Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Boston by Sea"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 2000 by Larry Stark

"Boston by Sea"

Playwright & Dramatic Direct Jon Lipsky
Music Director David Coffin
Video/Slide Writer/Producer/Director Arnie Reisman
Narrator Tony Kahn
Music by David Cvoffin & Corey Allen
Stage Manager Kira Lallas
Assistant Stage Manarer Karen Stanley

David Coffin
Tom Goux
Frank Ridley
John Rockwell
Tony Saletin
Joffrey Spaulding
Joseph Zamparelli, Jr.

This floating show has a whole harbor-full of history, pegged to the sights and wharves and islands on a Boston Harbor Cruise. An actor, a singer, an ocarina, a big trunk-full of hats and quick-change costumes, speakers all over the boat, and a few t-v monitors for slides and films sprinkled through the show bring nearly three hundred years of Boston to life. Part lecture, part re-enactment, part short sunny sea-voyage, this trip is fascinating because of so many historic sites that can be seen on the way.

From that "Tea Action" at Griffin's Wharf to Old Ironsides' 7 portside cannon to the shipyards providing clipper ships to the China Trade to the Golden Stairs and Deer Island that were immigrants' first glimpses of America to the mammoth sludge-tanks pouring purified effluent into a cleaner Boston Harbor the bits are quick, concise, and verified by the Boston History Collaborative.

The action calls for constant quick-change in accents and attitudes, from the oldest survivor of the Boston Massacre to a "powder monkey" --- a barefoot kid running ammunition on The Constitution's decks --- to the hanging of pirate William Fly or an eye-witness to the outrage over returning a fugitive slave to bondage in 1851. The performing pair work hard and sing hard to many a chantey-rhythm, march and lament. They're confined to the middle-deck, and the fifteen bits of history fly thick and fast, but their voices are piped to the entire softly rolling vessel, and there are even some audience-participation bits for cabin-boys and -girls. They pull away from Long Wharf a couple times a day, right across from the Aquarium in front of the Marriott, and provide instruction, fun, sea-breezes and sunshine, and a snack-bar for all ages all summer long.


"Boston by Sea" (all summer long)
Leaving from Long Wharf, BOSTON
1(617) 227-4321

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide