Tag Archives: Michael Gioia
City Theatre’s production of The Cake, about a baker who refuses to make a cake for a lesbian couple, digs deep below stereotypes to examine the contemporary clash between sincerely held principles that threaten to cripple relationships among people who care for one another – or at least have to live in the same world.
Theatre Lab’s world premiere of Jennifer Lane’s Harlowe is indeed quiet, muted, dense. The titular heroine, who is coping with the emotional and literal scars from some horrific attack, can no longer feel anything, psychologically or physically. The writing, the direction and the acting all are commendable, but it’s a quirky sui generis piece that is hard to plug into emotionally.
With a cast of unfettered and inspired clowns, Thinking Cap Theatre has produced a hilarious edition of a 1687 comedy by Aphra Benn, The Emperor of the Moon, lathering almost every second of this commedia dell’arte farce with a humor encyclopedia’s worth of sight gags, comic timing, verbal delivery, bathroom humor and endless physical schtick — all delivered at a lickety-split pace by a comically nimble troupe.
Thinking Cap’s world premiere, Women In Assembly, is a satirical comedy credited to Aristophanes but transmuted into a bawdy irreverent satire about Greek women taking over government and reshaping it to their saner philosophies. It’s awash in inventive staging and the cast’s energy, but the riffs go on long after the underlying point is made.
Most Wanted starts out like one of those wacky only-in-Florida tales, but as Peter Sagal’s world premiere at Theatre Lab, evolves the weirdness gives way to poignancy that eclipses the humor and reveals the heartfelt message.
GableStage’s production of The Humans is like watching a Kmart photo department family portrait that has been left too near a wall heater. Almost imperceptibly, the edges start to brown, the image shudders a bit, then the edges curl ever so slightly. And suddenly, the perfect image erupts in flames.
Mad Cat Theatre’s production of Vaclav Havel’s one acts Protest and Audience draw uncomfortably relevant visions of repressive totalitarian society.
Like the requisite ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker, theater troupes have been turning over their Decembers as of late to holiday-themed plays: David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries comes to mind. Unlike the wholesome Nutcracker many modern Christmas offerings are aimed at an adult crowd, taking the Ho, Ho, Ho of the holiday to a more mature level.
Undo’s premise – a Jewish divorce ceremony that rewinds a couple’s wedding day — sounds so much like a sitcom episode that you keep expecting it to slide into shallow farce. But it doesn’t. The script is shot through with mordant gallows humor, but Parade Productions’ edition keeps excavating the marrow of marital and familial relationships.
Avi Hoffman’s performance as a troubled writer, struggling to deal with success but escape his past, is one of the virtues in the promising but flawed inaugural offering from Parade Productions, a professional company performing in Mizner Park. There’s a lot of talent here working very hard, but not a lot of electricity emanating from the elegiac, mildly funny, mildly moving tale.