Tag Archives: Michael McClain
Put aside your expectations that the musical Freaky Friday is going to be yet another manipulative Disney raid on its popular film titles, designed primarily for those who fondly recall one of three cinematic versions. Instead, Slow Burn Theatre Company has delivered a thoroughly enchanting evening, one of most polished and downright fun productions it has offered in recent years.
If there’s any way to get folks to the theater who don’t usually go, Slow Burn’s Rock of Ages can do it. Director/choreographer Patrick Fitzwater knows exactly how to squeeze every inch of character out of this cheesy, goo fest of a jukebox musical to entertain aforementioned non-theater types, who can’t wait to re-live the glory days of the 1980s, of which the soundtrack of the show relies.
The stirring musical Fun Home is a detective story in which the mystery is never solved, but the investigator comes to terms with the existence of the enigma. What Zoetic Stage’s triumphant production does better than the Tony-winning production is its depiction of the unalloyed joy and bottomless agony of discovery in that journey.
Tight choreography, outstanding leads, a solid supporting cast and a fluid band infuse Slow Burn Theatre’s trip to Memphis. The rousing production hits the ground running in the opening scene set in a black nightclub in Memphis’ Beale Street area and doesn’t slow down until the last “Na, na, na, na” of the ovation.
One pleasure of a theater critic’s job are these year-end retrospectives that require looking back at reviews and be reminded, “Oh, yeah, that was really great. And right, there was that. And how could I forget that one?”
Tarzan: The Stage Musical, by regional theater troupe Slow Burn Theatre plays just fine in the smaller, almost 600-seat Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, but, truth be told, it could have easily passed for a touring road show version that’s usually on stage next door in the more than double-the-size Au-Rene Theater. Yes, it’s just that good.
Zoetic Stage’s brilliantly-executed bravura production of Harold Pinter’s 1960 The Caretaker may be as baffling as Waiting For Godot. But every element of this comic drama is superb from acting that embraces Pinter’s notorious silences to the fluid staging to the evocative set design to the transcendent lighting.
A wave of sheer glory lifts the audience into a firmament of validation, redemption and pure beauty in the last ten minutes of Zoetic Stage’s production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine masterpiece Sunday in the Park with George.
When Topher Payne’s Perfect Arrangement bowed in 2013, the satirical indictment of homophobia, hypocrisy and a half-dozen other themes was a witty and insightful commentary. In the context of last week’s election, Island City Stage’s production is a terrifying reminder of the dangers of navigating a repressive culture through submissive accommodation.
There’s something thrilling about seeing a world premiere play unfold. And when the playwright is one of South Florida’s great hopes to get an original play to the Great White Way, there’s even more of excitement to see his latest work.
That was the energy that prevailed over the production of Michael McKeever’s After at Zoetic Stage.