Tag Archives: J. Barry Lewis
Bruce Graham’s world premiere The Duration developed at Palm Beach Dramaworks is an intellectually and emotionally powerful drama rooted deep in a post 9/11 world, but also in a timeless inquiry into how human beings cope with limitless tragedy. It asks who we are – and the answers suggest upsetting revelations about dealing with grief, prejudice, fear and anger.
The celebration of love in many permutations – from first connections to farewells – swirls around the stage like the snow and the aurora borealis lights in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ gentle, sometimes comic, sometimes bittersweet, consistently touching Almost, Maine. The vignettes about the quirky residents creating, testing, dissolving relationships is shot through with the hope that love can be found or rescued.
There is a fifth crucial performer not mentioned in the playbill for Palm Beach Dramaworks’ upcoming production of “Almost, Maine.” High above the residents on a chilly Friday night in late January in the titular small town, a parade of lights flickers like the bottom of a multicolored curtain.
Palm Beach Dramaworks postponed its live on stage season, but it continues an aggressive online parade theatrical presentations for free in November and December with a three-play Home for the Holidays series: readings of The Trip to Bountiful, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and A Christmas Carol.
Home is the place where they have to take you in, to paraphrase Robert Frost. It’s also the place where every family dynamic plays out — love, resentment, growing pains, conflict, chaos, worry and secrets — as shown in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s superb production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, smoothly directed with a first-class cast, the Maltz production hits all the high notes
With the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s upcoming Brighton Beach Memoirs, director J. Barry Lewis says people need to “come forward with a new perspective on what a Neil Simon play is, not just what you think.”
Even for Palm Beach Dramaworks, its A Streetcar Named Desire creates a category of its own with an emotionally scalding portrait of flawed human beings scraping each other raw until the inevitable tragedy erupts. But before that, almost chemically mismatched spirits reach out in desperation, fence for position, attack each other, embrace each other and execute a dozen other choreographies in this edition of Tennessee William’s iconic classic
When tackling A Streetcar Named Desire, it’s impossible for artists to ignore the 1951 film that made a movie icon of Marlon Brando and provided the last great role for Vivien Leigh. But director J. Barry Lewis, actors Danny Gavigan and Kathy McCafferty don’t fear an audience with vivid memories of the film, they welcome it.
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.