Thursday, March 8, 2012

Show reviews for the week of March 5, 2012

The Caldwell Theatre presents Working by Stephen Schwartz.  Directed by Clive Cholerton and featuring: Jim Ballard, Michael Focas, Laura Hodos, Kareema Khouri, Melissa Minyard, and Barry J. Tarallo.

Michelle F. Solomon has this review of the show for Florida Theater On Stage

Working Is A Successful Labor of Love At Caldwell Theatre

When Grammy-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked, Pippin) first adapted Studs Terkel’s 1974 book Working for Chicago’s Goodman Theatre it was 1977. Terkel’s book was an oral history of working life...

With so many changes in the past three decades, some of the professions from the original musical either had to be either obliterated or updated for the 21st century. Newsboy? Zapped. Gas Meter Reader? Replaced by a UPS Driver. Telephone Operator? Cell Phone Tech Support in (where else?) Mumbai, India.

Working is more revue than linear musical and therefore requires a strong cast to keep the song-filled work afloat. In Caldwell’s production, this cast works it and there isn’t a weak link.

And Christine Dolan has reviewed the show for The Miami Herald

Jobs get the spotlight in Caldwell’s updated ‘Working’
Laid off, overworked, underpaid: These recessionary times haven’t been kind to the American worker. Plenty of familiar dreams are slipping away, amid the downsizing and furloughs and months of unemployment that can stretch into years. Nearly everyone is feeling the strain.

The current version of Working, which is really a themed revue, features eclectic music by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, James Taylor, Schwartz and Miranda. Scenes stitch the songs together, but Working is most powerful or tender or thought-provoking when the performers are singing

The Gable Stage presents A Steady Rain by Keith Huff.  Directed by Joseph Adler and featuring: Gregg Weiner and Todd Alan Durkin.

Mary Damiano has reviewed the show for Florida Theater On Stage

GableStage’s A Steady Rain is a Deluge of Great Acting
The bond between two friends is tested by their own morality and betrayal in A Steady Rain by Keith Huff, now making in southeastern premiere at GableStage in Coral Gables.

Set on the mean streets of Chicago in what the program describes as the not too distant past, Denny (Gregg Weiner) and Joey (Todd Allen Durkin) navigate the complicated relationship they’ve had since childhood. Now partners on the Chicago police force, they always have each other’s back, even when faced with the Shakespearean circumstances that have invaded their everyday lives.

Weiner and Durkin are brilliant actors — South Florida is lucky to have them — and here in Huff’s two-hander, their brilliance is laid bare for the audience to see. Because while the plot in A Steady Rain is told, the emotional core of the story is shown, etched into Weiner’s and Durkin’s face.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for the Miami Herald

Artful acting powers GableStage’s ‘A Steady Rain’
Weiner and Durkin, Carbonell Award-winning actors who have recurring roles in the upcoming Starz series Magic City, persuasively disappear into their roles. Artfully guided by director Joseph Adler, the veteran South Florida actors are completely believable as guys who have been pals since kindergarten (or, as they render the word in Chicago-speak, “kinnygarden”).

Terrible things happen over the 85 minutes of A Steady Rain. Punctuated by the chilling pop of gunfire, those awful incidents are word pictures painted by two masterful actors

Chris Joseph also reviewed the show for the Miami New Times

GableStage's A Steady Rain: Well-acted, poorly written
At times, A Steady Rain, now showing at GableStage, feels like a classic noir tale of good cops gone rotten in the Windy City. At others, it takes a Breaking Bad-like turn by adding shock value and plot twists. The play is rife with melodrama and driven by dual narratives told through monologues.

The 90-minute performance is ostensibly about two longtime friends whose lives are irrevocably changed by a bad chain of events. But it can also be described as the anatomy of a fucked-up cop. So you'd think it would be a compelling stage play, particularly because the acting in GableStage's production is outstanding. Indeed, there's a powerful story waiting to emerge from the thicket of words and meandering, David Mamet-like dialogue. But there's not enough action to bring out what should be an exhilarating tale.

The Boca Raton Theatre Guild presents Sweet Charity. Directed by Keith Garsson and featuring: Margot Moreland, Justin Schneyer, Jeanne McKinnon, Alexandra Kathryn Dow, Jeffrey Bruce, and R. Kent Wilson.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for the Miami Herald

Moreland delivers one very bubbly, sweet ‘Charity’
In 1966, composer Cy Coleman, lyricist Dorothy Fields and playwright Neil Simon turned Federico Fellini’s black-and-white movie Nights of Cabiria into the colorful, safe-for-Broadway musical Sweet Charity. That sweetened working girl has been a showcase for triple threat performers ever since Gwen Verdon first played Charity Hope Valentine on Broadway.

Now Margot Moreland, a much-honored South Florida musical theater veteran, gets her chance to slap a heart-shaped tattoo on her arm and charm her way through Charity’s misadventures in love. Director Keith Garsson has a tougher time getting a decent Sweet Charity to coalesce around his star. As a group, the cast sounds fine backed by musical director Roger Blankenship and four other musicians, but except for Moreland and Justin Schneyer as movie star Vittorio Vidal, the standout voices aren’t there.

The Broward Center presents the national tour of Billy Elliot.

Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for Florida Theater On Stage

Billy Elliot Mines Imaginative Staging, Superb Choreography
With its flights of imagination – literally, since the hero imagines himself soaring  – Billy Elliot, The Musical is a triumph of theatrical staging. Indeed, imagination is the keystone of both Lee Hall’s script and director Stephen Daldry’s creative team. Over and over, the audience is treated, a good choice of word, to what the world looks like from the inside of young boy’s head.

A clash of striking miners and riot police is reinterpreted in Billy’s mind as a nightmarish dance worthy of Edvard Munch. When Billy and a friend dress up in girls’ clothes, they celebrate the freedom from societal constraints with a Technicolor tap dance surrounded by life-size dancing women’s outfits.
This is not some adult’s view of childhood, like J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, but that melding of clear-eyed realism and fantastical musings of a young mind unfettered by convention.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More