Monday, April 27, 2009

Mondays are Dark #3

This week's reading selections take us all around Florida, to the farthest shore, and the most obscure nooks and crannies.

Big Casting News

Maltz Jupiter Theatre will be sporting a largely South Florida cast when it premiers Martin Charnin's revised version of Love is Love this fall.

The show reunites Charnin with the original Broadway star of his musical Annie, Andrea McArdle. (Charnin wrote the lyrics and directed).

According to Kenneth Jones' article in Playbill:
Charnin said that he found so much talent in his Florida auditions that he decided to turn the three-actress Love is Love back into a four-actress show, as it was originally conceived. The Jupiter, FL, cast will also include Avery Sommers (Broadway's Platinum, Ain't Misbehavin'), Patti Eyler and Laura Hodos.
That's no surprise to the Theatre Scene; South Florida has long had a tremendous pool of talent.

Hey, where's the massage chair?

Fort Lauderdale Children's TheatreThe Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater has begun operations in its new home at the Galleria Mall. The Sun-Sentinel reports that FLCT's space in the Galleria's east wing was once home to Sharper Image and a few other stores that have since gone under.

Speaking of Children's Theatre... informs us that the 14th Annual National Children's Theater Festival at Actors' Playhouse starts Friday, May 1st. Usually, they feature the winner of their play competition, but it seems like they're reviving Miss Nelson is Missing.

Slice of Life interview on the Blade.

Dan Hudak interviews Jersey Boys cast member Jonathon Hadley for the Florida Blade.
...the most interesting thing I learned about the band came from speaking with Jonathan Hadley, who plays the band’s lyricist, Bob Crewe, in the production currently at the Broward Center through May 3.

“’Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ is one of the most successful pop songs ever written, but few people realize it’s basically a gay love song,” Hadley said.
Jersey Boys - and Hadley - plays at the Broward Center through May 3, 2009. There are still tickets available, but some performances in the past week have been Standing Room Only.

Fundraisers for SoFla Theatres've already reported fundraisers for scrappy newcomer Ground Up and Rising and the slightly more mature New Vista Theatre companies, but even long-established theatres need to raise money in this bleak economic climate: Caldwell Theatre is also holding a fundraiser performance.

BroadwayWorld reports that Copeland Davis will be playing at the Caldwell on May 30. This must be very recent; you can't find it anywhere on Caldwell's website.

From the Opposite Corner of Florida

COLUMNIST - FEATURESJay Handelman of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune writes an article that is relevant no matter which theatre scene you're in; the dwindling number of theatre critics and the attendant evaporation of media coverage of the arts.
"Now, even theaters seem to realize that theater critics are not adversaries but an integral part of the same industry," Rawson said, adding that the two groups need to find common ground "while maintaining important critical independence."
At one point, Handelman could almost be quoting me:
A movie or TV critic sees the same program no matter what city he or she writes in. But every production of "The Sound of Music" or "Hamlet" is different, and you can't review local theater, concerts and dance programs from far away. They are part of the community, no matter the size of the community.
A point that he doesn't address is neighboring papers regurgitating each others' reviews; apparently they aren't doing this on the Gulf Coast. But since we face this, we will take this opportunity to to state it again, in hopes that huge numbers of people will forward this to the publisher of the Sun-Sentinel:
Theatre patrons want to read different reviewers' opinions on a show before they make a decision: if you simply take the opinions of another paper, you rob your readers of a fresh perspective. And worse, by reprinting a review that we've already read in your competitor's paper, you seriously undermine your own relevance. Why should we buy the Sun-Sentinel - or even visit its website - if we have already read the story elsewhere?

...As Long As We're Across The State...

Tampa Bay Online reports that the Florida State Thespians competition was in full swing, and South Florida was represented:

Nineteen-year-old Nicole Smith from Miami Springs Senior High School was here this morning, outside the Performing Arts Center with the other 11 students from her troupe. They were performing "Yemaya's Belly," a play that won district competitions in South Florida.

She's been here before, but likely won't be here again.

"This is my last time, forever," she said. "I am going to enjoy this as much as I can. I'm just going to have fun."

Miami Springs High teacher and director, Marielva Seig, has been at this since 1996.

"This is what it is all about," she said in the early morning cool shade of the Performing Arts Center, her student actors and stagehands around her. "This is the most exciting thing we do all year."

Meanwhile, The Royal Poinciana Playhouse.. still closed. Last week, the Palm Beach Post published a letter from Patrick Henry Flynn, the president of the Palm Beach Theatre Guild:

This audience niche is one of the key factors in the Palm Beach Theater Guild's business plan for a re-adaptive use of the theater. The guild plans a regional subscription theater with attractions such as Ballet Florida, Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, and hopefully, a theater intern program with Palm Beach Atlantic University.

While we don't want to seem overwhelmingly negative, don't Palm Beach patrons already subscribe to Ballet Florida, Palm Beach Symphony, and Palm Beach Opera - at the Kravis Center, which is purpose-built to house them?

And of course, there's that niggling problem of Palm Beach's "town serving" law, which requires that any organization operating there would have to ensure that half its tickets were sold to village of Palm Beach residents.

And I really hate to point out the obvious, but we have to point out that the Palm Beach Theatre Guild doesn't own the property. That's kind of a huge obstacle, in the Theatre Scene's opinion.


Comments are welcome: even if it's disagree with The Scene, and perhaps especially then.

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