Author Archives: Bill Hirschman
Theater Shelf, a recurring feature, reviews recently-released books, CDs and DVDs of interest to theater lovers. Some are popular titles like a new Original Cast Recording, others are works you’ll be intrigued by, but didn’t even know about
Michael Leeds is a director, teacher, actor, dancer and songwriter, but this interview shows he is a raconteur with a storehouse of stories ranging from the woman who did an I Love Lucy bit for her audition, to the time he may have upstaged Elizabeth Taylor while wearing a panda suit.
Jungle Fantasy is one of a dozen Cirque Dreams’ productions that surround pretty impressive circus acts in otherworldly music, fluid lighting and spectacular costumes filled out by ultra-buff bodies. This edition has played all over the world since 2008 but it’s the first time that Neil Goldberg’s Pompano Beach-based company has brought it home to Broward.
Worldless, disconnected, as neutral and interpretable as a Rorschach ink blot, H2OMBRE is a Cirque du Soleil-like show designed by and aimed at people raised on comic books and fantasy flicks. Anyone seeking a conventional definition of theater will be appalled. But this creation will close in on sheer nirvana for those seeking an immersive experience akin to a South Beach club erected at Comic-Con.
These fluffy summer fripperies at Actors’ Playhouse must be successful because here’s a sequel Mid-Life 2: the Crisis Continues, the off-spring of 2008’s Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. Once again, the same folks have achieved precisely what they sought: a fun, light-hearted divertissement, but the varied quality of the material is not worthy of the skill, talent, polish and unflagging commitment of the cast and crew.
Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale at GableStage focuses on a morbidly obese man wanting to reconnect with his abandoned daughter before his imminent death. But the darkly funny and affecting play — awash in profanity, cynicism, alienation and fatalism — reveals itself to be about hope rooted in the innate decency inside scalded souls.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ current staged concert of Frank Loesser’s 1956 musical The Most Happy Fella overflows with a purity of emotions common to even the most ordinary of us, proclaiming them one of the glories of existence to be welcomed, not shied away from.
A five-foot tall assembly of beige bags hangs in the corner of Gablestage’s cramped communal dressing room, vaguely shaped like a tan version of the marshmallow monster from Ghostbusters. No one has yet christened this fat suit created for The Whale, but even without actor Gregg Weiner inside it, it feels like it’s a character.
Friends, family and colleagues will share stories about the life and contributions of South Florida theater champion Jay Harris at a celebration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gablestage.
Despite the more headline-grabbing 6,000 gallons of water, the significance of the Arsht’s H2HOMBRE is that the public-private venue is cementing its commitment to a brand of imagistic, sensory-laden and non-traditional performance art that has been mounted in South Florida before, but not on this double-or-nothing scale.