Tag Archives: City Theatre
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.
No one could accuse the cast of Shorts Gone Wild 6 of being low energy. They spend the production’s interstitial moments cartwheeling, performing splits, engaging in slapdash chicken dances, telling jokes, winking through bawdy double entendres. But most of the plays are less memorable than their spirited introductions.
They make it look so easy.
The 23rd annual City Theatre Summer Shorts crew slip seamlessly from broad comedy with a hint of a moral to bittersweet drama with a soupcon of dry wit and back again in nine separate playlets.
In a move that will spread the brand of Miami-based City Theatre around the world, the company begins this month producing collections of its short plays on Azamara Club Cruises luxury ships. The effort to maximize the extended use of its huge catalog of 10-minute plays represents what City Theatre sees a new producing prototype not just for itself but the theater industry.
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?”
Over 21 years, City Theatre’s ever-expanding enterprises have developed and maintained a brand-level reputation for entertaining theater; its return to cool weather programming with the current edition of Winter Shorts is just as diverting.
City Theatre’s production of Building the Wall opens with audio of then-candidate Donald Trump spewing some of his more incendiary anti-immigration rhetoric. The first line has yet to be spoken, and already you can feel your blood pressure start to rise.
Shorts Gone Wild 5, co-produced by City Theatre with Island City Stage, follows the same entertaining pattern eliciting guffaws, chuckles and a few choked back sniffles with risque and luight blue material. The acting and direction keeps improving year after year and those elements rescue scripts less deftly written. But this edition feels different for an intriguing reason.
If you know where to look, certainly you can find reliable warhorse titles in the upcoming theater season in South Florida, but it’s easier to find vibrant, contemporary and challenging offerings.
City Theatre’s Summer Shorts, which only recently began showcasing musicals, includes three this year including one by Lin-Manuel Miranda.