Thursday, January 26, 2012

Show reviews for the week of Jan. 23

The reviews for this week starts with Slow Burn's Urinetown.  (Urinetown?)  With only a 2 week run I wanted to make sure this review came to you first.  (Urinetown?!?)  Followed by The Elaborate Entrance Of Chad Deity, Snoopy! The Musical, and Next to Normal.

Just your typical week in South Florida Theare!  (Urinetown?!  O.K.!)

Slow Burn Theatre's Urinetown was reviewed by Christine Dolan for the Miami Herald, and by Bill Hirschman for Florida Theater On Stage

Urinetown sounds a lot like some undiscovered, tongue-in-cheek musical that Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill (or maybe Cradle Will Rock composer Marc Blitzstein) might have pumped out. The show by composer-lyricist Mark Hollmann and playwright-lyricist Greg Kotis is a delicious parody that works whether or not you grasp all of its targets – one being musical theater itself.
The aggressively irreverent satire about an ecologically-crippled dystopia is a perfect fit for this company that defies conventional wisdom that young people aren’t interested in theater and that you can’t perform in a high school theater so far in southwest Palm Beach County that you expect to see ‘gators in the audience. Urinetown qualifies as perhaps their strongest overall production...

Caldwell Theatre Company's The Elaborate Entrance Of Chad Deity was reviewed by Rod Stafford Hagwood for the Sun Sentinel
I suspect this play may resonate in an election year, when fearmongering becomes the law of the land. "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" offers a bitter spoonful of medicine against American exceptionalism, a commentary made all the more bruising by the pumped-up cast's adrenalized performances.

Area Stage Company's Snoopy! The Muscial was reviewed by Bill Hirschman for Florida Theater On Stage, Christine Dolan for the Miami Herald, and
Snoopy! The Musical, the second of two musicals derived from the popular comic strip, Peanuts, just doesn’t have the same pedigree. Its songs are repetitive, its characters are caricatures and its messages are targeted to the Sesame Street crowd.  While Snoopy is the stuff of comic strip legend as the coolest beagle around, Snoopy! The Musical just doesn’t live up to Joe Cool standards.

Next to Normal was reviewed by Bill Hirschman for Florida Theater On Stage and Christine Dolan for the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel

Miami Herald & Sun Sentinel
Deeply Moving Musical Theatre Of The Highest Order
Though sometimes described as a rock musical, Next to Normal is really a far more complex contemporary musical. Kitt’s music, so beautifully performed by the onstage orchestra led by musical director Eric Alsford at the baby grand, taps into rock idioms on songs like Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I’m Falling, the angry Superboy and the Invisible Girl and the defiant I’m Alive. But the score also boasts the tender waltz I Dreamed a Dance, as well as ballads and contemporary theater songs that paint a harrowing portrait of a family in crisis.
Next to Normal Is Anything But: Florida Theater On Stage
This tale of a typical family struggling with the mother’s bipolar disorder not only won Tony Awards, but took the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. You may have heard the play is about “mental health,” “mental illness,” “over-medication” and “electro-shock therapy.” All true on a surface level. But next to normal is really about how ordinary people’s lives can be blighted by random fate and how their coping results not with a fairytale ending but hard-won hope as they launch into an uncertain future.


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