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.
Posted in Features
Tagged 1776, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney, Actors Playhouse, After, Alex Alvarez, An Act of God, Andre' L Gainey, Anna Lise Jensen, Area Stage Co., Arts Garage, Arturo Rossi, Avery Sommers, Aygemang Clay, Barbara Bradshaw, Ben Bagby. The Normal Heart, Bert Rodriguez, Bessie Smith: The Devils’ Music, Betsy Graver, Broward Stage Door, Buyer & Cellar, Caryl Fantel, Charlie Cinnamon, Chris Crawford, Clay Cartland, Conor Walton, Dan Knechtges, David Arisco, David Nagy, Deana Butler-Rahming Ja’Nia Harden, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Elizabeth Dimon, Evening Star Productions, Feeding The Bear, Florida Grand Opera, GableStage, Genie Croft, Gregg Weiner, Gretchen Porro, Ground Up and Rising, Hand To God, Heathers, Helen Gregory, I Love A Piano, Island City Stage, James Brennan, Jeni Hacker, Jim Gibbons, Jodi Dellaventura, John Harden II, Joseph Adler, Julie Kleiner Davis, Karen Stephens, Keith Garsson, Kevin Black, Kristian Bikic, Larry Buzzeo, Laura Hodos, Lindsey Corey, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Louis Tyrrell, Lourelene Snedeker, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Marco Ramirez, Margery Lowe, Maria Elena Garcia, Mark Duncan, Matt Loehr, Matthew Korinko, Maureen Anderman, Me and My Girl, Mia Matthews, Michael Aman, Michael McKeever, Million Dollar Quartet, Mud, Murdered To Death, New Theatre, Nicholas Richberg, Nicole Stodard, Niki Fridh, Our Lady of 121st Street, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Parallel Lives Chris Crawford, Passion, Patrick Fitzwater, Paul Tei, Perfect Arrangement, Peter Galman, Peter Lovello, Putting It Together, Rapture Blister Burn, Ricky J. Martinez, Ron Hutchins, Roof, Rudi Goblen, Sarah Gracel Anderson, Shein Mompremier, Simply Simone: The Music of Nina Simone, Skye Whitcomb, Slow Burn Theatre Company, Smoke, Sondheim On Sondheim, Spring Awakening, Stuart Meltzer, Teddy Harrell, The Flick, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Minister’s Wife, The Nether, The Passenger, The Realistic Joneses, The Royale, The Soul of Motor City, The Wick Theatre, The World Goes Round, Theatre At Arts Garage, Theatre Lab at Florida Atlantic University, Thinking Cap Theatre, This Random World, Three Sisters of Weekhauken, Toddra Brunson, Tom Wahl, Wesley Slade, West Side Story, William Hayes
The multi-disciplinary Arts Garage has cancelled the rest of its theater season as it rethinks the logistics and finances that have lost money, said its new CEO Marjorie Waldo on Monday afternoon. Waldo and the venue’s board of directors pledged to reexamine the theater’s business model with the goal of resuming productions next season in Delray Beach.
“Here be monsters” repeatedly warns one of the two weird sisters at the center of the bizarre Gothic horror play Cuddles at Theatre at Arts Garage, but the creatures to beware are much different than the ones referenced by the ancient sea maps. But it is safe to say that Cuddles rates as one of the most “out there” plays you will have seen in the past year.
Unless you spend hours in the darker corners of the Internet, you have never seen soul scorching theater precisely like Arts Garage’s Smoke, an excoriating tale of sex as a razor-sharp weapon in a war for dominance that has nothing to with pleasure, let alone love.
Arts Garage’s Reborning is a thought-provoking work hints at many weighty topics—the anxieties of pending motherhood, the conflicting desires to both nurture and destroy, the futility of trying to re-create what is lost—but none are fleshed out to a degree of dramaturgical satisfaction.
What does a man profiteth if he gains technology and loses his artistic soul? And can romance survive ambition when the two collide? Those issues, along with scores of corollaries, swirl through the entertaining thought-provoking Sex With Strangers, accurately subtitled “a romantic comedy for the digital age” kicking off Theatre at Arts Garage’s second incarnation.
South Florida theaters still mount familiar warhorses, but the 2015-2016 season is proof that companies realize the future of theater is to attract pre-retirement audiences with shows steaming fresh out of Manhattan, edgy intellectually challenging works, imaginative takes on familiar titles, regional premieres of shows you only read about in The New York Times over the past few years and some shows you have never heard of, period.
Posted in Features
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Avi Hoffman, Broadway Across Fort Lauderdale, Broadway Across Miami, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Broward Stage Door Theatre, Christopher Demos-Brown, David Sirois, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, GableStage, Infinite Abyss, Island City Stage, Keith Garsson, Kravis on Broadway, Lake Worth Playhouse, Lee Roy Reams, Louis Tyrrell, M Ensemble, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Main Street, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Mario Diament, Mark Della Ventura, Marquee Theater Company, Mchael Leeds, Miami Theater Center, Michael Aman, New Theatre, Nova Southeastern University, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Primal Stages, Punchline Theatre, Ricky J. Martinez, Sandra Rile Susan Westfall, Sandra Riley, Slow Burn Theatre Company, The Wick Theatre, Theatre At Arts Garage, Theatre Lab, Thinking Cap Theatre, Zoetic Stage
I and You has one of the least promising elevator pitches: teenagers studying the poetry of Walt Whitman discover that the eternal cycle of life and death is less inscrutable or meaningless than it seems. But as Arts Garage’s production illustrates, Lauren Gunderson’s play succeeds as both a droll dark comedy and an insightful, even moving inquiry into mortality.
Fine acting and direction elevate a script that navigates intellectual mazes and human emotions in The How and the Why at Theatre At Arts Garage.
Usually there isn’t anything sexy or newsworthy about real estate in the world of theater unless it’s Glengarry Glen Ross. But as the season approaches, South Florida hasn’t seen so much packing and unpacking, opening tubes of Ben Gay, filling out of change-of-address cards, remodeling, scanning blueprints and updating websites as in the past season and the one coming up
Posted in Features
Tagged Actors Playhouse, Adrienne Arsht Center, Alliance Theatre Lab, Arts Radio Theatre, Boca Raton Theatre Guild, Florida Grand Opera, GableStage, Ground Up & Rising, Island City Stage, M Ensemble, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Miami Theater Center, New Theatre, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Slow Burn Theatre Company, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, The Plaza Theatre, The Wick Theatre, Theatre At Arts Garage, Thinking Cap Theatre, Zoetic Stage