Friday, May 2, 2008

The Scene for May 2, 2008

Sorry for the delay in this week's update, but after the reading at Books & Books, my internet was down at home. For anyone interested in how the reading went, I've written about it on Man, or Maniac?.

On with this week's Theatre Scene:

This is the last week for the critically acclaimed TWELVE ANGRY MEN at the Broward Center. This is a top-notch production, direct from Broadway.
Trivia Point: the play takes place in real time; the play is as long as the event it portrays. There is one reference to the time of day, and there is a clock clearly visible on the set. The stage manager had to time how long it took to get to the point where the time is mentioned, and sets the clock accordingly. Every actor in the show that wears a watch sets it to that clock prior to every performance. This is the kind of detail you only find in the best productions!

The Miami Herald recommends 4.48 Psychosis, presented by Naked Stage at Barry University's Pelican Theater. Christine Dolan gives it a strong review. She's less effusive about The Accomplices at Gablestage:
"...the undeniable power of The Accomplices flows more from its story than the storytelling." - Christine Dolan
Ms. Dolan also finds Three Fittings, the current offering from the Women's Theatre Project to be a little rough around the edges:
"Three Fittings is one more rewrite away from assuming its own best shape. But it is getting a good first production at WTP, one that will resonate with anyone who has been a bride, a bride's mom or both." - Christine Dolan
The Sun-Sentinel recommends seeing I'm Not Rappaport at the New Vista Theatre. This production features South Florida perennial favorite Bruce Adler, and additional star power from Clarence Gilyard.

The Sun-Sentinel also praises 4.48 Psychosis;
"...the fledgling Naked Stage, guest director Paul Tei, a superb design team and a profoundly committed cast have invested imagination and insight to create a stunningly theatrical production of a flawed play" - Bill Hirschman
The Palm Beach Post writes about Benefactors, the next production from Palm Beach Dramaworks. Or do they?

This is a the typical piece that every newspaper puts out so they can beat their chest and claim they are covering theater. It's not bad, but frankly we should see one of these stories for EVERY play at EVERY professional theater, and not just when the entertainment editor can't find more titillating gossip about whatever starlet has been caught making amateur porn with her boyfriend. But we get some nice insights from director J. Barry Lewis that underscore the relevance of Michael Frayn's 20 year old play.

About halfway through the article, you're suddenly reading about another theater company and another production entirely. Too cheap to publish a second article, the Post simply crams in a different story into the first. They couldn't even be bothered to throw in a new heading to let you know you're reading something else. I guess they fired the editors FIRST at the Post. If you didn't know what an awful rag the Post has become, this one story drives the point home.

But despite the fact that it's become an awful turd of a newspaper, the Post still managed to publish Hap's review of BENEFACTORS.
"...a play of ideas that is both timeless and universal." - Hap Erstein
Now it's time for our weekly installment of Brandon K Thorpe, courtesy of the NEW TIMES.

Brandon joins the chorus of praise for 4.48 Psychosis:
"The net result is a production that explores death from the wrong end and actually seems to tell us something — even though the script often sounds like something posted on a MySpace blog by a 14-year-old emo chick. This is a remarkable flaw for a play that might be the most exciting thing to happen to South Florida theater this year."
He also enjoyed BENEFACTORS up at Palm Beach Dramaworks: and as usual, Brandon goes beyond anything that any other reviewer would put on paper:
"Everything about her is overwhelmingly communicative: her bottomless smiles; her busy, thinking eyes; the disarmingly conversational drift
of her lines that can blind you to just how much thought the woman has given to even her teensiest inflections.(Nanique) Gheridian's awesome, just awesome..."

Brandon heaps on the praises, but this is a company know for its good work. The awesomeness of Nanique Gheridian aside, this production has truckloads of talent behind it. And I suspect that Brandon's on track when he says "run, skip, fly to Palm Beach Dramaworks!"

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