Over 21 years, City Theatre’s ever-expanding enterprises have developed and maintained a brand-level reputation for entertaining theater; its return to cool weather programming with the current edition of Winter Shorts is just as diverting.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ production of the world premiere of Billy and Me, a fictionalization of the real life relationship between playwrights Tennessee Williams and William Inge, is a triumph of the imagination, technique, skill and showmanship of playwright Terry Teachout, director William Hayes and actors Nicholas Richberg and Tom Wahl.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre gives the Disney Broadway musical Newsies something to shout about with its energetic, acrobatic, tap-dancing, choreographic eye-popper of a staging about a group of rag-tag guttersnipes, who end up taking on the establishment.
When entering a theater playing a musical you’ve enjoyed numerous times, it’s comforting to open the playbill to find the names of proven talents that reassure that you and the material are in good hands. Names, for instance, like Mike Westrich, Bruce Linser, Mallory Newbrough, Paul Reekie and Jim Ballard – some of the dependable hands delivering a solid entertaining edition of the delightful Little Shop of Horrors from MNM Productions.
Some works of art are born in a long gestation period of mulling almost in the unconscious; others leap gloriously to life in an exultant flash that is one of joys of being a creative person. Billy and Me, Terry Teachout’s play about the relationship between playwrights William Inge and Tennessee Williams premiering this month at Palm Beach Dramaworks, is both.
Most Wanted starts out like one of those wacky only-in-Florida tales, but as Peter Sagal’s world premiere at Theatre Lab, evolves the weirdness gives way to poignancy that eclipses the humor and reveals the heartfelt message.
The Camp, a world premiere drama from the West Boca Theatre Company does not advance the age-old discussion how “good” people can be passively complicit in horrors, but Michael McKeever’s insightful script and a solid cast under Michael Leeds’ direction expertly provide a three-dimensional illustration that forces the audience to query their own souls about their responsibility to oppose evil.
In this 21st Century revision of 1988’s M. Butterfly, it’s the wrongheadedness of that paternalistic hubris that is taken for granted. This incarnation delves more deeply into the human relations of this fictionalized riff on the true story of a French diplomat who had an affair for 20 years with a Chinese opera singer, only to discover that his lover was a man spying for the government.