"Titanish" - by Jeff Schell, Ryan Dobosh & Mark Siano - Greater Boston Stage Company (Stoneham, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: The CAST of the hilarious "TITANISH" by Jeff Schell and Ryan Dobosh presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. now playing through March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Nile Scott Studios)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724   

“Why DOES the heart go on?" 

              - Celine Dion / James Horner & Will Jennings  

Greater Boston Stage Company  



East Coast Premiere!

Written by Jeff Shell & Ryan Dobosh

Music by Mark Siano

Directed by Tyler Rosati

Music Director Avery Bargar 

Cast Includes: Elainy Mata as "Rose," Jack Chylinski as "Jack," Paul Melendy* as "Frederick/Young Girl/Ensemble," Mark Linehan* as "Caledon/Koolaid Man/Swedish Passenger/Ensemble," Robin Irwin* as "Old Rose/Molly Brown/Ensemble," Stewart Evan Smith* as "Reginald/Swedish Passenger/Ensemble," Avery Bargar* as "Brock/John J Astor," Chip Phillips* as "Captain/Lewis/Ensemble," Allison Russell as "Betty/Ticket Barker/Lovejoy/Lizzy/ Ensemble," Sarah Morin as "Babs/Fabrizio/Ensemble," Katie Pickett as "William/Mr. Unlucky/ Submersible/Ensemble."  

Understudies: Sara Coombs and Grace Graham. 

Additional Creative Team:

Production Manager - Casey Blackbird; Production Stage Manager - Marsha Smith*; Assistant Stage Manager - E.D. Fitzgerald*; Production Assistant - Cassie Lebeau; Scenic Designer - Rachel Rose Burke;  Lighting Designer - John Holmes; Costume Designer - Bethany Mullins; Assistant Costume Designer - Madeline Chase; Sound Designer - Andrew Duncan Will; Properties Designer - Emily Allinson; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant - Kira Troilo. 

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States

+Young Company Alum 


March 1, 2024 through March 17, 2024  

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times) 

GREATER BOSTON STAGE COMPANY, 395 Main Street Stoneham, MA 02180 

Reserve your tickets today!

Box Office Hours: Mondays – Fridays, noon to 6pm 

Box Office # 781-279-2200 



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

"Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance" as Greater Boston Stage Company (GBSCtakes you on a hilarious "Love Boat" disaster in "TITANISH." 

The show, written by Jeff Schell and Ryan Dobosh and well staged by GBSC director Tyler Rosati, have put together a wonderful "crash course" in how to satirize tragedy.

Actually, to be clear from the outset: "TITANISH" does not, in any way, lampoon or MOCK the actual tragedy of the Titanic disaster nor any of the souls that perished on that fateful voyage in April, 1912.

To do so would be unabashedly in poor taste.

Instead, this wickedly funny show "unabashedly in poor taste" satirizes the 1997 Academy Award-winning film by the director who gave us the "alien 'Pocahontas' movie" that is the film "AVATAR," James Cameron.

And thank GOD it does.

(Photo: The CAST of the hilarious "TITANISH" by Jeff Schell and Ryan Dobosh presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. now playing through March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Nile Scott Studios)

While Cameron's motion picture was partially a faithful, detailed rendering of the tragic events of HMS Titanic, he tied it in with the basic 'class vs. class' premise of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" for good measure, in the form of the "Jack and Rose" storyline.

Cameron did not do this for artistic reasons - he did it purely for commercial reasons, because he felt some might otherwise be put off, or worse, bored by the film.

His gamble paid off huge, making "Titanic" one of the highest grossing motion pictures of all time and catapulting his own "Jack," a young actor named Leonardo Di Caprio, into superstar status.

The film's total income from the initial theatrical release, video and soundtrack sales and U.S. television and streaming services rights has since exceeded over $3.2 billion.

Shell and Rothstein's "TITANISH" thoroughly skewers almost every aspect of the James Cameron epic and if, at times, the humor feels irreverent, sophomoric, or even childish...good. That seems to be its intent and, as long as you laugh, that is all that matters.

Leading the cast of characters are Elainy Mata as "Rose" and Jack Chylinski as "Jack" who have instant chemistry together and, together and separately, are gloriously funny on stage.

(Photo: The CAST of the hilarious "TITANISH" by Jeff Schell and Ryan Dobosh presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. now playing through March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Nile Scott Studios)

What came unexpectedly was the clever use of music in the show. 

"TITANISH" is NOT a musical, so it should not be confused with the Broadway hit based on all disaster movies, "DISASTER." 

However, there are multiple songs which will seemingly come out of left field...or, rather, port side...taking people off guard as they are presented.

There is also a delightful, affectionate, almost reverential homage to Celine Dion's iconic song from the movie, "My Heart Will Go On,which showcases some exceptional harmonies, particularly by Mata and Chylinski, who have gorgeous voices.

Let's back to the funny.

As mentioned previously, the "unabashedly in poor taste" occurs if someone in the audience does NOT appreciate or enjoy the onslaught of silly slapstick and outlandish SNL-level humor coming from the rest of the ensemble taking on multiple roles.

Personally, I DO appreciate it...ALL of it...immensely so, and feel many others will, as well.

The side-splitting comedic team of Paul Melendy as "Frederick" and Stewart Evan Smith as "Reg" are perfect together as our hosts for the evening.

Buoyantly absurd, the duo keeps the overall pacing brisk, full steam ahead and steady as she goes for the bulk(head) of the show.

Mark Linehan is sensational as he sends up the Billy Zane villain of the "Titanic" movie, "Cal" but also is seen as a multitude of characters from the riotous "Kool-Aid Man," a "Swedish Passenger" among others.

Sarah Morin is funny as the "Babs" but stands out more as the character "Fabrizio" - and I will defy any "retro gamer" out there not to laugh out loud and hard once hearing Fabrizio's "exiting" sound effects.

(Photo: Mark Linehan as the "Kool-Aid Man" baptizes Jack Chylinski as "Jack" with Elainy Mata as "Rose" watching on a door built for two in a scene from "TITANISH" presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. now playing through March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Nile Scott Studios)

Music Director Avery Bargar performed double duty, admirably taking on the roles of the amusing characters "Brock" and "John J. Astor."

Robin Irwin is a treat as the devilishly obscene "Old Rose" also portraying the legendary unsinkable "Molly Brown" among others.

Katie Pickett took on much of the physical humor required as "William," "Mr. Unluckyand in the opening as the "Submersible(which had to be one of the few times in theatrical history that a nautical underwater vehicle apparatus was fully embodied by a human being on stage. So, well done).

Rounding out the fabulously funny cast are Chip Phillips, outstanding as the foppish "Captain," the curmudgeonly "Lewis" and others while Allison Russell adeptly plays passenger "Betty," a "Ticket Barker," Lovejoy," Lizzy," and more.

One aspect which some may pick up on during the show's second act is the use of metaphor as we get to the subject of lifeboats. 

Listen quite carefully as it may prove a bit more relevant to recent events than you might expect.

(Photo: The CAST of the hilarious "TITANISH" by Jeff Schell and Ryan Dobosh presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. now playing through March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Nile Scott Studios)

The set for "TITANISH" is a masterpiece of construction, using multiple levels and allowing the rapid fire flow of the humor to advance unfettered. 

Costuming for all the characters is sheer perfection, especially when it comes to the gowns and other outfits worn by Rose, which are perfectly representative of the Cameron film's outfits.

However, much of the show could be done on a bare stage and still be just as ridiculously uproarious.

"TITANISH" remains docked at the Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA. until March 17, 2024.

Coming up next at Greater Boston Stage Company will be "WHERE WE STAND" An intimate musical fable by Donetta Lavinia Grays which begins April 5th, 2024

For more information or tickets, contact the Box Office at # 781-279-2200 or via email at boxoffice@greaterbostonstage.org 

Approximately one hour, 40 minutes with one intermission 

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




A Colossal Disaster Live On-Stage

A combination of "SNL," "Airplane!" and "Titanic," this epically silly quasi-musical spoof of everyone’s favorite movie is 126.3% guaranteed ridiculousness. 

“Near, Far, Wherever You Are,” you won’t want to miss it!  


We bring vibrant professional theatre and dramatic education beyond the boundaries of Boston, featuring world and regional premieres alongside fresh interpretations of familiar work. Within this setting, we uniquely foster the artists of tomorrow by providing ongoing performance and employment opportunities to our company of current and former students. Located in Stoneham, MA. GREATER BOSTON STAGE COMPANY produces five Mainstage shows, presents a series of Special Events, and runs year-round classes, lessons, and fully staged productions through The Young Company for students in grades 1–12.


395 Main Street 

Stoneham, MA 02180 

Box Office # 781-279-2200