There Ain’t No Cure For The Summertime News

So much for the myth of the summer doldrums….
Besides recent and imminent openings at Mad Cat, Palm Beach Dramaworks, GableStage, Actors Playhouse, the XXVII International Hispanic Theatre Festival, three shows at the Stage Door venues, not to mention the Arsht’s Donkey Show, here’s some news and notes you might not have heard about:
–After a nearly two-year hiatus, due in part to family demands, Naked Stage returns July 20-Aug. 5 with the psychological thriller The Turn of the Screw at the Pelican Theatre at Barry University, starring Matthew William Chizever and Naked Stage Artistic Director Katherine Amadeo, and directed by Margaret M. Ledford. Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Henry James’ chilling ghost story was a stunning triumph several years ago when New Theatre mounted a similarly bare bones production with Lisa Morgan and Heath Kelts.
Island City Stage’s ongoing campaign to rise out of the ashes of Rising Action has marked another milestone. Along with its inaugural production of The Twentieth-Century Way at Empire Stage Aug. 11-Sept. 9, Artistic Director Andy Rogow announced the company received its official 501(3)(c) status last week,  which should make fund-raising easier.
–Veteran local actor and New World theater professor David Kwiat will reveal another side of his talents at a free reading of his original poetry slated for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at GableStage in Coral Gables. Kwiat already has one published volume, A Traveller in Residence, and is completing another, Terminal Hotel.
–We don’t review community theater because there’s so much of it that the workload would drown us. But we caught Lake Worth Playhouse’s production of Hairspray last weekend. At the risk of sounding paternalistic, it was surprisingly good. The most interesting aspects were talented folks who some professional non-Equity houses might want to scout out: a Palm Beach State College student named Kelsey West as Tracy, a solid band led by Dominic Raffa, choreography by Lawrence Street, Andrew Spinelli as Corny, Gregory Hines (not the one who’s dead) as Seaweed, Patrick Albano as Wilbur, and Nikki Bradley as Maybelle.
–Speaking of community theater, Pembroke Pines Theater for the Performing Arts will save you a trip to New York City to see a revival of Gore Vidal’s unfortunately timeless indictment of election politics, The Best Man.  A superb movie (the one with Henry Fonda, not the one with Taye Diggs), the stage play is arguably even better, crammed with Vidal’s scathing repartee. My favorite line is the hero’s assessment of a traitorous ally: “T.T. Claypool has all the qualities of a dog except loyalty.” The production slated for July 20-Aug. 12 stars Jeffrey Bruce as Bill Russell, Sean Kennedy as Joe Cantwell and Alvin Entin as President Art Hockstader.

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