Tag Archives: Christina Alexander
The 44th Carbonell Awards celebration was unique, not simply because it was online, but because of its acknowledgement of the diversity of the theater community. Honoring excellence for 2019, the awards, which have been quietly accused of not reflecting diversity, pointedly went out of its way to be inclusive in its annual celebration.
Asked to spotlight specific problems and potential solutions, everybody had a story of racism infecting the South Florida theater community. Some cited unintentional micro-aggressions in pressure-laden rehearsals. Others underscored systemic failings whose reform will require leaders, supporters and audiences to revaluate everything from what goes on stage to who decides what goes on stage.
Sometimes the joint is jumpin’ in M Ensemble Company’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, sometime things are sluggish; sometimes you can savor the brilliant lyrics coming from a talented quintet , sometimes you can only understand half the words. The moments that work are a joy to be present for a, some others are a disappointment.
Island City Stage, which focuses on gay-themed work, apparently thought it was time to revive the genus of the British sex comedy with the world premiere of Lipstick, whose primary twist is that the farce centers on lesbians and the gay men in their orbit.
The Old Settler at M Ensemble starts off like a TV sitcom featuring witty banter between sisters living in 1943 Harlem. But slowly, characters start referencing race, sex, age, loneliness and family baggage until anger and tears produce a moving tale that qualifies as more than a soap opera and falls a bit short of August Wilson territory.
Fine talent, stirring music and Slow Burn Theatre’s enthusiasm elevate the musical Violet, but the material has consistent void somewhere deep down in this musical’s emotional investment.
Slow Burn Theatre Company’s Rent is ambitious, daring, electric and 2 1/2 hours of non-stop rock ‘n’ roll — a no-holds barred, take chances, go-out-on-a-limb spectacle. But when stripped of the spectacle, the characters, some facing death, with others living in the shadows of HIV/AIDs, lack life.
Sometimes when the company is engaging, it doesn’t matter whether the journey itself is a little bumpy or overly-familiar. Such is the power of winning performances by Christina Alexander and John Manzelli under Stephen Neal’s direction in New Theatre’s production on The Gospel According To Jerry.
Admit up front that the world premiere of Christina Alexander’s one-woman show Hate! An American Love Story is a tad unfocused, undisciplined, even sloppy theater. Then acknowledge that it’s also one of the most insightful and moving depictions that South Florida audiences have seen of the emotional viscera inside inter-racial, inter-gender relationships.
Playwright Djanet Sears has crafted an intriguing contemplation of the intersection of the macro issue of race on the micro-dynamics of an individual marriage in Harlem Duet. But Sears’ insightful script gets a hodgepodge treatment in M Ensemble’s production. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lowell Williams, this edition is by turns subtle and overly-melodramatic, illuminating and opaque, clear and confusing.