Play readings give the authors of new work a chance to hear their script come to life (and often, to figure out what might need fixing before the play gets a full production). And sometimes, theaters offer staged readings of older works they're considering for a future season or simply as a way of augmenting their programming.
Three readings on the horizon for November offer audiences the chance to share in different facets of that process, at little or no cost.
First, Conundrum Stages, a company that specializes in play readings, will tackle Bernard Slade's Tribute,a play about a terminally ill actor who tries to reconnect with his long-estranged son. Before the reading, singer David Meulemans and pianist Jim Welles will perform, then the cast (Sheldon Cohen, Linda Ellis, Peter Librach, Danielle Tabino, Wendi Librach, Bill Dobbins and Lory Reyes) takes over. The event happens at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at the Tamarac Theatre of the Performing Arts, 7143 N. Pine Island Rd., Tamarac. Tickets are $10. Call 954-726-7898 for information.
On Monday, Nov. 9, GableStage offers a rare musical "reading" of Come Back, Little Sheba, a 1974 version of William Inge's play. With book and lyrics by Miamian Lee Goldsmith and music by Clint Ballard, the musical premiered in Chicago (with Kaye Ballard as Lola) and was revived in 2001 at Connecticut's White Barn Theatre with Donna McKechnie in the lead role.
GableStage's reading stars Elizabeth Dimon, Nick Duckart, Wayne LeGette and Julie Kleiner, with Amy London directing. It happens at 7 p.m., and admission is free. For information, call 305-445-1119 or visit the GableStage web site.
Christopher Demos-Brown, a playwright and attorney whose play When the Sun Shone Brighter (about a Miami mayor undone by sex, lies and ambition) will get its world premiere at Florida Stagelater this season, will get a reading of another script at GableStage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. The free reading of Tropical Depression, which the playwright describes as "a dark comedy about a family...trapped by a hurricane," will be directed by Stuart Meltzer; in the cast are Deborah Sherman, Todd Allen Durkin, David Sirois, Barbara Bradshaw, Bill Schwartz, Amy McKenna and Ivette Viñas.