Tag Archives: Niki Fridh
By Oline H. Cogdill Families are complicated, comprised of people who may have little in common but bloodlines, sometimes weighted down by secrets, lies, myths. Add to that mix a horrific event, so horrible it’s hard to wrap one’s mind …
Tracy Jones bowing at Island City Stage is a comedy masking lonely people trying to make connections they don’t have the skill to achieve. It’s a briskly-moving smile with quirky characters who may be nursing poignant secrets but who have no hesitation throwing food at each other like in a Three Stooges short.
You don’t want to go home again. Certainly, that’s the Weston family manse in the desolate prairie of Oklahoma as depicted in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ searing, devastating portrait of toxic family dysfunction in Tracy Lett’s masterpiece, August: Osage County, featuring as superb an ensemble as anyone could ask for, expertly molded by director William Hayes.
Remarkable for raging family furor, recriminations, love, regret, pain and torrents of alcohol-fueled vitriol, August: Osage County is accepted as one of The Great American Plays. Palm Beach Dramaworks is deep into weeks of rehearsal for this epic three-act, three-hour comic-tragedy with 13 cast members, director William Hayes, and a creative team taking on a Mount Everest of theater
The celebration of love in many permutations – from first connections to farewells – swirls around the stage like the snow and the aurora borealis lights in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ gentle, sometimes comic, sometimes bittersweet, consistently touching Almost, Maine. The vignettes about the quirky residents creating, testing, dissolving relationships is shot through with the hope that love can be found or rescued.
Despite two of the finest performances in what already has been a surprisingly benchmark season so far in South Florida, the most memorable player in Theatre Lab’s superb To Fall In Love is silence — not simply during the breath-arresting finale, but the silence reigning over the tense, tentative minutes of the opening scene and employed regularly throughout the evening by director Louis Tyrell and actors Matt Stabile and Niki Fridh.
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.
Usually, Zoetic Stage’s director Stuart Meltzer’s deft work is almost invisible to audience members other than bringing a fresh vision to familiar titles. But his masterful work in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is so clearly displayed that his reinvention becomes the “star” of the production.
The emotional cauterizing of an already withdrawn teenager by a family dynamic of furious fights and fierce sibling rivalry forms the core of Tammy Ryan’s Tar Beach, receiving a sensitive examination from Theatre Lab.
Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter — the first offering of Theatre Lab’s family-friendly series — satisfies the parameters of youth theatre but with a pedigree that transcends its genre, a production bristles with imagination, wit and pathos that resonate across all generations.