Paula Vogel welcomes, even celebrates how imaginative directors and committed casts use her work as a starting blueprint for their own explorations. She is pleased that this week the team at Palm Beach Dramaworks will unveil their particular vision of Indecent, just one of 20 productions that have been or are being mounted around the country last season and this season.
It’s a genuine compliment when a critic doesn’t particularly look forward to a show based on past productions and recordings – and then reassesses his antipathy based on seeing a fresh new production. So it’s saying something that Broward Stage Door’s Dity Rotten Scoundrels is a pleasing romp.
GableStage’s Admissions is one of the more uncomfortable evenings of theater that avowed liberals and proud progressives will sit through any time soon. It holds up an unsparing mirror that asks whether such advocates will stay true to their ideals when the consequences directly affect them and their families.
In Zoetic Stage’s premiere Dracula, the vampire is a sexist pig (as are several men in the play). The protagonists are strong-willed proto-feminists. Together, they embody a society struggling with re-envisioning what self-empowered women can and should be. Michael McKeever’s script as directed by Stuart Meltzer presents social commentary told with droll, wry and self-aware humor, and the retelling of the classic horror narrative.
It would be intriguing and accurate, but misleading to say that Havana Music Hall, the hopeful Broadway musical about Cuban artists before and after the Revolution, is the brainchild of 72-year-old New Jersey-born Jewish insurance salesman Richard Kagan. He conceived it, wrote the tuneful score, and is bankrolling a $2 million cost. But he credits a half-dozen others who imbued it with the pungent ethnic flavor and cultural insights he learned second hand.
The memorial celebration of Iris Acker will be held Monday at The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the celebration starting at 7 p.m. Playwright, producer and patron Tony Finstrom wrote a piece about his memories of her forged during their relationship. He asked us to publish it.
Some South Florida theaters are scrapping some of what they plan to put on stage this season or next. Some are leaving support positions unfilled. Some plan smaller cast shows. Some have sidelined plans for growth. Theaters are scrambling to cope with an unexpected 90 percent slash in state funding. But theater champions vow to fight back by organizing patrons and leading citizens to influence lawmakers.
Lightning Bolt Productions,’ Little Shop of Horrors delivers yet another merry recreation of one of the most amusing small musicals in the canon: an intentionally silly, unapologetically unsubtle hoot. If you haven’t seen in it in a while or, hard to believe, haven’t seen it at all, Lightning Bolt’s ebullient edition is a perfect reason to visit or re-visit Skid Row.