Tag Archives: Zoetic Stage
Amid a backdrop of changes and challenges, the Carbonell Awards nominations were released Tuesday recognizing excellence in South Florida professional theater. Classics, world premieres marked the list for the April 6 ceremony. Palm Beach Dramaworks not only earned the most nominations of any company – 29 in 16 out of 20 categories – but multiple nominations for every single one of its 2019 productions.
American Son at Zoetic Stage doesn’t offer solutions to the complexity of race so much as explore with increasing intensity the exact craggy contours of the gulf. Christopher Demos-Brown’s play brings the audience alongside those struggling with the conflicting and seemingly irreconcilable pressures on not just African-Americans but everyone awash in the social maelstrom.
When Christopher Demos-Brown’s racially charged drama American Son — which has played in other cities and bowed on Broadway — finally opens this week at Zoetic Stage in Miami, it will be, as director Stuart Meltzer says, “a homecoming.”
The Wolves fits the bill for Zoetic Stage’s Theater Up Close series. It’s an up-close, navel gazer. Nine teenaged girls are part of a high school indoor soccer team that meets each Saturday. The characters are nameless, only identified by jersey number. For 90 minutes, the audience is privy to eavesdropping on the locker-roomesque conversations as they warm up for a series of games
One definition of classic theater is a piece that not only remains popular or relevant through time, but which can be endlessly reinterpreted or restaged without losing any of its brilliance, Shakespeare’s work being the most obvious example. Zoetic Stage’s latest entry working its way through the Stephen Sondheim canon underscores how Sweeney Todd qualifies.
The premise of Every Brilliant Thing might fool you into thinking that it’s kin to a “very special” Lifetime Movie of the Week: a boy tries to ease the pain of his suicidal mother and his own anxiety by making a list of “brilliant” things and leaving them for his mother to find. But themes hide just under the wry and warm exterior: highlighting aspects of life that can be beautiful and sustaining, as well as the damage that depression can wreak on an entire family.
Usually, Zoetic Stage’s director Stuart Meltzer’s deft work is almost invisible to audience members other than bringing a fresh vision to familiar titles. But his masterful work in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is so clearly displayed that his reinvention becomes the “star” of the production.
Maybe it’s walking under a Times Square marquee with his name emblazoned overhead. Maybe it’s being asked for his autograph at the stage door. Some new level of realization keeps hitting Christopher Demos-Brown on the cusp of becoming one of the first South Florida playwrights to have a work on Broadway when American Son opens Nov. 4.
In Zoetic Stage’s premiere Dracula, the vampire is a sexist pig (as are several men in the play). The protagonists are strong-willed proto-feminists. Together, they embody a society struggling with re-envisioning what self-empowered women can and should be. Michael McKeever’s script as directed by Stuart Meltzer presents social commentary told with droll, wry and self-aware humor, and the retelling of the classic horror narrative.
When Elena Maria Garcia, one of the finest comediennes in the region, and Stuart Meltzer, one of the finest directors, team up to co-write Fuácata! (Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe) at Zoetic Stage, it’s cause for celebration.