Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Scene for September 19, 2014

It’s another slow September weekend, But we still got shows playing!
Don’t forget that Conundrum Stages’ Ghost Light Series continues Tuesday at Empire Stage; this week, they’re presenting a free reading of The Eccentricities of a Nightingale by Tennessee Williams.
If you’re planning on seeing I Love Lucy Live On Stage at the Arsht Center, and you want to get a leg up on it, the Miami Herald reports that the Arsht is hosting a free community cocktail party from 9pm to 9pm Friday, September 19.
Here’s what’s playing on The Scene this week:

Mothers and Sons opens at GableStage this weekend, through October 19.

you still haven't missed...
Ground Up and Rising has reappeared on the scene with Dying City.  It plays at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on September 13th and 14th, then at Artistic Vibes  September 21-28.
Evening Star Productions presents The Subject Was Roses at the Sol Children’s Theatre through September 28, 2014,
Microtheatre Miami is running its MicroTheatre Festival Wednesdays and Thursdays at the CCE Plaza through October 2, 2014.  See their website for playtimes in English.
Broward Stage Door’s production of What’s New Pussycat has been extended through October 19..

last chance to see...
The Pigs Do Fly Productions production of Fifty Plus: A New Musical closes at Empire Stage on September 21, 2014

community and conservatory...

Lake Worth Playhouse presents Search and Destroy at the Stonzek Studio Theatre.
Andrews Living Arts Studios presents Veronica’s Room through October 5, 2014.
The Crucible plays at Florida Atlantic University through September 28.


Evening Star Productions: The Subject Was Roses (reviews)

SubjectWasRosesEvening Star Productions opened its production of The Subject Was Roses at the Sol Children’s Theatre on September 12, 2014,
A mother and father struggle for the love of their son, who has recently returned home after serving overseas, in Frank D. Gilroy's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama
Jeffrey Bruce directed a cast that included Alan Gerstel, Elli Murray, and Evan Gerstel.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
The production directed by Jeffrey Bruce, a frequent actor in local theaters, underscores the insightful, pungent and well-constructed script. But the valiant effort leaves far too much crucial passion AWOL – all that antagonism barely stifled at first and then unleashed, causing irrevocable damage. It’s a kitchen sink drama, so perhaps they all feared being too volcanic or falsely operatic, but more is called for.
It’s not a ham-handed or dull production by any means; but the shortfall between what we hear in the script’s potential and what we see on stage is frustrating. Throughout, the trio of actors seem to play only what’s happening at the moment without communicating that everything said and done results from two decades of uncivil civil war.
Murray gives the most believable performance of someone whose pearl-wearing place in a traditional household is always to keep things together by keeping emotions under control. Her Nettie is genuinely overjoyed to have a chance to smother her son once again, but simultaneously sees the opportunity to use him as a tool against John.
Alan Gerstel, known as a television anchor and reporter in Palm Beach, has been in three supporting roles in musicals at The Wick Theatre down the road this past season. Physically, he is a perfect choice for John… But Gerstel is always acting a part. We never quite forget that we’re watching a play. His John just seems grumpy rather than deeply troubled.
Evan Gerstel… does a passable job at communicating Timmy’s discomfort and anxiety at returning between the jaws of the vise. But there is a distinct lack of intensity and fire that the role requires… his Timmy is a fuzzy, round-edged, even doughy character.
What Bruce and company do achieve is deftly depicting the slow disintegration of the shaky d├ętente that the three have built and devoutly hope to maintain. They also make credible that a shred of diluted affection survives among them.
Despite all the welcome focus on new works in South Florida, Roses is part of a recent run of “period pieces” that remind us or deliver to a new audience a glimpse of what theatergoing used to be back – dare I say it – a half-century or so ago.
Evening Star is a young company that just produced a rollicking A Comedy Of Errors in its small theater where Sol Children’s Theatre is based and it will mount The Gin Game in February with Jim Gibbons. It’s a fledgling company worth watching in the future.
Evening Star Productions presents The Subject Was Roses at the Sol Children’s Theatre through September 28, 2014,


Ground Up And Rising: Dying City (reviews)

dyingcityGround Up And Rising opened its production of Dying City at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on September 7, 2014. 

Christopher Shinn’s towering contemporary hit drama “Dying City”, an award winning meditation on bereavement, closure, and the amalgamation of contrasting philosophies on whether the perpetual search for power in interpersonal relationships is an inherently binding facet of humanity, or the symptomatic manifestations of unresolved traumas.The play is a dissection of the impact on society of the war in Iraq. When one man goes to war he leaves the city, his wife and his only sibling. A year later only the wife and brother remain. Amiability and politeness turn to examination and grasps at resolutions that may never come, changing their lives indelibly.

Colin Carmouze directed a cast that featured Christian Vandepas and Valentina Izarra.


Roger Martin reviewed for Miami ArtZine:

Christopher Shinn’s Dying City is a challenging piece best watched while leaning forward, perched on the edge of the seat, mouth slightly agape and eyes squinted to catch every nuance skittering through a ninety minute message that all’s not right with a young war widow, her manly dead husband reappearing in flashbacks and her husband’s gay twin brother.

Izarra plays Kelly, the widow, with the resignation and quietness of bereavement that lends enthralling power to her story. Her rage and sorrow are real.

Vandenpas excels as both Peter the actor and his twin brother Craig the soldier.

Collin Carmouze directed and kept the pace such that the slowly fading afternoon light, the heat, the mosquitoes and noise of overhead airplanes could not distract from this performance of Dying City.

Ground Up And Rising present its production of Dying City at the Artistic Vibes on September 20-21, and 27-28, 2014. 



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