Tag Archives: Christopher A. Kent
The Actors’ Playhouse production of Sondheim On Sondheim transcends the Broadway edition in nearly every detail. The work by eight inspired performers and the band, molded by director David Arisco and musical director David Nagy, would make the master proud.
A yin and yang vibe imbues Jason Robert Brown’s intriguing and imaginative two-character musical tracking the life cycle of a romance and marriage, The Last Five Years, receiving a warm, entertaining production at Actor Playhouse. But the reason to see it is the vibrant, bravura performance by former Miamian and current Broadway actress Janet Dacal.
Actors Playhouse director David Arisco teasingly asks the reporter doing a story on the upcoming musical The Last Five Years, “Don’t you want to take a picture of our Broadway star?’ His joke is that while former Miamian Janet Dacal qualifies for the soubriquet, Dacal seems as far from a temperamental egotistical diva as you can imagine. With a honey warm smile, flashing eyes and an unaffected demeanor, Dacal looks like the girl next door — if your neighborhood is Hialeah and the girl is the kind of fetching vision who half the boys have a crush on.
Playwrights Paul Tei and Jessica Farr’s Hamlet Dog and Pony Show at ad Cat Theatreis a stylized mashup of Shakespeare, Brecht and 21st Century performance art that examines existentialism versus nihilism by setting the vacillating Dane in a fantasia of modern American politics and power. Like an atom careening around a chain reaction, it is by turns inventive, self-indulgent, exciting, boring, and, above all, sometimes insightful, sometimes incomprehensible. And entertaining.
The tragedy of this lavish, ebullient production of Hairspray is how the muddy, uneven, out of balance, sloppy sound on opening night fatally sabotaged the energy, enthusiasm, theatrical skill and money that the cast, musicians, designers and producers invested into this perfect match of material to a company known for mainstream musicals.