Tag Archives: J. Barry Lewis
The House of Blue Leaves gets as funny and touching a production from Palm Beach Dramaworks as anyone can ask for. Its virtues include superb direction, a flawless creative team and a wall-to-wall cast of actor-clowns willing to bury themselves inside the off-kilter and flawed characters.
Palm Beach Dramaworks is reviving the funny, poignant The House of Blue Leaves about a Queens family whose life is turned inside out when the Pope visits NYC in 1965. Ordinary people spurred by the papal visit will seek validation of their own worth by pursuing celebrity for themselves – or at least vicariously by their idol worship.
There was no standing ovation for A Doll’s House Part 2 at Maltz Jupiter Theatre from an audience which had stood for Mamma Mia! It’s not that the incisive production didn’t deserve accolades; likely the merciless dissection of the institution of marriage resonated too close to home for many to avoid thought-provoking self-examination.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Indecent is precisely the kind of thrilling evening that glories in what theater can be – a unique art form that cannot be matched by anything on film, anything hanging on a wall, anything reproducible on an mp3 or an mp4.
Paula Vogel welcomes, even celebrates how imaginative directors and committed casts use her work as a starting blueprint for their own explorations. She is pleased that this week the team at Palm Beach Dramaworks will unveil their particular vision of Indecent, just one of 20 productions that have been or are being mounted around the country last season and this season.
Mere hours before the opening night of Equus at Palm Beach Dramaworks – a drama prompted by the true story of a troubled teen who blinded five horses – another troubled teen murdered 10 people in a nightmarish school shooting. But independent of that, its Equus stands among the most effective, perfectly executed productions that this company has wrought in its mission to deliver “theater to think about.”
Raw. The same carefully chosen adjective emerges in separate interviews with the two leading actors and their director to describe Equus, the shattering drama they are rehearsing for an opening this weekend at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s An Inspector Calls focuses with laser intent on what the evolving socialist J.B. Priestley saw as its thematic marrow — all individuals have an inescapable responsibility for the well-being of every other human being, and that privileged classes seem obscenely inured to that duty.
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?”
Greed—that timeless vice that steamrolls over everything in its path—is as relevant today as it was in Lillian Hellman’s 1939 drama The Little Foxes, now receiving a sumptuous revival at Palm Beach Dramaworks.