The secret of the highly improbable but undeniable success of the new ‘60s musical revue What’s New Pussycat — The Soundtrack of an Era at Broward Stage Door is encapsulated in the second-to-last musical number.
Despite the death of director Laura Ruchala, Evening Star Productions’ The Comedy of Errors is a rollicking ebullient edition of Shakespeare’s farce of mistaken identities. Ruchala’s playful play-filled vision embraces every stripe of daft and deft comedy from Will’s word play to slapstick.
When Mad Cat Theatre Company finds the right groove with the right piece as it has here with Centralia, even hidebound traditionalists need to recalibrate their definitions and expectations of “theater.” It’s clothed in the premise of small town residents putting on a show to raise funds for their town, which was decimated by an environmental disaster.
So the Cowardly Lion walks into a gay bar…. That premise pretty reliably lets you know that you must be watching the new edition of Shorts Gone Wild 2, the mildly risqué festival of short plays with a LGBT underpinning.
Sitting under a tent, sweating through the swelter, watching a faithful facsimile of a revival might not seem appealing to your everyday theatergoer. But bring an open mind to Thinking Cap Theatre’s play Church and savor a thought-provoking, exuberant even entertaining evening.
The script for 1969′s Butterflies Are Free, holds up much better than you’d expect at its revival at Broward Stage Door. But while Stage Door’s edition under director Michael Leeds is a pleasant enough afternoon’s diversion of humor and emotion, it’s never terribly compelling and the whole thing could use more pizzazz to make it feel satisfying.
Jungle Fantasy is one of a dozen Cirque Dreams’ productions that surround pretty impressive circus acts in otherworldly music, fluid lighting and spectacular costumes filled out by ultra-buff bodies. This edition has played all over the world since 2008 but it’s the first time that Neil Goldberg’s Pompano Beach-based company has brought it home to Broward.
Worldless, disconnected, as neutral and interpretable as a Rorschach ink blot, H2OMBRE is a Cirque du Soleil-like show designed by and aimed at people raised on comic books and fantasy flicks. Anyone seeking a conventional definition of theater will be appalled. But this creation will close in on sheer nirvana for those seeking an immersive experience akin to a South Beach club erected at Comic-Con.
These fluffy summer fripperies at Actors’ Playhouse must be successful because here’s a sequel Mid-Life 2: the Crisis Continues, the off-spring of 2008’s Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. Once again, the same folks have achieved precisely what they sought: a fun, light-hearted divertissement, but the varied quality of the material is not worthy of the skill, talent, polish and unflagging commitment of the cast and crew.
Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale at GableStage focuses on a morbidly obese man wanting to reconnect with his abandoned daughter before his imminent death. But the darkly funny and affecting play — awash in profanity, cynicism, alienation and fatalism — reveals itself to be about hope rooted in the innate decency inside scalded souls.