Some promising openings spice up the pre-holiday period.
Don’t blink or you’ll miss the very limited run of Mad Cat Theatre’s Going Green the Wong Way, a one-woman comedy about the difficulty of being environmentally responsible, starring the playwright Kristina Wong and directed by Paul Tei, at the Arsht Center in Miami through Saturday.
If your taste is mainstream big-budget musicals that actually entertain the entire family, your best bet is the Actors’ Playhouse production of Oliver opening Friday in Coral Gables. Director David Arsico has assembled a strong cast of familiar faces including champion scenery-chewer Gary Marachek as Fagin, Amy Miller Brennan as Nancy, plus Ken Clement as Mr. Bumble and Shane Tanner as Bill Sykes, roles they played in a national road tour. Two sets of Olivers and Artful Dodgers and an overcrowded classroom of kids in the chorus push the body count on stage and in the orchestra pit to 50. Lionel Bart created one of the most tuneful scores and sharpest lyrics that defy the passage of time. Hopefully, we’ll want some more.
Not exactly theater, but the steamy dance exhibition musical Burn the Floor is wowing audiences at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts through Nov. 28.
More traditionally, Lake Worth Playhouse is offering yet another edition of the nearly guaranteed three-hanky comedy-drama about sisterhood in the South, Steel Magnolias, beginning Friday.
At the same time, the Crest Theatre in Old School Square in Delray Beach is presenting a month-long run of The Great American Songbook, described as a new song and dance extravaganza that features 100 years of songs from Tin-Pan Alley to Broadway to today’s classic hits.
The real critics’ choice this month is Mosaic Theatre’s continuing production of Collected Stories featuring terrific performances by Barbara Bradshaw and Kim Morgan Dean under Margaret Ledford’s direction.
Closing this weekend: A Behanding in Spokane at GableStage, Candida at Palm Beach Dramaworks, No Exit at Naked Stage, Motherhood the Musical at the Miniaci, The House of Yes at the Alliance, The Diviners at FAU and Rent at FIU.