Tag Archives: Michael Leeds
Six months into the pandemic, theater artists are struggling with a profoundly damaging dimension particular to their purgatory-like limbo: The calling that gives their lives meaning requires interaction with other people in the same room. Late this summer, 33 South Florida storytellers agreed to draw back the curtain on their backstage battles that form the spine of an all too real three-act drama.
Given the multiple challenges inherent in mounting a stage version of the iconic film The Graduate, the Empire Stage production does reasonably well because of the commitment of everyone involved, but it does not qualify any better than an average night of theater.
Starmaker, getting its world premiere at Island City Stage, is about Henry Willson, the agent behind the hunky male stars of the 1950s, who, while fooling the cameras as straight sex symbols, are hiding their biggest secret: they’re all gay, notably Rock Hudson.
Creatures with the kind of quick wicked wit you only wish you had, the kind who rarely let pass the opportunity for a pithy exit line, populate Rich Orloff’s Veronica’s Position in Island City Stage’s thoroughly entertaining production.
How do you review a play without spoilers when perception-changing revelations occur every few minutes including one halfway through that shoves the play in a 90-degree angle? Just trust us that GableStage’s The Children – eco-thriller, horror story, tale of domestic trouble, and a half dozen other themes – is a stunning experience melding playwriting, direction and acting.
Bette & Barry: From Bathhouse to Broadway at Island City Stage is an imagining of if Midler and Manilow decided to do a concert together. In real pop history, they never have. This revue is strong in their greatest hits, separately and collectively, but there’s no narrative.
White Guy on the Bus at GableStage is a merciless dissection of race relations in the 21st Century, but stunning plot twists prevent us from explaining much further than a wealthy white businessman strikes up an acquaintanceship with an African-American nursing student on a bus. But superb performances and a fierce script make this a don’t miss.
No one could accuse the cast of Shorts Gone Wild 6 of being low energy. They spend the production’s interstitial moments cartwheeling, performing splits, engaging in slapdash chicken dances, telling jokes, winking through bawdy double entendres. But most of the plays are less memorable than their spirited introductions.
When did yesterday’s renegades, who skirted AIDS and lived boheme on a ramen noodle diet in the go-go eighties, become today’s get-off-my-lawners? These questions, and plenty more, linger between the lines of Mr. Parker, Michael McKeever’s elegant dramedy world-premiering at Island City Stage.
From Door to Door, a bittersweet comedy retracing the evolution of Jewish-American womanhood through 65 years of the 20th Century, is a procession of clichés spread over 80 minutes. But if the current production at Broward Stage Door doesn’t have much vibrancy or energy, it admirably underscores that beneath tropes lies truth.