The premise of Every Brilliant Thing might fool you into thinking that it’s kin to a “very special” Lifetime Movie of the Week: a boy tries to ease the pain of his suicidal mother and his own anxiety by making a list of “brilliant” things and leaving them for his mother to find. But themes hide just under the wry and warm exterior: highlighting aspects of life that can be beautiful and sustaining, as well as the damage that depression can wreak on an entire family.
So…what do Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis have in store for an encore in Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre’s much-anticipated return engagement of Million Dollar Quartet? The foursome has re-created sounds that seem more crisp and controlled, without losing the vibrancy and electricity audiences ate up during the 2016 production.
Edgar & Emily, the premiere at Palm Beach Dramaworks, is a fascinating and funny fantasia about Edgar Allan Poe visiting Emily Dickinson late one night dragging his coffin behind him. Joseph McDonough’s wry play examines sensitive introspective artists’ challenge to be fully alive in the ever-present shadow of death – an evening laced with copious quips and witty banter.
Emily Dickinson is huddling in her bed when Edgar Allen Poe barges into her bedroom pulling his coffin behind him. This is even stranger than it sounds since Poe is believed to have died about 15 years earlier. Such is opening of the world premiere, Edgar and Emily, opening this weekend at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
Raging family dysfunction played against an equally volatile backdrop of social upheaval makes for two seemingly separate but brilliantly acted and directed plays united in GableStage’s production of If I Forget — the emotional equivalent of a skiff tossed about in a raging tempest in the middle of a wintry ocean.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Ame Livingston, David Kwiat, GableStage, George Schiavone, Gregg Weiner, If I Forget, Joe Adler, Margery Lowe, Matthew Ferro, Patti Gardner, Steven Levenson
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?”
Posted in Features
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Al Blackstone, Anne Mundell, Anne-Marie Cusson, Area Stage Company, Broward Stage Door, Bruce Linser, Cindy Pearce, City Theatre, Clay Cartland, Conor Walton, David Arisco, David Kwiat, Elena Maria Garcia, Elijah Word, GableStage, Greg Duffy, Gregg Weiner, Ground Up and Rising, Hannah Benitez, Island City Stage, J. Barry Lewis, Jean Josieu, Jessica E. Schulte, Jodi Dellaventura, Joseph Adler, Julie Kleiner, Karen Stephens, Kevin Black, Kevin Reilley, Kimberley Dawn Smith, Leah Sessa, Lindsay Bell, Lindsay Corey, M Ensemble, Main Street Players, Mallory Newbrough, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Margaret M. Ledford, Michael Amico, Michael McClain, Michael Ursua, MNM Productions, New City Players, Nicholas Richberg, Niki Fridh, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Patrick Fitzwater, Shane Tanner, Slow Burn Theatre Company, Stuart Meltzer, Theatre Lab, Thinking Cap Theatre, Vicki Lewis, Wick Theatre, Zachary Borovay, Zoetic Stage
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.
Gregg Weiner captures the audience in Ground Up and Rising’s bare bones production of Conor McPherson’s monologue The Good Thief at South Miami-
Dade Cultural Arts Center
In a chilly sleek courtroom as clinical as a laboratory dissection tray, thousands of human lives, morality, principles and the law are piled on opposite pans of the scale – except it’s not blind justice holding the scales, but we in the audience in Miami New Drama’s intellectually-challenging courtroom drama Terror, having its American premiere.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Ferdinand von Schirach, Gregg Weiner, Greogry Mosher, Maria Tucci, Mia Maestro, Miami New Drama, Michael Hausmann, Pascale Armand, Peter Romano, Rita Jpe, Terror
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.
Posted in Features
Tagged 1776, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney, Actors Playhouse, After, Alex Alvarez, An Act of God, Andre' L Gainey, Anna Lise Jensen, Area Stage Co., Arts Garage, Arturo Rossi, Avery Sommers, Aygemang Clay, Barbara Bradshaw, Ben Bagby. The Normal Heart, Bert Rodriguez, Bessie Smith: The Devils’ Music, Betsy Graver, Broward Stage Door, Buyer & Cellar, Caryl Fantel, Charlie Cinnamon, Chris Crawford, Clay Cartland, Conor Walton, Dan Knechtges, David Arisco, David Nagy, Deana Butler-Rahming Ja’Nia Harden, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Elizabeth Dimon, Evening Star Productions, Feeding The Bear, Florida Grand Opera, GableStage, Genie Croft, Gregg Weiner, Gretchen Porro, Ground Up and Rising, Hand To God, Heathers, Helen Gregory, I Love A Piano, Island City Stage, James Brennan, Jeni Hacker, Jim Gibbons, Jodi Dellaventura, John Harden II, Joseph Adler, Julie Kleiner Davis, Karen Stephens, Keith Garsson, Kevin Black, Kristian Bikic, Larry Buzzeo, Laura Hodos, Lindsey Corey, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Louis Tyrrell, Lourelene Snedeker, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Marco Ramirez, Margery Lowe, Maria Elena Garcia, Mark Duncan, Matt Loehr, Matthew Korinko, Maureen Anderman, Me and My Girl, Mia Matthews, Michael Aman, Michael McKeever, Million Dollar Quartet, Mud, Murdered To Death, New Theatre, Nicholas Richberg, Nicole Stodard, Niki Fridh, Our Lady of 121st Street, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Parallel Lives Chris Crawford, Passion, Patrick Fitzwater, Paul Tei, Perfect Arrangement, Peter Galman, Peter Lovello, Putting It Together, Rapture Blister Burn, Ricky J. Martinez, Ron Hutchins, Roof, Rudi Goblen, Sarah Gracel Anderson, Shein Mompremier, Simply Simone: The Music of Nina Simone, Skye Whitcomb, Slow Burn Theatre Company, Smoke, Sondheim On Sondheim, Spring Awakening, Stuart Meltzer, Teddy Harrell, The Flick, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Minister’s Wife, The Nether, The Passenger, The Realistic Joneses, The Royale, The Soul of Motor City, The Wick Theatre, The World Goes Round, Theatre At Arts Garage, Theatre Lab at Florida Atlantic University, Thinking Cap Theatre, This Random World, Three Sisters of Weekhauken, Toddra Brunson, Tom Wahl, Wesley Slade, West Side Story, William Hayes