Lyric Stage Commissions Garden State for Play at Home

Recently, we commissioned a short play entitled Garden State by Sam Hamashima for Play at Home! Garden State follows a bee named Polly as she embarks on an adventure to come home before nightfall after being trapped in a glass jar. As she struggles navigating around the forest, she gains the help of two fireflies and realizes how she must listen to other perspectives when journeying home.

Playwright Sam Hamashima appeared in our production of Pacific Overtures, and blends his queer and Japanese-American identity to create works that explores different perspectives. Sam’s work has been produced and/or developed by John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Queer Theater, the Hub Theater, the Seattle Public Theater, and numerous others. Hamashima also holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan.

Play at Home is an initiative that stemmed from the ongoing pandemic, in which multiple theatre companies came together to create this series of plays commissioned specifically for this moment of unexpected isolation to inspire joy and connection for theatre-lovers.

The process is simple; partner theaters commission playwrights to write short plays that can be performed at home. Scripts are then posted and available for free online to download. People can then read the plays in the comfort of their own homes, and can interpret the plays however they want; these plays are meant to go beyond what might be possible on stage at a theater. Then people can share their performances on social media by tagging #PlayAtHomePlays! Our staff performed a reading of Garden State over Zoom in a recent staff meeting and had a delightful time. Now it’s your turn! 

Play at Home’s goal is to support freelance artists, and promote their creative works for the world to see. They are currently seeking more partner theaters and individuals to jump into the fun.

The Lyric Stage Lands Three Nominations for the 2020 Elliot Norton Awards

The cast of Pacific Overtures. Photo by Mark S. Howard

The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) announced that they are still putting on the 38th Annual Elliot Norton Awards, only this time, it is virtual.

While the season would have been concluded on March 31st, the BTCA ultimately voted on what they have been able to see, and have announced the nominees for the awards on Thursday, April 16. The Lyric Stage Company of Boston is one of many Boston theatre companies to be nominated for this year, and has landed three nominations.

Our production of Pacific Overtures, which ran from May 10 to June 16 in 2019, is nominated for Outstanding Musical Production. Katrina Z. Pavao, who starred in the role of Audrey in our production of Little Shop of Horrors that ran from August 30 to October 6, was nominated for Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress. Lastly, our production of The Cake, which ran from January 10 to February 9, was nominated for Outstanding Design in a Midsize Theater.

Katrina Z. Pavao in Little Shop of Horrors. Photo by Mark S. Howard

For the past few years, some of the proceeds of the awards ceremony are usually granted or donated to a local theatre organization, such as the Boston Arts Academy receiving a donation in 2017 and the musical theatre program at Boston Conservatory at Berklee receiving a grant in 2018. This year, the BTCA is donating $2,500 to the Theater Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial relief to artists in the Greater Boston area.

The 38th Elliot Norton Awards will be presented free of charge on May 11 at 7 p.m., and details on how to livestream the show are available at www.elliotnortonawards.com. Join us as we virtually celebrate Boston theatre!

What the Lyric Staff is Cooking Up

Need some new things to cook in the kitchen during your time in quarantine? Here are some of our staff’s recommendations!

1. Bon Appetit‘s Tahini Billionaire Shortbread Bars

“They are beautiful and crowd pleasing!” – Katherine Shaver, Assistant Box Office Manager

If you have a sweet tooth and want to try a new and unique dessert, look no further because Tahini Billionaire Shortbread Bars are where it’s at! Think of it as an oversized Twix—what more could you want than the combination of shortbread, caramel, and chocolate, plus tahini and sesame seeds as an upgrade? The shortbread is tender, the filling is gooey, and the chocolate ties it all together. You’ll be having the family finish the first batch in no time!

2. Blondies

“Blondies are my go-to baked goods because they’re so simple and delicious—I always add extra chocolate chips!” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

Often referred to as brownies without chocolate, blondies are no exception to the dessert world. While brownies depend on chocolate for their flavor, blondies depend on brown sugar for their taste. Blondies are also pretty quick to make—they take an hour, tops. Blondies are a dessert with their own unique deliciousness, and are a perfect addition to a party, Game Day, or celebration. Here’s Kate’s go-to recipe!

3. Crack Cauliflower

“The name comes from how good the sauce is, if cauliflower is not your thing, you can put the sauce on chicken, or basically anything.” – Nora Conley, General Manager

If you think cauliflower’s only purpose is to be boiled in water and served by itself, think again. Crack cauliflower is one of several different ways cauliflower can be prepared, and it will get you hooked! With it’s flavorful sauce, crack cauliflower is so mouth-watering and addictive that you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables!

4. Iced Matcha Lattes

“I’ve started making my own iced matcha lattes instead of relying on Dunkin Donuts, so I’m doing my wallet a favor!” – Marieska Luzada, Digital Marketing/Social Media Assistant

While basically anything matcha is a must-have in coffee shops all across the globe, matcha drinks are actually really easy and simple to make at home—and it’ll save you the extra bucks! Not only does it save you money, but making your own iced matcha latte to go with your breakfast also saves you time—preparing the refreshing drink takes less than 5 minutes! Make your own Starbucks iced matcha latte in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

5. Pace Picante Sauce: 40th Anniversary Recipe Collection

“I’m not the most talented cook, but I tend to lean on the Pace Picante cookbook for a lot of yummy and easy Tex Mex recipes.” – Matt Chapuran, Executive Director

If you’re into expanding your palate to different cuisines, give the Pace Picante Sauce: 40th Anniversary Recipe Collection a try! Divided into different sections throughout the book such as appetizers, soups, main dishes, and side dishes, the Pace Picante Sauce: 40th Anniversary Recipe Collection is perfect for the entire family to enjoy! If you don’t want to buy the book just yet, here’s a Pace Picante sauce chicken recipe you can try!

6. Chocolate Cake

“I used [this recipe] for the wedding cake that I made for our nephew last summer—big hit filled with strawberry mousse and covered with swiss buttercream—yummm!” – René Morrisette, Development Manager

Chocolate cake is no doubt a top-tier dessert in the book of all recipes. However, René’s chocolate cake is based off of a King Arthur flour recipe, and it’s his go-to for chocolate cakes. Here’s how you can make it for yourself!


  • 1 ¾ cups of sugar (12 ¼ oz)
  • 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour (9 ½ oz)
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch (1/2 oz)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ¾ cup of Dutch-process cocoa (2 ¼ oz) blended with 1 cup of hot coffee (8 oz)
  • ¾ cup of buttermilk (6 oz)
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil (3 ½ oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp of vanilla
  1. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Heat oven to 350°.
  3. Grease & flour 2 9-inch round pans, as well as one 13×9 inch pan (can also make about 24 cupcakes).
  4. Blend all the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  6. Blend into dry ingredients – beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
  7. Blend in the cocoa-coffee mixture (batter will be thin).
  8. Divide between the pans.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes (rotate halfway through) – the cake tester should come out clean (cupcakes should take 15-18 minutes, the larger pan about 35-40).
  10. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and finish cooling on the rack.

What the Lyric Staff is Listening To

Need music recommendations and podcasts to listen to during your time in quarantine? Here are some tunes and talks our staff is listening to right now!

1. You’re Wrong About

“Did you know self checkouts help explain why white collar crime is not prosecuted enough?” – Nora Conley, General Manager

If you’re interested in listening to deep dives into past trends and media stories, then give You’re Wrong About a try! Journalists Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes examine how popular events, ideas, and figures were unfairly maligned by a frenzied media. Every week, they reconsider an event or person or trend that’s been miscast in the public imagination. Some of the topics they covered are the Satanic Panic, Tonya Harding, and D.C. Snipers. They give you a more nuanced view on these subjects, and manage to do so in a funny way.

2. Jagged Little Pill Original Broadway Cast Recording

“I saw this show back in February, and I still haven’t gone a day without playing this entire cast recording—it’s absolutely incredible!” – Marieska Luzada, Digital Marketing/Social Media Assistant

If you’re looking for a new Broadway show to check out and listen to, give Jagged Little Pill a listen! Inspired by the 1995 album of the same name by Grammy-winning artist Alanis Morrisette, Jagged Little Pill centers around the Healys, your typical picture-perfect Connecticut suburban family whose lives are met with some of the burning issues of today. Filled with raw emotion, pain, and power, Jagged Little Pill connects with audiences near and far, on stage and through your headphones.

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3. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

“I’ve been listening to Dua Lipa’s new album Future Nostalgia on repeat.” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

If podcasts aren’t your cup of tea, here’s an album recommendation if you’re looking for new music to listen to! Future Nostalgia is the second studio album by Dua Lipa and was released on March 27th of this year. Lipa wanted to create a nostalgic pop and disco sound with her new album with influence from dance-pop and electronic music. If you want to hear modern music inspired by ‘80s pop and funk, give Future Nostalgia a listen!

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4. The Daily

“Their reporting during this time keeps me informed in a confidence-building way.” – Katherine Shaver, Assistant Box Office Manager

Put out by the New York Times, The Daily is the hub for the biggest stories of today told by the best journalists in the world. The Daily’s episodes are 20 minutes long each, and new episodes are released every weekday. Hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro, this podcast is based on interviews with Times journalists, in which they summarize and comment on their story, in addition to topic-related recordings or interviews with people involved in the story.

6. Wrong Voicemail: Boston Edition

“A friend of mine just launched one called Wrong Voicemail.” – Matt Chapuran, Executive Director

You’ve heard of a wrong number reaching you, but what about a wrong voicemail? This podcast launched not too long ago; since January 2020, comedian Maria Ciampa and her husband/co-host Justin Carr investigate several voicemails they have received from Boston politicians they don’t even know. Ciampa and Carr received ten wrong voicemails from a Boston politician’s office, and once they realized they had so much worth of funny content, Wrong Voicemail: Boston Edition was born. You can even submit your own wrong voicemail to be featured on the show to wrongvmpod@gmail.com.

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What the Lyric Staff is Watching

Need new shows to binge-watch in quarantine? Here are some of what our staff recommend!

1. The Great British Baking Show

“We are watching it as I write this.” – René Morrisette, Development Manager

The Great British Baking Show is exactly what the title says it is—a group of amateur bakers compete against each other in a series of rounds in hopes to impress the judges and to be recognized as Britain’s best baker. Each episode, contestants are given three challenges based on that week’s theme: a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper. At the end of each episode, one contestant is named “Star Baker” while another contestant gets eliminated. In the finale, three bakers are left and a winner is chosen from the three. The baking competition has been broadcast in multiple countries around the world, and the format has been sold to television producers globally, where local versions are made.

2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

“I never get bored of watching it—every episode is laugh-out-loud funny.” – Marieska Luzada, Digital Marketing/Social Media Assistant

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a police procedural comedy that follows Jake Perralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but intelligent NYPD detective in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. He often butts heads with the strict and no-nonsense commanding officer Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), and gets involved into different antics with his coworkers. The series has won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been critically acclaimed since its beginnings, and has also been praised for its portrayal of serious issues while retaining a sense of humor.

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3. Curb Your Enthusiasm

“This has been my favorite show since I started watching it.” – Matt Chapuran, Executive Director

Produced and broadcast by HBO in 2000, Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American comedy series created by Emmy winner Larry David, in which he also stars in it as a fictionalized version of himself. Curb Your Enthusiasm follows Larry as a semi-retired TV writer and producer. The series often features guest stars, many of whom are celebrities who play fictionalized versions of themselves to varying degrees. The series won the 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and is still going strong as it entered its tenth season this past January.

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4. The Good Place

“This show is heartfelt and very funny. Plus, unlike your freshman college class, it makes you enjoy learning about philosophy.” – Nora Conley, General Manager

Created by Michael Schur, The Good Place was a fantasy comedy series that aired from 2016 to 2020 on NBC. Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop as she arrives in the afterlife to “the Good Place,” a highly selective Heaven-like utopia. While people who come to “the Good Place” are rewarded for their righteous lives, Eleanor finds out that she was sent there by mistake and must hide her morally imperfect behavior. The show’s exploration and creative use of ethics and philosophy have been positively received, and Bell and Danson’s performances have been widely acclaimed by critics.

5. Parks and Recreation

“Leslie Knope’s relentless optimism never fails to brighten my day.” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation is an American political satire sitcom that aired from 2009 to 2015. Amy Poehler portrays the perky Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana. The series follows her and Pawnee public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place. The ensemble and supporting cast features Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, and more. In TIME’s 2012 year-ends list issue, Parks and Recreation was labeled as the number one television series of the year.

Pub Trivia @ High Hops: Parks & Rec Theme Night - Clearview ...

6. Star Trek

“I love Deep Space 9 and am working my way through Voyager. These two series consistently have subtle and remarkable ways of talking about race, gender, and class.” – Katherine Shaver, Assistant Box Office Manager

Star Trek follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew as they encounter strange alien races as they explore unknown worlds. The original series is set in the Milky Way galaxy in the 2260s. The ship and crew are led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), First Officer and Science Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley). Star Trek eventually spawned a franchise, consisting of six television series, 13 feature films, and numerous books, games, and toys. It is now regarded as one of the most influential and popular franchises of all time.

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What the Lyric Stage Staff is Reading

Here are some of the books that our staff is reading right now!

1. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

“It brought me to tears.” – Matt Chapuran, Executive Director

Set in 1922, A Gentleman in Moscow follows Count Alexander Rostov as he is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel called the Metropol. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, Rostov has never worked a day in his life, and is forced to live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the walls of the Metropol.

2. Anything written by Elizabeth George

“I recommend really anything from Elizabeth George, my favorite British mystery writer.” – René Morrisette, Development Manager

Elizabeth George is no stranger to the mystery and thriller genre, as her works have been published since the late 1980s. Elizabeth George is a New York Times bestselling author, and she is internationally known for her twenty British crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Her critically-acclaimed novels have also been adapted for television by the BBC, and translated into 30 languages. George has also written the best-selling creative writing book Write Away, and a young adult series called the Whidbey Island saga.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

“What I love about this book is that it is a reminder of why art matters even when we lose almost everything, as illustrated by my favorite quote: ‘because survival is insufficient.’” – Nora Conley, General Manager

Disclaimer: If you don’t want to read anything pandemic-related, leave this at to-be-read for right now. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel takes place in the Great Lakes region after a swine flu pandemic called the “Georgia Flu” has overtaken the world, killing most of the population. It follows a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the wastelands and the scattered outposts of a post-apocalyptic world.

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

“It’s about solitude, but also about community and family and history!” – Katherine Shaver, Assistant Box Office Manager

Written by Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a landmark 1967 novel that follows the multi-generational story of the Buendía family. The novel explores the ups and downs and the rises and falls of the fictional Colombian town of Macondo through the eyes of this family. One Hundred Years of Solitude is regarded as a masterpiece in Latin American literature, selling over 50 million copies worldwide since its publication. It has been translated into 46 languages, and the novel popularized the genre of magical realism.

5. The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume 1 by Jennifer Ashley Tepper

“It gives a backstage look into historical Broadway events from the perspective of all those who bring the shows to life.” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

Kate is currently reading The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume 1 by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, which is available for free as an eBook from Amazon! From opening nights to closing nights, from secret passageways to legendary ghost stories, Tepper’s novel tells what you’ve never heard of about the most famous stages in the world from the people that make it all happen: actors, producers, stage hands, musicians, dressers, and more. Volume 1 includes eight iconic Broadway theaters in New York City: the August Wilson, the Winter Garden, the Neil Simon, the Marriott Marquis, the Al Hirschfeld, the Mark Hellinger, the Richard Rodgers, and the Lyceum.

The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 1 eBook by Jennifer Ashley ...

6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“I read this entire book in one day. If you love reading about the entertainment industry and investigative journalism, this book is a must!” – Marieska Luzada, Digital Marketing/Social Media Assistant

If you want to read a book that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, pick up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid! After struggling writer Monique Grant lands a job at the prestigious Vivant magazine, she receives news from her editor that Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo has agreed to do an interview with the magazine under the condition that Monique is the interviewer. Though Monique is initially confused with the fact that Evelyn Hugo hasn’t been involved with the media for decades, she later finds out that her life intersects with the actress in tragic ways.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel: Taylor Jenkins Reid ...

18 Movies for the Entertainment Industry Fanatic

1. All About Eve (1950)

Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Cleopatra, Julius Caesar), All About Eve follows the titular character Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) as she is taken under the wing of Broadway legend Margo Channing (Bette Davis). While she first appears to be a young fan, Eve maneuvers her way into Channing’s life, ultimately threatening Channing’s career and personal relationships. Based on the 1946 short story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve was praised by critics at the time of its release, and went on to be nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards. The American drama won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. All About Eve was also one of the first 50 films to be selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

2. Waiting For Guffman (1996)

Waiting For Guffman is an American mockumentary comedy written by Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest, who also serves as the director. As the Missouri town of Blaine approaches its 150th anniversary, eccentric stage director Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) casts an eclectic bunch of people including a Dairy Queen worker and an auto mechanic in his show titled “Red White and Blaine.” When St. Clair and the cast of the production learn that a high-profile theater agent is expected to attend opening night, things go overboard. Like other mockumentary films created by Guest, much of the movie’s dialogue is improvised. Additionally, the film contains several original musical numbers written by Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.

3. Topsy Turvy (1999)

A British musical film written and directed by Mike Leigh, Topsy-Turvy examines the 15-month long period in 1884 and 1885 leading up to the premiere of The Mikado by lyricist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. Topsy Turvy focuses on the dynamic relationship of the famous playwright-composer duo, and their journey to create several more Savoy Operas. Witting and entertaining, the film received praiseworthy reviews and won two Academy Awards, one for Best Costume Design and the other for Best Makeup. Topsy-Turvy is ranked at #481 on Empire’s 2008 list of the 500 greatest films of all time.

4. Stage Fright (1950)

Directed and produced by film household name Alfred Hitchcock, Stage Fright is a British film noir thriller that follows budding actress Eve (Jane Wyman) who tries to help her actor friend (Richard Todd) prove his innocence when he’s accused of murdering the husband of a high-profile entertainer. Playing detective and assuming multiple disguises, Eve later falls into a web of deception and conflict ensues. This film is based on the novel Man Running by Selwyn Jepson, although some changes have been made from the book to the film.



5. Birdman (2014)

This 2014 American black comedy-drama film tells the story of former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson as he struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of a short story by Raymond Carver. Covering the period of previews up to the play’s opening, Birdman delivers Riggan Thomson’s desire to be portrayed as a true artist and not just a washed-up movie star. Birdman grossed more than $103 million worldwide, and was nominated for a number of Academy Awards in 2015. The film took home Best Picture, Best Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Keaton.

6. Noises Off (1992)

Based on the 1982 play of the same name, Noises Off follows director Lloyd Fellowes (Michael Caine) as he is hired to steer the production of an Americanized take on a British play. While things run smoothly during the rehearsal process, chaos ensues as Lloyd and his band of actors begin a series of performances leading up to its Broadway premiere. In his review for the New York Times, Vincent Canby said, “There are a number of hefty laughs scattered throughout . . . this woozy film adaptation.” Directed by Peter Bogdanovich with a screenplay by Marty Kaplan, Noises Off is the comedy where everyone gets caught in the act!

7. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (2016)

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is a 2016 theatrical documentary film that follows the creation of the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along and of the performers that were involved in its making. The documentary is directed by Lonny Price, who is also known for his creation of the role of Charley Kringas in Merrily We Roll Along and for her New York directing work on Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, and Company. This documentary is available on Netflix for the Broadway addicts and musical lovers in the world.

8. Tootsie (1982)

As the second-most profitable film of 1982, Tootsie remains a major critical and financial success, and an essential for entertainment industry fans everywhere. Directed by Sydney Pollack, Tootsie tells the story of New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), who is too hard on himself to the point where his agent cannot find anymore work for him because of his perfectionist mindset. Because he is known to have a reputation for being difficult, he is forced to adopt a new identity as a woman to land a job. What was supposed to be a short-term thing turns into a long-term contract, but Michael falls for his castmate Julie (Jessica Lange), and complications develop from there. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, with Lange winning for Best Supporting Actress. In 1998, the Library of Congress selected Tootsie for preservation in the National Film Registry.

9. Deathtrap (1982)

Based on the 1978 play of the same name by Ira Levin, Deathtrap is an American black comedy mystery that follows Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) as he sees his latest Broadway show flop its opening night. The once-successful playwright dives into deep despair until he receives a package from a former student that contains an unproduced script that’s better than anything Sidney has ever written. Sidney comes up with a plan to lure his former student to his home, murder him, and claim the script as his own work. Directed by Sidney Lumet, Deathtrap was given favorable reviews from critics, who also noted its plot similarities to Michael Caine’s 1972 film Sleuth.

10. The Dresser (1983)

The Dresser is a British drama film with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood, based on his 1980 play of the same name. Directed and produced by Peter Yates, The Dresser examines the relationship between an aging Shakespearean actor known as Sir (Albert Finney) and his timid dresser (Tom Courtenay). Formerly a renowned performer, Sir’s work starts to suffer because of his anxiety and age. His efficient and orderly dresser Norman is used to his tirades, and is unfailingly devoted to Sir while struggling to keep his charge’s life together. Tom Courtenay won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. In 2015, the BBC produced a television adaptation of The Dresser starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins as the leading duo.

11. The Entertainer (1960)

Based on John Osborne’s stage play of the same name, The Entertainer stars Laurence Olivier playing an old-time music hall performer named Archie as his career slowly dies out in the television age. As the music-hall tradition fades, Archie’s personal life also falls apart, with his schoolteacher daughter Jean (Joan Playwright) returns to her hometown at a time of personal crisis, his second wife Phoebe (Brenda De Banzie) being scornful of her husband’s multitude of affairs, and his son Mick (Albert Finney) as a soldier fighting in the Suez. Directed by Tony Richardson, The Entertainer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Olivier.

12. Enter Laughing (1967)

Enter Laughing is a 1967 comedy directed by Carl Reiner, based on his autobiographical novel and stage play of the same name. Being Reiner’s directorial debut, Enter Laughing follows David Kolowitz (Reni Santoni) as he dives into his pursuit of an acting career during the Great Depression, despite the opposition of his parents and girlfriend. He manages to land a non-paying role in an Off-Broadway show under the direction of Harrison B. Marlowe. Despite his lack of experience, David continues to chase his aspirations to get into show business.

13. To Be Or Not to Be (1942 & 1983)

To Be Or Not to Be follows acting couple Joseph and Maria Tura as they lead a troupe of actors when Nazis invade Poland during World War II. This acting troupe use their abilities at disguise and acting to fool the occupying troops. The 1942 film was directed by Ernst Lubitsch and stars Carole Lombard and Jack Benny as Maria and Joseph, respectively. In 1996, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The film was remade in 1983, which starred Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft as the lead couple. The 1983 remake was mostly faithful to the 1942 film, and dialogue was taken verbatim from the previous film.

14. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Directed by John Madden and written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love tells the story of an imaginary love affair between William Shakespeare (Joseph Fienne) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) at the time when Shakespeare was writing Romeo and Juliet. Several characters in the film are based on historical figures, and there are many allusions to Shakespearean plays throughout the film as well. It was a box office success and received positive reviews from critics, making it the ninth-grossing film of 1998. Shakespeare in Love took home 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Paltrow, Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, and Best Original Screenplay.

15. Opening Night (1977)

Written and directed by John Cassavetes, Opening Night follows actress Myrtle Gordon (Gena Rowlands) who is awaiting the anticipated release of Second Woman, in which she portrays a woman distraught about aging. One night Myrtle signs autographs and encounters an obsessive young fan, who is later killed by a car when chasing Myrtle’s limousine. Throughout the film, Myrtle struggles to connect to the character she is playing, and her state of mind deteriorates as she continues to have visions of the teenage fan, which Myrtle considers as a projection of her youth. As she gets closer to opening night, Myrtle tries to find a way to make the show go on.

16. Last Summer in the Hamptons (1995)

Directed by Henry Jaglom, Last Summer in the Hamptons is a comedy-drama that revolves around a family of theatrical actors, playwrights, and directors spending their last summer together in the Hamptons. This last summer is due to the matriarch Helena Mora’s (Viveca Lindfors) decision to sell her Hamptons home because of financial troubles. However, bringing together a family full of people in the show business creates tension, especially when Oona (Victoria Foyt) seeks the approval of her creative peers as she aspires to start a theatre career after desiring to leave Hollywood.

17. Synecdoche, New York (2008)

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Synecdoche is Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut that follows theatre director Caden Cotard as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse for his latest play. His desire to create an intricately-detailed production stems from his troubling personal life; his wife and daughter have left him and he also suffers from numerous physical ailments. After receiving a MacArthur Fellowship that gives him the financial means to explore his artistic interests, Caden is determined to craft a piece of realism and honesty, which begins to blur the boundaries between fiction and reality. Synecdoche, New York appeared on many critics’ top ten-list of the best films of 2008, and was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

18. Pygmalion (1938)

Based on the George Bernard Shaw play of the same name, Pygmalion follows linguistic professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) as he trains Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) as a princess within a six-month timespan. After Higgins makes a financial agreement with her dustman father, Eliza moves into Higgins’ home and begins her training and transformation into British high-class society. The film was a financial and critical success, winning Best Screenplay at the Oscars. The screenplay was later adapted into the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, which led to the 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, respectively.

Fun Facts About Twelfth Night Director Paula Plum!

Paula Plum is no stranger to the Lyric Stage! You may recognize her from the multiple productions she’s worked on, but here are some fun facts you may not have known about the director of Twelfth Night:

  1. Paula has been working as an actor and director with the Lyric Stage since 1975.
  2. She is a founding member of Actor’s Shakespeare Project, which is co-producing Twelfth Night.
  3. The first show Paula acted in at the Lyric Stage was Dial M for Murder in 1975!
  4. In 2004, Paula received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. She has also been awarded 2 other Elliot Norton Awards, 5 IRNE awards, and numerous other honors.
  5. The first play Paula directed at the Lyric Stage was Baltimore Waltz in 1999.
  6. Paula has acted in over a dozen shows at the Lyric, including Miss WitherspoonThe Heiress, and Death of a Salesman.
  7. Paula recently played Sharon in the Lyric Stage’s production of The Roommate. She contributed many personal items to the show’s set!
  8. Paula is married to Richard Snee, who plays Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

Learn More About Paula Plum

Paula Plum (Director) is a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project and has worked as an actor and director with the Lyric Stage since 1975. She has been Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn since its inception in 2003, touring concerts throughout New England during the holiday season. She has directed in Paris, New York, and Boston and is the 2009 recipient of the Fox Actor Fellowship. In the last year she has directed the Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration for the Boston Pops and Reclaiming Lucretia for Boston Lyric Opera. Paula is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, five IRNE Awards, three Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Actress, and was the 2003 Distinguished Alumna of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. paulaplum.com

A Brief Synopsis of Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love, simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking. Twins are separated during a shipwreck and are forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolized by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister… is it possible for this to all end well?  Well, it IS a comedy!

Paula Plum holding a gun and Adrianne Krstansky

DigBoston Review: The Roommate

Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky in The Roommate. Photo by Mark S. Howard.


Two of Boston’s best-loved actresses join forces for The Roommate, Jen Silverman’s quirky comedy about two middle-aged women who find themselves living together, trying new things, and reckoning with a demon or two. Paula Plum plays Sharon, a 54-year-old Iowa woman who has recently retired from her marriage and takes in a roommate in order to save a little money. Adrianne Krstansky plays Robyn, a gay vegan from the Bronx whose arrival awakens in Sharon something real and untapped.

Directed by Spiro Veloudos, The Roommate is an irresistible treat featuring two beloved actresses at the top of their games. The play loses a bit of steam in its last third when Sharon takes a special interest in Robyn’s past, but Plum’s evolution (or devolution, depending on how you look at it) from provincial Midwestern matron to a scheming, pot-selling hussy is profoundly entertaining. What’s more, it’s the best thing the Lyric has done in nearly two years.


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