Even the most realistic, sensible, not-prone-to-break-into-song-
and-dance theatergoer can find a musical to enjoy this month—none of which would have been performed in your high school.
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Through November 12th
SEE IF: you like more than a little teen angst with your folk-infused alt-rock.
“Spring Awakening” won eight Tony awards in 2007, including Best New Musical. Based on the 1892 German play—which was banned for its portrayal of sex, abortion, suicide, rape, and homosexuality—the score combines alternative rock with a folksy feel to recreate a simple but powerful story of lost innocence. The score alone is grounds to see the show, and the intimate setting of the Black Box theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts is sure to create a compelling theatrical experience.
ArtsEmerson – Paramount Theater
November 15 – 20
SEE IF: you’ve always suspected that Shakers can, indeed, shake it.
Writer Alfred Uhry (“Driving Miss Daisy”) drew inspiration for this song and dance piece from Ann Lee, founder of the Shaker movement. Director/choreographer Martha Clarke navigates the Ann’s desire to erase sexual desire from herself and her followers primarily with song and dance, with only a little text. The production has received rave reviews throughout its nationwide tour and has a very limited run: if the idea of reclaiming spirituality through dance is appealing, you’ll want to reserve your tickets now.
Nov 17 – Dec 17
SEE IF: you’re a jazz baby at heart.
“Ain’t Misbehavin’” hit Broadway in 1978 (and won the Tony for Best New Musical), but these tunes were written by Fats Waller and were swinging in New York long before that. Originally slated as a revue, this show encapsulates Harlem jazz in the 20’s and 30’s in a set of raucous tunes that speakeasies were made for. Despite being the most “conventional” musical in this list, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” breaks convention by being a straight up jazz lover’s dream.
Nov 11, Nov 18, Nov 25 and Dec 2
SEE IF: you’re ready to be a little violated.
The Gold Dust Orphans bring the cult classic in all its perverse joy to OBERON on Friday nights until December 2. The story (which you shouldn’t try too hard to make sense of) follows squeaky-clean Brad and Janet on their demented journey into the mansion of Dr. Frank N. Furter, better known as the “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.” The songs’ lyrics are unabashedly weird, but rock pretty hard in their own right. The dynamic space at OBERON (which includes a bar open throughout the performance) promises some kinky twists and up-close-and-personal encounters with the cast. One can only imagine what the underwear run will be like . . .
The Threesixty Theatre
Through November 30th
SEE IF: you’re ready for adventure.
Okay, this isn’t the musical version of “Peter Pan” most of us grew up with: it’s J.M. Barrie’s original stage play that debuted in 1904. But the spectacle and extravagance of the production exceeds the effects of even the biggest Broadway musicals, and the fantastical element puts it on par in the escapism scale. This production utilizes a 360-degree screen spanning the entire arena. Kids will love it (those who can handle pirate violence and fairy wisecracks, anyway), but adults will also marvel at the flying effects, puppetry, and daring sword fights. The show’s already been a sensation in London and touring around the U.S., so catch it while it lasts.