Friday, December 14, 2007

Boston Theatre-Friday Roundup Snowbound Edition

I was one of the lucky ones yesterday. My normal 30 minute commute was about four hours. My sister called me and my wife periodically throughout the evening as she spent about twelve hours on the roads.

The public, along with Secretary of State Bill Galvin are furious with how things were handled during yesterday's storm.
I don't know how it could have been any better. The commuting traffic in and around Boston is just about gridlocked at any time after 3 PM on a weekday. The only thing that could have helped was a direct intervention by the Governor, declaring a State of Emergency earlier on. But still that would have dumped cars onto the roads right at the storm's beginning.

About two years ago we had a similar snowfall that hit right in the same time of day, with almost identical results. Strike One and Strike Two. What the Mass Highway department and the Governor's office have to do is figure out how to handle this particular type of situation, fast. I'm a patient guy, but three strikes and you are out!

Looks like we are having a white Christmas this year and there is no shortage of Christmas shows to go around the chestnut fire. Majestic, nostalgic, schmaltzy, irreverent or mind-numbing. Take your pick.

A Christmas Carol is playing at any number of venues. I have heard good things about the New Rep version, but if you like a little music in your Carol than you may want to head up to North Shore Music for their flying Marley Show.

For an alternate version, please join Scrooge on the Salem Trolley for a A Salem Trolley Christmas Carol. I play Fezziwig and Old Joe most performances and Mrs. Mirror plays the Ghost of Christmas Past on a few nights. This year there were 83 performances scheduled, more than we have ever done. Most all were sold out, but I believe there are a few seats left.

(By the way, if any of the local press are reading this, please contact Erik Rodenhiser at the Griffen Theater in Salem for a great story. The guy has been playing Ebeneezer Scrooge professionally for 20 years or so. He started this hit show when he was about seventeen years old.)

The Boston Ballet's Nutcracker is at the Opera House to make way for White Christmas at the Wang. I loved Jose Mateo's Nutcracker when I have seen it in years past and this year it is out in Waltham this weekend and in Duxbury next weekend.

I have not seen Black Nativity in a long time, but if you haven't ever experienced it you should go. The Boston show, at the Tremont Temple, is the longest running production of Langston Hugh's creation in the country.

Neil Casey, one of my absolute favorite actors in Boston, is playing the whole gamut of characters in a one man adaptation of a Frank Capra classic. This Wonderful Life is at the Lyric Stage.

John Kuntz is in rehearsals for Copenhagen at the ART this year. (He is blogging about the experience on the ART blog.) So The Santaland Diaries has a different performer. It plays downstage at the New Repertory Theater.

But on to the irreverent, and what better place to start than a production of The Eight: The Reindeer Monlogues starring probably some of the best young actors in Boston's fringe theatre scene. (Full discolosure, I know many of them, but I still stand by that statement.) If you want a little preview, check out the trailer here.

The list would not be complete without Ryan Landry's Silent Night of the Lambs. I missed it last year, but was able to catch it last week. The show is a hoot , and you can get a polaroid taken with you on Cannibal Santa's lap after the show!

And for another alternative, check out No Child by solo performer Nijala Sun at the American Repertory Theater.
(Photo Boston Globe.)

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