Tag Archives: Actors Playhouse
In-depth report: Sets still standing on stages are silent pledges that these productions and theater itself in South Florida will resume – albeit in what many believe will be a different world. But what that cultural world will look like for audiences and artists could not be more uncertain, say theater professionals who have had to rethink and rethink again their plans. It’s different from when other disasters have struck Florida like hurricanes; this one may be open-ended.
Titles announced by more South Florida theaters in their 2020-21 seasons including Broadway in Fort Lauderdale: To Kill A Mockingbird starring Richard Thomas, and Hamilton returns; Actors’ Playhouse doing On Your Feet!, the Emilio and Gloria Estefan bio-musical; The Wick mounting Damn Yankees, and Lake Worth Playhouse with the American epic Ragtime.
Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash playing at Actors’ Playhouse finds its entertainment in having performers, sing, dance, act and play the instruments much as with the company’s successful Million Dollar Quartet.
As in troubling days in the past, once again farce provides a welcome dose of mindless zaniness that even the real life actors on the world stage cannot not equal. Add the musical mystery Murder For Two as two gifted clowns cavort at Actors’ Playhouse in a manic mélange of kinetic physical comedy, wacky wordplay and unrestrained supreme silliness.
Actors’ Playhouse’s Doubt is not about guilt or innocence. It’s about doubt. The nature of doubt. The fallout of doubt. Living with doubt. Deciding whether to act when you have doubt. In these extreme days when some people believe truth is fungible or fear that it is can never be divined, John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 play is excruciatingly resonant.
There are probably 27 synonyms for the word funny and 157 familiar tropes. All the words apply and all the classic bits can be found in Actors’ Playhouse’s farce One Man, Two Guvnors.
From the trumpet blast opening the world premiere Havana Music Hall at Actors’ Playhouse, the stage explodes with color and light and, above all, that pulsing music, all ablaze with a vibrancy and vitality of a time and a world far away. This recreation of a Cuban nightclub in 1958 likely makes the point clearer than any speech or treatise about the cultural, spiritual and artistic treasure that was lost when Castro seized power.
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.
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.
Worse than Spiderman Turn Off The Dark, the mega-epic The Big Bang may be the most bloated, overwrought, inept, politically incorrect, painfully lame, downright stupidest musical of all time. That Big Bang would be the imaginary extravaganza being hawked at a fictional backer’s audition, not the identically-named romp now at Actors Playhouse and just as delightfully daft and demented as it was there in 2003 and 2005.