May 26, 2009

InBox: Pirates! update from Michael Maso

Thanks to the many people who responded to the Boston Globe review of Pirates! with comments on our blog and on In addition to the overwhelming majority of those who wrote with high praise for the production, all eight of the other reviews we received have been enormously enthusiastic. Here are the links to the reviews in their entirety for you to read for yourself.

"Pirates! a treasure to behold" - Boston Herald

"Pirates! is a jolly treasure" - Patriot Ledger

"Pirates! swashbuckled it's way into my heart" - reader review at

"Pirates! is one of the happiest funniest musicals I've seen in a while" - Frank Avaruch

"Pirates! it’s fabulous, frolicking, fun!" - The Boston Guide

"Pirates! is a swashbuckling tour de force" - Boston Theatre Examiner

"Thar's Booty at yer Huntington" - Cape Cod Times

"Enchanting Pirates! at the Huntington Theatre Company" - Berkshire Fine Arts

"Set Sail for Huntington Theatre Company's Pirates!" -

I hope that all this acclaim will be enough to convince you to see Pirates! before June 14! And thanks again for all your support over the past few days.

Best wishes,

comment on this post

Pirates at Coolidge Corner

Yes, we're everywhere...

The Huntington is teaming up with Coolidge Corner Theatre for a screening of the film version of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, starring Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, and Linda Ronstadt. Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

The event features a pre-screening costume contest, judged by a special Huntington guest (ooo, quite mysterious, aren't we...). A great event for families.

Tickets can be ordered through the Coolidge Corner Theatre box office. . 290 Harvard Street, Brookline. 617 734-2500.

Spread the word and come join us! Comment on this post

May 21, 2009

Pirates! A letter from Michael Maso

Those of you who were among this past week's cheering and deeply appreciative audiences for Pirates!— including many families with young children — will be stunned to read Louise Kennedy's aggressively negative review, which was posted Thursday afternoon on the Globe website but will be more readily accessible Friday on line and in print. Here is the link:

In over three decades of producing plays, I have never felt such a disconnect between the experience in the theatre and the reflection of a critic. Louise's first line displays her anger at the fact that the audience was responding with cheers and laughter throughout the evening, and her condescension to the audience and artists alike is breathtaking.

So if you have seen our production, I would appreciate it if you do two things. First, please post a comment about her review. Posting now will have the greatest impact.

Comment to the Boston Globe and/or post your own review of Pirates! right here on our blog

Second, please share this post and your views with your friends. If you agree with Louise, say so, though I admit that I think you will not. If you disagree, please let her — and everyone who may read her piece in the coming days — know that as well. The direct link is

I have no theory about what is behind this review. I only know that the destructive power of one person, when that person is given the imprimatur of the region's largest newspaper, needs to be balanced by the voices of the thousands who have already let us know about the joy they have found in the laughter, the music, the wit, and the sheer artistry displayed by those involved in this production.

Please — let your voice be heard.

My thanks, and very best wishes.

Michael Maso,
Managing Director - Huntington Theatre Company

Again - the links are: Comment on and Comment on our blog

May 18, 2009

Pirates! in Previews

I've been busy having fun watching this show - and haven't written anything for you in a few days. We're getting ready for our third preview tonight after an afternoon of rehearsals. Here are some photos to hold you over:

The Pirate King (Steve Kazee) and crew celebrate Frederic's (Anderson Davis) birthday

The Pirate King explains the "Pirate Curse"

The Governor's daughters prepare for a pirate attach

The Major-General makes his introduction

Check out the Boston Globe preview articles here! Cast list and bios here

Comment on this post

May 14, 2009

Comments glitch

Hello all -

My sincere apologies.

I just found 50 unpublished comments dating back over a month... and found out why the blog software hadn't notified me that they were there. The comments are now published and we should not have this problem in the future. I am so sorry that we didn't get your comments up sooner.

56 readers have left comments about The Miracle at Naples, and 46 left comments about Two Men of Florence. Neither production failed to invoke strong feelings. Please have a read through them - the range of opinions is remarkable.

I'll be publishing a post soon where you can comment on our production of Pirates! (or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd). Come back and tell us what you think.



May 13, 2009

Inbox: Poetry Out Loud National Finals

This is from associate director of education Lynne Johnson:

Hello everyone,

I wanted to fill you in on the "Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud experience" for this year. Our State Champion, Wilmene Hercule, handled herself with great poise and talent, completely holding her own in the semi-finals in Washington DC. So much so, she made it to the third round.

She was truly wonderful
and Massachusetts can be extremely proud of her as representative of our state.

Audience members around me, who were made up of teachers, parents and States Arts Agencies, were totally in awe of the fact that Wilmene was only 15 years old and genuinely loved her performance.

The contest was amazing, as usual, and I think the bar was raised again this year. I certainly felt that Wilmene was definitely in her element and for such a young age, did a tremendous job. I felt extremely proud.

Her mother Marie, and teacher from Prospect Hill Academy, also attended.

A highlight this year was hearing singer Natalie Merchant sing three songs which were based on three poems from poets which she was commissioned to put to music. She has an album with more of them coming out soon. The songs were beautiful and I urge you to get the c.d. when it comes out.

We were also fortunate to meet Tyne Daly who was a judge this year. It was more exciting for me than Wilmene, I'm afraid. I don't think Wilmene knew who she was, but I introduced her as one of the youngest contestants and Tyne was very nice to Wilmene and I.

Lynne Johnson, Tyle Daly, and Wilmene Hercule

All in all, I was glad that I was able to go and represent the Mass State Partners. I took home some great ideas at the State Arts Agency meeting for next year, and I think we can only continue to grow.

Enjoy the picture and I hope you join us for Poetry Out Loud next season.



For more information about Poetry Out Loud visit

May 12, 2009

Inbox - Peter DuBois 2009-2010 Season

This in from Peter DuBois (to the Huntington staff):

Hello Huntington!

I am writing with a few updates from the artistic department -

First, the last two shows of our 2009-2010 season are going to press today and I wanted to make sure that you heard from me first.

David Esbjornson
will be directing Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" in third position at the Boston University Theatre. David was Miller's director and collaborator at the end of his life. He directed "Ride Down Mt Morgan" at The Public and on Broadway, as well as "Resurrection Blues" at The Guthrie. I am very excited to have Arthur's last collaborator direct his earliest masterpiece. David's wife Beth Clancy will be designing costumes, and their son Aiden will be joining us as well.

I will direct Craig Lucas' beautiful early work, "Prelude to A Kiss," in May 2010 at the B.U. Theatre. It is a gorgeous play - magical, funny, suspenseful. A bride is kissed by an old man, a stranger who wanders into a wedding party, and the two exchange souls. This moment is a jumping off point for what is ultimately a breathtaking love story.

The eleventh annual Boston Theater Marathon is this weekend! It is Sunday, May 17 at the Calderwood, from noon til 10 pm. Lots of Huntington peeps are writing, directing and acting in 10-minute plays performed over 10 hours. As a warm-up to the marathon, at 8pm on Saturday, May 16, I will direct a reading of Theresa Rebeck's latest play, "The Novelist" in Deane Hall. It's free and open to the public. On Sunday, Bevin O'Gara will be directing the Huntington's show in the marathon, Ken Urban's short play "White People" in the 1-2pm time slot.

Lastly, thank you all so much for the work you did to make David Grimm's "The Miracle at Naples" such a success. I am thrilled with how the production turned out, and very happy with the stir that David's play made.


All best,


Further info on our 2009-2010 season can be found at

Elliot Norton Awards

I'm happy to report that the Huntington was honored with four Elliot Norton Awards at last night's ceremony - here's the bootleg video:

Outstanding Actress: Kate Burton, The Corn is Green

Outstanding Design: Francis O'Connor, Two Men of Florence

Outstanding Director: Nicholas Martin, She Loves Me and The Corn is Green

Outstanding Visiting Production: Wishful Drinking

Congrats to all!

May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Greetings!

Here at the B.U. Theatre we're in tech for Pirates! (or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd), and over at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA the set from Miracle at Naples is coming down.

It's a busy time of year - the sprint towards the finish line of a very long race. Our apologies to all the moms out there - we've been keeping your sons and daughters busy.

Here's a token of our appreciation. Happy Mother's Day!

starring Stage Manager Gail Luna, Director Gordon Greenberg, and assistant Stage Manager Carola Morrone.

May 9, 2009

Pirates! Under Construction (version 2)

Here are some more images from the last several weeks for you. The set is now loaded in and we're about to start technical rehearsals. First preview is in a week - Friday. Fingers crossed!

Company, Staff, Cast, Crew: I am still looking for more photos - candids with people in them are best - send them on in!