In finding one’s Mecca, it’s the journey that counts

By Ande Jacobson

The Pear’s current production is another alarmingly topical piece from the not-too-distant past. This time, audiences are transported back to 1974 and the rural village of New Bethesda (properly named Nieu-Bethesda) in the Karoo region of South Africa. Athol Fugard’s play, The Road to Mecca, incorporates themes of racial and gender inequality and religious fervor that are so prevalent in the rural South African culture of the time. These issues are in the forefront of this work, at times uncomfortably so. Additionally, the themes of trust, love, aging, and artistic freedom and inspiration are explored in a powerful way. This is a challenging piece, and the Pear gives it the respect and sensitivity it deserves. Continue reading

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Ripples that touch us all

the-guys-2By Ande Jacobson

September 11, 2001. That’s a date that generally evokes a shudder from many both here and abroad. Many Americans remember with extreme clarity where they were when they heard about the attacks, and at the time felt powerless to do anything other than watch or listen in horror as the tragic events unfolded, hoping that it was all a bad dream. The Pear presents Anne Nelson’s play, The Guys, in a run that includes the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Nelson wrote the piece in only nine days during the fall of 2001, describing a very personal account of two people who would have otherwise never met but for the tragic events that threw them together. Continue reading

The nightly rise and fall of “The Walls of Jericho”

pear-jericho-1By Ande Jacobson

The Pear christened its new space on 19 September 2015 with the gala opening of The Walls of Jericho, and A Good Reed Review missed it. Although a little late to the party this time, this world premiere run of Diane Tasca’s stage adaptation of Samuel Hopkins Adams’ short story, “Night Bus”, was well-worth waiting for. In this second week of production, the cast members are comfortable in their characters, and the new space is everything one could hope for in an intimate black box theatre. Continue reading

Here’s to you, Frankie Payne!

birdsbannerBy Ande Jacobson

Pear Avenue Theatre’s May production is a fun one. Birds of a Feather, written by local playwright Paul Braverman, is the third and final chapter in the Frankie Payne trilogy. We follow Payne’s unpredictable path through Boston’s criminal underworld. She strikes sometimes uneasy (and often humorous) alliances with the shady characters there to right the wrongs that the police can’t always correct. This episode takes place in Boston from 31 October – 3 November 1965 and has a few surprises in store for audiences. Continue reading

How far does the apple fall?

appleneverfalls-tasca-tyler-weilandBy Ande Jacobson

The Pear welcomes the world premiere of Paul Braverman’s latest work, The Apple Never Falls, as their current offering. Take a trip into 1964 Boston at the height of the Boston Strangler’s reign of terror in this film noir style story following Frankie Payne, a hard-boiled detective turned private eye. Per her client’s wishes, she investigates the murders attributed to the Strangler, searching for clues, and in the process, evaluating relationships, heredity, and furthering the age-old nature/nurture debate. This is a sequel of sorts to Braverman’s first Frankie Payne adventure, No Good Deed, which debuted at The Pear in early 2011. Braverman’s writing is fun, and being firmly planted in the noir genre, he smacks you with some twists that you don’t see coming, although the clues are there if you know where to look. Continue reading

Yankee Ingenuity Graces Pear’s Penultimate Production of the Season

Johnson and Salzman
Johnson and Ronge’

By Ande Jacobson

What could be better than a new adaptation of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court to continue Pear Avenue Theatre’s Americana celebration?   Twain, published his work in 1889.  The book is as much a commentary on his current society as it is a work of science fiction given its time-travel bent. Continue reading