Freedom goes both ways

veils-1By Ande Jacobson

The Pear’s 100th production is a repertory rotation of two politically charged plays, The Guys, by Anne Nelson (reviewed on A Good Reed Review here), and Veils, by Tom Coash, which is the subject of this review. Veils follows two female Muslim students at American Egyptian University (modeled after American University in Cairo) – an American named Intisar (Amani Dorn), and an Egyptian named Samar (Naseem Etemad). Coash has taught playwriting at numerous universities including the American University in Cairo. Drawing from his experience there, he’s compressed several events from the Arab Spring into this story about these two women. Continue reading

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 Pear is willing, wanting, and waiting for you to come see “Pygmalion”

pyg_pub1-4839By Ande Jacobson

The Pear’s audiences have been treated to a number of plays by George Bernard Shaw over the years, so it isn’t at all surprising that this season features Pygmalion coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the play. Many theatergoers are familiar with the popularized versions of the story from the stage and movie musicals entitled My Fair Lady. The musicals don’t quite capture the wit, bite, and unconventional nature of Shaw’s original play, as they are closer to classical romances with a love interest at the core. Pygmalion isn’t a love story. It’s a romance of provocative discovery, and The Pear’s production embraces the delicious display of Shaw’s views on the English class system. Continue reading

“Superior Donuts” serves up more than “dessert cakes”

By Ande Jacobson

Playwright and actor Tracy Letts describes Superior Donuts as involving a “clash of cultures”.  Letts intersperses some light moments and witty exchanges between several colorful and diverse characters with some darker, more serious situations.  Much of the story provides background on unseen family members and circumstances that encumber, or scar the visible characters.  The play is well written, and right from the start, the action turns the quaint little donut shop on its head.  In the first blackout at the top of the show, the shop is transformed from a neatly kept eatery into a disheveled establishment with chairs overturned, rubbish strewn everywhere, and graffiti on the wall. 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