Tag Archives: Matthew Korinko
Slow Burn Theatre Company gives the perennial favorite The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as excellent a production as we’ve seen of it, hitting the perfect balance between the hilarious and poignant, marked with a child’s exuberance for living and an adult’s compassion for the angst over the process of losing innocence.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ current staged concert of Frank Loesser’s 1956 musical The Most Happy Fella overflows with a purity of emotions common to even the most ordinary of us, proclaiming them one of the glories of existence to be welcomed, not shied away from.
Slow Burn Theatre Company has once again tackled a difficult show in Chess that few if any Florida companies would attempt. And once again, it has come out the victor, at least as victorious as any production can be of this work that divides audiences.
Even if Slow Burn’s moving production of the dark and dangerous musical Parade wasn’t the success that it indeed is, the troupe would deserve honor for the fearlessness in choosing a pre-ordained tragedy about anti-Semitism that mixes soaring melodies with discomforting dissonance. But this company has again delivered an enviable piece of theater that challenges the audience as well as its artists.
It’s been 100 years since Leo Frank’s trial in 1913 for the death of Mary Phagan. And on Thursday, the Boca Raton-based Slow Burn Theatre Company – which prides itself on presenting challenging works of musical theater to its audiences – will take on the musical Parade, which was inspired by the Frank case a century ago.
Nicky Silver’s wickedly hilarious satire The Lyons about self-centered souls in the most dysfunctional family ever seen, on display at The Women’s Theatre Project, hides a deeper portrait of wounded people still seeking the affirmation that they never got from the people who society says should have been their primary nurturers.
Critics are congenitally awash in self-doubt when they adore something. But to heck with it. Slow Burn Theatre Company’s profoundly moving production of the musical next to normal is about as good as it gets in South Florida theater.
Acknowledge that Broward Stage Door’s revival of Neil Simon’s thirty-year-old warhorse Brighton Beach Memories is uneven and stumbles. Then acknowledge, at least this critic will, that Stage Door’s edition frequently reaches into that moldy storehouse of decades-old memories of family relationships — and makes the throat close up, the eyes mist and starts a sudden epidemic of sniffling around the auditorium.
So much is right about Slow Burn Theatre Company’s scaling of that Everest of musical theater, Sweeney Todd, that there’s no shame to acknowledge that it’s a competent not a transporting production.
There is more passion pouring off the stage in Slow Burn Theatre Company’s thrilling Side Show than in ten other musicals we’ve seen in the past year put together. That may result in one too many deafening power ballad after power ballad for some tastes and eardrums, but for those wanting to be touched by a poignant, but very dark tale skillfully delivered, Side Show is a powerful example of what the modern musical can be.