The new musical Bright Star is a 21st Century celebration of the folk tradition complete with plucky heroines, gentle humor, unbending fundamentalists, facile fiddling, profound personal tragedies and the eventual reconciling redemption with a distinct but not overbearing reliance on faith in a higher power.
The running time for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised) is advertised at 90 minutes On opening night at Evening Star Productions, it ran two hours. This is a testament to how downright hilarious this production is, the advantage of an an audience of partisans to interact with, and a yin-and-yang vibe of sloppy undisciplined anarchy.
The Vanguard meant no self-aggrandizement posting photos of Lucy and Ethel, Carol and Vicki, across their set for the hilarious sketch comedy, Parallel Lives. But it’s apt. Because Elena Maria Garcia gets to prove once again that she may well be the finest comic actress to grace local stages over the past two decades. And it doesn’t hurt that partner in crime Casey Dressler is on the fast-track in the same category.
Greying Boomers may instinctively resist that the music of their lives is being repackaged into stage revues with little or no story the way Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer’s songbooks have been for the past two decades. But when it’s done with as much skill and verve as Broward Stage Door’s The Soul of Motor City, it’s hard not to get swept up.
There’s a virtue, I suppose, in reliability. When you go to see something with Disney’s name in the title whether it’s the Pirates of Caribbean Ride in Orlando, Anaheim, Toyko or Paris, you know what you’re getting. So it is with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast making what is likely its seventh visit to South Florida,.
You know you wanted to murder some abusive soul-crushing bullies and snobs when you were in high school. Heathers knows it and wants to liberate your daydream. So do the cool kids and not-so-cool kids at Slow Burn Theatre Company giving a hilarious don’t-miss production of the 2014 off-Broadway musical version of the 1988 cult classic film.
Rage and defiance – against racism, against betrayal, against cruelty, fate and death itself – washes out into the audience with a ferocity rarely seen in Florida theater in The M Ensemble Company’s powerful production of August Wilson’s masterpiece Fences.
Acknowledge that the premiere of The Wish Maker, written and directed by local playwright Cynthia Joyce Clay and produced by her Storycrafters Studio, is well-intentioned and earnest. But that’s it. Ham-handed, amateurish, ponderous, sluggish, the list of adjectives could go on and on about the script and the production.
Feeding The Bear, a serio-comedy focused on caring for a father succumbing to Alzheimer’s (featuring a drag queen with a cooking TV show), has all the necessary ingredients for a tasty confection, but this work in progress hasn’t yet found the culinary magic to be a fully satisfying dish.
Hardly unusual in musical theater, Meredith Bartmon strolls around the Carnival Studio stage singing passionately about her dreams and, later, her refusal to compromise those dreams. But this isn’t a two-and-half-hour epic on a national tour; this is one of nine 10-minute playlets in City Theatre’s 21st edition of Summer Shorts.