Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New Kids on the, er, Scene

The Drama Queen covered Fly Away Balloon Theatre Company last week.
...a group whose name was inspired by a line in The Wizard of Oz -- is a collection of actors, directors and playwrights (some do all three things) who have decided to showcase their original work
But an acquaintance surprised me with ANOTHER newcomer; Slow Burn Theatre Company. Their catch phrase is "Really Explosive Musical Theatre."

The new company has dual artistic directors, Patrick Fitzwater and Matthew Korinko. Korinko worked at St. Louis' New Line Theater, while Fitzwater directed at other theatres Missouri. Scott Miller, who is listed as "artistic adviser," is the founder and artistic director of New Line, which bills itself as "the bad boy of musical theatre." It seems to be the model for this new company.

Perhaps this is the beginning of a rejuvenated South Florida musical theatre circuit. Once upon a time, we had enough musicals being produced that actors could be employed for a significant portion of the year, between Actors' Playhouse, Royal Palm Dinner Theatre, Hollywood Playhouse, Brian C Smith's Off-Broadway, the old Jupiter Dinner Theatre, and the old Florida Rep (the one in WPB, not Fort Myers).

So what is "really explosive musical theatre?" From their website:
Let's face the music...Rogers & Hammerstein have passed. Their last show was 50 years ago (and it wasn't even very good) so lets move on. After all, British director Peter Hall says, "What attracts audiences finally is new questions, not old answers."
We're committed to bringing high-quality contemporary musical theatre to the community. And delivering new broadway to a new audience showing that theatre can ROCK.
Some of the shows on their wish list have had major local productions in the last few years; La Cage Aux Folles, The Full Monty, Altar Boyz, Urinetown, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Aida. Others we haven't seen in a little while: Big River, Bat Boy, Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, and Rocky Horror Show. I'd love to see City of Angels.

But La Cage? It's a good show and all, but geez, I'd love to go more than two years between productions of it. The only show that gets done more down here is Fiddler on the Roof. Which is playing at the Broward Center in October, I'm compelled to mention.

Their first announced show is Bat Boy: The Musical, slated to open February 18, 2010 at the West Boca Performing Arts Theatre. Join me in welcoming a new professional theatre to the South Florida Theatre Scene.

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