THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide




entire contents copyright 1996 by THE THEATER MIRROR

The Greenroom Discussions is your forum for issues, commentary and reviews written by you, the theater-goer. It is arranged by the most current item first. Discussions may be deleted, periodically. Please email us at


Mon, 1 Apr 1996 17:37:21 GMT

Subject: Sharyn's HAMLET

It sounds fabulous!


Sub: Me! me!!!! Pleasepleaseplease

Subject: Me! me!!!! Pleasepleasepleaseplease!!!!!

E Grace Noonan


Well, we DID warn you that "Hamlet -- The Women" was a HOT TOPIC, didn't we! There's a lot more about it over in ON REFLECTION.

Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 13:49:46 -0800
From: Ben Bensen
Subject: Lettice & Lovage at Gordon College

Mr. Stark,

Earlier in the year I sent you a message regarding the production
of "Skin of Our Teeth" by Thorton Wilder, here at Gordon College. I
thank you for kindly posting that information. The production was
enjoyed by many and we have not yet heard anything bad about it (we need
to find an honest critic). The Theatre Department here at Gordon College
is preparing for another production, "Lettice and Lovage" by Peter
Shaffer. Could you post the information about this one as well?

Lettice & Lovage
by Peter Shaffer
directed by Eva Wilson
April 11-13 and 18-20, 8:00 p.m.
Gregory Auditorium,
Gordon College
$6 adults, $4 children, students, seniors & groups
Call (508) 927-2300, ext. 4747
directions: exit 17 off Rt. 128, left on Grapevine Rd. toward Wenham, use
Athletic Facility entrance

Once again thank you.
Ben Bensen


I'm not sure there is such a thing as an "honest" critic ---
though we try to use only unbiased, objective reviews here in The
Theater Mirror.

I'm not familiar with the Shaffer play, but Wilder's SKIN is
a much harder play to produce than it looks. If you've heard no
complaints, you must have had a winner.


Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 10:04:49 -0500
Subject: Shubert PAC 3/25/96 Newsletter
247 College Street, New Haven, CT

March 25, 1996 NEWSLETTER

Hello! and welcome to the Shubert Performing Arts Center's first electronic newsletter. But, first things first. This letter is being sent to addresses that have had some contact, or expressed some interest in the Shubert's web site ( If your address has been included in error, or if you do not wish to receive future mailings, please let us know and your address will be removed.


After triumphant engagements in London, New York and now on its first United States tour, the acclaimed Royal National Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel will play the Shubert Performing Arts Center from Tuesday April 9 to Sunday, April 21. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production garnered four Olivier Awards in London plus five Tony's and three Drama Desk Awards when it ran in Lincoln Center. Carousel's return to the Shubert marks the 51st anniversary of its March 22, 1945 world premiere on the Shubert stage.

Andrea Marcovicci, April 27
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, May 4
HMS Pinafore, May 11
Tito Puente and his Latin Jazz Orchestra, May 18
Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees, May 28 - June 9

Ask anyone who saw her, and they will tell you that one of the highlights of
this season was the spectacular Shubert debut of Linda Eder in Jekyll &
Hyde. As the show continues its national tour word is quickly spreading
that there is an astonishing new singing star ready to take her place
among the ranks of Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand.

Thank you for your interest and support of the Shubert's presence on the Internet World Wide Web. Your comments have been invaluable as we add to, and improve our web site. And as we begin to prepare for next season, we are evaluating how the web site fits with our overall educational and marketing efforts. You can assist us with these efforts by providing some feedback on the following topics:

How did you learn of the Shubert's web site?
How often do you access the site?
Which features do you find the most valuable? the most enjoyable?
What features would you like us to add?
How do you access the Internet World Wide Web? (AOL, AT&T, etc.)
What type of web browser do you use?

Any additional comments that you have will be most welcome.

Randall Rode
General Manager
Shubert Performing Arts Center
247 College Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 96 21:37:45 0500
From: mort kaplan
Organization: Northeastern University Center for the Arts

Hey, Larry. Thanks for the compliments.
Occassionally, "they" still let me work. Every now and then I do
something at the Lyric and before I hang it up I may even do something
at the old Studio at NU.
In the meantime I will be directing a reading of Ed Bullins' new play
"Blacklist" at the Itty Bitty Theatre in the Ryder Building at NU on the
evening of April 25th.
Bullins is on theater faculty at NU, teaching and writing. He and I
worked together over twenty years ago and when he said he was ready to
come to Boston to teach and start some "stuff" to work with and help
new, young playwrights, I sort of helped him put things together so
that he could set up shop here.
My Best..Mort


Get us a street-address for the Ryder Building and a phone
number so we can put the reading into PREVIEWS --- and so I can
find it!

I remember Ed Bullins as one of a new wave of Black theater
practitioners that appeared in the early '70s --- the best, as I
recall. He had a great ear for language, and everyone in his plays
were People. It's good to know He's still "Up And Running" too!

From: John Chatterton
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 96 12:20:51 -0500

I sent you an email alerting you to the existence of OOBR, "the
off-off-broadway review," and got a kind (but anonymous) response in return.
Then my mailer deleted your email address, so I'm assuming you are the author
of the response. If you aren't, delete from here on.

Thanks for the kudos -- we all need as much mutual support as is available.
Theatre people are noted by two traits -- extreme generosity and bitter mutual
envy. The former is better for all.

OOBR is dedicated to the premise that a critic's first tool is his eyes;
then his brain; then his tongue. So as an editor, I first look for critics who
can see. (I prefer that they have theatrical experience, so they know what
they're seeing.) I don't have much trouble finding writers with a modicum of
brains. The third tool, the tongue, requires further selection, training, and
continued monitoring, since I don't let sadists on the staff. I have two pages
of Editorial Guidelines that explain these and other stylistic crotchets, all
of which make for editorial consistency. (And let's not forget that invaluable
fourth quality, the willingness to work for nothing but comps and reprints and
the reflected glory of the annual OOBR Awards!)

As far as your other comments and questions go, I'm still writing plays,
though I had a ten-year hiatus after ODYSSEY. And I made the career mistake of
not going to New York in the mid-'70s. So I lost 20 years, careerwise. (Though
I learned a lot of other things that I'm now applying, including how to make
enough money in high tech to support my theatre habit. And I know that if I'd
gone to New York back then, I'd be dead of AIDS now.)

I'm now producing "SLAP! Or, School for Slaves," a play I wrote in 1974. A
very fin-de-siecle story of love in the fast lane of S&M. We open at the
Trocadero Cabaret in the West Village on April 5. Running through May 11, God
willing and the crick don't rise, Fri-Sat at 10 p.m.

I have other projects, both as producer and author, in the works. I love
Off-Off-Broadway; it's a source of artistic ferment. I have no problem
producing my own works, at least for now; but my goal is to get known enough
that other people will want them, too. (Producers don't read scripts; it's hard
enough to drag them to showcases. A playwright should either be ready to
produce his own plays or find a small group to whom he is willing to
apprentice. Publishing OOBR is my personal work of apprenticeship to the whole
of Off-Off-Broadway, and it's working.)

I'll be glad to send you free copies of OOBR, if you send me your snail-mail
address. Meanwhile, keep up the good work. Oh, and for listings -- check out Loads of audition

Feel free to publish all or part of this email (with credit) in the

John Chatterton


Yeah, John, I'm really ME, even though I keep that fact to
myself a little more than I should. Sorry!

The line "I don't let sadists on the staff" ought to be crocheted into a banner!

I wanted to make much more of your publication, and the
reviews from it that show up on the AISLE SAY page. Maybe I
should wait for a copy and then Review your review!

===An... I mean Larry!

Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 00:24:49 +0000
From: Doug Kirshen
Organization: American Repertory Theatre
Subject: American Repertory Theatre listings

Hi, there!

In your listings you have an incorrect phone number for SLAUGHTER CITY
(should be 617-547-8300), and you omit the producing organization, the
American Repertory Theatre. The Hasty Pudding Theatre has nothing to
do with the creation of this production - it is the venue only. The
situation is exactly the same for ALICE IN BED.

In the listing for THE NAKED TRUTH the venue, address, and phone
number are all incorrect. Also, the title has been changed to THE
NAKED EYE. That listing should be similar to LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO
NIGHT, which is correct (and we very much appreciate the inclusion of
our url there - thanks!).

May I ask where you get your data? We would be happy to provide
listings if you would give us your guidelines etc.

Doug Kirshen
(617) 496-2000 x8844
Director of Audience Development,
American Repertory Theatre

We trawl through listings on the Internet, Doug, we look at
the GLOBE Calendar and the PHOENIX, and we look through The New
England Entertainment Digest and The Improper Bostonian, and any
other listings-source that crosses our path. And people have begun
Emailing us notices and changes. We're noticing, though, that our
own PREVIEWS are getting so complete there is less and less we
have to add each week.
But we're really interested in correcting what's wrong, so
please --- anyone --- if there's a mistake, tell us about it!

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 11:34:50 -0500
Subject: New Web page - Vokes Theatre - Wayland MA

I couldn't find a form for submitting a new web page. So I hope this gets to you.

Vokes Theatre - Wayland MA (Community Theatre). Our brand-new web page is at:

We would appreciate inclusion in your list of web sites. Also,
congratulations on compiling such complete listings. I don't know where you
get your info, but it's unbelievable. Please keep up the good work.

Up-and-Coming at the Vokes Theatre
The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare(May 2-18, 1996)
The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (July 18 - Aug 3, 1996)

Brad Walters


The Vokes Theatre is a hand-crafted work of love --- a small
playspace with boxes and details you'd find at the Colonial or the
Wang Center. And, as you can see from their announcements, the
community theater group using it takes good theater very seriously.
Welcome to The Internet!

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 14:35:48 EST
I'll be putting up a history of the North Shore Players as soon as I can
get to the scanner and OCR software.

As for why we're doing the site...It's because three of us computer nerds
are involved in the show, one as technical director and two onstage as
Muleteers, and we just thought it would be fun to put the show online.
We have the technology; may as well exploit it!

The site is very young; it'll continue to evolve as we get closer to
opening night! I'll let you know when I get some more substance there.


This is most of a dialog about the North Shore Players' new
web-site (, which will upload rehearsal
photos throughout the work until, and probably after, the run.
It's an interesting idea, the pictures already look good, and I'm
going to check in every day or two to keep caught up.
Break a leg all!


Sharyn Shipleys five-act re-telling of "Hamlet -- The Women" has (as you can see below) excited general interest and additional action, so we're transferring the whole discussion to the ON REFLECTION section of The Theater Mirror. There you will find the newest exchanges on this play, YOUR comments on the topic, and the entire summary of all five acts of the play that Sharyn sent The Mirror.

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 15:04:52 -0500
Subject: nifty!!!

I read the thing on your friend Sharyn Shipley, her newest play emphasizing the female characters in Hamlet sounds spectacular. I fell in love with the original while stage managing it this fall and have since been wondering if a more "she centered" (vs. "he centered") version exists. Is it out yet?

peace, love, and cappucino trees,
Sarah McGray
(don't ask-- it's how I sign everything)


I think "Hamlet --- The Women" is new-minted from Sharyn Shipley's typewriter, and she's looking for a theatre that can do its world premiere.

She did send me an outline, and ACT IV SCENE 5 --- in which Felicity (who accidentally witnessed the murder of King Hamlet) and Horatio watch poor mad Ophelia drown, while discovering themselves in love. Hmmm. That sounds cold; let me quote from her outline itself:

ACT IV Scene 5
Felicity and Horatio watch Ophelia. Osric hides -- watches them. Horatio declares his love for Felicity. She wrestles with the need to be safe vs. the need to bear witness -- recounts witnessing the murder -- the endless discussions of what to do -- the murder of her family -- how she, alone, was saved by a neighbor. All that she could remember was that she had to come -- to tell the Queen -- but the King is the murderer. Osric has heard enough, exits. Horatio would save ophelia from drowning -- Felicity restrains him. She reasons death is kinder than what will come next, since Laertes is honor-bound to seek revenge. They declare their love. Felicity exits to tell the Queen of Ophelia's "accidental" drowning. Horatio stays to watch over the body.

So, as you can see, it's a total re-telling, although the skeleton of Shakespeare's original remains in place.

I'll see if Sharyn will let us put her outline into The Theater Mirror so you all can see how she works. What I can say is that the scene reads well, and I'm going to ask a couple friends who are actual actors to do a living-room reading to see what they can do with it. I'd really like to see it here in Boston some day!

===Anon. (Don't ask! It's traditional)

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 96 16:20:15 -0500
Original-From: John Chatterton
Subject: Off-Off-Broadway reviews by Boston expatriate

I am publishing and editing OOBR, "the off-off-broadway review," dedicated to New York's Off-Off-Broadway scene.

I spent many years in Boston, some writing and producing plays on the Fringe. Most successfully (and least recent), an adaptation of Homer's OYSSEY at the Publick Theatre in 1973, with director Donato Colucci. Most recent work: FRANKENSTEIN THE MUSICAL, also with Mr. Colucci.

You can link to OOBR through AISLE SAY, another flourishing site of theatre reviews, at:
(AISLE SAY also includes links to Boston reviews by Gerri Horton.)

BTW, I agree with Mr. Holbrook about theatre reviews being about theatre, not drama. A point that has completely eluded Carolyn Clay over the years.

Best wishes,
John Chatterton


We have kept a link to AISLE SAY for some time now, John, because the reviews are good and thoughtful. The more reviews the better, in my opinion! I really wish more readers of The Theater Mirror would register their even brief reactions to the plays they've seen. If we could get a wider range of commentary, perhaps the the "make or break" mentality of reviewers who feel they Must have Opinions and make Judgements. "Just give the news, please," I used to say; I'll do my own thinking, thank you. But several well- reasoned and thoughtfully written reviews can be of value, even to people who will never get to see the performance in question.

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 16:06:39 -0500
From: joseph p klapatch
Subject: Upcoming Show

March 22-30, 1996

"Noises Off" (Michael Frayn's incomparable farce)



Thanks for the news! Check OUTTA THE HAT! this week.


An old friend found me and The Theater Mirror on the internet. She's Sharyn Shipley, playwright. She let me see a summary and a scene from her newest play --- a re-trelling of Hamlet, but with an emphasis on the female characters.

It's huge, obviously ambitious, with quite terse dialog in what looks like a very rigorous short-line blank verse form that I'm still not used to. Maybe when I get a chance to read it over aloud...

Anyway, I asked her what a playwright does with it when a play is finished.

This is what she said:

I sit on the internet and hunt around for theatres that do/have done Shakespeare, are professional, especially those interested in women and/or special projects. "Hamlet: the Women" is a piece of my goal, which is "The Ultimate Hamlet". An evening where Hamlet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern and the Women are played simultaneously (with additional scenes written by me, of course) in a "castle" and the audience gets to follow them around and live the night at Castle Ulgard, Elsinore, Denmark. So five acts doesn't seem all that ambitious to me. My goal is to have at least four simultaneous productions (N.Y., London, LA, Tokyo).

There are at least three theatres considering the play right now. I guess what I've done is targeted marketing. Very time consuming. It has two aspects: by e-mail when that option is offered. By snail when that's all there is.

I've done one national mailing and am now putting together an international one. I love the 'net.

I'm also starting to look for producers who do really ambitious live theatrical performances for the Ultimate.

I'm enclosing the love scene between Felicity and Horatio. Yes, I do think this play needs to be read aloud. Hope you recieve the whole pakkige.

I did some TV writing, radio, had some minor success and had two children (major success!!).


Thu Mar 7 03:08:14 1996

Hi Larry.

I just thought I would give you a little update on what is going on with my career (on the off chance you are interested!)

Triangle Theatre is going to be doing "Seating and Other Arrangements" from 4/10 - 4/27, and I am playing Gina, opposite Devery Dolman (who you may remember as Shaker Girl in "The Last Shaker") as Amy.

I'll be playing Arcturus (i.e., I'll be doing the prologue!) in Theatre Ludicrum's production of Plautus' "The Rope" at the Lyric on the mornings of 4/24 & 4/25 (or is that 4/25 & 4/26?)

I'll be appearing as Sheila in the Asian American Theatre's procuction of "Going to Seed" at the BCA 5/16 - 5/25 or so. By which point, the title should describe me quite well!

I've got an industrial I've got a small non-speaking role in on Tuesday, and a call-back for "All The Rage".

oy! (*8

Hope you can see one of them. And I hope all is well with you. Personally, no matter what Edwin Wilson thinks, *I* think you and Lee are doing an *amazing* job.

E Grace Noonan
I'm an acter and a Quaker for heaven's sake! How much queerer can I get?!


E Grace Noonan is a friend, a booster, and obviously a very busy "acter", as she terms herself.

I'm going to do my best to attend, if not to review, all the shows she's listed that I can. Certainly the Triangle and the BCA shows are on my list.

Obviously, she takes theater as seriously as The Theater Mirror does! And it's nice, as a reviewer, to have a "career" to follow...


Hello, Larry. I was browsing the net and ran across your page.It is wonderful to see that you haven't lost your "old" enthusiasm for the live theatre, or your warm, positive and humane way of reporting on it and the people who work in it. Keep the battle raging!

Mort Kaplan


It's good to know you're "Up & Running" too, Mort!

When we were both much younger, Director Mort Kaplan "played" Northeastern's Studio Theatre as expertly as Duke Ellington or Seigi Ozawa "played" their orchesatras. I can still remember bits from "Loot" or "King Ubu" or "Lysistrata" that no one will ever improve upon!

Got a new show in rehearsal?


Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 09:18:10 -0500
From: (Jay Bradshaw)
Subject: Boston Theater

Please help (does that sound desperate or what):

I have been trying to find an information source for performances coming to
the Wang Center (along the lines of Phantom, Cats, etc.).

I have yet to find such a listing by searching for 'Wang Center' and by
scrolling through various theater pages, such as yours.

Can you please advise me where I should look - and for what I should be
looking?  Is the Wang Center known by a different name?

BTW - I was *very* impressed (and a little surprised) to see that you have
a listing for Skowhegan, Maine!  Skowtown is only a few miles from home -
and actually puts on some pretty decent local theater.  Thanks!


As you see, Jay, we list whatever we can find! (And we found that one in New England Entertainment Digest.)

We have listed every shred of information we could find about productions at The Wang Center. We're not on their mailing-list, but even the gossips we know have not said anything about what's coming to the Wang. "Cats!" went into the Shubert, and "Music of The Night" and "Dreamcoat" to the Colonial. Maybe someone at the Wang will add to the Greenroom Discussions and enlighten us all!



THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide