🤯 The play that makes you go ?!?!?!

Plus: 🍎 Newton teacher strike continues

It’s Tuesday, Boston.

🐶 New Englanders love a golden. According to a recent study, a golden retriever is the most popular dog breed in every New England state minus Rhode Island, which prefers shih tzus. Country-wide, the most popular breed is the chihuahua, which we fully support.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Newton teacher strike continues

  • Boston’s solo dining scene

  • Love stinks … literally 

Up first…


“The Interrobangers” hits the big stage

Image: Erin Crowley. Illustration by Gia Orsino.

What happens when you mix “Scooby Doo” vibes with life’s big questions? “The Interrobangers,” a new play written by M Sloth Levine and produced by Company One Theatre. It just started its run at the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library last week. 

Here’s what to know: 

🐕 Think: 1980s nostalgia meets a queer coming-of-age story. The play follows Zodiac, Hank, Luna, and Dani, a troop of groovy teens (plus their dog, obv) with a knack for solving local mysteries. Their friendship took a hiatus after Zodiac disappeared five years ago, but now he’s back, and it’s the gang’s opportunity to pick up where they left off. Their next mission: The Foggy Bluffs Monster. 

🔍 But the journey to solving the mystery > actually solving it. Along the way, all four characters, each navigating their own identity and queerness, must dig into their past to uncover their town’s darkest secrets and restore their friendship. “It looks at what it means to listen to young people when they articulate their experience,” said director Josh Glenn-Kayden. “Hopefully, it helps the world get on board with listening to what these kids were telling us.”

🏳️‍🌈 Centering marginalized voices is integral to Company One’s mission. In the case of “The Interrobangers,” that looks like queer and non-binary actors playing queer and non-binary characters, written by a non-binary playwright. Getting to talk “with each other about queerness throughout the journey … how we see our teenage selves in these characters … [It’s] a very fun experience,” said Jenine Florence Jacinto, who plays Luna.

📚 And the play’s stage is no accident. Said stage being Rabb Hall within the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library, a building committed to being free to all. “It’s a moment where queer and trans people are being legislated out of public space,” said Glenn-Kayden, “and we’re doing the play in a public space. It’s intentional.” Plus, all of Company One’s performances this season follow a pay-what-you-want model to be accessible to all theatergoers. 

🤔 Our thoughts? It’s silly, sweet, and serious all at once. It has all the camp of “Scooby Doo” injected with authentic conversations surrounding identity, friendship, and growing up. The set and special effects are particularly fun, too, including the giant dog puppet who I forgot was just a puppet at times. 

👀 Interested? You can get tickets here and see the full list of pre- and post-show events here. Think: Tarot card readings and pizza parties.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

🍎 The Newton teacher strike hits week two. Heading into day eight, the Newton Teachers Association’s strike is making headlines as the longest teacher strike in recent Mass. history, costing the union a $425,000-and-growing fine. Raising teachers’ salaries is the bargain’s most significant, still-disputed point (among others), which the School Committee claims they can’t swing. Both sides say that they’re making good-faith efforts to get kids back in school, but negotiations are stuck on a few key issues

😬 Mass.’ healthcare industry is collectively holding its breath. Steward Health Care, a (formerly Boston-based) large, for-profit health care network that runs nine hospitals in Mass., is on the brink of financial disaste, and is in danger of being forced to close some of its facilities. If that happens, it will cause massive layoffs, and place an even higher burden on our state’s already strained hospitals. Steward is reportedly under pressure to present a plan to its leaders before the end of the month, and has been meeting with legislators to consider the possibilities. 

🏡 Mayor Michelle Wu’s putting her BPDA where her mouth is. Wu has filed an ordinance that would officially bring the BPDA (Boston’s Planning and Development Agency) under City Hall’s purview and create a new department of planning. The move is a part of her long-term plan to restructure the city’s notoriously slow-moving, red-tape-covered planning, development, and zoning processes, though it’s still unclear what exact changes will come about from the absorption. Now we just have to wait on the City Council’s vote.

🍽️ Hot take: Dinner for two is overrated. If all of the Valentine’s Day propaganda is getting to you, we get it. Why take the random you met on Hinge out to dinner when you could pay half the price dining solo? Boston.com just shared a list of reader-recommended spots to eat alone in Greater Boston, and there’s sure to be one for you to choose from, whether you want a scoop of ice cream or a steak dinner. Check it out here. We'd like to add the bar at La Bodega in Watertown to the list, too.


😋 Have you ever dined solo?

Let us know below!

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Love stinks … literally

Images courtesy of: RISPCA. Illustration by Gia Orsino.

Your ex is going to hate this. The Rhode Island SPCA is putting on the most iconic V-day fundraiser: For $5, a cat will poop on your ex’s name, or the name of anything you don’t like: Your MBTA line, your landlord, your college boyfriend Tom, whatever!

So far, the fundraiser has been doing gangbusters, with over 650 people across the country sending in the names of people (or as the shelter calls them, “victims”) to be pooped on. The names are written on pieces of paper and placed in a litter box (which eventually gets cleaned and replaced) where the cats do their business.

BTW: Word on the street is that they might upgrade to dog poop next year. Save the people you really hate for that. You can donate and submit names here

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

💩 Thanks for reading! I might start doing this in my roommate’s cat’s litter box just for catharsis. 

🚇 The results are in: B-Siders who ride the Red Line are decidedly not excited about the upcoming shutdowns, with a few learning about it for the first time in the newsletter. Yikes! One said: “Guess I won't be going into work!”

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