Boston Insider Spotlight: Meet Keith Mason
Welcome to our Boston Insider Spotlight, where we profile Boston residents & TodayTix aficionados about their thoughts on the local theater scene. Think of it like consulting your cool, knowledgeable friend about everything to see and do in your city! Read on to learn more about the most memorable theatergoing experiences in Boston, where to take out-of-towners, and some serious love for Sunday In The Park With George.
Meet Keith Mason: Keith is the Program Coordinator of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (BGLTQ) Student Life at Harvard College. They think the world needs more musicals about lesbians.
We caught up with Keith to discuss all things theater in Boston. Here are some highlights:
Tell us about a memorable theatergoing experience in Boston:
Keith: “I recently caught SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of The Scottsboro Boys, which tells the story of nine Black boys and men who were wrongly accused of rape by two white women. It was difficult to watch, in part because it’s based on a true story and in part because the criminal justice system still treats Black people as guilty by default. The show confronts racist tropes and systems in important, poignant ways.”
If friends were visiting Boston from out of town for the day, what would you do with them?
Keith: “That depends on the day and the person! My ideal visit involves grabbing something from Tatte in Beacon Hill, catching up while walking along the esplanade, eating dinner in the North End, and catching one of the incredible productions put on by the Huntington Theatre Company. If it’s my sister visiting, we might end the night at The Donkey Show, instead.”
What are your favorite things about the Boston theater scene?
Keith: “We’re blessed in Boston with myriad companies doing incredible work. At any given point there are several productions running—from the student productions at Berklee and Emerson to the Broadway-bound productions at the A.R.T.; from new shows by local artists to Boston premieres of renowned shows—giving a diversity of ways to engage.”
Which shows are you looking forward to seeing in Boston this season?
Keith: “Admittedly, I was most excited for Sunday in the Park with George at Huntington Theatre Company, Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women at the A.R.T., and SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of Hand to God, all of which I had the good fortune of seeing. Looking forward, I am so excited for SpeakEasy’s The Bridges of Madison County, and for a student production of Sharon Bridgforth’s love conjure/blues at Harvard.”
What’s your favorite musical of all time, and why?
Keith: “To be perfectly honest, this is a really unfair question—so many different shows have meant so much to me at different points in my life. That said, a show that I always seem to return to is Sunday in the Park with George. The original cast recording with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters is gorgeous, and I am so excited for the current Broadway revival with Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. Many find the second act troubled, but I actually really enjoy the themes it explores; with the possible dissolution of the National Endowment for the Arts, the questions it poses of patronage and funding seem more relevant than ever. And of course, the music is incredible. The more productions I experience, the more I seem to fall in love with it.”
Describe yourself in 3 fictional characters:
Keith: “I aspire to be a mashup of Angel (Rent), Rafiki (The Lion King), and Angelica Schuyler (Hamilton), but realistically I’m probably Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation), Medium Alison (Fun Home), and Dawn (Waitress).”