The Christmas season officially opened this weekend wrapped in pink. Elle Woods, leading a perky singing and dancing ensemble in Slow Burn Theatre Company’s ebullient Legally Blonde, lit up the Broward Center with a positive attitude that probably allows that Santa Claus might yet exist
Much like the holiday season itself, there are things to endure and other instances that are jolly. That’s the mixed bag of City Theatre’s Winter Shorts now playing at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
Soul and spirit are characteristics we would expect from a production of the multi-Tony-winning musical The Wiz. And, to be fair, Stage Door Theatre’s mounting is, at times, spirited, hip, sassy and soulful. Several scenes feature vivacious acting and expressive singing. But too often, this production is tedious and even moribund.
For some who view two-part events on Broadway and five-hour epic tragedies as the height of the theatrical form, the 10-minute play is condescendingly tolerated as the poor relation at the arts table. But not in Miami. City Theatre, a home-grown company created by three colleagues around a kitchen table 23 years ago, has become the leading purveyor of short-form theatre in the country.
The script and the production of Palm Beach Dramworks need some refining, but when it’s most in the pocket, the world premiere of Lyle Kessler’s House on Fire dances a delicate pas de deux between comedy and tragedy, tension and levity, verisimilitude and whimsy, operating in its own subgenre of magic realism aka screwball existentialism.
It’s not that it’s impossible to mess up the musical Annie, but when you have a reliable troupe of talented hands like those connected to the current Wick Theatre production, you are guaranteed an entertaining evening.
The ground-breaking record-breaking Tony-winning Pulitzer-winning musical Hamilton is expected to attract unprecedented numbers of fans and newcomers when the national tour arrives at the Broward Center this month. But that raises a dozen logistical challenges, starting with where will as many as 2,600 people attending each show at the main Au-Rene theater find places to park, and how will officials handle potential traffic jams?
How do you get a younger demographic to go see a play? Well, if it isn’t Hamilton, it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to get those, let’s say, under the age of 40-somethings to a live theater performance. But judging by the customer base at Saturday night’s Miami Motel Stories, the site-specific theater piece from Juggerknot Theater Company is on to something.