Tag Archives: Michael Leeds
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.
The Camp, a world premiere drama from the West Boca Theatre Company does not advance the age-old discussion how “good” people can be passively complicit in horrors, but Michael McKeever’s insightful script and a solid cast under Michael Leeds’ direction expertly provide a three-dimensional illustration that forces the audience to query their own souls about their responsibility to oppose evil.
Seniors and caretaking Boomers recognize the real pain informing the facile catchphrase “Growing old is not for sissies” – a quality sharing the stage with copious laughs in Broward Stage Door’s production of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys.
Shorts Gone Wild 5, co-produced by City Theatre with Island City Stage, follows the same entertaining pattern eliciting guffaws, chuckles and a few choked back sniffles with risque and luight blue material. The acting and direction keeps improving year after year and those elements rescue scripts less deftly written. But this edition feels different for an intriguing reason.
Not every theatrical event has to be an outsized venting of passion filled with intellectual pyrotechnics. Sometimes a work can be satisfying to the brain and the heart as a gentle celebration of imagination and human behavior as with Pigs Do Fly’s world premiere of Michael Leeds’ Impressions.