Watching Mad Cat productions often feels less like consuming theater and more like eavesdropping on inside jokes. The arcane references,obscure titles, the inexplicable musical interludes and Brechtian distancing are never amateurish, but they are cultishly insular. To that end, Varry Harry, Mad Cat’s world-premiere tribute to a similarly idiosyncratic voice, is doggedly on-brand.
Indisputably, regional theaters have been a significant wellspring for new plays reaching back 30 years. But a quickening sea change has occurred quietly but demonstrably over the past decade: Regional theaters – once reliant on warhorses and the latest New York hit — have become the primary incubator and showcase for new work in America
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Tagged Actors Theatre of Louisville, All The Way, American Theatre Critics Association, Amy Rose Marsh, ART, Arts Garage, Barrington Stage, Becky's New Car, Berkeley Rep, Christopher Demos-Brown, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Daniel's Husband, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Denver Center’s Colorado New Play Summit, Ed Herendeen, Eugene O’ Neill Theatre Center, Florida Stage, Gideon’s Knot, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Humana Festival of New American Plays, I and You, Island City Stage, Jim Steinberg, Johnna Adams, Ken Ludwig, La Jolla Playhouse, Lauren Gunderson, Louis Tyrrell, Lucas Hnath’s The Christians, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Manhattan Theater Club, Michael McKeever, Nan Barnett, National New Play Network, New Theatre, Nilo Cruz, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, Playwrights Horizon, Public Theater, Pulitzer Prize, Robert Schenkkan, Samuel French Inc., South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, Steve Yockey, Steven Dietz, Sundance Institute, Theatre Lab at Florida Atlantic University, Zoetic Stage
With Fireman Are Rarely Necessary, this world premiere of a socially satirical comedy falls solidly in the anarchic absurdist vibe with grunge icing championed by Mad Cat Theatre Company.
Mad Cat Theatre’s production of Vaclav Havel’s one acts Protest and Audience draw uncomfortably relevant visions of repressive totalitarian society.
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.
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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, Charlie Cinnamon, Chris Crawford, Clay Cartland, Conor Walton, Dan Knechtges, David Arisco, David Nagy, 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
Why Not? With Richard Nixon is perhaps Mad Cat Theatre Company’s most Mad Catty show ever, a production for company insiders that is esoteric enough to reference another Mad Cat show in its text. If you feel invited to this self-contained world, you’ll have a blast; if not, you may feel you’re observing a bubble you can’t enter, looking at your watch and waiting for it to pop.
Sometimes critics use the words “ambitious” and “intriguing” as backhanded compliments or cowardly faint praise, but Mad Cat Theatre Company’s production of the Pulitzer-winning The Flick earns both adjectives as unironic compliments.
The characters and themes of The Flick — the newest production opening at Mad Cat Theatre next week — were so fresh and crucial that it kept director Paul Tei from abandoning straight theater.
The Mad Cat Theatre Company, which prides itself on experimenting with non-mainstream offerings, has collected three short Samuel Beckett plays under the umbrella title, Tones On Tales. Some people will find this evocative, highly-stylized pieces mesmerizing; others will run screaming for the exit.
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.
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Tagged Actors Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Avi Hoffman, Broadway Across Fort Lauderdale, Broadway Across Miami, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Broward Stage Door Theatre, Christopher Demos-Brown, David Sirois, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, GableStage, Infinite Abyss, Island City Stage, Keith Garsson, Kravis on Broadway, Lake Worth Playhouse, Lee Roy Reams, Louis Tyrrell, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Mario Diament, Mark Della Ventura, Marquee Theater Company, Mchael Leeds, Miami Theater Center, Michael Aman, New Theatre, Nova Southeastern University, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Punchline Theatre, Ricky J. Martinez, Sandra Rile Susan Westfall, Sandra Riley, Slow Burn Theatre Company, The Wick Theatre, Theatre At Arts Garage, Theatre Lab, Thinking Cap Theatre, Zoetic Stage