Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Actors' Playhouse: Married: Alive! (2 reviews)

Married Alive! premiered at Actors' Playhouse on July 8, opening on July 10th, 2009.
Originally named From Niagara to Viagra, this hilarious new musical shows us the triumphs and defeats of marriage, from babies to empty nests, from job stress to wedded bliss. Married Alive will not only make you laugh, it will make a difference in your life.
David Arisco directed a cast that includes Gary Marachek, Marcia McClain, Julie Kliener and Jason Parrish.

The Sun-Sentinel has declined to review this production.*

John La Raviere reviews for Talkin' Broadway:
...Gary Marachek has enough broad comedic presence to add humor to any scene.
Marcia McClain is well matched with Marachek...
Jason Parrish is entertaining...
Julie Kleiner shows great versatility in this production... and does a nice turn as her own twin sister...
This production of Married Alive! is best described as effervescent fluff. Accompaniment is ably provided by musical director David Nagy on keyboard, and the show does not ever sound in need of more. The melodies are largely forgettable, with the exception of "Stupid in Love" and the '50s style "O Darlin'." A group rap number entitled "That's Right Suckas" is humorous because it is completely ridiculous. emerges as pleasant summertime entertainment.
Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
Book writer/lyricist Sean Grennan and composer Leah Okimoto don't dig for great dramatic insights in Married Alive!, and that's as it should be. For a fun-seeking audience (which is 100 percent this show's demographic), the occasional resonant tug at the heartstrings is just fine.

Director David Arisco's smart casting choices have made the qualitative difference between pleasant summer entertainment and a production that delivers all the laughs and poignant moments its creators dreamed up.

Singing on Actors' upstairs Balcony Theatre stage, Marachek, Kleiner and Parrish have voices that could probably be heard in the downstairs theater -- without amplification.

McClain's vocal instrument is a little more delicate, but just right for touching numbers like It Isn't Important and We Haven't Come So Far, her lovely looking-back duet with Marachek.
Married Alive! aims at nothing more or less than providing a burst of summer fun. And thanks to Arisco's well-chosen cast, it delivers.
I missed this review when it first came out on Sunday: it still doesn't show up with the other theatre reviews in the Herald, nor does it pop up when you click on the link to all of Christine's stories in the Entertainment section. I knew it existed by visiting the Playhouse website, and it took two searches of the Herald's site to find it.

Married: Alive! plays through August 16th at Actors' Playhouse.

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