Tag Archives: Karen Stephens
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Christopher Demos-Brown’s compelling world premiere Fear Up Harsh from Zoetic Stage is a penetrating interrogation of how our need for heroes can trump the values of truth, honor and loyalty that they fought to preserve. It’s like watching a Humvee drive toward an IED and be stunned by the explosion, first in slow-motion and then an annihilating blast.