Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

By MARK SARDELLA GLOUCESTER — Imagine Mel Brooks pressed into service to direct an Alfred Hitchcock movie. You might get something like Patrick Barlow’s witty stage adaptation of Hitchcock’s classic mystery thriller, The 39 Steps. The play version, currently in production at Gloucester Stage, is much more comedy than mystery. And as comedy, it’s very […]


For those who like music spiced with a bit of history – or vice versa – last Saturday’s Polymnia Choral Society production of Franz Josef Haydn’s The Creation was a doubly rewarding experience. The sanctuary of Wakefield’s First Parish Congregational Church was a fitting venue in which to experience Haydn’s oratorio depicting the miracle of […]


By MARK SARDELLA GLOUCESTER – “Bringing history to life” is about as cliched as it gets, but it happens to be an apt description for what Gloucester Stage’s current production, The Agitators, succeeds in doing. Mat Smart’s play takes us into the 19th century world of icons of equal rights Frederick Douglass and Susan B. […]


By MARK SARDELLA What does it take to create art? Is it education, discipline and skill? Or is it raw talent and real-life experience? It often takes some of both, as we witness in Sam Shepard’s True West, currently in production at Gloucester Stage. Set in their mother’s home 40 miles east of Los Angeles, […]


By MARK SARDELLA Easily, the strength of Gloucester Stage Company’s current production, Cyrano, is in the performances of the professional cast. The five-member cast plays a multitude of roles in this adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic Cyrano de Bergerac by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers.


Memorial Hall in Melrose was “All Shook Up” last Saturday night as the Polymnia Choral Society presented its “Tribute to Elvis, the King of Rock.” Polymnia and the King share a historical timeline. Polymnia was founded in Wakefield in 1953, the year Elvis Presley recorded his first demo at Sun Studio in Memphis. In 1956, […]


By MARK SARDELLA CONCORD — If, like me, you enjoy stories in which everyone is despicable, David Mamet’s testosterone-fueled Glengarry Glen Ross is hard to beat. And under the direction of Wakefield native Nancy Curran Willis, these dishonorable characters are brought to vivid life by a strong cast at The Umbrella in Concord. Set mainly […]