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Panama City is a city located along U.S. Highway 98 in Bay County, Florida. It is the largest city between Pensacola, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida. It is the larger (population wise) of two principal cities of the Panama City-Lynn Haven, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 36,417; by 2004, the city's population had grown to 37,079, according to Census Bureau estimates. It is the county seat of Bay CountyGR6 and is located just east of the vacation destination Panama City Beach. Major employers in the Bay County area include Tyndall Air Force Base (located east of the city), the Coastal Systems Station-Naval Surface Warfare Center, Gulf Power, Arizona Chemical, Stone Container, and Berg Pipe. Gulf Coast Community College and a satellite campus of Florida State University offer educational opportunities. The city is served by Panama City-Bay County International Airport (PFN). -- Source: Wikipedia.com



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Census Data for Panama City, Florida

Florida 2000 Census Population Profile Map

Panama City Florida United States
Population 36,417 15,982,378 281,421,906
Median age 37.2 38.7 35.3
Median age for Male 35.4 37.3 34
Median age for Female 39.3 40.1 36.5
Households 14,819 6,337,929 105,480,101
Household population 34,066 15,593,433 273,643,273
Average household size 2.3 2.46 2.59
Families 9,039 4,210,760 71,787,347
Average family size 2.92 2.98 3.14
Housing units 16,548 7,302,947 115,904,641
Occupied units 14,819 6,337,929 105,480,101
Vacant units 1,729 965,018 10,424,540

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Local 2-year-old boy battles severe immune deficiency
08/14/2014

 

Connor Outley seemed to be a perfectly healthy and active baby until his 6-month checkup. Megan Outley, his mother, said it was a complete surprise when the doctor came in the room and immediately asked what was wrong with Connor.

read more



Counting down to the 450th: Flagler Hospital integrates
08/14/2014

Counting down to the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine Aug. 14, 1964

Federal Judge Bryan Simpson orders Flagler Memorial Hospital to integrate within 30 days.

 



VA 'can't accept' St. Johns County's offer for new facility
08/14/2014

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responded with silence after St. Johns County officials most recently offered to build a new clinic at the health and human services complex, which is under construction on San Sebastian View.

The latest development in the case of the St. Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic means veterans will continue to wait to find out where they will receive health care once the clinic moves from 1955 U.S. 1 South.

read more



Slow Burn Theatre: High Fidelity (reviews)
08/13/2014

Slow BurnSlow Burn Theatre Company opened its production of High Fidelity at the West Boca Performing Arts Theater on June 13, 2014.
Book by David Lindsay-Abaire (Shrek the Musical, Good People), lyrics by Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical), and music by Tom Kitt (next to normal, If/Then). Based primarily on the Nick Hornby novel rather than the subsequent film version it inspired, the plot focuses on Rob Gordon, a Brooklyn record shop owner in his thirties obsessed with making top five lists for everything, always observing rather than participating in life. When his girlfriend Laura leaves him, he goes through a painful re-evaluation of his life and lost loves (with a little help from his music) and he slowly learns that he has to grow up and let go of his self-centered view of the world before he can find real happiness.
Patrick Fitzwater directed a cast that included Robert Johnston, Sebastian Lombardo, Noah Levin, Bruno Vida, Nicole Piro, Courtney Poston, Abby Perkins, Christina Flores, Sandi M. Stock and Kaitlyn O’Neill.
 
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Like a scruffy stray found on the streets with little promise of being housebroken, Slow Burn Theatre Company’s summer musical production of High Fidelity shouldn’t be so appealing and downright winning. But it is.  The sense that the energetic cast and creative team seem to be having this much fun should enchant most anyone open to a summer lark.
Director/choreographer Patrick Fitzwater’s affection for the show obviously inspired the rest of the Slow Burn team.
Johnston …delivers an appealing and affable fulcrum for the show, a notable achievement since you often want to shake Rob by the shoulders and tell him to get a clue.
Piro… has a clarion singing voice and a charisma that makes the audience why Rob would ever do anything to mess up their romance. When she appears as a hot fantasy figure in Rob’s dream forcing herself into Rob’s list of five memorable breakups, she scorches the stage with “Number Five With a Bullet.”
The supporting cast has standouts as well. Levine, a stalwart in smaller theaters as well as Slow Burn, is hilarious as someone you want to strangle.
O’Neill, another Slow Burn vet, nearly stops the show with her rendition of a folky post-breakup lament “Ready to Settle”…
Lombardo throws himself completely into Barry’s self-involved crass attitude. Unfortunately, he is battling the indelible career-making performance of Jack Black in the film. He admirably tries to create a character distinctly different from Black, but you miss the incomparable Jack.
As always, Manny Schvartzman, doubling as music director, did a solid job leading the band…
Rick Pena again gave the cast note-perfect costumes
John Thomason reviewed for Boca Mag:
OK, so I should say up front that High Fidelity—both the Nick Hornby novel and the Stephen Frears cult film—is too important in my life to judge its musical-theater adaptation with any degree of objectivity…  I saw myself in it; I’ve been making esoteric Top 5 lists since I could count, not to mention I’m the kind of obsessive vinyl collector… So it was with much anticipation and trepidation that I sat down for Slow Burn Theatre’s production of the High Fidelity musical last weekend… It’s with great relief that I approve of the final product.
This is a pretty terrific production of a fun, if maddeningly boxy, show… Tom Kitt’s jaunty and eclectic music, beautifully arranged by Manny Schvartzman, is supplemented by lyrics from Amanda Green that pivot around key phrases from Hornby’s novel and twist them cleverly into rhymes. Rick Pena’s costumes are mostly spot-on, with his combination of unflattering geek-garb, punk-rock accouterments and slacker couture effectively capturing the look of the record shop’s denizens—not to mention a perfect Bruce Springsteen ensemble for actor Larry Buzzeo, who does a dead-on Boss impersonation late in the show.
…we get to see more of Noah Levine’s hysterical interpretation of the patchouli-scented vegan. I didn’t even mind that Ian never becomes anything more than a caricature; Levine is having such a great time that it doesn’t matter.
In one of the strongest scenes in the production, Rob and Laura wake up at the beginning of Act 2 in different strangers’ bedrooms—Laura with Ian and Rob with Marie—and their subsequent duet “I Slept With Someone” points to a chasm of regret that doesn’t exist in the original material. Piro, whose performance seems almost out of joint in the beginning of the musical, shows us how good she is in this moment; over the course of the song, we watch her entire world view gradually fall from elation to something like shame and embarassment. When Rob and Laura are finished singing, both are in the same “bed,” in their minds if not their realities, adrift yet connected.
As for Johnston, he’s terribly young to be playing Rob Gordon, and I just couldn’t accept his midlife tally of fractured relationships or even his recent one with Laura, played by the more age-appropriate Piro. But what can I say? The guy can clearly sing, dance and act, and he seems to have a genuine understanding of who Rob Gordon is.
JW Arnold reviewed for South Florida Gay News:
Even though the show material has plenty of shortcomings, co-artistic directors Patrick Fitzwater and Mathew Korinko, music director Manny Schvartzman and their young, vocally talented cast give the production their best efforts.
Robert Johnston… has to do most of the heavy lifting in the show. He’s front and center in virtually every scene and gives an appealing performance as the lovelorn Rob, a likeable guy who is negotiating his path to maturity right in front of our eyes. (Doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes, too!)
Larry Buzzeo provides much needed comedic relief in two supporting roles, first as a middle-aged customer referred to by the record store staff as TMPMITW (The Most Pathetic Man in the World) and later, Bruce Springsteen. Yes, The Boss.
Talented local choreographers are few and far between and Fitzwater always brings fresh perspectives to stage movement that stand out from the crowd. Throughout the show, his ‘80s and ‘90s dance moves — with a few hip hop moves thrown in — complemented the music and were well executed.
Lance Black’s Lighting Design – Lighting is crucial for a complicated storyline that includes flashbacks and breakouts and Black’s design effectively makes these changes clear to the audience.


Rod Stafford Hagwood wrote for The Sun Sentinel Stunned Senseless:
Boca Raton’s Slow Burn Theatre does a credible job with “High Fidelity the Musical,” giving the show an injection of youthful bounce and vibrant vocals. And the six-member band adds some flash to the score by Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal,” “If/Then”) and Amanda Green (“Bring It On: The Musical”) that dabbles in all kinds of genres from rock and soul to coffeehouse folk and gangsta rap.
There are some terrific turns by supporting cast members: a scintillating Nicole Piro as the love interest; a sharp bit by Kaitlyn O’Neill as a folksinger; Larry Buzzeo as a nebbish customer and a brash Bruce Springsteen; and Noah Levine as the show’s closest thing to a villain, a holier-than-thou holistic guru.
Hap Erstein reviewed for Palm Beach ArtsPaper:
Director-choreographer Patrick Fitzwater likes to lighten up for the summer after several darker musicals in season, putting his young cast through their athletic paces and never letting on that the show may not be top-drawer.
Rob’s shabby treatment of Laura should be enough to turn off the audience, but book writer David Lindsay-Abaire gets us on his side by having him narrate the show and address the audience directly. It also helps that Robert Johnston has an easygoing charisma in the role, immature but hard to hate.
Willowy blonde Nicole Piro, a Slow Burn veteran, is sufficiently alluring as Laura... Things must have really been bad with Rob if she would leave him for a creepy, pretentious guru wannabe like Ian (played with sly glee by Noah Levine). Fitzwater’s discovery for this production is Sandi M. Stock... who comes on strong with “She Goes.”
Bruno Vida... makes a vivid impression... Larry Buzzeo amuses as a fantasy Bruce Springsteen.. Kaitlyn O’Neill has fun as a morose folkie singing the downbeat “Ready to Settle.”
The show’s chief failing is its surface-deep, too glib writing, but High Fidelity was never very profound. It is, however, easy to identify with these characters and become involved with their dilemmas, and that’s not bad for a musical comedy.
Slow Burn Theatre Company presents its production of High Fidelity at the West Boca Performing Arts Theater through June 29, 2014.


Stage Door Theatre: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (reviews)
08/13/2014

allan_sherman_my_sonBroward Stage Door Theatre opened its production of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! on May 30, 2014.
Inspired by the Grammy Award winning song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!" and Allan Sherman's eight record albums, hilarious song parodies are woven into a merry musical about the life of Barry Bockman and his beloved, Sarah Jackman. From birth to summer at Camp Granada, to marriage, to suburbia and the shopping mall, to retirement in Florida, the audience is treated to a zany cast of characters.
Dan Kelly directed a cast that included James Parks, Eva Marie Mastrangelo, Ryan Halsaver, Sarah Sirota and Shane R. Tanner
 
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
What needs to be said first is that director Dan Kelley and five talented singer-actors — James Park as Barry Bockman, Eva Marie Mastrangelo as Sarah Jackman, and Ryan Halsaver, Sarah Sirota and Shane R. Tanner in multiple roles — give the show as decent a production as it’s likely to get.

What needs to be said second is that unless parody songs about a nice Jewish guy’s journey from birth to old age leave you convulsed with laughter, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah may not be for you.
Under David Nagy’s musical direction, the performers blend beautifully and shine on their solos. Colleen O’Connell’s clever costumes are of a piece with the tone of the show, deliberately amusing and sometimes over-the-top tacky (on purpose).
Michelle F. Solomon wrote for Florida Theater On Stage:
Hello Muddah, hello faddah; here I am at Camp Grenada.” The musical based on the name of Allan Sherman and Lou Busch’s 1963 novelty tune is about as silly as the song it’s based on.  Yet despite its almost two hours of one-liners, caricatures and Borscht Belt humor, the current show at Broward Stage Door, in all its campiness, is energetically enjoyable… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry comic tears, you’ll leave the theater salivating for anything on rye from a Kosher deli.
Director Dan Kelley knows exactly how to pace his actors in their handling of  the comic lyricist’s quick turns of phrases, and how to punch up the many musings on modern Jewish culture. With so many scenes and multiple characters coming in and out, Kelley keeps what could be mass chaos into a funfest of controlled frenzy.
The cast, especially the secondary characters, are called upon to play multiple roles... Tanner is the standout, especially in his role as the over confident Uncle Phil, everyone’s annoying relative, who returns to haunt even after his death. Halsaver seems less confident as the stuttering teacher, Mr.Kalodner, but really cuts loose dressed in drag as a female department store shopper hunting for bargains. He’s also completely comically engaging as a man who actually encourages his wife to get bigger by the minute in the very funny Grow, Mrs. Goldfarb.
Sirota has to wear multiple hats (literally) and manages to create female characters that each have their own signature – a difficult task with the roles she’s given, which could, the way they are written, all end up sounding and looking the same.
But it’s Parks and Mastrangelo who are so wonderfully honest in their portrayals of Barry and Sarah that you really care how their lives end up. The two create characters that actually take shape from beginning to end.
Musical director David Nagy… gets credit for ensuring the cast maneuvers Sherman’s multiple and sometimes difficult lyrics. Kudos, too, to Colleen O’Connell’s many costumes that have to cover the decades, and Ardean Landhuis’s lighting, which also helps with the moods of the settings and time periods.
Rod Stafford Hagwood was there for The Sun-Sentinel Stunned Senseless:
The slap-shtick panache of sight gags and wordplay would be comfortable onstage in the Catskills, and much of it works here, particularly with a cast and three-piece band giving it everything they got. Think Weird Al” Yankovic, but not as mean.
To their credit, the (secondary) cast members sing with gusto and hit the punch lines as hard as they can. Sarah Sirota, Shane R. Tanner and Ryan Halsaver all play various characters, and play them with enough energy to power another musical with the afterburn alone.
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! is a cute show with performers mining the most out of familiar melodies. It isn’t more than that, nor should it be.
Dale King wrote for Palm Beach ArtsPaper:
The show is packed with many good performances. The songs are all pretty funny, and while some are dated, they still have comic punch. The five cast members — Ryan Halsaver, Eva Marie Mastrangelo, James Parks, Sarah Sirota and Shane R. Tanner — are excellent vocalists who combine for some striking harmony. They slip easily into the silliness that was Sherman’s strong suit. During the show, those five performers morph into 40 characters and make 60 costume changes — a daunting task in itself.
A big guy with a big talent, Tanner sings, acts and hustles, taking on 10 roles. He is particularly stunning as Uncle Phil, whose crazed stand-up comedy shtick is hilarious and as Mr. Bloom with an ode to his astronaut son who has landed on the moon.
Brooklyn-born Sirota isn’t far behind, portraying six characters with rapid-fire aplomb.
Dan Kelley does double duty as director and choreographer, keeping the on-stage chaos to a minimum. He works beside Colleen O’Connell who has come up with a raft of colorful, often off-beat costumes.
Broward Stage Door Theatre presents its production of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! through July 6, 2014.




Palm Beach Dramaworks: Zorba! the Concert Version (reviews)
08/13/2014

zorba.hPalm Beach Dramaworks opened its concert version of the musical Zorba! on June 20, 2014.

Zorba the Greek shares his joyous philosophy of life with Nikos, a young American student, as they each navigate love, romance, and heartbreak. The spirited score includes "Life Is," "The Butterfly," and "Only Love."

Full-length concert presentations include both the book and the score, and are performed with limited instrumental accompaniment, and minimal staging and design.

Clive Cholerton  directed a cast that included  Katherine Amadeo, Jim Ballard, Lindsay Bell, Ken Clement, Nick Duckart, Alyssa Fantel, Laura Hodos, Josh Lerner, Jose Luaces, William Parry, Roland Rusinek, Elizabeth Sackett, Laura Turnbull and Cassandra Zepeda.  Music Direction by Caryl Ginsburg Fantel

 

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:

This edition, helmed by Clive Cholerton and starring Broadway vet William Parry as Zorba and local Nick Duckart as his mentee Nikos, fairly throbs most of the time with an infectious zest for life.

Even stripped down, Dramaworks’ offering is often a passionate and pungent experience delivering a show that few audiences other than theater geeks know well.

Parry was fortuitous casting…. He brings a warm seductive baritone that wraps around the audience. His Zorba exudes the brio of a character who sucks the marrow out of life with a satisfying sigh. Without ever echoing Quinn, Parry creates his own iconic prole of an Everyman with voracious appetites and an infectious vivacity.

The rest of cast, most familiar names from the region, throw themselves into the material completely, especially Duckart, Hodos, Turnbull and Amadeo. But credit is due to the ensemble including Ken Clement, Roland Rusinek, Josh Lerner, Elizabeth Sackett, Cassandra Zepeda, Jim Ballard, Jose Luaces, Alyssa Fantel, Josh Stoughton and Bell.

Frankly, you will likely never see Zorba! again with artists of this quality. A rumored Broadway revival with Antonio Banderas has floated into the ether. The expense and logistics of the show are too overwhelming for a full-fledged production, since even the title has insufficient name recognition except to Boomers and their parents.

So savor this Zorba! while you can.

Mark Lynch reviewed for The Palm Beach Daily News:

Thanks to Palm Beach Dramaworks, this neglected gem of a show is produced as a concert musical, in which the focus is squarely on the text and music and how they alone propel the story. In its purest form, this concert presentation features a bare stage, a piano, and actors with scripts seated or standing at music stands.

With Zorba!, director Clive Cholerton ambitiously expands the possibilities of this style. He has collaborated with scenic designer Dustin Hamilton, lighting designer Tom Shorrock, costume designer Linda Shorrock, and projection/sound designer Sean Lawson to craft a more specific visual experience…

In streamlining the script to just under two hours, Cholerton also has hit on a wonderful narrative device to drive the storytelling. A voiceless character, a dancer (Lindsay Bell, who is also the production’s talented choreographer) guides Nikos and the audience through the chronological and emotional journey of the story. In less capable hands, this approach could be waterlogged in movement clichés, but Bell imbues this assignment with emotional intention and nuance.

This is more than a good story well-told. This Zorba! is a first-class ensemble piece beautifully sung and dynamically performed by a committed cast. They bring conviction, generosity and outstanding attention to character detail. In a concert staging, this tall order is achieved with apparent ease.

 

The Palm Beach Dramaworks presents the concert version of the musical Zorba! through June 29, 2014.



The Scene for June 20, 2014
08/13/2014

You can tell by the daily thunderstorms that it’s summer here in South Florida.  And that means that it’s time for the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series!  
 
Every Monday from June until August, member companies will be hosting readings of plays by South Florida Playwrights. This coming Monday, you have not one but two choices: Palm Beach DramaWorks is reading Julie Gilbert’s Juxtaposition in West Palm Beach, while The Krane Theatre Company is reading Outside, by Juan C. Sanchez, at Books & Books in Coral Gables.
  
And we’ve been remiss in telling you about the Summer Fest’s Free Night Of Theatre< Click on the link.  Done.
  
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:

opening...
  
Entr’Acte Theatrix presents Avenue Q at the Delray Beach Center for the Performing Arts through July 29.
  
Theatre at Arts Garage opens Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical, through July 13.
 
Palm Beach DramaWorks offers its last concert version of a rarely-produced musical.  Zorba! opens  Friday, and plays through June 29.


coming and going... 


The Alternative Theatre Festival presents Gizmo Love at Florida International University  through Saturday.
 
Andrews Living Arts Studio presents Amado Mio this weekend only.  WARNING: contains full frontal male nudity.
 

you still haven't missed... 
  
Annie plays at the Sol Children’s Theater through June 29, 2014

The Slow Burn Theatre Company production of High Fidelity plays through June 29.
 
The Plaza Theatre offers Cougar the Musical, through June 29.
  
City Theatre presents the 19th annual  Summer Shorts one-act play festival at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, through July 6, 2014.
  
Broward Stage Door Theater offers Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh through July 6, 2014.  
  
Broward Stage Door Theater offers On the Radio: Sounds of the 70s through July 27, 2014. 


community and conservatory... 
  
The Delray Beach Playhouse presents Make Someone Happy through July 11, 2014
 

last chance to see...

Island City Stage presents The Pride at Empire Stage through June 22.

The Alliance Theatre Lab’s pair of classic one-acts from James McClure; Laundry & Bourbon and Lone Star, closes this Sunday, June 22.

Plaza Theatre: Cougar The Musical (reviews)
08/13/2014

Cougarad-231x300Plaza Theatre opened its production of Cougar The Musical on May 22, 2014.

This smash off-Broadway musical comedy makes its regional theater debut at The Plaza Theatre. A trio of women – single, divorced, vulnerable and searching for their identity and self esteem – are ripe to fall under the life-affirming spell of newfound love and hot younger men.

Dodd Loomis directed a cast that included Katie Angel Thomas, Margot Moreland, Shelley Keelor, and Clay Cartland.

 

Michelle F. Solomon wrote for Florida Theater On Stage:

Like the Chippendale dancers, Donna Moore’s Cougar The Musical, now on stage at the Plaza Theatre, is meant to fire up a female crowd. And with just as much over-the-top cheez whiz as the Chippendales have, Cougar The Musical collides fantasy with reality and trots out every cliché about women in the throes of mid-life “what now?” as it can muster… This is really a No Man’s Zone, a pure estrogen fest, drawn in the same vein as Menopause: The Musical, though not as clever.

Dodd Loomis’s direction is smart and solid, and thankfully so — this is one of those shows with so many moving parts (not setwise, but an array of frenetic action), that it needs a good eye to keep it contained, which he does.

The actors are to be commended for giving their all, especially in some of the musical numbers that are difficult because of their over simplicity. The program credits the music to Moore and five other composers. Eric Alsford’s musical direction adds a much needed dimension to songs that hardly ever let up on the “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” theme.

It is the abandon of all the actors that makes Cougar roar. Cartland is a hunk of burning fun as a cowboy who shows up in rodeo gear after an online meeting with Mary-Marie and as a stud with a swagger. But when he’s called upon to be Lily’s nice-guy younger boyfriend, Buck, Cartland segues easily into the more serious role. Yet, he can’t help but steal the show dressed in drag as Eve in Shiny and New..

Moreland’s no-holds-barred attitude as the lusty, busty Mary-Marie hits its peak when she takes the spotlight and performs a bold strip tease... This is one of the most affirming statements that the playwright makes and with Moreland’s help, is one of the most genuine moments in the show.

Angell Thomas can’t help but be likeable… She adds a dose of signature comic timing to the role of Lily, which gives the character more depth than what’s most likely written on the page.

The Plaza’s production is entertaining, less because of Moore’s cheeky musical script and more because of the cast and the show’s behind-the-scenes merrymakers, including costume design by Peter Lovello, scenic design by the always spectacular Michael McClain, lighting design by Preston Bircher, choreography by Elizabeth DeMarco… plus musicians, technicians and producing director Alan Jacobson.

Jan Sjostrom reviewed for the Palm Beach Daily News:

The three heroines in Cougar, The Musical aren’t the only ones suffering from an identity crisis. So is the show…  It can’t make up its mind whether it’s a spoof of transgenerational dating from the older woman’s point of view or a pop psychology pep talk.

Directed by Dodd Loomis, with choreography by Elizabeth De Marco, the production gets as much mileage as can be expected out of such material. The cast members throw themselves into their parts with hopeful gusto.

The show, written by Donna Moore, who also collaborated with five composers on the score, has its moments, brief though they are. -

Hap Erstein reviewed for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper:

Apologies in advance if you are a fan of Menopause: The Musical, Waist Watchers: The Musical or The D Word. There is a word that sums up these shows and it is “schlock.”  …The latest of this ilk in our midst is called Cougar the Musical, a show so impoverished it couldn’t even afford a colon in its title.

Cougar the Musical is credited to Donna Moore, who wrote the script and is one of a committee of six who worked on the music and lyrics. Unlike Menopause and Waist Watchers, Cougar features original songs or at least songs that are not parodies of pop hits. A few of them are actually quite catchy…

Regardless of what you think of the show, the cast will probably earn your sympathy for what they are required to do. That is particularly so for Moreland, who performs a comic striptease down to her animal-print undies. It should be reported, I guess, that the mainly female audience howled its approval of her bump-and-grind. They also enjoyed Cartland’s wince-inducing manicurist, complete with pidgin Korean accent.

The Plaza Theatre production of Cougar: The Musical plays through June 29, 2014.



Thinking Cap Theatre Company: Church (Reviews)
08/13/2014

churchThinking Cap Theatre Company opened its production of Young Jean Lee’s Church in a tent in the parking lot the still-under-conversion Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts on August 8, 2014.

Let Thinking Cap convert you into a theatre lover with the Florida premiere of Church by Young Jean Lee. 

 
In the true spirit of experimentation, this will be a site-specific performance fashioned like a "tent revival" and held outside under the stars. Don't miss this truly unique production!
In Church, acclaimed playwright Lee presents a dramatic rendering of an exuberant spiritual service that will appeal to religious and non-religious individuals alike. A charismatic preacher and three female reverends will take you on a journey that is by turns funny, musical, jarring, and ultimately moving. Never content with simple parody, Lee's ambitious aim with Church is to give her audience an authentic experience of theatrical faith.

Nicole Stodard directed a cast that included Vanessa Elise, Carey Brianna Hart, Ann Marie Olson, Scott Douglas Wilson and Sabrina Gore.  Musical direction by Bill J. Adams.

 

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:

Thinking Cap Theatre’s regional premiere of Young Jean Lee’s play Church may not be everyone’s cup of sacramental wine, but bring an open mind and savor a thought-provoking, exuberant even entertaining evening.

Lee, producing artistic director Nicole Stodard and musical director Bill J. Adams have required their cast and musicians to invest completely in these evangelists who devoutly believe and want to share the joy they have found because of pure altruism. The cast has not let them down. Not a single performer, no matter their personal beliefs, can be caught winking for a milli-second. They give themselves to their characters with the same kind of abandon that their characters have exhibited in giving their lives to God.

No one exemplifies that so much as Scott Douglas Wilson as Preacher Jose, the genial emcee and spinner of spellbinding modern parables.

The tone carefully cultivated among the cast by Stodard and Lee is not one of smug paternalistic knowledge, but of passion. That passion is especially evident in the testimony of one of the beaming faithful played by Ann Marie Olson who relates her journey through a hellish past with her round eyes blazing. Similarly, Vanessa Elise delivers a brief but chilling tale that spills out of her mouth in a whitewater torrent of words that summon up insane surrealistic drug-induced visions. Carey Brianna Hart’s evangelist may be more conventional but no less convincing.

Stodard carefully builds the show as any director would from a laid-back get-together to an occasionally scorching crescendo.

Music is a key component. A 15-minute pre-show may be the most rousing kick-butt warm-up of any production this season including familiar tunes given an injection of rock sensibility such as “This Little Light of Mine” and a punkish vibe on “Over The Rainbow.” The entire cast has fine voices but “choir director” Sabrina Lynn Gore and Olson set the ad hoc congregation on its heels with their power and skill.

No one can blame you for not being intrigued by the description of the show. But if you dress in loose clothes, bring a hanky to wipe your brow and use the hand fan provided with your ticket to cool off, you will likely be glad you took a chance.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:

Because Thinking Cap’s new home at The Vanguard, a former church on Fort Lauderdale’s Andrews Avenue, is still being renovated, the show unfolds in the style of a revival meeting under a tent-like canopy in the parking lot. The experience feels so authentic that the neighbors could be forgiven for thinking there’s worship going on in the ’hood.

But Church is indeed a play, one with lots of music and a little dance.

As Thinking Cap’s name suggests, artistic director Nicole Stodard is drawn to material that provokes thought, challenges assumptions and stirs discussion. Church does each of those things, doubtless inspiring some in the audience as it makes others uncomfortable.

The lead evangelist, Reverend José (Scott Douglas Wilson), is a hellfire-and-brimstone type... Often using the cadences of a sermon, Wilson soothes, confronts and berates his listeners in the play’s most powerful performance

Carey Brianna Hart is the nurturing but stressed-out manager who keeps the evangelical show on the road. Vanessa Elise invites prayer requests, then later delivers a mystifying story so fast that she seems to be speaking in tongues. Ann Marie Olson, who sings a glorious Amazing Grace at the top of the show, is the sinner-turned-believer, and Lee makes the details of her dark past truly creepy.

Fair warning to the heat-phobic: While staging this particular play in the Vanguard parking lot makes pragmatic and artistic sense, South Florida in August can be a little too evocative of Satan’s terrain. Cleverly, Thinking Cap’s program is printed on the back of a hand-held fan, but it provides about as much relief as a single ice cube in a steam room.

 

Thinking Cap Theatre Company presents its production Church through August 24, 2014.



The Scene for August 8, 2014
08/13/2014

Heat.  Humidity. Rain.  Rinse & repeat.  Thus do the days of August pass in a South Florida rainy season.

 

In days of yore, South Florida’s theatre scene would have rolled up the sidewalk by now; most actors and stagehands would be in the midst of summer stock productions across the middle of America. 

 

But that was then. 

Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series, a staged reading of Nancy Cheser’s new musical Broken English at Area Stage Company.  

 
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:


opening...

 

City Theatre and Island City Stage brings Shorts Gone Wild, a collection of 8 short plays with an LGBT spin, to Empire Stage through September 7.
 

Andrews Living Arts Studio presents Let My People Come, through September 6, 2014.

 

Mother, Me and the Monsters is coming and going; August 8 only at the Theatre at Arts Garage.

 

Oy Vey It’s Broadway opens this weekend at The Plaza Theater Cabaret. Through August 18.


 Thinking Cap Theatre Company presents its production Church through August 24, 2014.


you still haven't missed...

  
The Broward Stage Door Theatre offers Butterflies are Free through September 14.


Actors’ Playhouse opens Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues) through August 17, 2014.  As the title suggests, this is the long-awaited sequel to that blockbuster hit Midlife: The Crisis Musical.
  
GableStage opens its production of  Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, which runs through August 17.  
 
The Arsht Center is opening H2OMBRE, its latest immersive summer theatre experience, through August 31. 
 


community and conservatory...

 
The Main Street Players offers Becky's New Car through August 17.
 
The Area Stage Conservatory offers Sweeny Todd Fridays and Saturdays August 1 through 15.


for kids...
 
Sol Children’s Theatre presents Into The Woods, through August 24.



Stage Door Theatre: Butterflies are Free (reviews)
08/13/2014

BSD Butterflies - On Stage copyThe Broward Stage Door Theater opened its production of Butterflies are Free on August 1, 2014.

All Don Baker wants is a place of his own away from his over-protective mother. Don's been blind since birth, but that doesn't stop him from setting up in a New York apartment and making the acquaintance of his off-the-wall, liberated, actress neighbor Jill. Don learns the kind of things from Jill that his mother would never have taught him! And Jill learns from Don what growing up and being free is really all about.

Michael Leeds directs a cast that included Britt Michael Gordon, Gina Marie Jamieson, Brook Packard, and Andy Quiroga.

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:

…while Stage Door’s edition under director Michael Leeds is a pleasant enough afternoon’s diversion of humor and emotion, it’s never terribly compelling and the whole thing could use more pizzazz to make it feel satisfying.

The problem is it requires some extraordinary actors to energize the low-key proceedings, especially in the conflict-free first act. These folks are adequate but they don’t have that alchemical topspin that God gifts some people with and this show relies upon.

Gordon is suitably amiable, but Don is written to be laid-back and controlled. So that leaves Jill to be the engine for the first act. Jamieson is likable enough, but not distinctive enough. This was the role on stage that made people notice then wild child Blythe Danner and in the 1972 film version, Jill was kookiness incarnate, Goldie Hawn. Without that magic to enchant, Leeds moves the first act steadily but without much electricity.

Mrs. Baker is an equally tough problem. Packard is good at playing the uptight matron with the frozen face of polite geniality…the role was tailored to… archetypal acerbic judgmental motherhood. But underneath the off-putting behavior, you sensed her genuine concern for her son…. clearly a solid actress,(Packard) gets all of that in pieces, but not at the same time. Something doesn’t quite gel. She’s not intimidating enough to be a real threat to Don’s independence even though we’re supposed to feel the threat under her inspired brittle barbs.

One plus is that Leeds never lets the play remain static visually. People are usually in motion and Don even swings around the framework of his bed, which is about eight feet off the ground on stilts.

Andy Quiroga plays the small part of a pretentious off-off-Broadway director who has auditioned Jill for a part and who arrives at the loft to take her home with him. Quiroga is note perfect, setting up Packard’s verbal spikes like a professional volley ball player. We have said it repeatedly: Quiroga has to pay the family bills as a college educator but he’s one of a half-dozen grossly underutilized actors in the region.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:

…as Stage Door Theatre’s new production of Butterflies Are Free so engagingly demonstrates, vintage theater isn’t the same thing as dated theater. Butterflies isn’t Death of a Salesman or The Glass Menagerie, but it is truthful and resonant, and its combination of interpersonal drama and edgy humor makes for an absorbing, entertaining couple of hours.

Stage Door’s production works so well for a couple of reasons. The company hired director Michael Leeds and set designer Michael McClain, both Carbonell Award winners for the The Timekeepers at Island City Stage last season, to work their magic. A freelancer and onetime Tony Award nominee who has directed at Stage Door many times, Leeds works with his well-cast actors to shape richly colored performances, working the beats of a scene like a masterful conductor.

Gordon charms the audience from the opening moments of the play, before Don ever utters a word, and his charismatic appeal just keeps deepening... The actor impressively conveys Don’s romantic vulnerability and the fears he works so hard to hide.

Packard’s Mrs. Baker is, at first, a fierce and condescending mama bear. Her comments to Jill are delivered with a tight smile and inflections that border on the lethal. Yet Packard, too, lets us see the fears and love beneath the in-control façade.

Jill is often played as an airhead, and though Jamieson makes us laugh with the character’s penchant for misquoting, she captures the damaged and fearful young woman behind the bravado. As director Ralph Austin, Jill’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, the always-fine Andy Quiroga is all cringe-inducing, possessive swagger.

Thanks to the astute, skillful Leeds, Stage Door’s Butterflies Are Free floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. And it also, most significantly, touches the heart.

Butterflies are Free plays at Broward Stage Door Theater through September 14, 2014.



GableStage: The Whale (reviews)
08/13/2014

GableStage whale_adGableStage opened its production of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale on July 19, 2014…

A multiple Award-Winning Off-Broadway triumph about a six-hundred-pound reclusive gay man who is dying of congestive heart failure. Teaching English composition online from his disheveled apartment, he's desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter. He reaches out to her only to find a viciously sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen. Big-hearted and fiercely funny, it is the story of a man's last chance at redemption and of finding beauty in the most unexpected places.

Joseph Adler directed a cast that included Gregg Weiner, Deborah Sherman, Amy Miller Brennan, Karl Skylar Urban, and Arielle Hoffman.

 

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:

Like the title leviathan rising from the deep, GableStage’s production of The Whale begins with few ripples disturbing the placid surface. It’s even a bit frustrating waiting for the conflict to assert itself. But the vague outline of a behemoth emerges from the muck and it grows in emotional heft until it breaches the surface with shattering impact.

The performances molded by director Joseph Adler seem too muted for at least half the play, but as secrets tumble out and stakes intensify, everyone in the cast energizes their characters until the last quarter of the play sweeps away any misgivings. These are finely-tuned performances, not showy bravura turns.

The performances are uniformly solid, starting with Weiner who convincingly inhabits the physicality of a man who must rock in his sofa to get enough momentum to stand up, who finds walking unassisted a challenge, who is easily winded and who is doomed by worsening congestive heart failure.

Seen locally on stage since she was a young teen, Hoffman has been “promising” but in need of experience as seen in GableStage’s Hamlet and Palm Beach Dramaworks’ The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds, plus some staged readings.

But here, she zooms past “promising” and delivers a no-excuses no-asterisks performance as Ellie. She and Adler courageously make Ellie a troubled teen covered with an impenetrable coat of razor sharp porcupine needles – as unapologetically and unrelentingly abrasive as Hunter intends.

Sherman has only one scene, but it’s the second best in the script and she just nails it… Sherman’s Mary quickly brings us around, making it clear that raising Ellie has been a life-draining nightmare that has destroyed her life.

Miller Brennan reminds everyone who only thinks of her as a musical theater actress (such as Slowburn’s Chess and Actors’ Playhouse’s Ruthless! earlier this season) that she has the same considerable talent for straight drama. Her Liz is as fiercely protective as a feral creature defending her young. Meanwhile, Urban invests the bright evangelist with an earnest altruism that explains why Charlie allows him to hang around.

Ultimately, it’s a satisfying production of an engaging script by the hot young playwright responsible for A Bright New Boise and The Few.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:

Each of the five characters in Hunter’s absorbing play, which is getting an exquisitely acted production at GableStage through mid-August, is a damaged and lonely human being.

The Whale is, undeniably, full of serious content and conflict. Hunter explores issues of family abandonment, the religious tug-of-war between compassion and condemnation, and of course the dicey morality of supplying a self-destructive man with the means to do himself in. But the artistry of all those involved — the playwright, director Joseph Adler, an extraordinarily engaging cast — makes the play’s journey as rich and multidimensional as life itself.

Weiner, encased in a convincing 50-pound fat suit created by costume designer Ellis Tillman, literally anchors the production. His Charlie sits on a sagging sofa at centerstage, barely able to hoist himself up to the walker necessary for a laborious trek to the bathroom. Pleasant, smart, stoic and constantly apologetic, Weiner’s Charlie sports a will of iron under all that corpulence.

Arguably the play’s most unforgettable scene is the one that ends with an intricate emotional pas de deux between Weiner and Sherman. Mary blasts into Charlie’s cluttered, modest apartment, in full furious mom mode, ready for another verbal smack down with her disappointing daughter. When the former couple is finally alone, Mary tames her shaking hands with straight vodka, and the two begin a conversation that is part reminiscence, part reckoning. Sherman’s work is raw and powerful, the scene harrowing and beautiful .

On the page, Ellie reads as unrelentingly and sometimes unspeakably cruel. But the charismatic Hoffman creates a totally recognizable teen rebel who wears her aggressiveness like emotional armor, protecting a vulnerable heart. Both skilled and gifted, Hoffman is clearly a young actor with a big future.

Known in the region for her award-winning work in musical theater, Miller Brennan infuses Liz with a finely calibrated balance of humor, frustration and anger.

Urban’s Elder Thomas is, for much of the play, its comic relief, and the actor’s rendition of the character’s blind faith and problematic past work well opposite Hoffman’s manipulative cynicism. But his most powerful scene is his final one with Weiner, as the Mormon boy ardently gives voice to the belief that helped decimate Charlie’s life.

Roger Martin reviewed for Miami ArtZine:

As Charlie, Weiner is an endlessly apologizing gay, guilt ridden father, ponderously eating, sweating and manipulating. He’s The Whale or maybe not, for this one act by Samuel D. Hunter, covering five days in Charlie’s life, is a trove of allusions, connections and fascination.

Director Joe Adler has surrounded Weiner with a cast, Amy Miller Brennan, Arielle Hoffman, Deborah Sherman and Kyle Skyler Urban, that under Adler’s direction, gives an evening of theatre to be treasured. And you’ll certainly remember it.

With her powerful performance Amy Miller Brennan brings the conflicted Liz, the ultimate enabler with a drive to keep Charlie alive while killing him with food.

Arielle Hoffman is Ellie, sulkily scary as the malevolent teenager who hates the world and all within. Especially her father and Mary, her mother, played by Deborah Sherman.

Sherman, as the manic Mary, is a whirlwind of hate and rage and unexpected tenderness, the perfect portrait of one abandoned.

Everything in this production connects: Lyle Baskin’s messy, book filled apartment; Jeff Quinn’s slat shadowed lighting and undersea effects together with Matt Corey’s ocean sounds during scene changes; Ellis Tillman’s costumes.

If there’s such a thing as a tragedy that leaves you feeling fine then GableStage has it.

Hap Erstein reviewed for Palm Beach ArtsPaper:

…the play receiving its Southeastern premiere at Coral Gables’ GableStage, is as stuffed with themes as Charlie is with meatball subs. While it could stand to be put on an idea diet, it is hard to deny Hunter’s provocative dramatic situation and his ability to create juicy acting roles.

Weiner dominates the production, but director Joseph Adler pulls a couple of terrific performances from his young actors —Hoffman and Urban — which is one of his signature talents. Hoffman inhabits foul-mouthed, belligerent, pot-smoking Ellie with white-hot intensity, in marked contrast to Urban’s oblivious cool demeanor.

The usual GableStage design team helps to create the curious world of The Whale, from Lyle Baskin’s books and pizza boxes-strewn apartment to Ellis Tillman’s character-rich costumes and Jeff Quinn’s understated lighting.

For those more academically inclined than Charlie’s students, Hunter layers his play with allegorical references to Melville’s Moby-Dick and the Bible’s Jonah saga. Still, The Whale is hardly as profound as it wants to be, but it does contain a handful of remarkable characters that audiences are likely to be drawn to and repelled by.

The Whale plays at GableStage through August 17, 2014.



Mondays are Dark
08/13/2014

theatre_festival_home…except in the summer; the South Florida Theatre League  brings you Summer Theatre Fest, a series of free play readings hosted at member theaters across South Florida. They occur every Monday night through the end of August.  And now that it is August, that means you’ve only got five chances left to catch on.
 

Tonight, the play is a reading of It Feels Good by Michael Yawney, at GableStage.  You can read about his play on South Florida Gay News.

 

Now here’s the rest of your Monday reading list:

 

Ch-ch-change

Boca Magazine reports that several arts organizations in Palm Beach County are transitioning to new leadership, including the Delray Beach Center for the Arts.  If that doesn’t ring a bell, it includes the Crest Theatre.

 

The Miami Scene

The Miami Herald ran its Sunday arts scene column on schedule, and it includes a notice that Estelle Parsons will be performing in the Palm Beach Dramaworks production of Israel Horovitz’s My Old Lady.  Also, the Arsht Center has expanded their schedule, and Conundrum Stages is going all out this Friday at Sunrise Civic Center Theatre.

 

The Bard in Boca

Boca Tribune fills us in on the upcoming production of The Comedy of Errors being presented by Evening Star Productions later this month.

 

End of an Era

The Miami Herald reports on the closing of a legend; Ruth Regina’s wig shop in Aventura.  The landlord wants to put another business in there, presumably at a much higher rent.

During a career that coincided with the glory days of showbiz glamor in South Florida, she applied makeup to the faces of presidents and all four of the Beatles; got Gene Kelly to guide her through a dance he did with Judy Garland in 1942’s For Me and My Gal; hobnobbed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis and other stars.

Another Opening

Broadway World reports on the upcoming production of Butterflies are Free, which opened Friday at the Broward Stage Door Theatre.  Michael Leeds directs.

 

In Other News

The Stage News (UK) reports that nearly two thirds of theatregoers do not read reviews.

Meanwhile the survey found only around 3% of the 317 respondents use social media to discuss a performance after attending the theatre.

Bad, and worse.  What are these people doing, talking face to face?

The majority (around 80%) of those who said they had discussed a show after going to the theatre said they did this face-to-face, rather than via the phone, email, Facebook or Twitter.

How very Elizabethan of them!



The Scene for August 1, 2014
08/13/2014

August.  You don’t get any more  summer than August.  We are deep into one of the busiest summer seasons ever.


Isn’t it nice to know that no matter how opressively hot it might get outside, there are nice cool theaters all over South Florida to slip into?

Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series.  
 
This Monday’s reading is at GableStage, where they will be reading It Feels Good, by Michael Yawney.

 
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:


opening...
  
The Broward Stage Door Theatre opens Butterflies are Free through September 14.



you still haven't missed...

Actors’ Playhouse opens Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues) through August 17, 2014.  As the title suggests, this is the long-awaited sequel to that blockbuster hit Midlife: The Crisis Musical.
  
GableStage opens its production of  Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, which runs through August 17.  
 
The Arsht Center is opening H2OMBRE, its latest immersive summer theatre experience, through August 31. 


last chance to see...
 

Palm Beach DramaWorks’s has a certifiable hit with its concert version of The Most Happy Fella, which has been extended through August 3rd, tickets are selling fast, so call now.  We’ll be there Saturday evening.
 
Re-Designing Women plays at Empire Stage through August 3.



community and conservatory... 
 
Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts presents Les Miserables, through August 3.

 
The Main Street Players offers Becky's New Car through August 17.

 

The Area Stage Conservatory offers Sweeny Todd Fridays and Saturdays August 1 through 15.
 

This week’s entry in the FIU Alternative Theatre Festival is Play On, by Rick Abbot.


for kids...
 
This is the final weekend for Pinocchio at Actors’ Playhouse. A pleasant and air-conditioned way to pass your Saturday afternoon.
 

Lake Worth Playhouse presents School House Rock Live! this weekend only.  It’s the junior version, which means it’s kids playing for kids.



Mondays are Dark
08/13/2014

theatre_festival_home…except in the summer; the South Florida Theatre League  brings you Summer Theatre Fest, a series of free play readings hosted at member theaters across South Florida. They occur every Monday night through the end of August.
 
Today it's another double header:  Pigs Do Fly Productions will present Marj O'Neill Butler's Desperation at Empire Stage at 7:30 pm, while Teatro Promoteo will be reading Hector Pino's Tres Marias at 8:00pm.
 
Here’s the rest of your Monday reading list.
 

This week in The Herald:

The Herald’s weekly South Florida Arts Scene column includes the winners of Mad Cat Theatre Company’s scholarhip program, their upcoming reading at Books & Books, and their production of Centralia. Also, congratulations to Caryl Ginsburg Fantel for her appointment to the board of the Broward Cultural Council.
 

Winged Pigs

Broadway World fills us in on the upcoming production of 50+: A Celebration of Life As We Know it by Pigs Do Fly Productions.  They sold out their run at Empire Stage back in May, so they are reviving it at Showtime Performing Arts Theatre starting August 14.
 

Talkin’ In the Green Room

Florida Theatre On Stage interviews director Michael Leeds.
When did you know this was what you wanted to do and why?
I was the messenger in a production of Cinderella

Speaking of Cinderella

Playbill reports that the cast of the National Tour of Cinderella will include Miami’s own Aymee Garcia as Charlotte.  Cogratulations, Aymee!
  

When Animals “Do It”

The Miami New Times reports that Isabella Rossellini will be performing her piece Green Pornos to the Fillmore Miami Beach this coming November.
 

Good News for the Arts

The Palm Beach Daily News reports that Americans are now donating to the arts at levels near what they were prior to the recessions.







The Scene for July 25, 2014
08/13/2014

 You can't deny the season; it is summer, with all the pounding heat and summer rain that defines a South Florida summer rainy season.

But you don't have to scramble for shade; slip into a nice, cool theater and escape the weather for a while.

Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series.  
 
Another double header:  Pigs Do Fly Productions will present Marj O'Neill Butler's Desperation at Empire Stage at 7:30 pm, while Teatro Promoteo will be reading Hector Pino's Tres Marias at 8:00pm.

 
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:



opening...
  
Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy opened this week at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, but it closes on Sunday and heads to Dubai.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus also plays at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, but it closes Saturday.




you still haven't missed...

Actors’ Playhouse opens Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues) through August 17, 2014.  As the title suggests, this is the long-awaited sequel to that blockbuster hit Midlife: The Crisis Musical.
  
GableStage opens its production of  Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, which runs through August 17.  
 
Palm Beach DramaWorks offers its concert version of The Most Happy Fella, which has been extended through August 3rd, but that's only 3 performances so call now.
 
The Arsht Center is opening H2OMBRE, its latest immersive summer theatre experience, through August 31. 

 
Re-Designing Women plays at Empire Stage through August 3.


last chance to see...
 
 Bernstein on Broadway winds up its run at The Plaza Theatre this Sunday July 27.

This is the final weekend for  Teatro Avante's the XXIX International Hispanic Theatre Festival; It closes this weekend on July 27.  Plays will be staged at the Arsht Center, Teatro Promoteo, the Adriana Barraza Acting Studio, and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.  You can read about it on the Miami Herald, which also has the list of productions posted.



community and conservatory...
 
Florida Atlantic University presents August: Osage County   through July 26th.   It’s playing in repertory with Bonnie and Clyde, The Musical which closes the following day, July 27th.
 
Lake Worth Playhouse opens Legally Blonde: The Musical through July 27th.
 
Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts opens Les Miserables, through August 3.
 
The Main Street Players opens Becky's New Car this weekend in Miami Lakes, through August 17.
 


for kids...
 
Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre offers Shrek: The Musical through July 20.
   
The Delray Beach Playhouse offers Disney’ Alice in Wonderland Jr. through Saturday July 19.
 
Rapunzel plays at the  The Broward Center through Saturday, July 19 in the Amaturo Theatre.

Area Stage Company offers its conservatory production of Once Upon A Mattress through Sunday.
 
Sol Children’s Theatre presents The Commedia Pinocchio, through Sunday.
 

Actors’ Playhouse offers a completely different version of Pinnochio through August 2.  They have scheduled a sensory-friendly performance on July 26.





The Scene for July 18, 2014
08/13/2014

The summer theater season is starting to heat up, as GableStage and Actors’ Playhouse open their summer shows, and Palm Beach Dramaworks opens its next concert version of a well-known but rarely-produced musical.
 
Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series!  
 
This week is another double-head:  New Light Theatre will be reading Wendy White’s Roses are Blind at Empire Stage, while Actors’ Playhouse will be staging a reading of Juan C. Sanchez’s Dead By Night at The Miracle Theater.  It’s also an opportunity to see some of the decorated umbrellas that theatre companies are doing as part of the festival.  And you have an opportunity for free chocolate.

 
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:


opening... 
  
Actors’ Playhouse opens Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues) through August 17, 2014.  As the title suggests, this is the long-awaited sequel to that blockbuster hit Midlife: The Crisis Musical.

  

GableStage opens its production of  Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, which runs through August 17.  

 

Palm Beach DramaWorks opens its concert version of The Most Happy Fella, which plays this weekend and next.


you still haven't missed...
 

Teatro Avante presents the XXIX International Hispanic Theatre Festival this weekend through July 27.  Plays will be staged at the Arsht Center, Teatro Promoteo, the Adriana Barraza Acting Studio, and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.  You can read about it on the Miami Herald, which also has the list of productions posted.

 
The Arsht Center is opening H2OMBRE, its latest immersive summer theatre experience, through August 31. 
 
Bernstein on Broadway plays at The Plaza Theatre through July 27.

 
Re-Designing Women plays at Empire Stage through August 3.


last chance to see...
 

Ground Up and Rising winds up its run of 9 Circles at Artistic Vibes this Sunday, July 20.

 

Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s  Much Ado About Nothing ends its run at Carlin Park on Sunday, July 20.

 


community and conservatory...
 
Florida Atlantic University presents August: Osage County   through July 26th.   It’s playing in repertory with Bonnie and Clyde, The Musical which closes the following day, July 27th.
 
Lake Worth Playhouse opens Legally Blonde: The Musical through July 27th.
 
Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts opens Les Miserables, through August 3.
 


for kids...
 
Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre offers Shrek: The Musical through July 20.
   
The Delray Beach Playhouse offers Disney’ Alice in Wonderland Jr. through Saturday July 19.
 
Rapunzel plays at the  The Broward Center through Saturday, July 19 in the Amaturo Theatre.

Area Stage Company offers its conservatory production of Once Upon A Mattress through Sunday.

 

Sol Children’s Theatre presents The Commedia Pinocchio, through Sunday.

 

Actors’ Playhouse offers a completely different version of Pinnochio through August 2.  They have scheduled a sensory-friendly performance on July 26.



Ground Up and Rising: 9 Circles (reviews)
08/13/2014

Ground Up 9 circlesGround Up and Rising opened its production of Bill Cain’s 9 Circles at the Miami Botanical Garden on July 5, 2014. The production moved to Artistic Vibes on July 12, 2014.
A psychological thriller based on actual events, 9 CIRCLES tells the story of an American soldier on trial for his life. The young soldier—honorably discharged but then accused of an unspeakable war crime in Iraq—Daniel Reeves is forced to navigate a Dante-esque labyrinth of commanding officers, public defenders, lawyers, preachers and military psychiatrists. By turns shocking, mesmerizing and bitingly funny, 9 CIRCLES accompanies this astonishing young soldier on a tour de force journey to a shattering conclusion in which the infinite size and tremendous power of a young man’s soul is revealed.
Arturo Rossi directed a cast that featured Christian Vandepas, Collin Carmouze, and Valentina Izarra
 
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
…this scrappy Miami company co-founded by director Arturo Rossi deserves unstinting praise for attempting this Herculean script and for enabling Christian Vandepas’ volcanic eruption as a profoundly unbalanced soldier returning from Iraq to face charges of committing a horrendous atrocity against civilians.
Vandepas fearlessly opens a carotid artery and spews lifeblood onto the stage until its splashes indiscriminately on the walls like a crime scene. The energy and commitment are breath-taking. The primary problem is that Vandepas and Rossi start at the top of the emotional range and have nowhere to go.
The second problem is that the script by Bill Cain has dimensions within dimensions, thematic layers inside layers that a production is supposed to peel away scene by scene. Instead, Ground Up’s production hammers at only one facet, albeit very well, but one: How we all are complicit in immorally feeding young people into the soul-destroying maw of the machinery of war – and then hypocritically acting morally outraged at the dehumanization we have wrought.
Rossi certainly has ripped emotion out of the entire cast, kept the long play moving at a steady clip and moved his actors around so that the very talky play never seems static. But he has not helped Vandepas build an emotional arc. He just establishes a raging river that flows by the audience instead of allowing us to get inside Reeves and grow with him.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Ground Up & Rising’s exploration of 9 Circles at the intimate Artistic Vibes space in south Miami is pointedly minimalist, keeping the focus on Cain’s words. Director and sound designer Arturo Rossi has the actors work on a nearly barren stage, with a few chairs, a cot and a bucket suggesting Reeves’ shrinking world.
Luis Daniel Ettorre and O’Neil Delapenha as nearly wordless military guards reinforce the play’s nine-scene structure, manipulating Reeves and bringing him the prison jumpsuit that replaces his uniform. But the richer acting opportunity goes to Collin Carmouze and Valentina Izarra, each playing multiple roles as the people who fleetingly attempt to guide Reeves as he moves toward oblivion.
Vandepas …has the difficult challenge of playing man and monster. As the other characters note, Reeves is adept at feigning rage and madness, and at various points he is deluded, soulless and grasping for a way to feel as others do. Rossi lets Vandepas convey a lot of this torment, real and manufactured, with agitated shouting that becomes less effective the more it’s used.
Still, 9 Circles is a provocative, disturbing exploration of a man-made hell on earth.
John Thomason reviewed for The Miami New Times:
As the play's title suggests, Cain borrowed his structure from Dante's Inferno and modeled his character's journey from military discharge to court sentencing on Dante's descent through the nine circles of Hell.  It's a tough theatrical pill to swallow and to perform, but luckily we have the likes of Ground Up and Rising, one of Miami's most fearless companies, willing to tackle it.
Full of potent insights about the slapdash vetting of military recruitment and war's monstrosity, 9 Circles is theater of the brain, if not the gut; in director Arturo Rossi's hands, it doesn't connect on an emotional level until the very end. Part of this is no doubt due to Cain's unique but coolly ­distancing structure — awkward forays into fourth-wall-breaking meta-theater don't work. And the play, which was revised from about 80 minutes to its current two-plus-hour incarnation, is simply too long.
But there's also a sense that Rossi is trying too hard to ratchet up the intensity. There's an awful lot of yelling in this production, understandable coming from Vandepas' mentally unstable murderer but less so from the attorneys and religious leaders who question him.
Collin Carmouze, who plays an Army lieutenant, an Army attorney, a pastor, and a civilian lawyer, doesn't sufficiently differentiate his characters.
Valentina Izarra, who likewise takes on three supporting roles, fares better at disappearing into each of them, imbuing her secretly frightened lawyer, hardened shrink, and genteel prosecutor with commendable degrees of nuance.
But it's Vandepas who keeps this occasionally blustery schooner of a play from capsizing. Emblematic of a certain kind of empathy-starved soldier, Vandepas illuminates his character's tortured, conflicted psyche, turning a potentially detestable psychopath into one who earns our pity... None of Vandepas' tear-stained breakdowns or irrepressible explosions feels rehearsed, and he quickly gets under our skin.
9 Circles may be long-winded at times, its narrative stretched unnecessarily to honor the density of its literary conceit. But its climax is such a stroke of brilliance that it overpowers the show's problems
 
The Ground Up and Rising  production of Bill Cain’s 9 Circles plays at Artistic Vibes through  July 20, 2014.



The Scene for July 4th, 2014
08/13/2014


As Hurricane Arthur drags the clouds up to the Hatteras, we're expecting a glorious Independence Day weekend.

Interestingly, one theater is hosting a 4th of July party complete with a show: New Theatre.
  
Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series!  

This coming Monday it’s Andie Arthur's Endless Song, staged by Lost Girls Theatre at the Deering Estate.  There's been a tremendous turnout for these plays, we hope to see you there.

Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:

opening...


New Theater unveils its bi-annual  Miami 1-Acts Festival at Artistic Vibes this Friday, July 4th.  It kicks off at 5pm with a BBQ competition. followed by a happy hour, then on to the plays.  You can read about it on Florida Theater On Stage.

Ground Up and Rising returns to the theatre scene with 9 Circles, at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.

Somehow the opening of Re-Designing Women slipped through our radar when it opened last weekend, but it's playing at Empire Stage through August 3.


you still haven't missed...
 
The Theatre at Arts Garage production of Ring of Fire plays through July 13, 2014.  Many dates are already sold out as of this posting.
 
Broward Stage Door Theater offers On the Radio: Sounds of the 70s through July 27, 2014. 
 

community and conservatory...
 
The Delray Beach Playhouse presents Make Someone Happy through July 11, 2014.
  
Florida Atlantic University presents August: Osage County as part of its Festival Rep program. It's part of their summer residencey program, so the students are working with professional actors Wayne LeGette and Kim Ostrenko.  Through July 26th.    

last chance to see...
 
City Theatre's 19th annual  Summer Shorts one-act play festival at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts winds it up on July 6, 2014.
 
Broward Stage Door Theater produtction of  Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh also closes this Sunday, July 6, 2014.  




The Scene for June 27, 2014
08/13/2014


It’s been awful hot this week, the kind of heat you only get in a South Florida Summer.

And that means that it’s time for the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series!  

Every Monday from June until August, member companies will be hosting readings of plays by South Florida Playwrights. This coming Monday it’s another double-header; it’s a choice between The Pot read by The Main Street Players in Miami Lakes, or The Signature of Fear, read by Theatre XP in Key West.
 
While one of these gives you the excuse of driving to Key West, Main Street Players are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year

Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:

opening...
The Women’s Theatre Project opens Girl Play 2014 at the Pride Center this weekend.
 
The national tour of Spank! Harder plays at The Parker Playhouse this Friday and Saturday.
 

you still haven't missed...
 
The Theatre at Arts Garage production of Ring of Fire plays through July 13, 2014.  Many dates are already sold out as of this posting.
 
City Theatre presents the 19th annual  Summer Shorts one-act play festival at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, through July 6, 2014.
 
Broward Stage Door Theater offers Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh through July 6, 2014.  
 
Broward Stage Door Theater offers On the Radio: Sounds of the 70s through July 27, 2014. 
 

coming and going...
 
Spank! Harder plays at The Parker Playhouse this Friday and Saturday.
 

community and conservatory...
 
The Delray Beach Playhouse presents Make Someone Happy through July 11, 2014.
  
Florida Atlantic University presents August: Osage County as part of its Festival Rep program. It's part of their summer residencey program, so the students are working with professional actors Wayne LeGette and Kim Ostrenko.  Through July 26th.
   

last chance to see...
 
Entr’Acte Theatrix presents Avenue Q at the Delray Beach Center for the Performing Arts through June 29.
 
The Palm Beach Dramaworks presents the concert version of the musical Zorba! through June 29, 2014.
 
Annie plays at the Sol Children’s Theater through June 29, 2014
 
The Slow Burn Theatre Company production of High Fidelity plays through June 29.
 
The Plaza Theatre offers Cougar the Musical, through June 29.



Mondays are Dark
08/13/2014

theatre_festival_homeActually, Monday’s aren’t so dark in the summer; the South Florida Theatre League  brings you Summer Theatre Fest, a series of free play readings hosted at member theaters across South Florida. They occur every Monday night through the end of August.

 
Tonight you have not one but two choices:  Palm Beach Dramaworks will be reading Julie Gilbert’s Juxtaposition, while The Krane will be reading their original work Outside at Books and Books in Coral Gables.
 
And before we forget, Florida Theater On Stage reminds us that the deadline to sign up for a Free Night of Theatre is today.

Here’s your steamy summer’s day reading list.

 

Final Exit, Jay Harris

Jay Harris was an integral part of the South Florida theatre scene, and he left us all too soon this past Friday.  He not only helped to shape the Carbonell Awards into its current format, he supported numerous small and excellent theater companies over the years, making him responsible for some of the finest plays ever performed in South Florida.  Florida Theater On Stage has posted an extensive obituary, as has The Miami Herald.  You can find his Legacy guest book through The Sun Sentinel.

 

FESTIVALS FESTIVALS FESTIVALS

The Miami Herald reports that… ah, screw it.  I already typed this once and lost it to the thunderstorm.  Here’s what Christine Dolen said:

Three South Florida playwrights are headed to prestigious fringe theater festivals this summer: Kim Ehly to the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) with her play Baby GirL, Luis Sosa and Casey Dressler to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their plays Mangos & Rice and The Wedding Warrior.

If you’d like to help, here are the links you need:

www.gofundme.com/babygirlgoestonyc.

www.gofundme.com/EdinburghFringeDream.

But wait, there’s one more festival: the same article reminds us that The Women’s Theatre Project and Pride Center will be presenting the fifth annual Girl Play festival.  A total of 18 scripts will be presented in batches of 6 plays in each program.  The Sun-Sentinel talks with some of this year’s directors about the offerings.

Oh, and Ground Up and Rising is rising up again in July.

 

It’s All Greek To Us

Florida Weekly tells us that Palm Beach Dramaworks is running the concert version of Zorba! this week, but Florida Theater On Stage sits down with its star, veteran Broadway actor William Parry (Sunday in the Park with George, Camelot, and Gypsy)

As he relates the philosophy of his title character in the musical Zorba, William Parry’s acting chops are so second-nature that he probably doesn’t realize that a slight Greek accent is slipping into his warm deep baritone and a brio is filling the small, hot conference room at Palm Beach Dramaworks…

…that distinctive voice is instantly recognizable to any fan of Stephen Sondheim who has listened to his musicals on CD over and over.

-- Florida Theater On Stage, June 18, 2014

 

Now in English

The Miami Herald reports that Micro Theatre Miami will be offering some programming in English.

The deal with Micro Theater is that the plays are short (about 15 minutes each) and inexpensive (just $5 gets you into a show). Each show is performed six times per night, so you can opt for a brief, cheap experience or see every play for $25 and still get out in under two hours, waiting time between shows included.

And there’s a mini-review of each of the current offerings.

 

New Times Besties.

It’s that time of year, when our local editions of The New Times publishes the results of their popularity contests – may the theatres with the most social-media-savvy patrons win!

The Miami New Times  honors  The Alliance Theatre Lab’s cast of Savage in Limbo, Erin Joy Schmidt, Karen Stephens, the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, the national tour of Elf, Nicholas Richberg, Ethan Henry, Tarell Alvin McRaney, the set of Zoetic Stage’s Assassins, The Actors’ Playhouse production of End of the Rainbow, Zoetic Stage, and their production of Fear Up Harsh,

The Broward/Palm Beach New Times recognizes Todd Allen Durkin, Valentina Izarra, Dennis Creaghan, Kim Ostrenko AND Betsy Graver, Slow Burn’s production of Parade, the set design of Island City Stage’s The Timekeepers, Slow Burn Theatre Company, The Timekeepers, Patrick Fitzwater, and the Theatre at Arts Garage production of The Longing and the Short Of It.

 

So It’s Not READING…

Arts Radio Network has a podcast up about Ring of Fire at Arts Garage.

 

Put Away The Scissors!

BroadwayWorld summarizes the stories of two productions that got caught messing with scripts to plays they were producing.  It seems that directors keep forgetting that the license for doing a published play includes a directive that the play can’t be changed in any way without consulting with the holder of the copyright.  It happened down here last year with a staged reading of a musical (corrected immediately) , and it happened a few years ago at the old Coconut Grove Playhouse (production shut down by the publisher).

So if you are a director, and you’re directing a published play, please remember that you can’t change the script, the order of the scenes, the lines, who says what line, or the gender of any character, unless you get permission from the playwright or his agents.  I state this for that one director we all know about who has so far gotten away with it.  But it won’t last.  And that kind of scandal is the last thing we need if we’re reviving a theatre that already got slapped for doing it in South Florida.  With much love, The Scene.



Actors’ Playhouse: Mid-Life 2: The Crisis Continues (reviews)
08/13/2014

APMT Midlife for Mainstage PageActors’ Playhouse opened its production of Mid-Life 2: The Crisis Continues by Jim Walton & Bob Walton at The Miracle Theater on July 16, 2014.

Brand new, hot off the press, and just as hilarious as it's predecessor MID-LIFE! The Crisis Musical, that performed to critical acclaim at Actors' Playhouse in the summer of 2008.

MID-LIFE 2! (The Crisis Continues) takes us back into our middle ages with a hilariously tuneful look at the ever-growing legion of Mid-Lifers. Sketch comedy and musical comedy combine in this very funny and entertainingly witty new musical, guaranteed to serve up reflections of all our lives.

David Arisco directed a cast that included Wayne Steadman, Margot Moreland, Lourelene Snedeker, Allan Baker, Barry J. Taralla, and Maribeth Graham.

 

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:

Once again, director David Arisco and company have achieved precisely what they sought: a fun, light-hearted divertissement.

But the quality of the material is not worthy of the skill, talent, polish and unflagging commitment lavished on it by Arisco, music director David Nagy and cast members Allan Baker, Maribeth Graham, Margot Moreland, Lourelene Snedeker, Wayne Steadman and Barry J. Tarallo. These folks are troupers.

It’s all whistling past the graveyard, right down to Gene Seyffer’s set design, which includes the title of each number projected above the stage, except that the letters are blurry until a giant magnifying glass slips over it.

But the material is unfailingly delivered with verve and professionalism, such as poor Moreland gamely throwing herself into a silly number about an embarrassed mother picking out condoms at a pharmacy to ensure that her teenager practices safe sex. Or there’s Tarallo and Snedeker in a weak skit about a device that helps a husband filter out ambient noise in a crowded restaurant.

The best moments are the quiet ones not reaching for laughs such as Snedeker lending her lovely voice to the joys of hearing a single word, “Nana.” Or Snedeker and Steadman recalling their courtship during a visit to the old neighborhood.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:

Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables concocted a zesty, observant summertime hit with its 2008 production of Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical.  This summer, Actors’ and artistic director David Arisco have returned to the well for a sequel, Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues).

But (you saw that “but” coming, right?) Mid-Life 2! doesn’t come close to being the gem that the original was.

As with Mid-Life!, the sequel mixes songs and sketches, pairing the men and women in different combinations, offering solos and duets and group numbers. The cast’s acting ability and vocal prowess go a long way toward selling even the weaker material, but there’s only so much a musical theater talent can do.

Set designer Gene Seyffer, costume designer Ellis Tillman, lighting designer Luke Klingberg and sound designer Mitch Furman have given the show the quick-change style it needs, creating an expressive little world for each segment.

Thanks to the multiple characters they play, the actors shine and suffer in equal measure.

Moreland has a funny second-act bit about a woman in heavy disguise buying condoms, but not for her own use; earlier, she plays a patient understandably creeped out by having skin tags and age spots removed. On the number Where’d I Put My Glasses?, Steadman is a guy desperately seeking his specs (they’re perched atop his head), Graham conducts a frantic search for her phone (she’s talking on it), and Baker is a guy who gets distracted every five seconds. Been there!

Snedeker gets the show’s most moving song, Nana, about a woman’s love for the baby girl who made her a grandmother. The guys do a new riff on the Weekend Warriors bit from the first show, this time playing men testing their “athletic” prowess on various Wii games. Poor Tarallo and Baker take Yet Another Trip to the Doctor, this time to deal with the enduring effects of a little blue pill that worked way too well.

Roger Martin reviewed for Miami ArtZine:

You might suspect something is not quite right with a show when the opening remarks from the Artistic Director contain the words: World Premiere, Sequel, Development Version and Corrected Script Going Back to the Writers. And you’d be oh so right.

Six middle aged, good, veteran actors (they were in the original 2008 show) do their best to bring to life a musical revue in which the paucity of ideas is exceeded only by the obviousness of the whole affair.

But hey, it’s a musical, and these actors can really sing and David Nagy can really play the piano so what could possibly go wrong? Well, nothing really, if only the writers had written something interesting, non-derivative and with even the snatch of a melody. Choreography? Nah.

Sara Whitford wrote for Edge Miami:

Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues), directed by David Arisco and book, music and lyrics by Jim and Bob Walton, reminds us to laugh about once youthful bodies that now look like melted candles, the daily memory loss and the often ludicrous side effects of heart medications. All ages will appreciate the hilarious comedy sketches that have the spontaneity of "SNL" but with a theme that keeps getting better as the play progresses.

The actors, who are the original cast from the 2008 Mid Life Crisis: The Musical, sang their hearts out and the pianist and musical director David Nagy didn't miss a beat. Clearly, this talented cast are veterans of the stage, particularly musical theatre. Allan Baker stands out with his uproarious physical comedy in Side Effects. Regardless of age, there is something hilarious about burps that sound like violent thunderstorms and his uncontrollable animal sounds reminded me of the silly genius of Monty Python.

Margot Moreland is especially ticklish in her rendition of A Trip to the Drugstore

However, there were some awkward moments in the script, particularly in the "Nana" sketch. Following the silly "Weekend Warriors" and the Richard Simmons workout clothes, I was expecting more farcical comedy but instead was confused with the shameless amount of schmaltz depicting the joys of being a grandparent. This would have translated better and have kept the comedic momentum in tact if the song had been balanced with a joke or two.

The play comes full circle toward the end and after all of their moaning and creaking and complaining, the characters return to the joys of their inner child and the importance of always remembering to stay young at heart. Perhaps this is why Mid Life 2! hits close to home for people of all ages, because after all, nobody gets out alive.

The Actors’ Playhouse production of Mid-Life 2: The Crisis Continues plays at The Miracle Theater through August 17, 2014.



Mondays are Dark
08/13/2014

theatre_festival_home…except in the summer; the South Florida Theatre League  brings you Summer Theatre Fest, a series of free play readings hosted at member theaters across South Florida. They occur every Monday night through the end of August.
 
Today there are actually TWO readings- Actors’ Playhouse will be reading Juan C. Sanchez’ Dead by Night at the Miracle Theater at 7:30 pm, and The New Light Foundation will be reading Wendy White’s Roses are Blind at Empire Stage at 8:00 pm.
 


Here’s the rest of your Monday reading list.
 

You know, for the kids…

Miami ArtZine attended  a performance of City Theatre’s The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful (and Her Dog) at the Adrienne Arsht Center with a bunch of kids from Opa-Locka.

The fun musical was a hit with the children from Opa-locka, who all agreed that the absolute best part was her dog Newton’s rap performance, but many said they also enjoyed learning about the solar system and about how cool science can be. The children also had the opportunity to meet the actors personally and take photos with them to round up an exciting and memorable day.

Celebrating a Life

Florida Theater On Stage reports that the late Jay Harris will be remembered at GableStage tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm.  Mr. Harris was a champion of South Florida Theater who passed away last month due to complications from surgery for a damaged hip replacement.  It’s suggested that you call 305-445-1113 to ensure that you have a seat.  We expect it to be crowded.  Jay touched so many lives in South Florida Theatre.

 

Busy August for MadCat

There are two separate stories in Broadway World about upcoming MadCat Theatre Company projects: the first article reports that the company will be presenting Centralia

Mad Cat's Artistic Director, Paul Tei first became aware of Superbolt Theatre in the summer of 2012 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when Mad Cat's production of Going Green the Wong Way, by Kristina Wong was also being presented.

The second article tells us that the company will be launching a new playreading series:

Mad Cat, in collaboration with Books & Books, is pleased to announce the BANNED/NEW Reading Series featuring plays that have been formerly banned for their dissident, provocative content as well as new works that examine freedom of speech and expression.

The first free reading is AUDIENCE by Václav Havel at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

 

Herald’s Arts Scene

The Miami Herald’s Arts Scene is chock full this week: it leads with Outré Theatre Company’s move from the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, with a brief stop at Sol Theatre/Evening Star Productions.

“It’s a phenomenal opportunity for us,” artistic director Skye Whitcomb said in a statement thanking Broward Center executives Shelly Bradshaw and Jill Kratish. “… when they gave us this wonderful opportunity, we couldn’t pass it up.”

They’ll be performing in the Center’s Abdo New River Room, where Slow Burn Theatre Company is also staging a couple of productions.

 

Jungle Fever

The Sun-Sentinel interviews Neil Goldberg and other members of his creative team about Cirque Dreams Jungle Fever, opening Tuesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.



Mondays are Dark
08/13/2014

theatre_festival_homeActually, Monday’s aren’t so dark in the summer; the South Florida Theatre League  brings you Summer Theatre Fest, a series of free play readings hosted at member theaters across South Florida. They occur every Monday night through the end of August.
 
Tonight’s reading at Miami Theatre Festival is very special: The Dana Plays are also a fund raiser.  You can read all about it in The Miami Herald, Florida Theater On Stage, and Miami ArtZine.

Here’s the rest of your Monday reading list.
 

More Plaza More Plays

The Shiny Sheet reports that The Plaza Theatre has a full line-up at its theatre space and its new cabaret space.

 

So What’s a LORT?

Backstage explains the League Of Regional Theatres.  South Florida is down to one LORT theatre: the Maltz Jupiter Theater.  The rest have all closed, including Florida Stage and Caldwell Theater Company.  While several new companies have sprung up, none of them – actually, all of them together don’t really fill the holes left by the closing of these companies.

 

Summer Rep

Palm Beach Arts Paper gets out to see Bonnie and Clyde at Florida Atlantic University’s Festival Rep.  It’s running in repertory with August: Osage County.  It’s a great program, bringing in theatre professionals to work alongside the students.  This year, that includes Wayne LeGette, and Kim Ostrenko.  You can read up on the history of the program at The Sun-Sentinel.

 

Legacy by the Sea
The Sun-Sentinel talks with Kermit Christman, Artistic Director of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, currently running Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, adapted by the late Kevin Crawford.

“And then all of a sudden he passed,” says Christman. “And in the days afterward his family called and said, ‘We found something. We found his adaptation of ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ I said, ‘In heaven’s name send it to me.’ Kevin, literally months ahead…had already gone to work on the play. He made cuts so that it now moves at the speed of lightning.”

Palm Beach Shakes has established the Dr. Kevin Crawford Fellowship in honor of the late actor/director/playwright.



The Scene for July 11, 2014
08/13/2014

As this glorious summer continues, we hope that you don’t have to fight off a summer cold.  They are relentless, sap your strength, and delay blog updates.
 
Monday will bring the latest entry in the Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest Reading Series!  
 
This week, the South Florida Theatre League teams up with Naked Stage to produce The Dana Plays at Miami Theatre Center. It’s an event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and for Dana Castelllano, the inspiration for the evening who is fighing cancer.  You can read up on the event at The Miami Herald and Miami ArtZine.
 
Here's what’s playing on the scene this weekend:

opening...
  
Teatro Avante presents the XXIX International Hispanic Theatre Festival this weekend through July 27.  Plays will be staged at the Arsht Center, Teatro Promoteo, the Adriana Barraza Acting Studio, and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.  You can read about it on the Miami Herald, which also has the list of productions posted.
 
The Arsht Center is opening H2OMBRE, its latest immersive summer theatre experience, through August 31. 
 
Bernstein on Broadway opens at The Plaza Theatre through July 27.
  

you still haven't missed...
 
Ground Up and Rising returns to the theatre scene with 9 Circles, at Artistic Vibes through July 20.
 
Re-Designing Women plays at Empire Stage through August 3.
 

last chance to see...
 
The Theatre at Arts Garage production of Ring of Fire plays through July 13, 2014.  Many dates are already sold out as of this posting.
 
Broward Stage Door Theater offers On the Radio: Sounds of the 70s through July 27, 2014.
  

community and conservatory...
 
Florida Atlantic University presents August: Osage County   through July 26th.   It’s playing in repertory with Bonnie and Clyde, The Musical which closes the following day, July 7th.
 
Lake Worth Playhouse opens Legally Blonde: The Musical through July 27th.
 
Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts opens Les Miserables, through August 3.
 
Florida International University continues its Alternative Theatre Festival with Catherine’s Wheel through July 12.
  

for kids...

Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre offers Shrek: The Musical through July 20.
 
The Delray Beach Playhouse offers Disney’ Alice in Wonderland Jr. through July 19.

Rapunzel plays at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center this weekend, and The Broward Center next weekend.









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