Tag Archives: Skye Whitcomb
The prescient genius of George Orwell is the blinding virtue in Outré Theatre Company’s earnestly delivered but sluggish production of the painfully relevant 1984. It remains jaw-dropping that Orwell foresaw in 1949 a nightmare of social, political, emotional, intellectual and technological insanity whose resonances in 2017 are deafening.
In Waiting For Godot, that classic of the Theater of the Absurd, nothing is more absurd than Man’s insistent search for some meaning in life. In Evening Star Productions’ courageous run at this Everest of a play, their response is broad comedy suffused into the intentionally pointless and protracted slog that is Beckett’s brilliant but unsettling manifesto of existentialism.
Critics and award judges have been talking about it for weeks: The sheer amount of high quality work has made evaluating the last 12 months unusually challenging, but also an opportunity to remember one of the most rewarding calendar years in recent memory. So here’s a supremely subjective stab by all three critics here at Florida Theater On Stage at recognizing the shows and performances that stood out from a pack of productions.
Outré Theatre Company’s edition of Tommy demonstrates how skill, imagination and pure guts can triumph over the most modest of means. Its greatest virtue in bringing the classic rock opera to the postage stamp stage is a total, laser-focused tsunami-strength commitment.
Sometimes the daring efforts of Outré Theatre Company work beautifully such as Back of the Throat, An Illiad and Thrill Me, sometimes not so well such as Bed and Sofa, and Othello. Often, it’s both as with the current world premiere of The Violet Hour, A Modern Medea.
The collision of two never-subtle art forms in Bed and Sofa is certainly intriguing as befits Outré Theatre Company’s mission of fearlessly pushing the boundaries of theater, thanks in part to the commitment of Outré’s directors and performers. But this bizarre entry never lands solidly.
Perhaps if Rent hadn’t eclipsed everything that arrived in New York in 1996, maybe Bed and Sofa would have received the attention it deserved, in the eyes of Skye Whitcomb who is directing Outré Theatre Company’s “silent movie amber opera” in its Southeastern premiere at the Broward Center.
With bracing anger, profuse profanity and biting satire that is more slashing than surgical, Outre Theatre Company’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will not to be everyone’s taste but for those whose preference run more to Rent than Mamma Mia, this is your acidic cup of tea.
Audiences need to savor the undeniable virtues of local Shakespearean productions — even when counter-balanced by well-intentioned but equally undeniable shortcomings. Such is the case with the laudable Outré Theatre Company production of Othello imaginatively directed by Christina Groom and featuring Troy Davidson in a persuasive central performance.
The temptation is to describe the nightmarish Back of the Throat as Kafkaesque as Outré Theatre Company depicts an America gone mad. But it’s not. That’s the real horror. The extremities unfolding before the audience are a logical if artistically exaggerated extrapolation of the paranoia and xenophobia unleashed against Arab-Americans after 9/11. It’s naturalism not surrealism.