Remember the name Natasha Boomer. The dimpled and mischievous comic has been performing for a couple of years, but nothing prepared us for her hilarious show with music, Lovers! Take Your Mark..., which played last weekend. After an amusing opening sequence -- pieced together, Moulin Rouge-style, from banal love songs -- she and Jamie Lamb (who also directed) launched a series of sketches about love. The material was risky and surprising, the stakes high and the characters always given history and context so we care about them. Some sketches ended too abruptly, and the production needed some help, but there's no mistaking raw talent. Boomer understands that the funniest moments are the ones that cut close to the heart. One of the funniest shows of the year.
The Tarragon Theatre's new artistic director is Richard Rose, who's run Necessary Angel Theatre since 1978 and directed productions across the country. It's a good choice, one that continues the Tarragon's dedication to nurturing playwrights and new works. Rose premiered John Krizanc's fascinating environmental play Tamara and powerful works by Jason Sherman, David Young and Colleen Murphy, as well as Canadian productions of risky, thought-provoking pieces by British playwright Howard Barker. Rose -- who's also directing two new Necessary Angel shows next season -- succeeds Urjo Kareda, who died last December.
You have only a few more days to see Mump and Smoot in their latest laugh fest, Flux. We think they deserve a Nobel Prize for the chemistry they create onstage, but performing is only part of their clown mission. As teachers, they've inspired dozens of new clowns. Three of their students -- Susan Seanae Sinclair, Stephanie Lalor and Diana Kolpak -- offer the female side of red noses in The Girlie Show, an evening of solo clown turns presented by Whetstone Productions at the Space, beginning tonight (Thursday, June 20). See listings, this page, for details.