This week, Jared Bowen takes us to the circus with Reversible at ArtsEmerson, reviews the new play "Men on Boats" and sits down with the cast and creative team behind "Merrily We Roll Along" at the Huntington Theatre Company.
"Merrily We Roll Along," presented by the Huntington Theatre Company through October 15
A classic -- if not always celebrated -- Sondheim musical is revived at the Huntington Theatre Company. "Merrily We Roll Along" moves backward in time, charting the faith and fissures in the relationship of three close friends. Maria Friedman, who directed a critically acclaimed revival of this show in the West End, returns to lead this stellar ensemble, headlined by Mark Umbers.
Jared Says: "This 'Merrily' rolls mightily along into the rarefied realm of perfection."
"Men on Boats," presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company through October 7
Based on the historic 1869 expedition by John Wesley Powell to map the Colorado River, SpeakEasy Stage Company's "Men on Boats" brings a new twist to the expedition’s history. Upending traditional gender rolls, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus has requested all of the "men" in “Men on Boats” be played by “racially diverse actors who are female-identifying, trans-identifying, gender fluid, and / or non-gender conforming,” resulting in a new perspective on a comedic, whimsical, and sometimes fraught frontier tale.
Jared Says: "It's a story of exploration that doesn't go far enough."
"Reversible," presented by The 7 Fingers at ArtsEmerson through September 24
The 7 Fingers return to Boston in acrobatic fashion. Featuring eight circus performers, "Reversible" finds hope for tomorrow in a celebration of the past, drawing on the histories of the performers’ ancestors. This ArtsEmerson performance transcends time and space with a blend of theater, dance, and high-flying fanfare.
Jared Says: "There's every reason to revel in 'Reversible,' from gasp-inducing acts, to slapstick comedy to a moving dose of existentialism."