Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pigs Do Fly Productions: Flying High! (reviews)

PIGS DF Flying High - On StagePigs Do Fly Productions opened its latest collection of short plays, Flying High, at Empire Stage on October 9, 2015
Seven brand new short plays chosen to highlight ‘vibrant, healthy people over the age of 50 doing interesting things with their lives’; the plays are selected with all audiences in mind. Playwrights include E.M. Garcia, Andrea Rassler, Marv Siegel, and Carol White.
Gail S. Garrisan and Elena Maria Garcia directed a repertory cast that included Todd Caster, Steven A. Chambers, Jim Gibbons, Elissa D. Solomon, Carol Sussman and Donna Warfield.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
The mild chuckles and knowing nudges among audience members seemed more frequent in Flying High!, the fourth Pigs Do Fly Productions outing of new ten-minute plays by, for and about the over-50 crowd collectively coping with the onset of late middle-age and beyond.
The reaction is due in part to the recognition by the audience of the scenarios sketched out in the seven stories from truly lasting love to artificially lasting erections.
But the truth is that the writing seems a little sharper, the direction more incisive and the acting a bit more credible. Some of the playlets still are a bit lamer than others and some still limp along a bit, but there’s a noticeable uptick in the quality of this evening meant to provide a quiet, gentle smile. Additionally, the plays chosen in part by executive producer Ellen Wacher have been limited to broad farces in the past; this time, she has selected a couple of edgier, even melancholy scripts.
Standing Tall, by Marv Siegel, directed by Garrisan: An out and out farce about an older couple, Sussman and Gibbons, trying to decide what to do when that laughable situation in the Viagra advertisement warnings actually comes to pass.
Dream A Little Dream Of Me, by Caster, directed by Garcia: This pleasant little number has two lifelong friends, married to other people, enjoying an evening at a local bar... The cast, director and script wryly explore the questions whether friends of opposite sexes can really be platonic.
Coming Through, by Pamela Schueler, directed by Garrisan: Not at all a comedy, this wistful playlet was one of the most emotionally satisfying pieces… Sussman, armed with Schueler’s lovely prose, gives the finest performance of the night.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
The Pigs Do Fly folks are aloft again, this time with Flying High!, a program of seven short plays featuring six actors of a certain age… Presented at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage, staged by directors Gail S. Garrisan and Elena Maria Garcia, Flying High! heavily favors comedies (conventional and absurdist), though there’s one other-worldly drama thrown in for variety.
Like City Theatre’s Summer Shorts or the City Theatre-Island City Stage Shorts Gone Wild, Flying High! offers patrons a theater sampler that runs under two hours. The writing and acting don’t make it to the high bar set by the best work of those other programs, but theatergoers who fit the Pigs Do Fly demographic are likely to have at least a few of those resonant experiences for which the company is aiming.
Pigs Do Fly Productions presents Flying High at Empire Stage through October 25, 2015

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