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Boston’s Best Musical Theater

October 27, 2010 10:34 AM

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(Courtesy: americanrepertorytheater.org)

(Courtesy: americanrepertorytheater.org)

Sure, some of the biggest Broadway musicals on national tour pass through Boston’s Theater District, but there are also plenty of locally produced shows to be had that, more often than not, have more character than Broadway’s exports.
These picks are sure to please your musical and dramatic sensibilities alike, with an evening of locally sourced song and dance. Bryce Lambert
speakeasy Bostons Best Musical Theater

(Courtesy: speakeasystage.com)

SpeakEasy Stage

Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St.Boston, MA
www.speakeasystage.com

Dividing its time between plays and musicals, but with a strong penchant for new musical comedies, the SpeakEasy stage has chiseled out a solid cultural nook in the South End and earned itself a devoted audience. Some of Boston’s funniest talent appears throughout SpeakEasy’s well programmed seasons, in pleasingly quirky, laugh-out-loud shows.

lyricpix Bostons Best Musical Theater

(Courtesy: Mark S. Howard/Lyric Stage)

Lyric Stage

140 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA
lyricstage.com

Also balancing musicals with plays, the Lyric Stage specializes in warm, crowd-pleasing musical comedies that are often either classics or are based on classic sources. You can rely on the Lyric for well-earned laughs, solid musical direction, and their intimate theater, where everything is a lot closer than it is on Broadway.

donkeyshowpix Bostons Best Musical Theater

(Courtesy: americanrepertorytheater.org)

The Donkey Show

Oberon
2 Arrow St.
Cambridge, MA
www.americanrepertorytheater.org

Part musical, part Shakespeare, part Tijuana red light district myth, and part celebration of seventies club culture, “The Donkey Show” may contain a plot you’re familiar with from the few weeks you spent reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in high school, but it’s unlikely you’ve seen song and dance numbers like these anywhere else. Sip on cocktails and don’t be afraid to shake it a little bit as you become immersed in the A.R.T’s re-incarnation of Studio 54, where pumping disco beats carry a Shakespearean plot.

northshore Bostons Best Musical Theater

(credit: nsmt.org)

North Shore Music Theatre

62 Dunham Rd.
Beverly, MA
www.nsmt.org

A favorite among audiences and critics, the North Shore Music Theatre has survived both fire and bankruptcy in order to continue putting out crowd-pleasing musical comedies, from which it has earned a reputation for high production values, star talent, and first-rate choreography. Their annual production of a musical based on “A Christmas Carol,” with high-caliber special effects, is one of the most popular holiday shows in this end of the Commonwealth.

Bryce Lambert blogs on the Boston arts scene at BostonLowbrow.com, offering the occasional review and commentary on local shows, concerts, and art exhibitions.
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