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8 posts from July 2011

July 28, 2011

'Angels' in Fort Lauderdale

AIA Ad_1A late but significant addition to South Florida's summer theater lineup is Part 1 of Tony Kushner's greatest play, Angels in America. Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork is being produced Aug. 12-Sept. 4 (with a preview Aug. 11) at Andrews Living Arts Studio, 23 NW Fifth St., Fort Lauderdale.

The play's sweeping look at gay men, marriage, Mormons, politics, faith, AIDS and more in late 20th century America makes for a fascinating portrait of seemingly disparate lives.  The script blends drama, wit, insight and unexpected jolts of humor. The only major South Florida professional production of Kushner's two-part opus was by Coral Gables' New Theatre in its 1997-98 season.

In Fort Lauderdale, Robert D. Nation will direct Millennium Approaches (the first part of Angels).  The cast features Larry Brooks as Prior Walter, Larry Buzzeo as Louis Ironson, Naureen Chhipa as the Angel, Gilbert Lenchus as Roy Cohn, Brian McCormack as Joe Pitt and Elizabeth Heller as Harper Pitt.  Also in the cast are Blanca Goodfriend, Finley Polynice, Jaey Harding, Jamie Gillard, Michael Marine and Joann Tiberio.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.  Tickets are $24.95 in advance, $29.95 at the door.  For info, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit the Andrews Living Arts web site.

July 26, 2011

Boca Raton gets more theater

As the Caldwell Theatre Company winds up its world premiere run of Michael McKeever's Stuffthis weekend, we learn that the company is planning a second stage season at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center.  And that a brand-new company will be performing at the Mizner Park facility (formerly the Cartoon Museum) as well.

WHATNEXT_Kay The Caldwell's initiative is dubbed Caldwell 2@ Mizner, and it will be programmed by veteran director Kenneth Kay.  The initial season will consist of four shows in the second-floor black box theater at the center, 201 Plaza Real.  The only play announced so far is Ann Nelson's The Guys, a tribute to firemen who lost their lives on Sept. 11.  The Guys runs Sept. 8-24.

The new series gets celebrated with a launch party and performance at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19.  Tickets are $35, and Kay says that the event "...will showcase not only some of our best regional talent, but will also provide a glimpse into the kind of plays and musicals we intend to produce in this intimate second performance venue."

That celebration takes place at Mizner Park during the Aug. 10-Sept. 4 run of Sharr White's Six Years at Caldwell's home theater, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Margery Lowe and Todd Allen Durkin star in the play about the evolution of a marriage from 1949 to '73.  Tickets to Six Years are $38-$50.  For information on the summer season or second stage plans, visit the Caldwell web site or call 1-877-245-7432.

Avi Smile '11 Coming later in the new season to the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center is the inaugural effort of the not-for-profit Parade Productions.  Avi Hoffman stars in the first show, Donald Margulies' Brooklyn Boy, about a novelist whose success creates problems in his marriage and extended family.

Also associated with the new company are director Kim St. Leon, actress Candace Caplin, arts suporter Karen Rosenberg, producer Mario Betto and financial expert Peter Caplin.

Brooklyn Boy runs Jan. 26-Feb. 12, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $30 ($25 seniors and groups).  Visit the company's web site for more info.

July 25, 2011

For community troupes, challenging fare

As a general rule, community theaters do pay directors but don't pay their actors, some of whom may indeed mix paid professional work with their unpaid gigs.  But the line that separates the best community theater companies from professional troupes can be thin indeed, and community theater fare can be ambitious and challenging.  Lake Worth Playhouse, for example, is winding up its run of the John Kander-Fred Ebb Broadway hit Chicago this weekend.

This weekend through Aug. 14, two other community companies have shows worth checking out.

19 Opening Friday at the Main Street Playhouse in Miami Lakes is William Mastrosimone's intense play Extremities.  Skye Whitcomb is directing the Main Street Players production, which features Sabrina Gore, Daniel Nieves, Andrea Uzategui and Lucy Nuñez.  Extremities focuses on a woman who tries to take vengeance on a would-be rapist.  It is not, obviously, light summer fare.  But it is a genuinely absorbing play.

Extremities will run through Aug. 14 at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main Street, Miami Lakes.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, with an additional show at 8 p.m. Aug. 11.  Tickets are $20 ($18 seniors and students).  Call 305-558-3737 or visit the company's web site for more info.

Also this weekend, you can catch a rare mounting of William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's The Gondoliers, directed by Peter Librach.  The Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts is doing the operetta, the pair's 12th (and their last great success), at the Susan B. Katz Theater at the River of Grass Arts Park, 17195 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors, $13 for children).  For info, call 954-437-4884 or visit PPTOPA's web site.

 

July 22, 2011

'Suds' on the Beach, 'Joseph' in Spanish

Not much new cooking on South Florida stages this weekend, though you can still catch the world premiere of Michael McKeever's Stuff at the Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton, the world premiere Maribeth Graham-Dana P. Rowe revue See Jane Run at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables, the Infinite Abyss production of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale, Mamma Mia! at the Broward Center and/or Cirque du Soleil's Alegria at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise.

IMG_0476 Next weekend, however, brings two very different new options.

Broward Stage Door Theatre, where co-founders Derelle Bunn and David Torres regularly fill their two side-by-side Coral Springs theaters, launch the Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre at the Byron Carlyle with the frothy musical SUDS.  When the show ran in Coral Springs, it was supposed to last six weeks; instead, it packed 'em in for six months.  The Baby Boomer-friendly show is built around more than 40 hits from the '60s.

SUDS starts performances on July 29 (with an official opening a week later) and runs through Sept. 4 at Miami Beach Stage Door theatre, 500 71st St.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday.  Tickets are $38-$42.  For info, call 305-397-8977 or visit Stage Door's web site.

IMG_Lorenzo_Lebrija_-_Se_2_1_K82Q5L0V If you enjoy theater en español, consider José el soñador, a.k.a. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It's the first production from Teatro en Broadway, a company headed by former Seraphic Fire chief operating officer Lorenzo Lebrija.  The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical will play Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami, July 29-31.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.  Tickets are $32-$45 ($30 for those over 65).  The Saturday matinee is a benefit for The Miami Foundation, with tickets priced at $20 (kids under 12 get in by making a small donation).

For info, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit the Teatro de Broadway web site.

July 15, 2011

More Promethean news

IMG_romantic_beginning_2_1_4B2OBP33 Not wasting any time after the announcement of her company's summer musical -- Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical (Aug. 12-Sept. 14) -- Promethean Theatre's producing artistic director Deborah L. Sherman has just announced the other two show's for the company's eighth anniversary season.

Sherman (that's her with Terry Hardcastle in Promethean's Three Days of Rain) says Promethean will begin 2012 with a production of Marc Camoletti's Tony Award-winning farce Boeing-Boeing, about a Parisian ladies' man who juggles three stewardess fiancees.  The show runs Jan. 13-29 in the Don Taft University Center's Black Box Theatre at Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Davie.

In March, Promethean tackles Craig Wright's The Unseen, a Humana Festival hit about isolated, imprisoned men who find a way to communicate despite their totalitarian torturers' efforts.  That play runs March 9-25. 

Sherman says Promethean will also be debuting a family theater series, with performances in October, December and May.

For further information on Promethean, check out the company's web site.

(Photo by George Schiavone)

July 14, 2011

Promethean sets a summer show...and more

270179_245825902098699_208429789171644_1143686_2289619_n-600x600 Continuing in the tradition of its summer hits Cannibal! The Musical and Evil Dead the Musical, Davie's Promethean Theatre is gearing up for another spoofy horror musical, this one Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical.

Created at Atlanta's Dad's Garage Theatre Company, the show -- with music by Eric Frampton and Matt Horgan, and a cript by Horgan and Travis Sharp -- tells the story of a newly engaged couple stumbling into the midst of a zombie attack.  Margaret M. Ledford will direct, with Phil Hinton as musical director.  In the cast are Clay Cartland, Matthew William Chizever, Robert Coward, Mark Della Ventura, Lindsey Elizabeth Forgey, Mary Gundlach, Jaimie Kautzmann, Noah Levine, Joshua Olivares and Sharon Peoples.

Song of the Living Dead opens Aug. 12 and runs through Sept. 4 in the Black Box Theatre in the Don Taft University Center at Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Davie.  Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, and tickets are $30.  Call 1-866-811-4111 to order tickets, or get more info on Promethean's web site.

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Shakespeare Things happen when you're bringing theater companies from all over the world to perform at the International Hispanic Theatre Festival, and due to travel troubles, the Friday and Saturday performances of the Argentine production El Trompo metálico in the Adrienne Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theatre have been cancelled.

Instead, Prometeo Theatre will offer two more performances of its show Mujeres de Shakespeare, written and directed by Neher Jacqueline Briceño.  The play is performed in Spanish wit English supertitles.  Perormances are at 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Prometeo's theater on Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami.  Tickets are $25.  For information, call 305-237-3262 or visit Prometeo's web site.

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Not much theater around on Mondays, but this coming Monday actor Chaz Mena will direct a staged reading of Rogelio Martinez's All Eyes and Ears at GableStage.

In his cast are Ken Clement, Alex Alvarez, Diane Garle, Laura Pons, John Manzelli and Deborah Sherman.  Martinez play is set in early '60s Havana, focusing on a family loyal to Fidel Castro's revolution, and the price the family pays for that loyalty.

The free reading is in GableStage's space at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.  For info, call 305-445-1119 or visit the GableStage web site.

 

July 13, 2011

Back at 'Camp'

Lisa_loeb_2 trop fri Camp Kappawanna, the boisterous summer camp musical by singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb and playwright Marco Ramirez, has already played Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.  But if your out-of-school kids haven't seen it and are getting antsy for a special summer event, never fear.  City Theatre is bringing Camp Kappawanna to the Colony Theater on Miami Beach for one show only at 3 p.m. this Saturday.

The musical focuses on loney Jenny Jenkins, a 12-year-old who is going away for her first summer camp experience.  After some tough times for herself and the camp, Jenny finds fun, friends and herself.

In the show, directed and choreographed by Michael Leeds, are Melanie Leibner, Jameson Hammond, Zach Held, Anne Chamberlain, Lauren Tepper and Ryan Didato.

Tickets are just $10 and are available at the Colony box office, 1040 Lincoln Road., online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

(Photo of LIsa Loeb by Manny Hernandez)

July 08, 2011

Mosaic finalizes its new season

Richard23 mosaic mds ers Artistic director Richard Jay Simon has just announced the full 2011-2012 season planned for Plantation's Mosaic Theatre, and it looks both enticing and exciting.

Kicking off the lineup Sept. 15-Oct 9 is Michael Weller's Side Effects, the playwright's newest portrait of a disintegrating marriage (in the mode of Weller's Fifty Words, a smash at GableStage last season).  Then comes the already-announced Lombardi, Eric Simonson's play a bout football legend Vince Lombardi, running Nov. 10-Dec. 4.

Conor McPherson, whose play The Seafarer was a Carbonell Award-winning hit for Mosaic, returns with The Birds, a spooky play based on the Daphne Du Maurier short story that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's thriller.  That one runs March 8-April 1.

Then comes a Mosaic first, the April 19-May 13 world premiere of The Michael Brewer Project (Working Title).  With help from a Funding Arts Broward/Knight New Work Award grant, the theater has commissioned award-winning, New York-based playwright and director Joe Calarco to write a piece about the 2009 attack on South Florida teen Michael Brewer, who was doused with alcohol and set on fire by other teens.  As with Lee Blessing's 1993 Patient A(about Fort Pierce resident Kimberly Bergalis, who developed AIDS and died after being treated by her dentist), the play will take on a much-publicized Florida story with national relevance.

The new Mosaic season ends June 7-July 1, 2012, with the already-announced Adam Rapp play The Edge of Our Bodies, a Humana Festival hit about a 16-year-old traveling from her New England school to New York to break some big news to her boyfriend.  Ten Chimneys, announced earlier as a choice for the new season, has been postponed.

Subscriptions to the new season are $167 for adults, $145 for seniors and just $64 for students.  Mosaic performs at the American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation.  For info, call 954-577-8243 or visit the theater's web site.

(Photo of Richard Jay Simon directing The Seafarer by Eileen Soler)