IMPORTANT: This show has mature themes and language and is not appropriate for children under 15. These are not your Sesame Street-type muppets.
Wellesley Theatre Project will present MISCAST: A Musical Cabaret on Saturday April 29th at 5pm and Sunday April 30th at 2pm and 5pm, featuring students from the audition-only touring group, IMPACT! Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The cabaret will take place at the WTP studio, located at 98R Central St. in Wellesley. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wellesleytheatreproject.org/tickets or at the studio.
IMPACT! is comprised of students ranging from 2nd grade through 10th grade who demonstrate advanced performance skills and leadership. The current students come from the Wellesley, Natick, Waban, and Concord communities. The group’s mission is for the students to engage in their local and global communities through outreach by addressing important social values through dramatic performance. MISCAST: A Musical Cabaret will take traditional musical theatre selections and perform them untraditionally.
The next time you’re in the mood to catch a movie but not at all in the mood to schlep to some far-flung, charmless multi-plex, venture a mere two miles down the road from Wellesley Square and give The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN) a try.
TCAN, located at 14 Summer St., Natick in a beautifully renovated historic firehouse, is well-known for its concerts and live-theater offerings. Somehow, though, the venue’s second-floor movie theater is something of a secret. Even my Bunco group, made up of Natick moms I’ve been hanging out with since my 11-year stint in the town, didn’t know that hiding in plain sight in their own town center is nestled the quintessential independent theater. There, in a former storage space of the former firehouse, the 120-seat theater shows everything from small-run indies to more mainstream fare such as Disney’s Aladdin.
David Lavalley, executive director of TCAN, brought the art-house-type cinema to life through a $180,000 grant awarded from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s facilities fund to the arts center in 2014. The grant, plus additional money raised, allowed TCAN to transform underutilized space that just happened to already have great acoustics (although soundproofing was added) and soaring ceilings into a multi-use performance space, with an emphasis on cinema. According to Nicola Anderson, Cinema Program Director, no effort was spared in ensuring a quality movie-going experience. She says, “The newly installed Screening Room at TCAN has been renovated to the highest of technical standards with a 2K (DCI Compliant) digital cinema projector and full 7.1 Dolby surround audio . Wherever possible the films are projected from a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) – 2K digital prints that are mastered to the highest industry standard to ensure the visuals stay perfect and the audio is crystal clear throughout the presentation.”
In addition, comfortable, movable seats allow the space to also host concerts, conferences and other activities. In fact, in a recent collaboration with Babson Arts, the space was used during some rehearsals for An American Hamlet. It seems the actors needed room to practice their fight scenes.
On a recent date night we settled into the comfortable red chairs to watch A Man Called Ove on the 20-foot screen. The crowd was clearly into the experience of it all, the way the theater is tucked away upstairs (TCAN is handicapped accessible, and the movie theater can be accessed by elevator), the fun of being able to walk to a number of nearby restaurants either before or after the show, the sheer non-stickiness of the floors. That last one was big for me. Not that TCAN is stingy with the snacks, they’re just scrupulously tidy, that’s all. Popcorn, candy, and beverages, including beer or wine, are for sale.
About the chairs, just a heads up, don’t expect the Craftmatic bed treatment at this theater. I don’t know about you, but that suits me fine. Once, at one of those Craftmatic bed multiplexes, I couldn’t even enjoy the movie because the man lying next to me, who was not my husband, fell asleep. As you can imagine, I became very uneasy, wondering if I was dangerously close to infidelity. Fretfully, I wondered if it counted as cheating. First I figured yes it did, because there was nothing but an armrest between us to suggest our two “chairs” were anything less than a double bed, and there he was, sleeping. Therefore, logic demanded that it must be a bed, ergo we were sharing a bed, ergo ergo it was an infidelity.
Then I figured no, it wasn’t an infidelity, because don’t be ridiculous.
Of course after all these Socratic mental gymnastics, I was drained and didn’t enjoy the movie at all. Plus, the sleeping man wasn’t even hot, so what a waste of moral philosophizing, and of a movie ticket.
Save yourself from such problems and catch your next movie at TCAN. On the April schedule: Aladdin; The Wizard of Oz; Lamb (screening and talkback with with Director Yared Zeleke); I Am Not Your Negro. Ticket prices are generally $12 for the public, $10 for TCAN members, and $9 for children under 12.
How many Wellesley College students does it take to play a bunch of strong, competitive men determined to make it to the South Pole first? Seven, and you’ll be very impressed with their portrayal of all if you go to see “Terra Nova”, running at Wellesley College Theatre’s Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre through Sunday, April 9.
It takes a stubborn man to die trying to make history as the first-ever to explore the South Pole, that very bottom of the world.
It takes a stubborn and stupid man to all but encourage that death by clinging to British ideas of the “rules and standards among civilized men.” This is especially true when those rules and standards preach such nonsense as “no dogs allowed on the South Pole” and keep a stiff upper lip (easy enough when they’re freezing off), and for God’s sake, God save the Queen. Captain Robert Falcon Scott, played with absolute presence and authority by Sarah Lord, is that guy.
Scott has gone down in history as the leader of the fateful 1912 expedition/race to be the first to make it to the South Pole. He and every man in his crew died. To add insult to death, he was beaten there by over a month by practical-minded Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his well-supplied crew and their dogs.
Cut from a different cloth than Scott, Amundsen was the type to ignore other men’s rules and write his own playbook. He knows his team is brave and will gladly suffer for the goal, but he doesn’t see suffering as and end unto itself. And if a few dogs get eaten along the way, well, that’s just good planning. That guy, challenger to Scott’s goals and ideals, is played with resignation and quiet emotion underneath a stern exterior, by Juliette Bellacosa (also as Wanda last fall in The Waiting Room).
When these dueling philosophies of facing down and prevailing over brutal reality on its own terms vs. a tragic-hero way of looking at one’s place in the world butt up against each other, you’ve got “Terra Nova”, my good people, a play that still has the power to shock, even though history has already told us the ending. The production, directed by Nora Hussey, is such a powerful and visceral visit to Antarctica that you won’t warm up for days.
From Commonweath Shakespeare Company:
Beckett in Brief, at Babson College in April and May, features three of Samuel Beckett’s most autobiographical works, Rough for Radio II, The Old Tune, and Krapp’s Last Tape. These works explore universal questions of creativity, memory, aging, sex, friendship, and the proximity of death. These plays from his mid-career are traditionally viewed as individual statements, but the three provide a wealth of impressions when placed in conversation with one another, giving us a better understanding of the legendary playwright’s intellect, passion, and temperament. This production features Will Lyman, familiar to Boston audiences for his many roles at CSC and other theaters, and his decades of narrating Frontline on PBS.
Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, April 27-30, May 3-7
Wednesday–Saturday evenings at 7:30 P.M.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:00 P.M.
Tickets: $40 (pay what you can on April 27)