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DigBoston Review: The Roommate

Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky in The Roommate. Photo by Mark S. Howard.

★★★★☆

Two of Boston’s best-loved actresses join forces for The Roommate, Jen Silverman’s quirky comedy about two middle-aged women who find themselves living together, trying new things, and reckoning with a demon or two. Paula Plum plays Sharon, a 54-year-old Iowa woman who has recently retired from her marriage and takes in a roommate in order to save a little money. Adrianne Krstansky plays Robyn, a gay vegan from the Bronx whose arrival awakens in Sharon something real and untapped.

Directed by Spiro Veloudos, The Roommate is an irresistible treat featuring two beloved actresses at the top of their games. The play loses a bit of steam in its last third when Sharon takes a special interest in Robyn’s past, but Plum’s evolution (or devolution, depending on how you look at it) from provincial Midwestern matron to a scheming, pot-selling hussy is profoundly entertaining. What’s more, it’s the best thing the Lyric has done in nearly two years.

THE ROOMMATE. THROUGH 11.18 AT THE LYRIC STAGE COMPANY OF BOSTON, 140 CLARENDON ST., BOSTON. LYRICSTAGE.COM

Warning: Spoilers for The Roommate Ahead!

A brief guide to everything you might want to know about The Roommate. 

by Sivan Amir & Alzi Kenney, Artistic Assistants

Approximate Run Time: 100 minutes

Playwright: Jen Silverman

Cast Size: 2

Lyric Actors You May Remember: Paula Plum (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Light Up the Sky, Death of a Salesman, 33 Variations, Three Tall Women), Adrianne Krstansky (Barbecue, November)

Director: Spiro Veloudos

Genre: Comedy

Description: Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home.  Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life completely.   It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Playwright Says: “So I really wanted to write a play for badass women in their 50s. I sort of thought that, like, there is a kind of energy, a kind of concentration that happens when they are the two players on that stage and they have all that agency and all that power.”

Taavon Gamble is Valentin!

Meet Taavon Gamble, the actor behind the revolutionary Valentin in Kander & Ebb’s smash musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman!

Get tickets and more information at lyricstage.com or 617.585.5678!

Meet Molina! with Eddy Cavazos

Eddy Cavazos talks how he relates to his character Molina, the importance of queer actors of color on the stage, and what Kiss of the Spider Woman means to him.

Now through October 7th, get tickets at lyricstage.com or call 617.585.5678!

WBUR’s The ARTery name Souvenir and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as best of 2017!

“The hilarious yet poignant work featured Leigh Barrett as Madame Flo and the irreplaceable Will McGarrahan as the ivory tickler whose affectionate commingling of horror and admiration allowed us to see the Muse-murdering Jenkins as both ridiculous and somehow valorous.” – Souvenir

“Director Scott Edmiston presided over this pitch-perfect, period-perfect revival of Edward Albee’s 1962 marathon marital battle whose combatants are named for America’s original First Couple.” – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Read the full article here!

Congrats to our Elliot Norton Award winners

Lyric Stage productions nominated in six categories

What are the Elliot Norton Awards?

Via http://www.elliotnortonawards.com/

“The awards are presented annually by The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) (Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Nick Dussault, Iris Fanger, Joyce Kulhawik, Kilian Melloy, Bob Nesti, and Ed Siegel) to honor the outstanding productions, directors, designers, and performers that audiences have seen on Greater Boston area stages throughout the year.”

Scroll down to preview the Lyric Stage winners and nominees, and send your congrats to the actors, designers, and directors on Facebook and Twitter.

The cast of My Fair Lady. Photo: Mark S. Howard.

WINNER: Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
My Fair Lady

The My Fair Lady team celebrates their many Elliot Norton wins! Photo: Shanna Heath
Cloteal L. Horne and Meagan Dilworth in Saturday Night/Sunday Morning. Photo: Mark S. Howard.

Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater
Cloteal Horne, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

WINNER: Outstanding Solo Performance
Phil Tayler, Buyer & Cellar

Jared Troilo*, Jennifer Ellis*, Christopher Chew* in My Fair Lady. Photo: Mark S. Howard.

WINNER: Outstanding Director, 
Midsize Theater
Scott Edmiston, My Fair Lady

WINNER: Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
Jennifer Ellis, My Fair Lady

Outstanding Ensemble, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

The cast of Saturday Night/Sunday Morning. Photo: Mark S. Howard.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

Jeremy Sumpter was the first male actor to play the traditional character of Peter Pan in a film version. Via

Peter Pan: Reimagined through the ages

The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up gets a constant makeover

by Katharine Mayk, Artistic Assistant

Peter and The Starcatcher is a prequel to the beloved classic Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Since his creation by the pen of J.M. Barrie
in 1904, Peter has become one of the world’s most beloved characters.

Charming, callow, and clever, Peter Pan has become a household name.

Although Peter never ages, we watch as he is reincarnated and reimagined as we grow and mature. With every trip to Neverland with a new Peter, we are reminded that we can stay young at heart with “faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”

So come with us “where dreams are born and time is never planned” as we take a look at Peter through the years.

Nina Boucicault originated the role of Peter Pan in London’d West End.

Nina Boucicault originated the role of Peter in London in the West End 1904–1905. Boucicault was both a well-known actress of the time and the director Dion Boucicault’s sister.

Maude Adams plays Peter Pan in the original Broadway play.

Maude Adams, 1905–1907 originated Peter in the original Broadway play and is credited with having started the ‘Peter Pan collar’ fashion trend.

Betty Bronson plays Peter Pan in the first live action film version of the story.

The first live action film of Peter Pan (1924) featured Betty Bronson in a silent film adaptation. The female tradition continued with well known Hollywood stars taking up Pan’s pipes including Eva Le Galliene (1928), Jean Arther (1950), and Veronica Lake (1951).

Bobby Driscoll voiced Peter Pan in Disney’s animated feature.

Disney’s animated feature Peter Pan in 1953 was the first time a male portrayed the role of Peter with Bobby Driscoll as the voice. The feature utilized the voice actors as physical models for their animated counterparts.

Mary Martin plays Peter Pan in a television special of the Broadway musical.

Mary Martin (1954) originated the title role in the musical Broadway production Peter Pan.

Allison Williams as Peter Pan in the 2014 live television version of the musical.

Many more women have donned the famous green tights over the years playing the role in revivals of the Broadway show including Sandy Duncan (1979), Mia Farrow (TV Movie, 1976), Kathy Rigby (1990), and most recently Allison Williams (TV Movie, 2014).

Robin Williams plays a grown-up version of Peter Pan.

In Hook (1991), Robin Williams brought a childlike wonder to the imagined sequel of what would have been if Peter left Neverland and chose to grow up. Peter is forced to return to Neverland and face his past when his children are kidnapped by his old nemesis James Hook.

Jeremy Sumpter was the first male actor to play Peter Pan in a live-action film.

2003 marked the first live-action version of Peter Pan with a male lead, Jeremy Sumpter.

Johnny Depp starred as J.M. Barrie in a film version of the author’s life.

“Finding Neverland,” the 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp, delved into J.M. Barrie’s life, relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her sons, and his inspiration for writing Peter Pan. The movie was subsequently developed into a musical of the same name originating in Boston at the American Repertory Theater and moving to Broadway in 2015.

Peter and the Starcatcher plays May 20 — June 25, 2016 at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. It chronicles the adventures of Molly, a girl charged to protect a cargo of stardust from falling into the wrong hands, and an orphan named Peter who eventually becomes The Boy Who Never Grew Up.

Peter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling grownup prequel to Peter Pan that will have you hooked from the moment you let your mind take wing. As the NY Times raved, “this show never stops flying!”

Get tickets now:https://tickets.lyricstage.com/

Compiled by Katharine Mayk. Katharine is an artistic assistant at the Lyric Stage Company and is pursuing her Masters in Theatre Education at Emerson College.

One of the Year’s Most Produced Play Comes to Boston

What should you except from Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play?

There is no other theatre space like the Lyric Stage in Boston.

The interior of the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA, a uniquely intimate venue.

The front row rests their feet on the stage, and no one is more than 35 feet from the performers at any time. The audience is always part of the action, but for Mr. Burns, we have specifically built an immersive experience, so the audience is complicit in the events of the play.

From the moment you walk into the theatre, you’ll be entrenched in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. As the most-produced play in the country this year, many theatres have put their spin on this funny, dark, and theatrical show.

Here’s some of our favorites pictures from other versions of Mr. Burns, to stir your imagination. Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play runs from April 8-May 7, 2016. Get tickets here and experience it for yourself: https://tickets.lyricstage.com/

Please note: Because of the immersive nature of Mr. Burns, there will be no late seating. Please plan your travel accordingly.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington D.C.

ACT Theatre, San Francisco CA

Almeida Theatre, London, England

Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis MN

R-S Theatrics, St. Louis MO

Capital Stage, Sacramento CA

Playwrights Horizons, New York NY

Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland OH

We welcome you to experience our unique vision, when Mr. Burns plays in at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston April 8- May 7, 2016. Book your tickets now: https://tickets.lyricstage.com/