Tag Archives: Eytan Deray
Quite a come back year: World premieres, epic musicals, moving two-character dramas, you name it. Here’s not so much a “best of the year” list – no such list can be reliable or complete – but a random recognition of outstanding performances, productions, trends and just moments that theaterlovers will carry with them into 2023.
Eytan Deray’s courageous world premiere Educating Asher at Empire Stage – courageous not only because it has been drawn from the marrow of his being as playwright, but courageous because he also performs it, unreined and uninhibitedly without any self-serving censorship.
Grease certainly is the word as the classic rock ‘n’ roll musical glides its way into a solid staging as the first joint production of MNM Theatre Company, North End Theater Company, and the City of Lauderhill. Add also the words energetic, entertaining and engaging as Grease’s enthusiastic cast takes its audiences back to the tunes and attitudes of 1959.
Six months into the pandemic, theater artists are struggling with a profoundly damaging dimension particular to their purgatory-like limbo: The calling that gives their lives meaning requires interaction with other people in the same room. Late this summer, 33 South Florida storytellers agreed to draw back the curtain on their backstage battles that form the spine of an all too real three-act drama.
While the Broadway Palm production of Beauty and the Beast at Lauderhill Performing Arts Center will elicit giggles from the kids, this local edition is a surprisingly satisfying evening even for the adults thanks to fine voices, a live band and a cast that is fully invested in the work – not simply overacting for the less demanding children.
It doesn’t matter how beautifully these performers sing with strength and skill, no matter how tight the bands, no matter how much energy flows , if a musical is primarily a song cycle reliant on storytelling, you have to be able to understand the lyrics. Measure For Measure Theatre’s production of 35mm has all the above strengths, but tragically the audience Sunday could not understand two-thirds of the words.
Outré Theatre Company’s edition of Tommy demonstrates how skill, imagination and pure guts can triumph over the most modest of means. Its greatest virtue in bringing the classic rock opera to the postage stamp stage is a total, laser-focused tsunami-strength commitment.
The level of anger, helplessness and sorrow rises inexorably along with the death toll like flood waters from a storm surge in Outré Theatre Company’s shattering production of The Normal Heart. The play documenting the AIDS epidemic in New York City during the early 1980s is depicted with scorching and excoriating emotional honesty.
Evening Star Productions and Infinite Abyss Productions deliver the 249th South Florida edition of the inarguably hilarious aggressively irreverent hoot. The cast successfully seduces a willing audience that could care less that some people can’t sing, some people can’t act and that the whole thing is somewhat sloppy in execution.
Since you can understand the lyrics here better than in any previous production, Slow Burn Theatre Co.’s Spring Awakening, the powerful punch and pungent poetry come through with a clarity that elevates this edition over the others. It ranks among the troupe’s most polished, accomplished and effective work.