Tag Archives: M Ensemble
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?”
If you know where to look, certainly you can find reliable warhorse titles in the upcoming theater season in South Florida, but it’s easier to find vibrant, contemporary and challenging offerings.
Music, sometimes tenderly introspective, sometimes upliftingly powerful, is deftly woven throughout the surging triumph of both the rise of the all-black 1939 New York Renaissance basketball team and M Ensemble’s moving recreation of the “Rens” banner year in Layon Gray’s Kings of Harlem.
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.
South Florida theaters still mount familiar warhorses, but the 2015-2016 season is proof that companies realize the future of theater is to attract pre-retirement audiences with shows steaming fresh out of Manhattan, edgy intellectually challenging works, imaginative takes on familiar titles, regional premieres of shows you only read about in The New York Times over the past few years and some shows you have never heard of, period.
M Ensemble’s production of The Gift Horse has praiseworthy virtues and crippling problems that make it a mixed experience. But it does give the audience a long-delayed gift in Carey Hart’s scintillating, poignant performance as a witty but troubled woman seeking true love.
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.
Usually there isn’t anything sexy or newsworthy about real estate in the world of theater unless it’s Glengarry Glen Ross. But as the season approaches, South Florida hasn’t seen so much packing and unpacking, opening tubes of Ben Gay, filling out of change-of-address cards, remodeling, scanning blueprints and updating websites as in the past season and the one coming up
Earth, fire and blood mix with resentments, loyalties, betrayals, secrets and love in M Ensemble’s Brothers of the Dust. The production and performances veer from moving to stilted. But nothing can dim the consistent underlying glow of the script by young playwright Darren Canady whose vision and voice are unusually promising.