Tag Archives: Bruce Linser
Woody Guthrie’s American Song is most decidedly a people’s musical, at least in its vivifying production at Palm Beach Dramaworks is more of a communal hoedown with Guthrie’s music as the soundtrack. Even the songs about poverty, death and hard living hide notes of hope, if we can only come together to find them.
MNM Theatre ’s Avenue Q, the musical comedy with foul-mouthed and copulating puppets, has never been as clearly about education as now. It’s the curriculum about coping with disappointment waiting in the real world.
The drolly hilarious Avenue Q, being given a “fine, fine” outing by MNM, is also imbued with a quiet sadness and accompanying sympathy for the loss of hopeful naiveté.
One pleasure of a theater critic’s job are these year-end retrospectives that require looking back at reviews and be reminded, “Oh, yeah, that was really great. And right, there was that. And how could I forget that one?”
When entering a theater playing a musical you’ve enjoyed numerous times, it’s comforting to open the playbill to find the names of proven talents that reassure that you and the material are in good hands. Names, for instance, like Mike Westrich, Bruce Linser, Mallory Newbrough, Paul Reekie and Jim Ballard – some of the dependable hands delivering a solid entertaining edition of the delightful Little Shop of Horrors from MNM Productions.
The Wick Theatre’s marvelous and contemplative rendition pulls off The Drowsy Chaperone with boundless charm and effortless sophistication. The Wick has enjoyed its share of highlights over the past five years, but this Drowsy Chaperone might just exceed its 42nd Street and Oklahoma! as the young company’s pinnacle.
MNM’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company is intermittently lit with incandescent performances worth the price of admission by themselves, but the overall piece disappointingly lacks crispness, passion and, until the last 10 minutes, heart.
Lots of news: South Florida Theatre League’s free Summer Theatre Fest, Curtain Call Playhouse is honored, City Theatre’s Margaret Ledford is promoted, Bruce Linser takes on a new job,and Peter Galman teaches Shakespeare
What do Cabaret, Chicago, Fun Home, Almost Maine and Angels in America have in common? Somebody somewhere has banned their production at some point. To push back, Zoetic Stage and the Dramatists’ Guild Legal Defense Fund with the Adrienne Arsht Center is producing a free staged reading of Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret at 7 p.m. Monday at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht Center.
MNM Productions at the Kravis Center’s superb revival of the Kander and Ebb revue The World Goes Round takes us on a detailed tour of the landscape of the human heart, not just the joyful peaks or the crippling abysses, but the winding trails through murky wilderness.
Simply, MNM Productions’ effort may be the best production of Side by Side by Sondheim seen in South Florida or many other places. Four superb performers act the dramatic, psychological and emotional guts out of these numbers; the result was often moving and stimulating renditions of theater songs about specific people in specific situations rather than disembodied “numbers.”