Monday, January 30, 2012

Mondays are Dark

We hope you had a great weekend; we managed to catch the show at Gablestage, and all we can say is that it was fucking awesome.  (That's just for you, Joe.)

Actually, We Can Say This, Too
Terry Teachout, the Broadway theatre critic for The Wall Street Journal,  liked GableStage's production of The Motherfucker with the Hat more than he liked Cynthia Nixon in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Wit.  He blogged about the actual trip to Florida on About Last Night.
We were still low enough that I had no trouble picking out the six-story apartment house where I live, a few blocks south of the Cloisters. I held my breath as the familiar landmarks slipped past me, all shrunken to the size of my thumb: Yankee Stadium, Lincoln Center, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the great gash of Ground Zero.
Who is Miss Abigail, Anyway?
Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage, opens this week at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for a brief two performances. This national tour opened in Rochester NY, and makes its first stop in Fort Lauderdale.  Entertainment Weekly  reviewed the off-Broadway production;
...all of Miss Abigail's advice skews a little old school, but that's entirely the point — and also why the script, from the clever minds of Ken Davenport (Altar Boyz) and Sarah Saltzberg (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), works so well. Press materials describe Plumb's Miss Abigail as ''Dr. Ruth meets Emily Post,'' and it's a spot-on designation.
Unfortunately, the tour doesn't feature Eve Plumb, (who played the hottest of Brady sisters, in our opinion).

Speaking of Ken Davenport
The Broadway Producer who authors The Producer's Perspective tells us how a jaunt to a Connecticut casino led him to this;
We created BroadwayRoadTrip.com, and on Saturday, February 4th, a bus full of people will depart Sturbridge, MA, come to see the Godspell matinee, get a talkback from me, and then return home that night.

My hope and my dream is that they enjoy their day with us so much, that when we ask them if they want to come see another show in a month or two... they’ll fill up another bus again, and bingo, bongo, we’ve got brand new multi-musical buyers.
Arranging bus tours to see shows is nothing new, at least not in Florida; but creating a destination portal to book them is. 

Miami Made
The Miami Herald reports on The Miami-Made Festival 2012, coming in March.
Separated this year from Miami Light Project’s annual Here & Now Festival (which runs Feb. 2-11 at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse), the stand-alone Miami Made is again free.
News Round Ups.
These are articles with too many separate stories to list,  but Florida Theater On Stage has one out, and so does The Drama Queen.

Happy Birthday
The Examiner reports that New Theatre is hosting a birthday party for its managing director Eileen Suarez and artistic direct Ricky J. Martinez on February 8.  We hope it's not a surprise party or not.

Getting it Together
Collaboration is key in producing theatre; Florida Theater On Stage talks with the team behind The Promethean Theatre Company, co-founders Margaret Ledford and Deborah Sherman, about their partnership with Nova Southeast University.
“One of the benefits in synergy with Nova is our proximity to… the young emerging artists and that opens our eyes to more possibilities,” Ledford said. “It also makes us look at our craft harder, and put into words what excited and still excites us and share that with them. (It’s) a fluid exchange of electricity, energy and excitement that can be both initiation and rejuvenation.”
Anyone who has seen a Promethean show can attest to the successful results.

Forward To Your Representatives
Education.com tells us Why Children's Theater Matters, and it's worth forwarding to your state and federal representatives - particularly, if you'll pardon the phrase, if they're Republicans.
...study after study has shown that the arts are more than fluff. Longitudinal data of 25,000 students involved in the arts, conducted at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education by Dr. James Catterall, shows that consistent participation greatly improves academic performance and significantly bumps up standardized test scores. Students who make time for the arts are also more involved in community service, and less likely to drop out of school. And we’re not just talking about upper middle class kids. These facts remain, regardless of a child’s socio-economic background.
Speaking of Children's Theatre
BroadwayWorld.com tells us about Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, opening this week at The Playground Theatre.
In this adaptation, directed by Stephanie Ansin and designed by Fernando Calzadilla, time, space and cultures collide as Alice tackles the challenges of her ever-changing dream world, with video projections enhancing every step of the way. Contemporary costumes, sounds, and objects infuse this classic tale with modern metropolitan Miami life.
You've Already Missed This....
... but The Sun-Sentinel, which can't be bothered to review a milestone production of Next To Normal at Actors' Playhouse, did manage to talk to the creative team of A Woman's World, presented by Infinite Abyss Productions at Empire Stage. It's a local production, performed with local talent; this is as South Florida as you can get.  It closed yesterday.

You can still catch Next to Normal, the Pulitzer-Prize winning play that the Sun-Sentinel can't be bothered to review, at Actors' Playhouse through February 12.

BTW, we're delighted that A Woman's World received this attention; we'd like to see more stories like this in The Sun-Sentinel.  But we expect them to print their own fucking reviews instead of barfing up ones we've already read in the original source.  You want more subscribers?  Write your own damned reviews.

Pardon our French. 

Speaking of South Florida Talent
BroadwayWorld reports that Raul Esparza is coming to The Arsht Center for an encore of his Lincoln Center concert.

They Need A Theatre League of Their Own
The Guardian asks Why Don't Theatres Talk To Each Other?
Last week I popped into the Southbank Centre, looking for a London International Mime festival, assuming I'd easily find one because the venue hosts a number of shows. But I couldn't find one in any of the many displays I found of the venue's own branded publicity and leaflets .
Thanks to the efforts of The Theatre League of South Florida, many companies do have leaflets for shows in other venues on display in their lobbies.   The League's website, South Florida Theatre.com, also has a searchable listings page to help patrons find what's playing. But it's woefully underused at the moment.  The easiest way to be listed on The Scene is to be listed on the League's website.

But we can do more; I know that Mosaic posts recommendations for shows at other theaters while they're dark.  Perhaps theaters in close proximity could develop a discounted ticket to encourage patrons to attend plays at both venues; imagine getting a discount to see a matinee at Actors' Playhouse and an evening show the same day at Gablestage - or vice versa.  Wouldn't it be great to make a day of it?

Speaking of Matched Productions
BroadwayWorld.com notes that both Palm Beach DramaWorks and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts are about to open plays by Lee Hall.  The Pitmen Painters opens at Dramaworks on February 17th, while the National Tour of Billy Elliott The Musical opens at the Broward Center on February 29.  Sounds like an excuse to see both shows to me.  Like you need one.

Make It A Night
2AMTheatre suggests that we facilitate post-show discussion of the night's performance.
An audience of 40 or so watched the movie. Afterwards, most of this group walked from the movie theater to the town’s art gallery, next door, where there was some wine, snacks, and a circle of metal folding chairs. After 10 minutes or so of mingling, we each took a seat in the circle. The two hosts of the evening, the same ones who booked the quality films on Monday nights in this small town, set the simple rules of conversation: we would go around the circle and each speak briefly about our impression of the movie, whether or not we liked it, what we thought. Then we went around the circle a second time, with any concluding thoughts.
Here was a space for setting all of that aside, not just communally in a darkened theater but in a conversation. The movie itself had only done part of that work. The art was only part of the experience. If the lights had come up in the movie theater and, as usually happened, we had all filed into the street with those we had arrived with, the greater connection would not have happened, and the town and the lives of those who live there would be worse for it.
Sounds like something worth considering.

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