Tag Archives: Thinking Cap Theatre
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.
Like the requisite ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker, theater troupes have been turning over their Decembers as of late to holiday-themed plays: David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries comes to mind. Unlike the wholesome Nutcracker many modern Christmas offerings are aimed at an adult crowd, taking the Ho, Ho, Ho of the holiday to a more mature level.
Tension is at the heart and soul of Thinking Cap Theatre’s Mud, a three-hander by Maria Irene Fornes, now at The Vanguard in Fort Lauderdale.
Director Nicole Stodard puts her stamp on the dramatic 17-scene play, most noticeably bringing a brightness to a dingy world through creative staging, an impeccably interesting soundtrack, and finding three actors who are willing to go out on a limb with her.
A different season advance: Quietly, oh so quietly, the 2016-2017 theater season in South Florida is shaping up to be as notable for tidal growth, contraction, ebb and flow as it is for the actual productions scheduled.
A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney is not easy theater, by any means, but not one that Thinking Cap would ever shy away from. Their tagline is “theatre exploding with thought” and if any play fits the mission, this one does
“Or,” is a delightful daffy farce underpinned with social commentary that fits Thinking Cap’s eclectic bent for thought-provoking comedies and dramas that are aggressively off-beat, have a literary bent, or at a minimum are a step away from predictable mainstream fare.
Next Season: Slow Burn, Actors’ Playhouse, Thinking Cap, Wick, Maltz, Lake Worth, PPTOPA, Bway At Brow Ctr & Kravis
If it’s snowing up north, then it’s time for Florida theaters to announce their 2016-2017 seasons. Among those that have: Slow Burn Theatre Company, Actors’ Playhouse, Thinking Cap Theatre, The Wick Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Lake Worth Playhouse, Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts, Broadway in Fort Lauderdale and Kravis on Broadway.
2015 produced a wild variety of snapshots to paste in the theatrical scrapbooks: a male Dolly Levi, a homicidal dimwit slicing carrots, a kidnapper forcing her captives to learn nonsense, a tsunami engulfing a Japanese village, a green-gunked survivor of toxic sludge singing love songs to his blind librarian girlfriend. You know, just another year for regional theater in South Florida.
Thinking Cap Theatre sets The Importance of Being Earnest in a madcap lampoon of New York City’s disco era. The urbane and farcical elements are irreconcilably at war, but each facet – one of the funniest literate scripts ever written and a zany hoot of a production – is so strong on its own merits that the result is a mostly satisfying gigglefest worth the investment.
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.