Actors and other artists are huddling at Palm Beach Dramaworks in preparation for a timely revival of 12 Angry Men that looks at interpersonal interplay as well as justice.
Hurricane Ian inflicted severe multi-million-dollar damage to the Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers and the Venice Theatre as well a some damage to Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples. But all of them are soldiering on.
When director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge agreed to lead the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s edition of the much-seen Jersey Boys, the challenge was to invest the familiar production with a fresh approach and unearth facets that the show’s fans haven’t seen before.
Patricia Conolly is one of the most prolific actresses you’ve likely never heard of. But you’ve very likely seen her: 3 times as Blanche, 1 as Stella, 2 as Hedda, 16 Shakespearean heroines. This month Conolly will play the 91-year-old grandmother trying to connect with her grandson in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ 4000 Miles.
The cuatro, a small quintessential Venezualan instrument four-string guitar, is the focus of Papá Cuatro, Miami New Drama’s world premiere, opens. The director describes it as “something between a musical, a documentary, and a house party.”
The play “Are You There, Bette Davis?” written and directed by Uruguayan Domingo Milesi is a centerpiece of the 36th International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami this month, featuring six productions from Argentina, Chile, Spain, Puerto Rico, and the United States.
There is a fifth crucial performer not mentioned in the playbill for Palm Beach Dramaworks’ upcoming production of “Almost, Maine.” High above the residents on a chilly Friday night in late January in the titular small town, a parade of lights flickers like the bottom of a multicolored curtain.
The calendars in South Florida theater are being written in pencil—with erasers. Regional theaters are forging through the Covid spike with no panic and limited public fuss, but with a total lack of certainty of anything—cancelling performances, jettisoning titles, postponing productions a week, a month, a year; inserting swings; and calming ticket buyers by email.
If Dickens’ opening line in A Tale of Two Cities has become a trite cliché through overuse it has become a painfully accurate truism about theater over the past two years, especially South Florida theater. Crippling loss and inspiring resurrection. Surrender and perseverance. And , now, the Covid threat has reasserted. But looking back on those two years delivers a testament worth celebrating and learning from.
Time as well as the pandemic have robbed the South Florida theater community of so many beloved and respected colleagues. The loss in 2020-2021 was not only to fellow artists, but to the patrons who valued their contributions to the fabric of the artistic and cultural life here. We take a moment to say thank you.