The “horror” in Zoetic Stage’s Frankenstein shares little kinship with the film monster with bolts in his neck terrorizing the countryside or even the 1818 novel of science gone wrong. But a different very contemporary terror is there all the same from the breath-taking wordless prologue of a stitched together embryo clawing out of a pod to the silent final image of two bodies crawling through Arctic waste.
Jason Robert Brown’s brilliantly insightful and emotionally powerful Songs for a New World lets you know you’re not going crazy all alone in Slow Burn Theatre’s season opener that would be a triumph even if it didn’t signify a full-throated celebratory return of regional theater.
What better way to mark the return of live, in-person theater than to celebrate the major role that an audience’s imagination plays in this unique art form? In fact, the professional, nonprofit Miami New Drama (MIND) is offering audiences free admission to a return engagement of the Mexico City and New York-based, nonprofit company Por Piedad Teatro’s production of A Special Day.
The Twentieth Century Way creates intersecting, overlapping realities in Island City Stage’s celebration of its 10th season by restaging its 2012 inaugural play. This thought-provoker melds questions about people acknowledging their true identity, amalgamating actors in general hiding behind their roles, and gay men hiding their sexuality from a homophobic society and themselves.
The premise: A white director leads a multi-ethnic cast in a Midsummer’s Night as an answer to charges of institutional racism. But with wry humor and painfully incisive drama, Main Street Players’ edition of Andrew Watring’s “Shakespeare is a White Supremacist” examines the intersection of theater and racism as a metaphor for larger problems afflicting society in 21st Century America.
Yes, there is broad humor, over-the-top characters, cartoonish sets, a fairy tale vibe and a 10-foot tall puppet, but Theatre Lab makes it clear that Rachel Teagle’s world premiere script of The Impracticality of Modern-Day Mastodons is not children’s theater, but an adult evaluation of dreams.
Fuácata! has been tweaked by star Elena Maria Garcia and director Stuart Meltzer with references to non-binary, Uber and “draining the swamp.” But the exuberantly hilarious and moving work from 2017 already had elements echoing the subsequent rise of #MeToo, hardening of ingrained bigotry, explosion of immigration crises, renewed uproar over Cuba and other topics. This production at Actors’ Playhouse is cause for celebration.
The ghosts of O’Neill and Shepard creak the floorboards of Main Street Players’ Wolf & Badger, the latest exorcism of filial trauma from New Jersey playwright Michael John McGoldrick. Unfolding in 90 minutes of real time, MSP’s first production since the pandemic is a story of brotherly conflict as old as Cain and Abel as well as a contemporary portrait of late capitalism in decline,
Young, visionary director Giancarlo Rodaz’s winning approach in Area Stage Company’s current unorthodox, yet triumphant production of the classic musical Annie features eight adult actors playing all roles in a stripped down environment in the round.
M Ensemble’s production of Layon Gray’s Cowboy is everything audiences expect of a rousing western, but it’s also an inherent indictment. It is not of little significance that the play is presented with entirely Black actors in a genre that has only recently begun to welcome melanin in its ensembles.