Tag Archives: Paul Reekie
A look back at 2020: Yes, South Florida theater was crippled by the pandemic. But its acolytes remained driven to express their artistry, and patrons remained ravenous for their work. They continued to explore projects, create avenues and seek paychecks with efforts ranged from filmed full-fledged productions to monologues newly penned in bedrooms.
Paul Reekie, a musical director and arranger for a wealth of South Florida theater productions, cabaret performances and the supportive accompanist at countless auditions, died unexpectedly Friday at his home in Boca Raton at the age of 48.
MNM Theatre Company’s delightfully silly production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is a musical that prides itself on broad low and often ribald humor, pratfalls, double takes and half the encyclopedia of vaudevillian comedy.
When Man of La Mancha is performed as well as MNM Theatre Company’s production, then the magic is savoring how the innate worth of ideals ultimately prevails over an all-too-recognizable world of violence and evil. Its message does not ignore the profound power of darkness, it avers that its virtues can transcend the darkness, and that their pursuit is an informed choice.
If you hire strong voices as they did in MNM Theatre Company’s production, the venerable musical Grease cannot help but be entertaining with its elbow-nudging pastiche of faux late ‘50s-early ‘60s rock n’ roll. The challenge in which MNM doesn’t prevail is finding the difficult to locate tone for the script scenes because Grease is not simply a straight ahead comedy as it’s played here.
Broward Stage Door’s La Cage aux Folles stresses the universal virtues of love and loyalty, delivered with only a wry smile to acknowledge that its protagonists are an aging gay couple including one drag queen. While undeniably entertaining and featuring some rich voices, this edition is noticeably missing some of the pizzazz that the material requires to make it a memorable evening.
MNM Theatre ’s Avenue Q, the musical comedy with foul-mouthed and copulating puppets, has never been as clearly about education as now. It’s the curriculum about coping with disappointment waiting in the real world.
The drolly hilarious Avenue Q, being given a “fine, fine” outing by MNM, is also imbued with a quiet sadness and accompanying sympathy for the loss of hopeful naiveté.
When entering a theater playing a musical you’ve enjoyed numerous times, it’s comforting to open the playbill to find the names of proven talents that reassure that you and the material are in good hands. Names, for instance, like Mike Westrich, Bruce Linser, Mallory Newbrough, Paul Reekie and Jim Ballard – some of the dependable hands delivering a solid entertaining edition of the delightful Little Shop of Horrors from MNM Productions.
For a show that shattered a ceiling in 1983, La Cage aux Folles has become a warhorse in 2017. MNM Productions’ edition embraces the spangles, glitz and sheer Jerry Herman of it all. So if you haven’t seen it in a while, this is an entertaining reminder. What sets this apart is how it emphasizes the heart rather than the heat – and that’s a welcome emphasis for those who may have seen this classic once too often.
MNM’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company is intermittently lit with incandescent performances worth the price of admission by themselves, but the overall piece disappointingly lacks crispness, passion and, until the last 10 minutes, heart.