Author Archives: Bill Hirschman

GableStage’s Visit With Dr. Ruth Westheimer Is Good Company

A genial older woman with a warm smile, a self-deprecating charm and a cute mittel-European accent via Brooklyn greets the audience to her apartment like new neighbors. While packing for a move, she tells the story of her life in vignettes marked by humor and pathos. The narrator providing such good company is the titular heroine of Becoming Dr. Ruth, a one-woman bio-play.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Grand Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor Is To Die For

Florida Grand Opera promised a season of Divas to Die For, and it couldn’t have been more on point in that respect with its 77th season opener, Lucia di Lammermoor. Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece may not be as familiar to operagoers as some of the classics, but it’s a crowd pleaser with its 15-minute tour de force which plunges Lucia into hysteria, drama around every corner, and a Romantic score of beautiful melodies.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dreamgirls Cast Scorches The Paint Off Broward Stage Door

If producers mount the musical Dreamgirls, it’s a given that they have hired as Effie some astounding young diva capable of punching a hole in the back of the auditorium with her melisma. Indeed, Broward Stage Door has the Cat 5 voice of Sarah Gracel to headline this 35-year-old rousing examination about the interplay of fame, pop music, racism and the dangers of pursuing the American Dream.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Past Is Prologue For Tommy Tune’s Fundraiser At the Maltz

Tune will headline a one-night-only benefit concert Nov. 18 for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and its education programs. The theater hired a ten-piece orchestra and re-orchestrated the more modest score that Tune has been using in a recently reconstituted tour. He will also provide a master class for students earlier in the day.

Posted in Features | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Island City’s Hir: How Do You Move Forward When You No Longer Know Where You Are

In this uncertain world, the ever-changing standards of what life is or even should be make it nearly impossible to chart a path forward when we have less idea what might be ahead than Columbus. That may be one of the takeaways – there are likely a half-dozen more — from the nightmarishly dark but hilarious 2014 comedy Hir bowing at Island City Stage.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peter Still Refuses To Grow Up, Thankfully, In Starcatcher

Slow Burn Theatre Company’s rollicking race-down-the-hill production of Peter and the Starcatcher is a joyful hoot packed with more sight gags, puns, pratfalls, wordplay and even a bit of wistfulness than arguably any other recent work including the current The Play That Goes Wrong.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zoetic Stage Deals Perfect Hand With Parks’ Topdog/Underdog

The cat and mouse game in Zoetic Stage’s Topdog/Underdog moves as swiftly and cunningly as the two characters’ dexterity in the shell game, which in this case is three-card monte, a street hustle card con. This is already one of those must-sees.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Never Dies: This Phantom Sequel Is More Of A Soap Opera, But Webber’s Music Still Soars

Love Never Dies is a sequel if not the equal to Phantom of the Opera from Broadway Across America at the Broward Center, but Andrew Lloyd Webber’s attempt for lightning to strike twice, while inherently flawed, is undeniably a lush, gloriously passionate and entertaining exercise that is exactly what it wants to be.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Evita’ Plays To The Masses With Thoughtful Complexity

David Arisco has directed Evita for Actors’ Playhouse three times. So, what’s different this go ’round? Well, to hear him tell it, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, written four decades ago about a celebrity turned power hungry politico in mid 1940s Argentina is even more relevant than ever.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maltz’s Born Yesterday Is A Progressive Take On A Classic Didactic 1940s Comedy

Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s season-opening rendition of Born Yesterday can’t pave over the script’s glaring weaknesses, but it amplifies the source material’s progressive strengths. Director Peter Flynn has mounted a handsome and drum-tight production anchored by a pair of note-perfect leads.

Posted in Performances, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment