Your South Florida Theatre's Production Pictures Here

Contact SFTN to find out how to get your production pictures posted here on our blog.

Your South Florida Theatre's Production Pictures Here

Contact SFTN to find out how to get your production pictures posted here on our blog.

Your South Florida Theatre's Production Pictures Here

Contact SFTN to find out how to get your production pictures posted here on our blog.

Your South Florida Theatre's Production Pictures Here

Contact SFTN to find out how to get your production pictures posted here on our blog.

Your South Florida Theatre's Production Pictures Here

Contact SFTN to find out how to get your production pictures posted here on our blog.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies

The Gable Stage Presents
Time Stands Still

Book by Donald Margulies
May 5 – June 3

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks by Richard Alfieri

Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre presents
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
Book by Richard Alfieri
May 4 - May 20

World Premiere of Home Exchange by Hy Conrad

Waterfront Playhouse Presents
Home Exchange
Book by Hy Conrad

May 3 – May 26

13 by Dan Elish

The Main Street Players Presents

Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Book by Dan Elish
May 4 – May 20

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Industry Night for LAST CALL by Terri Girvin Mon., April 30

First Step Productions at Empire Stage on Monay, April 30 will be having an industry night performance for their critically acclaimed production of LAST CALL. 

A typical day in a bartender's life is full of snap judgments and snappy comebacks.  On this day her two worlds collide when the needy and quirky customers in this New York bar fight for her attention as she deals with a barrage of desperate phone calls from her self-medicating, about-to-be-homeless mother.

Bill Hirschman (Florida Theatre On Stage) said...
Last Call instantly grabs the audience as Girvin enters the bar to set up for the night. Girvin, a diminutive woman with a faint blue collar air, wins us over with a self-deprecating, world-weary wit, a sharp eye for human foibles... But even more telling is when she reveals she’s really thinking. 

Christine Dolen (Miami Herald) said...
Directed by Michael Leeds, with an absolutely vital and superb sound design by Phil Pallazzolo and David Hart, Last Call keeps tugging the engaging, funny Girvin from present to past, from the bar to the giddy messed-up life of her mother Gwen. Girvin plays herself and sometimes her mom, with other actors supplying the voices of the bar’s customers, Girvin’s remarried dad and her three brothers.

With just one more week of performances (Thurs., Fri., and Sat. @8pm; Sun. at 7pm) this may be your last chance to see Terri Girvin's incredible one woman show. 

Cash at the door for walk-ins or cal the reservation line @ 954-383-1896.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Past Week In Theatre History (April 23 - 27)

PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: APRIL 23-27
By David Gewirtzman
and Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez

1564    Okay, no one's actually certain that April 23, 1564 was William Shakespeare's birthday, but that's the accepted date. Over the next 52 years, the Bard would pen such works as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Othello, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar.

1911     The Folies Bergere Theatre in New York hosts a triple-bill. Hell is described as "a profane burlesque," Temptation, a ballet by Alfredo Curti, and Gaby "a satirical revuette in three acts." It will run for 92 performances.

1926     Sex. It's a comedy. Mae West plays a Canadian woman with no time for those mountees; it's the British navy for her. It runs through one season, but the following it is raided as immoral. The cast is arrested and West, who also co-produced, is sentenced to 10 days in jail and is fined $500. A well-received off-off-Broadway revival in 2000 proved that the show still had laughs and a unique social point of view.

1929     Patrick Hamilton's drama Rope stars Brian Aherne and Anthony Ireland as two Oxford roommates killing a boy for thrills. Reginald Denham directs at London's Ambassadors' Theatre. Years later, Alfred Hitchcock uses this script as the basis for his film of the same name.

1945     Birthday of playwright August Wilson, whose massive cycle of plays about African-American life in each decade of the 20th century includes two Pulitzer winners: Fences and The Piano Lesson.

1959     Andy Griffith plays a gentle sheriff and Dolores Gray is the dancehall girl who falls in love with him in Destry Rides Again. Michael Kidd directs and choreographs the 472 showings at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Harold Rome provides the score.

1964     James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, about a northern black murdered by a white southern shopkeeper, is staged at ANTA by Burgess Meredith. Rip Torn and Al Freeman, Jr. are in the cast. It will run for 148 performances.

1970     There's a book by George Furth, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince helming, Michael Bennett on hand to choreograph, and Elaine Stritch in the lead; who wouldn't want to be in that Company? There will be 705 performances at Broadway's Alvin Theatre.

1970     Actress and author Gypsy Rose Lee, 56, died today in Los Angeles. She was immortalized along with her mother and sister, actress June Havoc, in the musical Gypsy. Arthur Laurents based the book for that musical on her memoir.

1977     Al Pacino stars in David Rabe's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. This revival, first mounted by the Theatre Company of Boston, will play on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre for more than 13 weeks.

1978     Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July plays Off-Broadway at the Circle Repertory Theatre. William Hurt stars as disabled Vietnam veteran Kenneth Talley. It will be revived on Broadway in 1980.

1981     Woody Allen returns to Broadway for the first time in more than a decade with the play The Floating Light Bulb, about a young would-be magician growing up amid comic family problems. It runs 62 performances a the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, starring Danny Aiello and Bea Arthur.

1985     Big River opens on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical by Roger Miller, based on the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, will enjoy a long stay playing 1,005 performances before closing Sep 20, 1987. Daniel H. Jenkins stars as Huck Finn; joining him are Ron Richardson, John Goodman, Bob Gunton, Reathel Bean and Rene Auberjonois.

1986     Debbie Allen stars as the Sweet Charity in a revival of the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields-Neil Simon musical that opens at the Minskoff Theatre. Bebe Neuwirth and Michael Rupert will win Tony Awards for their featured roles; the show itself will take home the Best Revival award.

1991     Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman's musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic 1911 novel, The Secret Garden, opens on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. Susan H. Schulman directs a cast that includes Rebecca Luker and Daisy Eagan.

1992     The music and life of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton comes to life on stage as Jelly's Last Jam opens at Broadway's Virginia Theatre. Savion Glover and Gregory Hines share the title role at different ages. George C. Wolfe directs the production he wrote the book for.

1997     Iceberg! Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's new musical Titanic opens on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The show, about the infamous night in April 1912 aboard the supposedly unsinkable liner, sails on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical and stays afloat for 804 performances before closing Mar 28, 1999.

1998     Martin McDonagh's hit Off-Broadway drama, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, about an elderly woman who tries to spoil her homely 40-year-old daughter's first (and possibly last) chance for romance opens at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. The production will earn Garry Hynes the first Tony Award ever given to a woman for Best Director. (Moments later, Julie Taymor will take home the second female directorial Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for The Lion King.)

2003     Peter Stone, the Tony Award-winning librettist who wrote the books of the Broadway musicals Titanic, My One and Only, Sugar, The Will Rogers Follies and 1776, dies at a Manhattan hospital.

2004     Bling-flashing rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs makes his Broadway debut in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. He plays Walter Lee Younger, the role originated by Sidney Poitier in the 1959 Broadway original. His co-stars are Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald, both of whom win Tony Awards in their roles.

2006     Susan Browning, 65, the two-time Tony Award nominated actress who created the role of April in the original Company dies after a brief illness.

2007     Michael Smuin, 68, the founder and artistic director of the Smuin Ballet who won a Tony Award for choreographing the hit 1987 Broadway revival of Anything Goes, dies of an apparent heart attack in San Francisco.

2008     Hairspray librettists Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan fashion a musical from another John Waters film, Cry-Baby, set in the world of "Squares" and "Drapes" in 1950s Baltimore. Mark Brokaw directs a cast that includes James Snyder, Harriet Harris and Elizabeth Stanley, performing a score by Broadway newcomers Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum. The musical will play 45 previews and 68 performances at the Marquis Theatre.

2008     Frances McDormand, Morgan Freeman and Peter Gallagher head the cast of the Broadway revival of Clifford Odets' The Country Girl, which officially opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The production is directed by Mike Nichols.

2009     Tony and Emmy Award winner Bea Arthur, who began her career onstage but would later become better known as Maude (on TV's "Maude") and Dorothy Zbornak (on "The Golden Girls") dies at age 86. Ms. Arthur's Broadway career began in 1955 with the musical Plain and Fancy, and also included originating roles in Fiddler on the Roof (as Yente the matchmaker) and Mame (as Vera Charles).

2009     The Goodman Theatre's acclaimed production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms, the 1924 tale of lust, promises, property and familial betrayal, opens at Broadway's St. James Theatre. Robert Falls directs the production, which stars Brian Dennehy, Carla Gugino and Pablo Schreiber.

2009     The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of Christopher Hampton's 1970 comedy, The Philanthropist, directed by Tony Award nominee David Grindley and starring Tony winner Matthew Broderick, opens at the American Airlines Theatre.

2010     The first Broadway revival of Fences, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by August Wilson, officially opens at the Cort Theatre. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both win Tony Awards for their performances in the drama about a former Negro League baseball player who now struggles as a garbage man.

2010     Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth play Chuck Baxter and Fran Kubelik in the first Broadway revival of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's hit 1968 musical Promises, Promises, at the Broadway Theatre. The musical based on the Oscar-winning film "The Apartment," also features Katie Finneran, Tony Goldwyn and Dick Latessa.

2011     A revival of Born Yesterday, Garson Kanin's hit 1946 comedy about a rough-edged chorus girl named Billie Dawn, who refines herself in the context of a world of politics, greed and corruption, opens on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. Doug Hughes directs the production, which stars Nina Arianda, Jim Belushi and Robert Sean Leonard.

This Weeks Birthday’s:  Blanche Ring 1877.  Jan De Hartog, Jack Cole 1914.  John Springer 1916.  Jack Klugman 1922.  Alan J. Pakula 1928.  Cindy Adams 1930.  Jerry Leiber 1933.  Shirley MacLaine 1934.  Sandy Dennis 1937.  David Birney, Judy Carne 1939.  Al Pacino 1940.  Barbra Streisand 1942.  Blair Brown 1946.  Jeffrey DeMunn 1947.  Eric Bogosian 1953.  Hank Azaria 1964.  James Barbour 1966.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that happen this week in theatre history, that post would be WAY longer than this one. To see more check out the "Today in Theatre History" blog posts on

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What’s The Expiration Date On That Arts Organization?

Butts In The Seats, the musings about practical solutions for arts management by Joe Patti , had an interesting post yesterday about building a theatre or an arts organization with an pre-determined life span.

What’s The Expiration Date On That Arts Organization?

A couple weeks ago Grant Makers in the Arts posted a piece by Rebecca Novick, Please Don’t Start A Theater Company. I had been thinking about the article for some time now when I saw a similar piece by David J. McGraw, The Epoch Model: An Arts Organization with an Expiration Date. Epoch Model… was published back in 2010 in 20UNDER40: Re-inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century.

What McGraw suggests in Epoch Model.. is that arts organizations should form for a seven year life span and goes on to make some interesting arguments about the benefits of doing so.

Both Novick and McGraw provide examples of groups that realized their usefulness was over and willingly dissolved and suggest that people looking to form new arts organization integrate an expiration date or expiration conditions into the very formation of the organization.

McGraw suggests the following benefit to this approach:
•A single founding vision can guide the organization from start to predetermined finish.
•Productions, exhibitions, and initiatives can be selected to follow an artistic arc rather than merely filling generic programming slots year after year.
•The company can plan its organizational growth and contraction with an eye towards its end.
•Its membership can challenge itself to fulfill its mission with greater urgency, knowing that this collaboration is a fleeting opportunity with a defined commitment from each member.
•Audiences will know that they cannot take the organization for granted and that the organization represents a specific period of time, or epoch, of the artistic life of the community.
He also notes that an arts organization dissolving in their relative prime will actually contribute more to the community than an organization which has had to close because they were no longer financially viable. The former has a fair bit of property to pass on to various community entities, the property of the latter is generally liquidated for the sake of creditors.

There a few forces working against this sort of approach and they all involve money. As both authors note, the ever renewing arts organization idea is great when you are 20something, but once you want to settle down and get some stability, you aren’t going to want your arts organization to go gentle into the good night. Or you are going to start seeking work at conventional arts organizations. This might actually be a good thing. The infusion of people who have experimented with versatile approaches may keep the conventional organizations vital.

Follow the link HERE or at the top to read more.

Show reviews for the week of April 23, 2012

First Step Productions and Empire Stage presents the World Premiere of Last Call by Terri Girvin.  Directed by Michael Leeds and featuring: Terri Girvin.  Sound Design by Phil Pallazzolo and David Hart.

Rod Stafford Hagwood reviewed the show for The Sun-Sentinel

The thing about a one-woman show, in this case the world premiere of "Last Call" at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale, is that it almost always comes off as indulgent.

Thankfully, that is not the case with this 80-minute, no-intermission whirlwind of a show written by and starring Terri Girvin. "Last Call" doesn't pause long enough to be immoderate as Girvin whips through one shift as a bartender in Manhattan.

That alone would be interesting enough, but this intricately choreographed piece dives headfirst into deeper waters as Girvin's character wrestles with her oh-so-needy mom, a woman we only know from her phone calls and is apparently in her last desperate hours before becoming homeless.

Again, a one-person show so dependent on a dizzying amount of sound cues – cash registers, slicing limes, happy-hour chatter, phone calls, liquor pours, clinking glasses – easily could have slipped into Disasterville, population one. But director Michael Leeds and sound designers Phil Pallozzalo and David Hart support their star beautifully, allowing her to give a bravura performance.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for The Miami Herald: 
A bartender pours out her story in "Last Call"
Directed by Michael Leeds, with an absolutely vital and superb sound design by Phil Pallazzolo and David Hart, Last Call keeps tugging the engaging, funny Girvin from present to past, from the bar to the giddy messed-up life of her mother Gwen. Girvin plays herself and sometimes her mom, with other actors supplying the voices of the bar’s customers, Girvin’s remarried dad and her three brothers. No one in the family, including the otherwise empathetic Girvin, is willing to let zany Gwen back into their lives.

Gwen’s repeated calls are like little psychodrama breaks on a night that will see Girvin walking 11 miles, back and forth, back and forth, behind the bar. She explains how she sets up the bar to facilitate smooth, fast movement; how the pour spouts and the money in the cash drawer all have to point the same way; how some customers deserve a “buy back” (a free drink) and others never will.

Roger Martin reviewed the show for The MiamiArtZine:
Last Call: Life Behind the Bar

Well directed by Michael Leeds, Last Call is an eighty-five minute autobiographical one act set in a New York neighborhood bar and Girvin is the bartender and sole performer who splendidly interacts with the taped customers' voices and sound effects. She also plays the part of her own mother. Who calls incessantly throughout the show.

The voice overs and the sound effects are extraordinarily well done. It requires no stretch to visualize the lone drunken regular, the rowdy group of guys, the girls and their wine, the anxious guy waving his money for attention. Two sound designers get credit for this excellent work: Phil Palazzolo and David Hart.

By its nature Last Call fits well into the small space that is Empire Stage. The set is sparse, but that's just fine as Girvin paints a no longer young woman proud of her different upbringing by her different mother, but equally saddened by her mother's slow descent into a personal hell. 

The Mosaic Theatre presents A Measure of Cruelty by Joe Calarco.  Directed by Richard Jay Simon and featuring: Dennis Creaghan, Todd Allen Durkin, and Andrew Wind.

Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for The Florida Theater On Stage
Neither protagonists nor antagonists, the haunted trio at the center of A Measure of Cruelty are desperately seeking compassion and redemption for their separate sins when all they can find in themselves are levels of self-disgust.

Yes, this was the drama originally entitled The Michael Brewer Project, referring to the nationally infamous incident of 2009 when four boys doused a 15-year-old Deerfield Beach Middle School student with a flammable liquid and lit him afire.

But let’s make this crystal: The local familiarity with this specific incident has virtually nothing to do with this play’s devastating impact. You could switch in different names and specifics and have the same effect. Unfortunately, horrifying incidents have become such an epidemic that striking a resonating chord among audiences around the country will be the least of this play’s problems. While this work was inspired by the Michael Brewer tragedy and references it directly, this is meant to be a far more universal examination of broader issues, not a docudrama.

We can’t say enough about Durkin’s work here. He spends much of the play struggling to keep nightmares at bay, a permanent scowl in his expression as if he can’t get an acrid taste out of his mouth.  But at one point, when all the scalding bile inside boils up, we watch him physically battle his own body, clutching himself to keep from splitting open, nearly ripping his head off its shoulders, chugging vodka to quench the lava rising in his throat, then nearly vomiting it. It’s stunning to watch him turn himself inside out battling revulsion. But it’s merely the showiest passage in an entire evening’s performance of theatrical excellence in which he inhabits, not creates a character.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for The Miami Herald:
‘A Measure of Cruelty’ explores bullying, violence

Under the direction of Richard Jay Simon, who shaped the play while Calarco was busy with his own theater work, all three actors (Todd Allen Durkin, Andrew Wind, and Dennis Creaghan) give intense performances – Durkin especially. At a critical moment, when Buddy is demonstrating to Derek how a terrified Michael Brewer must have felt, watching the confrontation is nearly unbearable.

Thematically, A Measure of Cruelty aims to demonstrate how one macho admonition – be a man! – can lead to disaster, as all three characters prove. Yet the relationship of Buddy and Derek is muddy, even mystifying. Despite a relevant childhood trauma, Buddy and his story belong in a different play on a different subject. Though he writes vivid scenes and speeches, Calarco has crafted an 85-minute script that is too diffuse. A Measure of Cruelty simply doesn’t coalesce into a powerful, memorable theater experience.

Roger Martin reviewed the show for The MiamiArtZine:
A Measure of Cruelty: The Essence of a Bully

Durkin gives us a bitter soldier, horrified at the acts he committed and witnessed, anguished at the loss of his wife, perhaps assuaging his guilt by sheltering Derek, whom he despises. He suffers from flashbacks, terrible grief and a capacity for violence he can barely control. Durkin's range, as Buddy, is mesmerizing from start to finish.

Wind drowns the stage in words, an endless outpouring of teen cool, and in so doing makes his glib chatter and street posing a wave that washes across the theatre. You can't remember the words, only the being swept away.

And Creaghan ties it all together with his quiet regret at growing old, the secrets, the failures, the misdeeds.

A Measure of Cruelty is well written, marred only by a feeling that perhaps there's a little too much going on. And that in itself reflects the truth of bullying.

Ron Levitt wrote for ENV Magazine:

Director Richard Jay Simon moves this drama along at a stunning pace, with the prowess of Durkin and two other award-worthy performances – Dennis Creaghan as Teddy (the father) and Andrew Wind (as Derek, one of the young criminals). Both Creaghan and Wind give A-One performances, even though the intense dramatic role goes to Durkin. Both Creaghan and Durkin — as well as Simon – have been awarded Carbonells for their theatrical knowhow. And, Wind won’t be far behind with his excellent premiere performance at Mosaic.

Technically, this production is in an A-class, with set designer Douglas Grinn providing a realistic neighborhood bar for the action, and lighting and sound by the creative team of John Hall and Matt Corey respectively.

The Broward Stage Door Theatre presents Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman until May 20.  Directed by Dan Kelley and features: Michael Linden, Bob Levitt, Erica Lustig, and Matthew William Chizever. With Kassiopia DeVora, Amber Hurst-Martin and Jasmin Richardson as the Motown Singing Narrators and Marcus Davis as the voice of Audrey II.

Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for Florida Theater On Stage

Sometimes, when the material is strong enough, success means just getting out of its way. For the most part, that’s what a cast of strong singers and the director do to make Broward Stage Door’s Little Shop of Horrors a smile-inducing entertainment.

We caught one of the last previews for scheduling reasons, so the production had another few days to fine-tune the show. But the only real fault that was that most of the evening could have used a little more zip. This was clear any time Chizever came on stage; you could feel the whole enterprise kick up a notch from the electricity he brought to a wide array of parts.

The best news is that the pre-recorded music tracks – enabling the score to have a full sound on a budget – are once again the skilled work of former Floridian David Cohen. If you must go with canned music as Stage Door opts to in order to give its audience the sense of a full band, Cohen delivers multi-layered pristine soundtracks with room for the singers to caress the lyrics. Two recent Stage Door productions, My Fair Lady and Guys & Dolls were crippled by the sub-standard recordings provided by some mass production house.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for The Miami Herald:

Audrey II, the forever-ravenous plant from the hit musical Little Shop of Horrors, is flowering again, this time at the Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs. Inspired by Roger Corman’s 1960 comic horror flick, the ongoing life of the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical proves the truth of the show’s central premise: Humans may come and go, but the people-eating Audrey II is forever.

Set on New York’s Skid Row, in a pathetically under-performing flower shop owned by the gruff Mr. Mushnik (a blustering Bob Levitt), Little Shop of Horrors follows the blooming love story of the shop’s two employees, the geeky Seymour (Michael Linden) and bottle-blond Audrey (Erica Lustig). Plenty of obstacles thwart the pair: Sales are nonexistent, Seymour worships Audrey from afar, and Audrey is a case study in low self-esteem. She also happens to have a sadistic boyfriend, dentist Orin Scrivello (Matthew William Chizever), who treats her like a pretty punching bag.

As usual, big-gal Audrey II is played by two guys. Curtis Roth manipulates her, and Marcus Davis does the voice. But it’s Chizever who earns MVP honors in Stage Door’s Little Shop, playing the demented dentist, a businessman-botanist and all manner of people (male and female) interested in Audrey II. A quick-changing chameleon who’s perfectly at home chewing the tacky scenery, Chizever works like fertilizer on the show, feeding it energy and a glorious goofiness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Current Productions for the week of April 23, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
by Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart
At The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre Until April 28

Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door.  Light and fast-paced, witty and irreverent!  It takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from Roman farces with the slapstick energy of classic vaudeville.  The result is a non-stop laugh-fest that will leave your sides aching from laughter.

The All Night Strut! by Fran Charnas
At Broward Stage Door Theatre Until April 29

Get ready for an evening filled with jazz, blues, bebop and standards that thrill the heart, tickle the funny bone and raise the rafters. Legendary songwriters as Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway and the Gershwins take you from the funky jive of Harlem to the sophisticated elegance of El Morocco and the romance of the Stage Door Canteen.

"Master Harold"...And The Boys by Athol Fugard
At The Palm Beach Dramaworks Until April 29
When a South African white boy and two black workers he has known all his life connect on one rainy day, their wide-ranging discussions illustrate all that unites us and the gulf that still divides us.

Gypsy by Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents & Jule Styne
At The Tamarac Theatre of Performing Arts Until April 29
Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous burlesque stripper, GYPSY tells the story of Rose, an overbearing stage mother, determined to break into the big time by pushing her daughters into vaudeville careers.  After her youngest, June, elopes with a dancer, Rose turns all of her attention on her older and less talented daughter Louise.  Who eventually transforms into a famous burlesque stripper known as Gypsy Rose Lee.

The Music Man by Meredith Wilson
At The Lake Worth Playhouse Until April 29
An affectionate paean to Smalltown, U.S.A. of a bygone era, THE MUSIC MAN follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize, despite the fact he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef.  His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.

The Country Boy by John Murphy
At The Irish Theatre of Florida Until May 5
THE COUNTRY BOY tells the story of Curly, 25, who still lives at home with his parents, Tom and Mary Kate.  Curly dreams of following his older brother Eddie to the United States in pursuit of success, even if it means leaving his sweetheart, Eileen Tierney behind.  Only upon Eddie's first return home on vacation with his wife Julia, are truths revealed of hardship, alcoholism, a troubled marriage, homesickness, and regrets.

Last Call by Terri Girvin
Presented by First Step Productions
At Empire Stage Until May 6 
A typical day in a bartender's life is full of snap judgments and snappy comebacks. On this night, Two worlds collide when our bartender's needy and quirky customers fight for her attention as she deals with a barrage of desperate phone calls from her self-medicating, about-to-be-homeless mother. Terri is forced to choose between coming to her mother’s rescue – or her own.

AVENUE Q by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty
At The Andrews Living Arts Studio Until May 6

AVENUE Q is an "Autobiographical and Biographical" coming-of-age parable, addressing and satirizing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. Its characters lament that as children, they were assured by their parents, and by PBS's Sesame Street, that they were "special" and "could do anything"; but as adults, they have discovered to their surprise and dismay that in the real world their options are limited, and they are no more "special" than anyone else.
Warning: This Show Contains Puppet Nudity

A Measure of Cruelty by Joe Calarco
At Mosaic Theatre Until May 13
A MEASURE OF CRUELTY is loosely based on actual events of 2009 where Michael, a 15 year old boy, was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire by five teenagers. As a peaceful South Florida neighborhood is rocked by headlines, a local bar owner struggles to keep the peace with his son.  But as a storm grows ever closer, the men are forced to come to terms with each other and their long-guarded secrets.

Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken & Howard Ashman
At Broward Stage Door Theatre Until May 20
Seymour Krelborn is a nerdy orphan who is taken in and given a job by Mr. Mushnik at his flower shop on Skid Row.  One day, just after an eclipse of the Sun, Seymour discovers a strange and mysterious plant which he calls Audrey II after the shop's beautiful assistant.  While caring for Audrey II, Seymour discovers the plant's rather unique appetite.  The plant grows and grows, as does Seymour's infatuation for Audrey.  Will Audrey II take over the world or will Seymour and Audrey defeat it?

Death and Harry Houdini by Nathan Allen and Dennis Watkins
At The Adrienne Arsht Center
In the Ziff Ballet Opera House Until  May 20
Bold, visually stunning, and highly entertaining, DEATH AND HARRY HOUDINI delivers a roller coaster ride through the life of the great Harry Houdini.  House Company Member and award-winning magician Dennis Watkins will perform Houdini's most renowned and dangerous escape—the dreaded Water Torture Cell—in this dark and tumultuous story guaranteed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Taxes on Theatre Tickets???

This blog post from 2amTheatre about new taxes being imposed in California, one of them being on theatre tickets, should be a little wake up call for us to make sure it doesn't happen here.

Taxes: I Dont Think It Means What You Think It Means

I get it. Taxes are a necessary part of civic life. But what some of our civic officials don’t seem to always get is that taxes don’t always guarantee the revenue they’re hoping to make.

Where is all this coming from?

Well, as of Friday afternoon an urgent call went out to California theatre artists.
URGENT: Sales tax to be imposed on theatre ticket sales MONDAY!
California Arts Advocates has just learned that a bill is going before the California legislature on Monday that will impose a sales tax on tickets to live theatre productions.
This bill does not include a sales tax on any other forms of entertainment, including opera, concerts or sporting events. (emphasis mine)
That’s right. A sales tax on theatre tickets.

A Civic Parable

Let me tell you a story about Oakland. Interestingly I heard this story while I was in Texas listening to NPR (I don’t listen to the radio unless I’m in a car and living in San Francisco has meant existing sans car so…). The story goes something like this: Oakland officials wanted to increase their revenue and saw that people were coming to downtown Oakland for evening dinner, shopping, etc. And since parking meters stop charging after 6pm the officials thought they’d extend that time a few more hours.

The math makes sense. More time charging for parking equals more money coming in, right?


Here’s the thing. People aren’t pure math. They adjust. Especially when it comes to their pocketbook.

So what happened? People didn’t want to pay for parking in the evening. Fewer people visited downtown Oakland for evening dinner, shopping, etc. The city didn’t see the increased revenue they hoped for and the local businesses…well, they saw their business drop 30% due to the new parking meter hours.

Increasing tolls or taxes won’t always lead to the results you think it will.

I wonder if Assembly Member Gatto actually understands the potential impact a sales tax on theatre tickets would have. How it would impact jobs, the economy, opportunities for youth and communities.

Follow the link HERE or at the top to read more.

Peter Rabbit and the Garden of Doom

Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre Presents
National Children's Theatre Festival Winner!
Peter Rabbit and the Garden of Doom

April 25 - May 26

A brand new children’s musical chosen from Actors’ Playhouse national call to competition, PETER RABBIT AND THE GARDEN OF DOOM is this year’s National Children's Theatre Festival Winner.  Peter Rabbit really loves vegetables, but when his sweet-toothed sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail want only cakes and cookies, that’s all Mother Rabbit will serve.  Luckily he’s found a source for his veggies: when Mother isn’t looking, he trades sweets for produce with his cousin Benjamin Bunny, who won’t share his mysterious source of vegetables with Peter.  Will Peter brave the dark woods, open fields and tall fences in order to discover the Vegetable Paradise for himself?  The answer lies in this fun, New-Tricious musical mystery!

Saturdays @ 2 pm

The Country Boy by John Murphy

The Irish Theatre of Florida presents
The Country Boy
by John Murphy
April 27 -May 5

Death and Harry Houdini by Nathan Allen

The Adrienne Arsht Center Presents
At the Ziff Ballet Opera House
Death and Harry Houdini

Written and Directed by Nathan Allen
Magic by Dennis Watkins

April 26 – May 20

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Creativity...who has it? How can you get it?

Joe Patti at Butts In The Seats, a blog with his collected musings about practical solutions for arts management, talks about Creativity.

We’ve Discovered Creativity!
Creativity is getting A LOT of play lately. I have written on the subject at least six or seven times since the new year, including a discussion about the IBM study that found corporate executives value creativity over pretty much everything else. Thomas Cott features a cross section the subject in his You’ve Cott Mail today. There is the Creativity Post site which devotes itself pretty much entirely to the subject.

Of course, it existed long before that..and we have proof! Maria Popova posted a videos of a talk John Cleese gave on Brain Pickings this weekend. At first I thought he just gave the talking in the last month, so timely did it sound. But he looked a lot younger than he did when I saw him a couple months ago. But you know, despite sounding so recent, he gave the talk in 1991.

One of the things that Cleese says in the creativity video, which is borne out by research and recent writings on the subject, is that creativity is something you have to work at. He mentions that there was another member of the Monty Python troupe he felt had far more creative talent than he, but who would give up on an idea very quickly compared to Cleese because, in his view, there was a lot of discomfort associated with spending time working with a weak idea to make it stronger and more original.

It has been suggested on Americans for the Arts Artsblog’s Private Sector Salons that the arts community has a lot to offer the private sector in terms of training in creativity.

My concern is that the arts community doesn’t really know how and why they are creative. There are things that we do that elicit creative thoughts like improvisation games, walks in the woods, etc., but we may not realize is that it isn’t the activities per se that make as creative as much as that they represent the carving out of time, space and environment separate from our daily lives in which we can be creative.

Never Say You Suck

Mercedes Rose on February 28 blogged about never saying you're sorry while on auditions at Unscripted: A Blog for Actors.   She now takes it one step further and lets us know something else never to say infront of others...

Never Say You Suck
The last few auditions I have been involved with (both as an actor and as a producer) have had one thing in common: a lot of negative self-talk from the actors.Very LOUD negative self-talk.

An actor gets done with their audition and immediately announces to the room at large: "I can do better". Out loud. They say it OUT LOUD!

An actor walks through the waiting room and announces to all us nervous actors waiting for our turn: "You guys better do better than I just did!"

An actor runs into a friend in the parking lot at casting and says: "I suck".

Maybe actors feel the need to be self-deprecating because we want to appear humble. Or we want affirmations that we didn't "suck that bad". Or maybe it is just a bad habit...kind of like farting in public.Whatever the reason, break that habit!

Do You Suffer From PGDS

Brittany Baratz over at Unscripted: A Blog for Actors tells us what it feels like when a fabulous acting job ends and you don't have anything lined up afterwards.

PGDS - Post-Gig Depression Syndrome
I suffer from what I call PGDS, or Post-Gig Depression Syndrome. You know the drill; you've been working with a wonderful cast for several months, enjoying eight shows a week, and the comfort of feeling validated by your work. You're a working actor, hell yeah! Until the show ends and suddenly you are thrown into the pool of the unemployed.

I have been lucky enough to be working with the same show for roughly six months. After our national tour ended, we had a six week hiatus, and then re-grouped and traveled abroad to Bahrain for the Spring of Culture Festival. It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Coming home from doing something so unique and cool was an adjustment.

The only way to combat PGDS is to fight back. After allowing myself a short mourning period for the end of my awesome gig, I've been spending time with people who love me and believe in my talent.

The best way to battle the I'm-never-gonna-gig-again-blues is to put yourself out there and just book it!

And if you suffer from PGDS like I do, give yourself some credit. It's okay to eat your ice cream and sleep in for a few days. Give yourself the permission to recharge your battery. Then you'll be ready to jump right back in the game.

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