Friday, May 02, 2014

A Bridge Too Far? Never! - Apollinaire Theatre Company's "Bird" Soars Over Chelsea

Alana Osborn-Lief as Nina
Diego Buscaglia as Con

For most theater lovers in the Boston area, a visit to a theater in Chelsea necessitates a trip over the Tobin Bridge.  Until last week, I had not taken that plunge until Trip Venturella suggested that I come and check out Apollinaire Theatre Company's production of "Stupid F***ing Bird" by Aaron Posner.  Mr. Venturella serves as Apollinaire's Director of Development, and on this production was also Choreographer and Stage Manager.

I had no idea what to expect when I made the decison to come to Chelsea and Apollinaire Theatre Company, except for a cutting edge and "edgy" play based on Anton Chekhov's iconic play, "The Seagull."  I was blown away.  My only regret is that I did not see the show in time to make readers of The White Rhino Report aware that this show was a "Must See."  Unfortunately, the play closed last weekend.  So, why am I writing a review of a show that has already closed?  Good question!  Here are my reasons:

  1. Having discovered a gem in Apollinaire Theatre Company, I want all of the readers of White Rhino Report to put Apollinaire on their radar screens for future productions.  Based on what I experienced last week, whatever they produce will be worth seeing, and a trip across the Tobin Bridge will never be a "Bridge too far."
  2. Everyone involved in this production is worthy of a shout out - even if it is an ex post facto word of appreciation.
  3. The work of playwright, Aaron Posner, will again be on display in our area, and I want to alert everyone to that opportunity.  He is co-directing the upcoming production of "The Tempest" at The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.  His co-director is Teller of Penn and Teller fame, so the show promises to be another "Must See" event.  The show opens at the A.R.T. on May 11.  Several of the performances are already sold out!
Director Danielle Fauteux Jacques assembled a flawless cast for "Stupid F***ing Bird."  It was en ensemble in the best sense of that term.  She was very ably assisted by the work of Sound Designer David Reiffel, Scenic Designer Megan F. Kinneen, Costume Designer Julie Dauber.

The cast:

Con - Diego Buscaglia
Dev - Brooks Reeves
Mash - Emily Hecht
Nina - Alana Osborn-Leif
Sorn - Jack Schultz
Trig - Kevin Cirone
Emma - Jeanine Frost

What made this evening at the theater such a memorable event for me was a combination of factors.  Basically, I experienced the weaving together of excellence at several different levels - the writing, the directing, the acting, the work of the the design team, the venue.  Yes - the venue!  Apollinaire Theatre Company has invested in a a classic brick building at 189 Winnisimmet Street near Chelsea Square.  The building, a former Odd Fellows Hall, has been carefully refurbished and is now a lovely destination, housing an art gallery, rehearsal and storage space for the theatre and a wonderful and flexible performance space.

Having tasted some of what Apollinaire has to offer on their artistic bill of fare, I can't wait to come back for seconds!  When will that be and what will be the next offering? Stay tuned for developing news. We will cross that bridge when we come to it!

This theatre company is worthy of your patronage and support.  Go to their FaceBook page and "Like" the page so you can be alerted to upcoming shows.


Apollinaire Theatre Company Website

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