Tag Archives: Tom Wahl
Theater is often political: but sometimes, like The People Downstairs, Michael McKeever’s harrowing world premiere at Palm Beach Dramaworks, the relevancy of the Dutch people hiding the Anne Frank family only magnifies as current events overtake them.
Many artists define themselves by a calling that relies on faith that their art form will always be there. But in 2020, the foundation of their sense of who they were and what they believed made their lives worthwhile vanished. They were forced into introspection about the primacy of their profession and their art in their lives. Here, they reveal what they learned about South Florida theater and especially themselves.
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.
GableStage’s co-production with Palm Beach Dramaworks of the world premiere of Ordinary Americans traces TV icon Gertrude Berg as she battles blacklisting, featuring stellar performance by Elizabeth Dimon.
The world premiere of Joseph McDonough’s Ordinary Americans needs more work but it has enough promise and fine performances at Palm Beach Dramaworks that it’s worth the effort. The story of indomitable broadcast icon Gertrude Berg fighting the plague of the blacklist in the 1950s carries a clear warning to audiences today.
Few plays have been as ruthlessly photographic depicting the pornographic incest of lobbying and corruption as well as the clash of idealism and pragmatism as Sarah Burgess’ Kings, currently on the dissection tray at GableStage.
Passions erupt as art, commerce and international politics collide and conflict in the world premiere of Carmen Pelaez’s intriguing Fake at Miami New Drama. This play centering on a possible forged masterpiece about to be auctioned needs a good deal of additional work, but its promise gleams and begs for further productions.
GableStage’s Admissions is one of the more uncomfortable evenings of theater that avowed liberals and proud progressives will sit through any time soon. It holds up an unsparing mirror that asks whether such advocates will stay true to their ideals when the consequences directly affect them and their families.
White Guy on the Bus at GableStage is a merciless dissection of race relations in the 21st Century, but stunning plot twists prevent us from explaining much further than a wealthy white businessman strikes up an acquaintanceship with an African-American nursing student on a bus. But superb performances and a fierce script make this a don’t miss.
They make it look so easy.
The 23rd annual City Theatre Summer Shorts crew slip seamlessly from broad comedy with a hint of a moral to bittersweet drama with a soupcon of dry wit and back again in nine separate playlets.