Tag Archives: Aaron Bower
No matter the time zone, country or phase of the moon, Mamma Mia! is playing somewhere, in this case an inarguably competent production at The Wick Theatre. Even those who have never been a fan of the work have to admit its score contains tunes that spark Pavlovian responses of joyous clapping and swaying along in audience members, even if they’ve aren’t familiar with the ABBA “ouvre.”
MNM Theatre Company’s filmed cyber-distributed pandemic production of Closer Than Ever needs no excuses, no politely lowered expectations. Just as it would if produced live in an intimate venue, this effort mesmerizes and moves with the emotional power of performers acting this song cycle rather than performing them as if they were in a cabaret setting.
It’s not lost on anyone as these Florida actors sing ardent songs to each other — separated by six feet of stage — that the musical they are filming is titled Closer Than Ever. It’s impossible to ignore that resonance in MNM Theatre Company’s production currently being edited for online streaming release Nov. 27-Dec. 31.
With exploratory baby steps, South Florida theater companies are staging events: A cut-down Hamlet by the Shakespeare Troupe, a filmed full production of Closer Than Ever by MNM, and Patti LuPone in a livestreamed concert for the Broward Center.
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.
In 2019, if you want some idea what the original production of Crazy For You was like, or what those Depression Era musicals were like, live and in the flesh, settle in for The Wick Theatre’s glorious revival.
It’s not that it’s impossible to mess up the musical Annie, but when you have a reliable troupe of talented hands like those connected to the current Wick Theatre production, you are guaranteed an entertaining evening.
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.
Be grateful that Slow Burn Theatre Company with its audacious affection for large scale challenging musicals has decided to mount The Secret Garden, that ode to rebirth, memorable for its lush unconventional score that resembles streams of music intertwining into an aural waterfall.
One quiet fear of frequent theatergoers is that some well-meaning troupe will bungle a piece they love and override precious memories with mediocrity. Well, breathe easier. The Wick Theatre’s rendition of Guys and Dolls, widely considered one of the best musical comedies ever written, is as buoyant and spirited a triumph as a fan could wish.