Friday, February 18, 2011

Aventura Arts Center: Zero Hour (3 reviews)

ZERO_HOUR_WebThe new Aventura Arts & Cultural Center opened Zero Hour on February 16, as part of its Double Chai Series.
Mostel is remembered for his comedic genius and his definitive roles, but in the 1950's, he was equally known for his place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist. Directed by three-time Oscar-nominated film star Piper Laurie, Jim Brochu's striking portrayal brings all of Mostel's swagger, ferocity, intelligence and fantastic wit back to the stage in this volcanic tour-de-force.
The AACC website forgot to mention that Jim Brochu has one a shelf full of awards himself, including the Carbonell for Best Actor when he did this show at The Stage Door Theatre.  The show also played a limited engagement at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

Chris Joseph reviewed for the Miami New Times:
The bombastic Mostel, who is regarded as one of the funniest entertainers to ever hit Broadway and Hollywood, is stunningly brought to life by Brochu in a performance that channels all of Zero's larger-than-life mannerisms, quirks, and fiery discourses.
Brochu's transformation is so remarkable, it was jarring when the curtain rose, the man-mountain turned around, and the lights shone down on him.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Mostel’s life was rife with drama, and actor-playwright Jim Brochu mines it to the fullest...
Zero Hour, which played the Broward Stage Door Theatre in 2008, has won Brochu a trio of prestigious prizes – South Florida’s Carbonell Award, Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Award and the New York Drama Desk Award. Venture to Aventura and you’ll easily see why.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for South Florida Theater Review:
Not since George C. Scott has an actor impersonated righteous outrage with the skill and intensity that Jim Brochu brings to Zero Mostel’s paint-blistering jeremiad against colleagues naming names during the 1950s in Zero Hour.

Brochu’s railing against the betrayal of choreographer Jerome Robbins and the fatal fallout for blacklisted actor Philip Loeb qualifies as a pure Category 5 hurricane.
Brochu doesn’t impersonate but inhabits the mercurial actor whose passionate loves, hatreds and obsessions are emblematic of a voracious appetite for life that threatens to consume everything around him including the audience.
...Brochu delivers a textbook example of how top spin, charisma and sheer skill can carry a show – just like Mostel himself would have done.
Zero Hour plays at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center through February 27.

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