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
There’s something thrilling about seeing a world premiere play unfold. And when the playwright is one of South Florida’s great hopes to get an original play to the Great White Way, there’s even more of excitement to see his latest work.
That was the energy that prevailed over the production of Michael McKeever’s After at Zoetic Stage.
Hardly unusual in musical theater, Meredith Bartmon strolls around the Carnival Studio stage singing passionately about her dreams and, later, her refusal to compromise those dreams. But this isn’t a two-and-half-hour epic on a national tour; this is one of nine 10-minute playlets in City Theatre’s 21st edition of Summer Shorts.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Alex Alvarez, Andres Maldonado, Andy Roninson, Cherise James, Chris Critelli, Christopher Wood, City Theatre, Elin Hampton, Elizabeth Dimon, Ellis Tillman, France-Luce Benson, Greg Waters, Jennifer Jasper, Jessica Farr, Jodi Dellaventura, Justin Landers, Karen Stephens, Kelly Younger, Margaret M. Ledford, Meredith Bartmon, Patricia Cotter, Paul Rudnick, Paul Tei, Preston Bircher, Steve Shapiro, Steve Yockey, Summer Shorts, Tom Wahl
Thinking Cap Theatre sets The Importance of Being Earnest in a madcap lampoon of New York City’s disco era. The urbane and farcical elements are irreconcilably at war, but each facet – one of the funniest literate scripts ever written and a zany hoot of a production – is so strong on its own merits that the result is a mostly satisfying gigglefest worth the investment.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Carey Brianna Hart, Clay Cartland, Elizabeth Price, Jim Gibbons, Johnnie Bowls, Karen Stephens, Nicole Stodard, Noah Levine, Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Thinking Cap Theatre
Awash in issues of Arab-American assimilation and Anglo antipathy, GableStage’s Disgraced is the classic contemporary example of the topical, thought-provoking drama that forces you to revalidate, even reexamine your perception of the tumult around us.
Intriguing premises are the jumping off points for the nine flights of theatrical whimsy in City Theatre’s annual festival of short plays, Summer Shorts. While no discernable thread runs through the disparate works, the deftly comic playlets are shot through with a striation of poignancy, and the moving entries are leavened with flashes of humor.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Adrienne Arsht Center, Bechir Sylvain, Chasity Hart, City Theatre, Edith Freni, Elizabeth Dimon, France-Luce Benson, Holli Harms, John Manzelli, Karen Stephens, Kelly Younger, Margaret M. Ledford, Michael Uribe, Paticia Cotter, Paul Tei, R. Eric Thomas, Steve Yockey, Summer Shorts, Tom Wahl
Here’s a look back at 2014 including a very subjective subjunctive reductive list of outstanding shows, performances and developments guaranteed to make someone unhappy they were not on the list. Take comfort in that there was so much good work that this is the crème de la crème de menthe.
Posted in Features
Tagged 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Abby Perkins, Abigail Berkowitz, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Mile, Alexander Zenoz, Amy Miller Brennan Anne Chamberlain, Andy Barbosa, Angie Radosh, Antonio Amadeo, Arca Images, Arsht Center, Arts Garage, Assassins, Back of the Throat, Bad Jews, Blythe Gruda, Bruno Vida, Carrie, Centralia, Chaz Mena, Chess, Chris Crawford, Christina Groom, Church, Clark Gable Slept Here, Clay Cartland, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Dana Castellano, David Arisco, Edges, Elizabeth Dimon, Ellis Tillman, Eric Alsford, Ethan Henry, Faiza Cherie, GableStage, Gidion's Knot, H2OMBRE, Hedda Gabler, Hurricane, Island City Stage, Jerry Gulledge, Jerry Waxman, John Archie, Julie Kleiner, Karen Stephens, Katherine Amadeo, Keith Garsson, Laura Ruchala, Lela Elam, M Ensemble, Mad Cat Theatre, Makeba Pace, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Margaret Ledford, Mariand Torres, Mark Sanders, Michael McKeever, Mike Eidson, Miracle on South Division Street, Mothers And Sons, Murder Ballad, My Old Lady, Natalia Coego, New Theatre, Nicholas Richberg, Nicole Piro, Nilo Cruz, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Parade, Patrice DeGraff Arenas, Patrick Fitzwater, Paul Reekie, Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts, Peter and the Starcatcher, Plaza Theatre, Primal Forces Productions, Ricky J. Martinez, Robert Johnston, Ron Hutchins, Serafín Falcón, Shane Tanner, Slow Burn Theatre Company, Summer Shorts, Sunset Baby, Terry M. Cain, The King and I, The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Mountaintop, The Trouble With Doug, The Wick Theatre, Thinking Cap Theatre, Tim Altmeyer, Tom Wahl, University of Miami, What's New Pussycat, William Hayes, Yoshinori Tanokura, Zoetic Stage
The Timekeepers, a harrowing drama mounted on a tiny stage by a company only in its second season, swept six of its six nominations including best play at the 38th Carbonell Awards Monday night. Those wins, along with a best director award for the fledgling Slow Burn Theatre Company’s musical next to normal, was greeted as a sign that young theaters could make inroads in a program dominated by a handful of venerable and well-funded troupes.
Posted in News
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Amy Miller Brennan, Angie Radosh, Carbonell Awards, Christopher Demos-Brown, Fear Up Harsh, Island City Stage, Karen Stephens, Lourelene Snedeker, Michael McKeever, next to normal, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Patrick Fitzwater, Ruthless the Musical, Slow Burn Theatre Company, The Timekeepers, Zoetic Stage
Certainly, The Mountaintop is about Martin Luther King’s place in the civil rights struggle, but the superb production at GableStage examines a more universal issue of how ever-present mortality makes impossible reaching an ultimate goal – which makes the pursuit all the more laudable.
Spotlight On The Arts is a weekly panel discussion of issues facing the local creative community and their audiences, featuring an irreverent group including actress/teacher/producer Iris Acker, actor/playwright/designer Michael McKeever, actress/writer Karen Stephens and critic Bill Hirschman. Guests so far include Christopher Demos-Brown, Michael Leeds, Stephanie Ansin and Jennifer Cronenberg