When hearing that the Maltz Jupiter Theater is presenting Chicago, potential audiences could be forgiven for thinking silently: “Chicago? Again? They could not be more wrong. For years, the Maltz has specialized in taking a popular title, and reimagining it so completely –it’s as if you’ve not seen it before.
It takes courage to mount a play whose 1992 film version is as iconic as A Few Good Men with an unforgettable performance by Jack Nicholson . But this production of Aaron Sorkin’s play by Pembroke Pines Theatre of the Performing Arts is a promising harbinger as the long-time community theater’s second production as a professional troupe.
American Son at Zoetic Stage doesn’t offer solutions to the complexity of race so much as explore with increasing intensity the exact craggy contours of the gulf. Christopher Demos-Brown’s play brings the audience alongside those struggling with the conflicting and seemingly irreconcilable pressures on not just African-Americans but everyone awash in the social maelstrom.
The first half to two-thirds of the West Boca Theatre Company’s Brighton Beach Memoirs is sincere, but unsubtle and unsatisfying theater. Then this production slowly starts to ramp up with increasingly affecting, occasionally moving performances that you wish had been there in the previous 90 minutes of stage time.
The Disneyization of Broadway has brought a whole new world of theater to a new generation of audiences who, hopefully, will be theatergoers for a lifetime. Put the highly entertaining Aladdin, now at the Broward Center in that category.
At the beginning of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, now at the Arsht Center, Willy Wonka says chocolate is “quite simply, the greatest invention in the entire history of the world.” That same grand statement would not apply to the new national tour of the musical, but it does reward its audience with a sweetish confection of a production that is fun and entertaining.
Writing a review of Primal Force’s Villainous Company, which has more plot twists than a Christmas corkscrew, is going to be hard because we wouldn’t dare to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say that nothing but nothing is what it seems and no one but no one is whom they seem – and there are layers under layers in this 80-minute chamber crime thriller.
There’s a scene of pure hallelujah in Slow Burn Theatre’s A Christmas Story the Musical in which adults and children dressed in sparkly costumes echoing the fabled Major Award leg lamp are in a kick line in a RKO-worthy production number. You won’t remember that from the holiday film. But that’s the key to enjoying this adaptation: Each edition makes the most of its genre’s strengths with little worry that it’s significantly different than its predecessors.
If you’ve never seen the Broadway production of the charm-infused musical Once or missed the Actors’ Playhouse version (or just want to see it again), this national touring version currently at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center is as faithful a reproduction as you could ask for.
City Theatre’s production of The Cake, about a baker who refuses to make a cake for a lesbian couple, digs deep below stereotypes to examine the contemporary clash between sincerely held principles that threaten to cripple relationships among people who care for one another – or at least have to live in the same world.