The world premiere of Joseph McDonough’s Ordinary Americans needs more work but it has enough promise and fine performances at Palm Beach Dramaworks that it’s worth the effort. The story of indomitable broadcast icon Gertrude Berg fighting the plague of the blacklist in the 1950s carries a clear warning to audiences today.
Exuding a lushness, attention to technical detail and an overarching sense of fun, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a prime example of its skill. Proof is that the mid-week opening night patrons were happily clapping along to the tunes, even singing along when prompted.
How we deal specifically with the inevitability of death, whether we let it inhibit us or inspire us, is at the heart of Michael McKeever’s comic fantasy Charlie Cox Runs With Scissors now enjoying a wryly funny production from the West Boca Theatre Company.
As we get older, the reality of loss becomes an inescapable fact of life. How we deal with that is the core of Stephen Brown’s Everything is Super Great at Theatre Lab (subtitled “a comedy about what’s missing”). Brown’s look at four troubled lonely people struggling to cope is quietly mordantly funny, but the humor is infused into underlying poignancy and compassion.
There may never be as great a production of The Music Man as the lightning-in-a-bottle original with performances of Barbara Cook and Robert Preston. But the Wick Theatre edition led by Norb Joerder and starring John Tartaglia and Julie Kleiner is as satisfying and entertaining a holiday treat as you could ask for.
Awe is not a quality you usually hear in the voices of theater pros when they describe the central character in a work. But that is the sense listening to director William Hayes, playwright Joseph McDonough and actress Elizabeth Dimon talking about Gertrude Berg, the heroine of their world premiere this month, Ordinary Americans at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
Have you ever watched a play and complained, “I could end it better than that!” Here’s your chance. You – along with everyone else in the audience—gets to choose this month among 54 possible endings in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s revival of the charming 1985 murder musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Some of the shows we saw on our recent trip to New York — Tracy Letts’ Linda Vista and The Height of the Storm — were limited runs and closed before many of our readers could get there. But they pointed out opportunities for works we’d love to see attempted on local stages in Florida and around the country.
MNM Theatre Company’s delightfully silly production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is a musical that prides itself on broad low and often ribald humor, pratfalls, double takes and half the encyclopedia of vaudevillian comedy.
A central facet of his premiere Watson at GableStage is depicting what may be the world’s first personal information disaster, a horrifying tragedy as American-licensed technology is sold to the Nazis who later use it to identify Jews for extermination. But what resonates in these times are capitalism’s responsibility to humanity, and the intentional blindness styling itself as innocent ignorance.