Tag Archives: Michael McKenzie
Do not go to Actors’ Playhouse’s Murder on the Orient Express expecting the grim locked-room mystery at the heart of the films or the novel. This 2017 edition is penned by the playwright of Lend Me A Tenor. If you can wipe the tone of those earlier efforts from your mind, you will likely find yourself chuckling much of the night at these theater veterans turn the Christie classic into a cute, often quite funny two-hour comedy sketch.
GableStage’s Joseph Adler died shortly after his direction of The Price was cut short by the pandemic. His successor, Bari Newport, took his notes, cast, creative team and infuses it with her own sensibilities. The production would make Joe proud. Theater to make you think about your own lives. Newport’s insightful direction of superb actors navigates the dense story of past sibling strife that has crippled their present.
When Man of La Mancha is performed as well as MNM Theatre Company’s production, then the magic is savoring how the innate worth of ideals ultimately prevails over an all-too-recognizable world of violence and evil. Its message does not ignore the profound power of darkness, it avers that its virtues can transcend the darkness, and that their pursuit is an informed choice.
In this tarnished time of disaffection, divisiveness and abandoned ideals, the synergistic resonance of the musical Man of La Mancha is more than a welcome opportunity for director Bruce Linser. The hope-laden messages of aspiration for a better world could not be more timely than this month when MNM Theatre Company mounts the classic musical at the Kravis Center.
Although We Will Not Be Silent is suffused with a long dorm night’s worth of philosophical and moral gymnastics, playwright David Meyers and Theatre Lab inject the audience so deeply into such an almost tactile dilemma on stage that we must at least ask ourselves crucial questions about courage, conviction and integrity.
Homicidal rage against a corrupt world spews into the audience in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Sweeney Todd. But its singular spin is that the serial throat-slitting barber does not start as a vengeance-obsessed fiend. It it adds a dimension of, not forgiveness, but compassion to this cross between gleeful Grand Guignol and merciless condemnation of socio-economic inequity.