Tag Archives: Tom Wahl
Like death and taxes, one of the few truly dependable things in life is that the venerable Summer Shorts from City Theatre is going to be a satisfying mix of light comedy with a few mildly serious moments. And its silver anniversary production remains a thoroughly entertaining source of 10-minute plays executed by a seasoned cadre of pros.
The soul-killing inherent in the film dream factory’s deconstruction and then sanitized reconstruction of its icons has been a popular topic, from 1932’s What Price Hollywood to four versions of A Star is Born. But Michael McKeever’s incisive world premiere The Code at The Foundry attacks it from a different fresh angle that is painfully topical.
Shattering. Penetrating. Upsetting. Only a few of the adjectives elicited by Claudia Rankine’s drama The White Card at GableStage, a searing if polemic evening cross-examining progressive white citizens who believe they are opposing racial inequity and racist violence. How you interpret what you hear and see here will vary wildly depending on how you view yourself and what you believe.
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.