SATs: signifying nothing. Peerless mixes Macbeth and college admissions

Company One will stage the first-ever live theatre run at the Boston Public Library this weekend.  Peerless recasts Macbeth as a tale of twins ruthlessly competing for admission to an elite college.  Performances begin Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and continue through May 28, 2017 as part of “All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare.”

 

Post-Meridian Radio Players production of Peter Pan premieres this evening

The Post-Meridian Radio Players are premiering an original full-length adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan this evening in Davis Square.  There are 7 performances and the radio drama runs through April 29th.

Given there are several “family friendly matinees” ones suspects that adaptation doesn’t focus on the Pan’s sociopathic behavior towards the lost boys, as documented in the original novel: “when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out”

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Everyman opens at the Apollinaire Theatre in Chelsea

The Apollinaire Theatre Company is helping Chelsea become center of creative innovation.  Their new black box theater will host some both old and new with Everyman a contemporary reimagining of a 15th century morality play by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom.  It opens tonight and runs through May 6th.

You can see the playwright talk about Everyman in this video from the original National Theatre production.

Festival fav “I Am Not Your Negro” screens @IFFBoston Fall Focus tonight

The Fall Focus series continues this evening at the Brattle Theatre with a screening of a documentary based on an unfinished James Baldwin manuscript. The filmmaker connects Baldwin’s words, narrated by Samuel L Jackson, to both the historical civil rights and black power movements, and to the struggles of today.

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The Handmaiden: deceit and desire war in a scoundrel targeting an heiress. @IFFBoston.

IFFBoston continues at the Brattle tonight with The Handmaiden.Set in the 1930s this intense, stylized film tells the of a Korean pickpocket who is drawn towards an Japanese heiress she is meant to defraud. But there are wheels within wheels, as the complicated plot unfolds in three acts.  Complications arise not just from individuals scheming, but also Japanese colonialism, patriarchy and class divisions.  But it’s set pieces of lust (and brief moments of grotesque violence) that stand out.  At the Brattle this evening.

mediums, well done

Personal Shopper is a ghostly story about a young woman who is seeking some sign from her deceased twin brother, a powerful medium, who had promised to communicate from beyond the grave. At the same time, she works as a personal assistant to a celebrity, earning just enough money to have a small place in Paris where she can pursue her spiritual quest and, nominally, her artistic career.

At the TIFF premiere of Personal Shopper, director Olivier Assayas stated that Kristen Stewart was the greatest actress of her generation, and that he wished she could have shared in his best director win at Cannes. The film itself stands as strong proof of his point, Stewart is absolutely riveting even when silently stalking through a deserted dimly lit house, or while texting at length on a busy train.

This slow burning thriller straddles genres and tones, while maintaining its distinctive artistic integrity.

Highly recommended.

Planetarium tells the story of two American sisters travelling the world in the 1920’s performing séances as cabaret act when they are taken under the wing of a credulous French filmmaker who wants to revolutionize cinema by capturing the first images of real ghosts. This European production with a November release, directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, features transporting images and great acting, but we don’t need another thin story about filmmaking or prewar anti semitism.

Natalie Portman is the strongest force in this film, yet she is even better in Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, where the script gives her something to work with. Like its namesake, Planetarium simulates a grander power without embodying it.

Worth catching when it’s streaming, so you can let the beautiful images flow over you.