Tag Archives: Betsy Graver
Critics and award judges have been talking about it for weeks: The sheer amount of high quality work has made evaluating the last 12 months unusually challenging, but also an opportunity to remember one of the most rewarding calendar years in recent memory. So here’s a supremely subjective stab by all three critics here at Florida Theater On Stage at recognizing the shows and performances that stood out from a pack of productions.
Deborah Zoe Laufer’s world premiere The Three Sisters of Weekhawken is, indeed, funny in its daffy way, but this imaginative mashup of Chekhov’s meditation on yearning refracted through Beckett’s existentialism and a shred of Neil Simon has a serious and eventually moving moral about the perils of paralyzing procrastination.
“Or,” is a delightful daffy farce underpinned with social commentary that fits Thinking Cap’s eclectic bent for thought-provoking comedies and dramas that are aggressively off-beat, have a literary bent, or at a minimum are a step away from predictable mainstream fare.
Awash in issues of Arab-American assimilation and Anglo antipathy, GableStage’s Disgraced is the classic contemporary example of the topical, thought-provoking drama that forces you to revalidate, even reexamine your perception of the tumult around us.
We want theaters to take chances and Miami Theater Center has bravely invested its artistic vision into classics like Three Sisters. But MTC has missed the target so badly in its misbegotten revival of the 1952 sex comedy The Seven Year Itch that you only thing you want to scratch is your head.
Detroit, Lisa D’Amour’s finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is a thought-provoking piece of theater. The Zoetic Stage production finds its own complex groove in Detroit to present a must see in Miami.
Deborah Zoe Laufer’s The Last Schwartz poses a difficult mélange of tones, and Parade Productions’ production doesn’t smoothly meld Laufer’s various parts. That said, the stand-alone strands of farcical comedy, subtler black humor and heart-rending pathos are delivered independently with quite satisfying results through skilled performances molded and guided by director Kim St. Leon.
Human beings have to dream – no matter their likelihood, no matter the cost. This sampler cliché find its truth in the tactile tragedy that is Palm Beach Dramaworks’ muted but moving revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men.
The Fox on the Fairway, plays more like a 1970s sitcom. When any one of the comedy’s exaggerated characters comes bursting through the door (and this happens more than a few times), you expect a canned laugh track to surface.The Fox on the Fairway won’t take the World Cup when it comes to comedy, but it’s a fun romp and summer fare that only requires the audience to be swept away in its lunacy.
Lungs at Arts Garage seems to be about a young couple debating whether to bring a baby into this perilous, even doomed world. But in the wake of plot twists, Duncan Macmillan’s breathtaking script comes clear as an examination of the fragility and tensile strength of relationships, featuring brilliant performances by Betsy Graver and Cliff Burgess.