This week, Jared reviews two new plays in Boston and delves into the world of Christopher Robin with “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

“Measure for Measure,” presented by ArtsEmerson at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre through October 28

Measure for Measure
Alexander Arsentyev and Anna Khalilulina in "Measure for Measure"
Johan Persson, courtesy of ArtsEmerson

One of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” receives a masterful interpretation in “Measure for Measure” collaborated on by Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre and London’s Cheek by Jowl. Directed by Declan Donnellan, this play presents a modern revamping of Shakespeare’s dark tale of power unchecked. Performed in Russian with English surtitles, the production is made extraordinarily visceral with dance, movement, and surreal imagery. “If you love theater, see this show,” say Jared, who describes “Measure for Measure” as “simmering, electric, emotional. It’s Shakespeare made vital and startling.”

“The Roommate,” presented by Lyric Stage Company through November 18

The Roommate
Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky star in "The Roommate"
Mark S. Howard, courtesy of the Lyric Stage Company

Lyric Stage Company’s latest production takes us to Iowa for a midlife renaissance in “The Roommate.” In this comedy by Jen Silverman, recent divorcee Sharon takes on a new roommate to get her life back on track. While she is tidy, timid, and straight-laced, her new roommate Robyn – a lesbian slam poet from the Bronx – is anything but. As the two bond over books, music, and marijuana, the roommates find in each other the will to transform their lives. “More than anything I appreciated the sentiment here,” says Jared of “The Roommate,” “that no matter who you are or who you’ve been, it’s never too late.”

“Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring A Classic,” on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through January 6

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
Ernest Howard Shepard, Pooh and Piglet go hunting, Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 3, 1928.
Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Shepard Trust and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Those in need of a pleasant escape should look no further than “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the exhibition features nearly 200 works and archival materials from author A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard, including the original drafts, drawings, letters, photographs and sketches that went into crafting the detailed world of Christopher Robin and his animal friends. Jared encourages museum-goers to “get delightfully lost in the Hundred Acre Wood – where all the ‘Pooh’ seeds were planted.”

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