Into the Woods’ disturbing second act occurs in a boy’s nightmare in Lightning Bolt Production’s riveting, pulse-quickening production at the West Boca Performing Arts Center. Director Jessie Hoffman has re-imagined the musical from the narrator’s perspective. That character, who in this production is a 12-year-old boy, plays a larger role than in other mountings.
Human beings’ desperate need for affirmation of their self-worth from some source outside themselves – whether it’s from a parent or strangers’ judgments – drives GableStage’s scorching production of Halley Feiffer’s I’m Going To Pray For You So Hard.
They make it look so easy.
The 23rd annual City Theatre Summer Shorts crew slip seamlessly from broad comedy with a hint of a moral to bittersweet drama with a soupcon of dry wit and back again in nine separate playlets.
From Door to Door, a bittersweet comedy retracing the evolution of Jewish-American womanhood through 65 years of the 20th Century, is a procession of clichés spread over 80 minutes. But if the current production at Broward Stage Door doesn’t have much vibrancy or energy, it admirably underscores that beneath tropes lies truth.
MNM Theatre ’s Avenue Q, the musical comedy with foul-mouthed and copulating puppets, has never been as clearly about education as now. It’s the curriculum about coping with disappointment waiting in the real world.
The drolly hilarious Avenue Q, being given a “fine, fine” outing by MNM, is also imbued with a quiet sadness and accompanying sympathy for the loss of hopeful naiveté.
Director Giancarlo Rodaz made a virtue out of a tiny budget by substituting imagination for cash plus a joyful embrace of theatrical artifice in his production of Shrek the Musical at Area Stage Company.
With a cast of unfettered and inspired clowns, Thinking Cap Theatre has produced a hilarious edition of a 1687 comedy by Aphra Benn, The Emperor of the Moon, lathering almost every second of this commedia dell’arte farce with a humor encyclopedia’s worth of sight gags, comic timing, verbal delivery, bathroom humor and endless physical schtick — all delivered at a lickety-split pace by a comically nimble troupe.
Mere hours before the opening night of Equus at Palm Beach Dramaworks – a drama prompted by the true story of a troubled teen who blinded five horses – another troubled teen murdered 10 people in a nightmarish school shooting. But independent of that, its Equus stands among the most effective, perfectly executed productions that this company has wrought in its mission to deliver “theater to think about.”
A new theater debuting by choosing a complex musical about mental illness, and in the small confines of the 50 or so seat theater? Now that takes confidence. And confident the professional, non-Equity Measure for Measure appears to be, as it dives head first into the complicated, yet wholly satisfying Next to Normal, as part of a co-production with Infinite Abyss Productions.
There’s more than a bit of Noel Coward running through Broward Stage Door Theatre’s Victor/Victoria. It’s what makes this production tick, a true understanding, and might we say, appreciation of the slapstick foundation of the 1995 Broadway musical version of Blake Edward’s 1982 movie.