrates that,” and I couldn’t agree with her more. SOCIAL MEDIA BLURB: MTG presents a musical about spelling and delivers a story of identity and growing up.
It’s a Bikini Bottom Day
‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ the musical, never takes itself seriously, but the number of serious messages it manages to pass to the audience is quite impressive. It serves as simple entertainment, uplifting message, or clever exposé of some of our social problems, all at the same time.
I really need this job!
Who am I anyway? Am I my resume? I need this job, oh God, I need this show!
Save a date for ‘The Wedding Singer’
It’s the 1980s. Mullets and Ronald Reagan are trending, New Coke is about to be born, and wedding singer Robbie Hart just got left at the altar.
What we do with ‘RENT’
The story of RENT moves far beyond the scope of a few artists in New York City in the ’90s — it still rings true for us, too, 25 years later.