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Arts This Week | December 13, 2018

Arts This Week: 'A Story Beyond,' 'Breath and Imagination' And 'Barber Shop Chronicles'

A Story Beyond
Jesse Garlick and Rosie McInness in "A Story Beyond: A Musical Fable."
Christopher Mcintosh/Courtesy Liars & Believers
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Arts This Week | December 13, 2018

This week, Jared Bowen reviewed three new plays in the Boston and Cambridge area.

“A Story Beyond: A Musical Fable,” presented by Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts through Dec. 22.

A Story Beyond 2
Aislinn Brophy and Rachel Wiese puppet characters in "A Story Beyond."
Christopher Mcintosh/Courtesy of Liars & Believers

Art imitates life in this contemporary and original fable told through a unique blend of music, projections and puppetry. It took more than two years for Liars and Believers to craft “A Story Beyond,” which follows the fierce, young heroine Maya struggling to save her village from a looming dark cloud. Created and directed by Jason Slavick, the play features dynamic puppetry by Faye Dupras and powerful music and lyrics by Nathan Leigh. The result is a mesmerizing play that both kids and parents can enjoy. Jared describes the play as “exquisite on every level. It’s moving and a momentous effort.”

“Breath and Imagination,” presented by Lyric Stage Company through Dec. 23.

Breath and Imagination
Davron S. Monroe with Asher Denburg in "Breath and Imagination."
Mark S. Howard/Courtesy of the Lyric Stage Company

Presented by the newly minted Front Porch Arts Collective in partnership with Lyric Stage Company, “Breath and Imagination” is an original musical about one of the first world-renowned African-American classical vocalists. Maurice Emmanuel Parent makes a fine directorial debut in this story of the virtuosic Roland Hayes (Davron Monroe), who rises from working on a plantation in Georgia to singing in front of European royalty.

“Davron Monroe inhabits Roland Hayes in an extremely compelling performance,” says Jared, “and his singing is as transportive as the title suggests.”

“Barber Shop Chronicles,” Presented by the American Repertory Theatre through Jan. 5.

Barber Shop Chronicles
The cast of "Barber Shop Chronicles."
Evgenia Eliseeva/courtesy of the American Repertory Theatre

Discover the bombastic, humorous and honest conversations of men from around the world at the American Repertory Theatre. Created by Inua Ellams, “Barber Shop Chronicles” takes audiences inside barber shops in England, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe for unfiltered conversations ranging from finance to relationships to sports to geopolitics.

Is there a theater premiere you're eager to hear about? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!

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