Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mad Cat Theatre Company: Broadsword (3 reviews)

   Sofia Citarella, Paul Tei, Erik Fabregat and Scott Genn play a girl and a metal band in Marco Ramirez's new play, <em>BroadSword.</em> Mad Cat Theater premiered Marco Ramirez's new play, Broadsword, on Friday, April 11, 2009.

Mad Cat founder and Artistic Director, Paul Tei, directed himself and a cast that included Sofia Citrella, Erik Fabregat, Scott Genn, George Schiavone, and recent Carbonell Award winner Greg Weiner.

Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
When vision, creativity and talent align, the smallest theater company can become the purveyor of major artistic pleasures. So it goes with Mad Cat Theatre's production of BroadSword, Marco Ramirez's rich new play about the heavy reunion of a metal band.

BroadSword gets the full-on Mad Cat treatment: a stellar cast featuring some of South Florida's most inventive performers, first-rate production values including Joe Kimble's fabulously detailed set, even an original metal song played by actors who also happen to be great musicians. Directed by Paul Tei, who also crafts a tart and funny performance as drummer Nicky Green...

If you're a fan of insightful, beautifully modulated writing coupled with great acting and design, BroadSword is must-see theater.
Mary Damiano reviewed for Miami ArtZine:
There aren't many theatres that would hand out a set of earplugs along with a program to their audience. But they do things differently at Mad Cat--this time around doing a play by Marco Ramirez that mixes heavy metal music with a strong dose of mysticism, that has even spurred a gig outside of the theatre.

Mad Cat's production is top notch, a total sensory experience. From the heavy metal posters on the walls to the empty beer bottles on the shelves, Joe Kimble captures basement-band chic. Gregg Weiner, as the enigmatic Man in White, gives a mesmerizing performance, especially in his opening monologue, massaging Ramirez's words with gleeful schmooze. Tei is dynamic, capturing the spirit and physicality of a real Jersey boy. Fabregat delivers a terrific performance, conveying the conflict and nuance in his character. Fabregat, by the way, is morphing into a unique musical performer--he rocked out as Meatloaf in Mad Cat's Mixtape last November and was part of the ensemble in Adding Machine at GableStage

Tei, Genn and Fabregat also play their own instruments and sing a song Fabregat wrote. The guys liked playing together so much that they're playing a gig as Broadsword at a club after the April the 25 performance.

Broadsword is Ramirez's best full-length work to date and one of Mad Cat's best productions. Don't miss it.
Brandon K. Thorp reviewed for Miami NewTimes:
A similar production in most other theaters would proceed more or less as follows: The musicians would discover what they lost when they gave up their band. They would bare their souls, come to a realization about the fleeting nature of youth, and find "closure." Perhaps, in a scene of resolution and acceptance, they would dust off their instruments and play something somber and mature — or they would put away the childish things of rock 'n' roll and toss a last, meaningful glance at their untouched instruments as they trudge up the cellar stairs and flick off the lights. Broadsword is not that play.

In a theatrical milieu such as South Florida's, where realism proliferates and artistic weirdness — especially of the myth-making, wall-shaking, horror-movie supernatural variety — is usually repressed, it is gratifying to see a theater go balls to the wall for a premise as flaky and crazy as this one.
Mad Cat Theatre Company will be running Broadsword at the Light Box, through May 2, 2009.


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