Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Scene for December 5, 2008

The year is rolling along now, we're at the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, Chanukah and Christmas are almost here, and 2009 is looming over the horizon. And wouldn't you know it? Theatre tickets are great presents. Hint Hint.

In the meantime, there's a lot of theatre to see on the South Florida theatre scene.

the reviews

Mary Damiano's review of She Loves Me at the Caldwell Theatre was published after last week's Scene was posted. Or maybe the Sun-Sentinel just had it tucked out of sight. For the Caldwell, it's probably just as well, because Damiano didn't like it:
Caldwell's production of She Loves Me is a disappointment. It's devoid of charm and sparkle, the very things needed to make implausible plots work.

Leading man Benjamin Schrader tries to channel Jimmy Stewart -- he probably researched the role by watching The Shop Around the Corner -- but fails.
But wait!! There's been a re-cast! Leading man Benjamin Schrader has left the show to do Avenue Q, and Terry Hardcastle has taken his place. Hardcastle has never failed to impress me in any role he's played, and his sizzling presence is sure to give the show a shot in the arm.

She Loves Me runs through December 14th at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton.

Damiano also caught The Seafarer for the Sun-Sentinel, and she enjoyed this one a lot more than She Loves Me.
There's a moment in The Seafarer when you can't help but watch Gregg can see his character's whole life in his eyes at that moment, as he watches, contemplating every bad decision in his past and the possibility of a shortened future.

That moment is the core of Weiner's deeply nuanced performance, one of the embarrassment of riches of the Mosaic Theatre's production of The Seafarer by Conor McPherson.
Yes, the critical love-fest for The Seafarer continues, and I'm neither surprised nor disappointed, having seen the show.
Director Richard Jay Simon has a real knack for assembling talent. Simon also gets the best designers to give the production its depth and detail. The result is a nearly flawless production, which shows why Mosaic Theatre has become one of the best theaters in the region.
Mosaic Theatre's production of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer runs through December 14 in Plantation.

  Cast members include, from left, Austin Tichenor, Reed Martin and Matt Rippy.
The Miami Herald has Christine Dolen's review of The Reduced Shakespeare Company's production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised], now playing at the Arsht Center in Miami.
(the play)is the antithesis of a linguistically impenetrable, mind-numbingly lengthy, deadly serious Shakespearean production. This is Shakespeare as it was back in the Bard's day: bawdy, irreverent, sublimely entertaining.
This production features the original cast - at times. The trio opens the show, and Matt Rippy will stay with it the entire run, but co-creators Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin will rotate in and out of the show.

Those who know and relish Shakespeare's plays will appreciate the myriad fleeting references to the tragedies, the comedies, the history plays. The compact, nutty versions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet (the latter done fast, faster, fastest, then backwards) are clever distillations of the originals. The more you know about Shakespeare's
work, the more you'll get from the RSC's labors.

But even if you're a relative Shakespeare innocent (or worse, a Bard hater), the way The Complete Works works will probably crack you up.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company's production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised], plays at the Arsht Center through January 18.

Bill Hirschman reviewed New Vista Theatre's production of Enter Laughing; the Musical for the Sun-Sentinel. His take on the show is entirely different than Mary Damiano's review from last week.
Every time you are about to give up on finding something barely entertaining in New Vista Theatre Company's Enter Laughing, somebody unleashes a showstopping song or a truly funny joke flies by.
...the production, under Avi Hoffman's direction, can't overcome the material's shortcomings
Hirschman isn't impressed with the leading man,
A key failing here is the casting of Will Larche as the naif. Larche has a fine voice and an affable personality, but he exudes the charisma of a loaf of white bread.
but observes:
But every 15 minutes or so, somebody cuts loose with the show that should have been. For instance, Broadway vet Crista Moore, as the lovelorn actress, nails The Man I Can Love,
Enter Laughing, the Musical concludes its run at The New Vista Theatre this Sunday, December 7.


Gutenberg! The Musical opens Friday, Dec 5th at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater. It's Wayne LeGette, Pancho Padura, and a lot of hats.

"In this two-man musical spoof, a pair of aspiring playwrights perform a backers' audition for their new project - a big, splashy musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg

With an unending supply of enthusiasm, Bud and Doug sing all the songs and play all the parts in their silly historical epic, with the hope that one of the producers in attendance will give them a Broadway contract - fulfilling their ill-advised dreams."

If you saw the Actors' Playhouse production of The Big Bang, you're probably feeling a little deja-vu. And that's a good thing.

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told is now playing at the Rising Action Theatre Company. Christine Dolen blogged about it here.

still playing
Mosaic Theatre's critically acclaimed production of The Seafarer runs through December 14th.

The venerable M-Ensemble's production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone plays through December 21 in Miami.

The Gates of Choice plays at the New Theatre through December 14, in Coral Gables

She Loves Me runs through December 14th at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton.

last chance to see...

Lucky Stiff at the Stage Door Theater in Coral Springs closes this Sunday, December 7.

Enter Laughing: The Musical runs through December 7 at the New Vista Theatre in
Boca Raton.

coming and going

SLEUTH opened Tuesday at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and plays through December 14th. The Palm Beach Post has an article about it.
A national tour of Annie plays at the Arsht Center this weekend. Christine Dolen reviewed it for the Miami Herald. It's directed by the show's original director, Martin Charnin. A non-union tour, Dolen finds a lot of talent in show.

for kids
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at The Playground Theatre.

A Christmas Carol, The Musical, plays on Saturdays at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. Through December 27.

The Miami Children's Theatre presents its version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

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