Thursday, February 23, 2012

Show reviews for the week of Feb. 20

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre presents RED by John Logan.
Directed by Lou Jacob and featuring: Mark Zeisler, and JD Taylor.  Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for Florida Theater On Stage

Another Shade Of Red A The Maltz Jupiter Theatre

In music, they call it a standard: a song so inherently strong in its construction, so pure in its simplicity, so universal in its accessibility, that it can be interpreted and reinterpreted... In classic theater, it’s Hamlet. And at the risk of elevating it too highly, in contemporary drama, I’m beginning to think it’s Red.

John Logan’s illumination of art and artists now at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is so insanely popular (50 productions licensed this season across the country; six in Florida) that snobs are beginning to sneer that anything that ubiquitous can’t be really good. But having seen three editions, including this strong, thought-stimulating production at the Maltz, whets the appetite to collect versions of Red, seeing how this director or that actor find different colors to emphasize in Logan’s play.

Christine Dolan has reviewed the show for both the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel with different headlines.

"Red" Blazes Again, This Time At The Maltz (Miami Hearld)
Red Paints The Artist Rothko As Unhappy Man (Sun Sentinel)
Abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and his young assistant are engaging in creation and verbal combat again, this time in an all-too-brief run at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
The play is "Red," John Logan's Tony Award-winning drama that debuted regionally at GableStage in November, earning Carbonell Award nominations for actors Gregg Weiner and Ryan Didato, director Joseph Adler and lighting designer Jeff Quinn. The earlier production and the new one differ in intriguing ways, yet both illuminate Logan's thought-provoking examination of a complex artist and his fervent beliefs about his work.

 The Palm Beach Dramaworks presents The Pitman Painters by Lee Hall.
Directed by J . Berry Louis and featuring: Kim Cozort, Dennis Creaghan, Rob Donohoe, Joby Earle, Betsy Graver, Colin McPhillamy, Declan Mooney and John Leonard Thompson.  Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for Florida Theater On Stage

Art About Art About Art: The Dramaworks Pitmen Painters
Art as an ennobling sanctification for both the artist and the observer whose interpretation completes the symbiotic circle is just one of a dozen themes swirling around Palm Beach Dramaworks’ stimulating production of The Pitman Painters.

For all the profound concepts being explored, Lee Hall’s true life tale of British miners who created folk art is as plain spoken as its blue collar heroes reaching out for something more nourishing than their hardscrabble trade can provide.

Dramawork’s skilled ensemble of character actors led by director J. Barry Lewis delivers a thought-provoking, if not especially emotionally moving, evening of theater.

Christine Dolan has reviewed the show for both the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel, same headline.

Dramaworks Offers Lessons On Art And Life
Two dramatic lessons on the nature and power of art have opened on Palm Beach County stages, first "Red" at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and now "The Pitmen Painters" at Palm Beach Dramaworks.

Like a vividly transportive painting, plays about art and artists can plunge us into fascinating worlds that provoke at least as many questions as they answer. In the case of Lee Hall's "The Pitmen Painters," those questions include: What is art? How does it make you feel? Is it supposed to make you think? Can anyone be an artist? Who owns art?


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