A look back at 2020: Yes, South Florida theater was crippled by the pandemic. But its acolytes remained driven to express their artistry, and patrons remained ravenous for their work. They continued to explore projects, create avenues and seek paychecks with efforts ranged from filmed full-fledged productions to monologues newly penned in bedrooms.
Posted in Features
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Alan Nash, Alvin Entin, American Son, Andrew Kato, Area Stage Company, Cholerton, Christopher and Justin Swader, Christopher Demos-Brown, City Theater, Clay Cartland, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Elizabeth Dimon, Florida Sings Showtunes, Giancarlo Rodaz, Groundhog Day, Happy Days, Holly Budney, Island City Stage, Joe Adler, Joseph McDonough, Karen Stephens, Keith Garsson, Kimmie Johnson, Leah Marie Sessa, Mamma Mia, Matt Stabile, Miami New Drama, Michael Ursua, MNM Theater Company, My Name Is Asher Lev, New City Players, Nicole Stodard, Ordinary Americans, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Patrick Fitzwater, Paul Reekie, Peter & Wendy, Peter Librach, Primal Forces, Ronnie Larsen, Seth Trucks, Shelley Keelor, Slow Burn Theatre, Spencer Landis, Stuart Meltzer, The Cubans, The Wick Theatre, Theatre Lab, Thinking Cap Theatre, Tom Regnier, West Boca Theater Company, Zev Buffman, Zoetic Stage
Plenty of laughter, and quite a few tears, punctuate the dramatic comedy, or comic drama, if you prefer in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City, receiving an energetic, perceptive production directed by Keith Garsson at Primal Forces in Boca Raton.
Resulting from Down syndrome as an adult, Andy’s simple, blunt and truthful verbal reactions to the complex statements and relationships swirling around him slice through the theater space and the artifice of the play form itself with a painfully accurate if non-judgmental slash in Primal Forces’ powerful Andy and the Orphans, which is as incisively affecting as it is quite, quite funny.
Posted in Performances, Reviews
Tagged Amber Lynn Benson, Andy and the Orphans, Edward Barbanell, Jacqueline Laggy, Jeffrey Bruce, Joey de la Rua, Keith Garsson, Lindsey Ferrentino, Patti Gardner, Primal Forces
Blonde Poison asks whether a Jewish woman who identified about 3,000 other Jews to the Gestapo for “deportation,” is “villain or victim?” But playwright Gail Louw, Primal Forces director Keith Garsson and a tour de force performance by Lourelene Snedeker tell the story from inside the protagonist’s mind.
The prickly problematic mutual attempts to heal physically and emotionally by an auto accident victim and the offending driver make an intriguing and rewarding drama at Primal Forces’ An Accident
In a bit of serendipitous synchronicity with the sequel of Blade Runner and the reboot of Westworld, Primal Forces’ production of The Good Girl explores the complexities of humans creating creatures with artificial intelligence by asking who is influencing who in a world in which technology and humanity are so intertwined.
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 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, Arts Garage, Arturo Rossi, Avery Sommers, Aygemang Clay, Barbara Bradshaw, Bessie Smith: The Devils’ Music, Betsy Graver, 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, 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
“Here be monsters” repeatedly warns one of the two weird sisters at the center of the bizarre Gothic horror play Cuddles at Theatre at Arts Garage, but the creatures to beware are much different than the ones referenced by the ancient sea maps. But it is safe to say that Cuddles rates as one of the most “out there” plays you will have seen in the past year.
A different season advance: Quietly, oh so quietly, the 2016-2017 theater season in South Florida is shaping up to be as notable for tidal growth, contraction, ebb and flow as it is for the actual productions scheduled.
Posted in Features
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Andie Arthur, Antonio Amadeo, Arquitectonica International Corp., Arts Garage, Aventura Arts & Culture Center, Broward Center, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Colony Theatre, Coral Springs Center for the Arts, Dave Arisco, David Gordon, Empire Stage, Fantasy Theatre Factory, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, GableStage, Gabriel Hammad, Giancarlo Rodaz, Infinite Abyss, Island City Stage, Israel Horovitz. Deborah Zoe Laufer, Katherine Amadeo, Katherine Siegel, Keith Garsson, Lost Girls Theatre, Louis Tyrrell, Main Street Players, Mark Della Ventura, Meera Hammad, Miami New Drama, Michel Hausmann, Moises Kaufman, Naked Stage, New City Players, New Theatre, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Pigs Do Fly Productions, Punchline Theatre Company, Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, Stringlight Theatre Co., Theatre Lab, Thinking Cap Theatre, Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts