Bonjour, mes amis!
Happy opening of the 2012–2013 #BostonArts season, Boston! Kyle Thomas here, once again locked and loaded to guide you through another fabulous season of Boston's finest artsgoing! You may have noticed that I've been conspicuously absent the past couple of weeks, for that I sincerely apologize. I've been gone because I've been gallivanting about in Paris (I'll pause for a moment while you groan about the fact that you were not)! I was so incredibly taken by the charm and beauty of the city, I considered momentarily to drop everything and move there—but then who would write this blog?! So, as a compromise, I present to you #OnTheTown: The one with all the French stuff!
Do please tweet me @khemingway in the event you're reading this or have any opinions on anything or happen to own a flat in Paris that you'd love nothing more than to let me live in for free.
MARIE ANTOINETTE @ AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER
One of the coolest things I did in Paris was spending an entire day at a little summer home called Versailles. A pretty cool lady named Marie Antoinette took up residence there sometime around 1770, and the ART in Cambridge is currently producing a play about said pretty cool lady. Beginning with the Queen of France's decline in popularity and ending with her infamous beheading (“Heads will roll” is the tagline for this production), actor Brooke Bloom tackles this larger than life character with incredible poise and stamina—she never leaves the stage for the entire show, save intermission. This visually stunning show should not be missed. Catch it before it leaves town on September 29!
Marie Antoinette: By David Adjmi; Directed by Rebecca Taichman. At the Loeb Drama Center; 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge; 617-547-8300; americanrepertorytheater.org. Through September 29. @americanrep
THE MIKADO @ LYRIC STAGE COMPANY
Another nifty thing I did in Paris was attending the opera. Operas are super cool. Some dudes named Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a funny one called The Mikado, currently playing at the Lyric Stage Company. This zany political comedy, which premiered in London in 1885, is still topical even in the age of the 47%. Special attention has been paid to this production, which has been outfitted with some new lyrics lampooning everything from the Tea Party to the Green Line (seriously). Seeing local favesies Leigh Barrett and Erica Spyres—usually known for their musical theater chops—turning it on with some operatic realness is a fabulous experience. A fun time indeed, Lyric Stage. Happy Election Season!
The Mikado: Music by Arthur Sullivan; Libretto by W.S. Gilbert; Directed by Spiro Veloudos; Music directed by Jon Goldberg. At the Lyric Stage Company of Boston; 140 Clarendon Street, Boston; 617-585-5678; lyricstage.com. Through October 13. @lyricstageco
PARIS COMMUNE @ ARTSEMERSON
Paris is also a city rich with history and political unrest (remember that cake fanatic they beheaded?). The fabulous Brooklyn-based theater troupe The Civilians have taken the Paris Commune stage of French history and dramatized it in their current show of the same name, enjoying its world premiere at ArtsEmerson this weekend. The original Occupy Wall Street, the Paris Commune anarchists effectively took over Paris for two months in 1871. Using original songs and found texts from the time period, The Civilians have reconstructed this extraordinary historical event. Don't miss the ArtsEmerson Season Launch Party following the September 20 performance!
Paris Commune: By Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman. At the Paramount Center Mainstage; 559 Washington Street, Boston; 617-824-8400; artsemerson.org. Through September 23. @artsemerson