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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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Current Productions for the week of July 30, 2012

Peter Pan Staring Cathy Rigby
At The Kravis Center Until Aug 5
Tony® Award nominee Cathy Rigby takes flight in an all-new production of Peter Pan. Discover the Magic all over again of this two-time Emmy® Award-winning and two-time Tony® Award-nominated production. The New York Times says “Rigby still carries off the flights, fights and acrobatics that make Peter Pan audiences mesmerized.”

Baby GirL by Kim Ehly
At Empire Stage in association with
The Kutumba Theatre Project Until August 5
What if you were conceived twice in one lifetime: once by the illegitimate passionate sex of a young couple and then by a "missionary position" lovemaking, conservative couple who long to have a child.  What if you were adopted by the married couple, only to find out you are everything they can't stand...I mean, understand? After being coming out as a lesbian and being alienated by her adoptive family, Ashley, a spirited young daydreamer, goes on an extraordinary journey to find love and a place to call home.

At The Gable Stage Until August 5
Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards. This probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war is a searing variation on Brecht's Mother Courage, translated to a brothel in the conflict-torn Congo. By the author of Intimate Apparel, a GableStage hit in 2006.

At The Andrews Living Arts Studio Until August 5
Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies during the "Age of Aquarius" living a bohemian lifestyle in the City of New York; fighting against the Vietnam War and the traditional values of the “Establishment”. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends, Woof Hud, Jeanie Crissy along with other “Tribe” members struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution while rebelling against the war, their conservative parents and society. 

The Turn of the Screw

At The Naked Stage Until August 5
A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children.  Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself, found dead soon after the mysterious circumstances.  Now, the new governess has begun to see the specters of Quint and Jessel haunting the children.  She must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late.  But are the ghosts real?

The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Palm Beach Dramaworks Until August 5
In this captivating love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall, the narrator, El Gallo, creates a world of moonlight and magic, then pain and disillusionment, until the boy and girl find their way back to each other. The score, which includes "Try to Remember," is as timeless as the story itself!

REAL MEN SING SHOW TUNES...and play with puppets
At The Actors Playhouse Until August 12
GET REAL! And GET READY for a song-filled adult comedy about Real Men behaving like, well...REAL MEN. Get an inside glimpse of what it takes to be a man in a modern world shared with women, children, and yes, even puppets. Real Men, who make a habit of juggling their balls every day; fatherhood, mid-life crisis, dating, marriage, potency, sexuality, and the lack of it. REAL MEN answers the one pertinent question that’s on everyone’s mind... “Do Real Men sing show tunes and play with puppets?”.

The Donkey Show
At The Adrienne Arsht Center Until August 12
In the spirit of Studio 54, come party on the dance floor to all the '70s disco hits you know by heart as the show unfolds around you! Get the bouncer's attention—and you'll hustle right in! Get down and boogie with the star-crossed lovers, or watch from the sidelines - if that's the way you like it. And don't stop til you get enough! You can party into the night and live out your own fabulous disco fantasy.

Closer by Patrick Marber
At The Main Street Players Until August 12
This play is a brutal anatomy of modern romance, where a quartet of strangers meet, fall in love, and become caught up in a web of sexual desire and betrayal.  It was one of the best plays of the 1990’s and won the Olivier Award for best new play as well as the New York Drama’s Critic Circle Award for best foreign play.  It is one of the best plays of sexual politics in the language.

The Hamlet Dog and Pony Show by Jessica Farr and Paul Tei
At the Mad Cat Theatre Until August 12
The Hamlet Dog and Pony Show is an abbreviated and psychedelically exaggerated sample of the Hamlet tragedy.  A layered semi-musical deconstruction that touches upon Heiner Muller’s HamletMachine and his use of sampling, Prince’s Purple Rain, OFWGKTA, fear of death, the seeds of hate, depression and the implications of current day political and social figures in America, more specifically, on the campaign trial.

Divorce Party: The Musical
At The Kravis Center Until Aug 19
Still reeling from her divorce, Linda is rescued by her three friends who have come to turn her despair into a weekend of hilarity. Using popular songs with clever new lyrics, the ladies sing and dance their way through the wildest divorce party ever. From the Producer who brought you the off-Broadway hit Menopause the Musical, it’s the ultimate Girls’ Night Out, coupled with a healthy dose of comic mayhem and a touch of “naughty.”

Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill
It’s 1959 and legendary musical performer Billie Holiday is just four months away from death as she steps to the microphone in a seedy bar in Philadelphia for one of her final performances. Though she is there to sing, the audience will find she has a lot more on her mind than music. In addition to featuring a dozen of her hits, Holiday tells the tale of who she is, in her own original style.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Peter Pan Staring Cathy Rigby

The Kravis Center Presents
Peter Pan Staring Cathy Rigby

Aug 1 - Aug 5

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Past Week In Theatre History (July 23 – July 27)

PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: JULY 23 – 27
By David Gewirtzman, Ernio Hernandez, Doug Nevin and Robert Viagas

1853    Birthday of Broadway impresario David Belasco, namesake of the Belasco Theatre, who wrote and/or produced dozens of plays including The Return of Peter Grimm and Laugh, Clown, Laugh!, and two that inspired great operas, Madame Butterfly and Girl of the Golden West. His ghost is believed to haunt the Broadway theatre that bears his name.

1856    A Dramatic genius is born today in the person of George Bernard Shaw. Among Shaw's many playwriting credits will be Pygmalion, Man and Superman and Saint Joan. The former play, a comedy about one Professor Henry Higgins determined to turn a cockney flower girl into a "lady," would become the basis for the Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe masterpiece My Fair Lady.

1920    Producer Alexander H. Cohen, known for bringing quality plays to Broadway for six decades, is born today. Lastly represented on Broadway by the Noel Coward play, Waiting in the Wings, starring Lauren Bacall and Rosemary Harris, he will produce 101 Broadway shows, including the 1964 Hamlet starring Richard Burton, Harold Pinter’s drama The Homecoming, Peter Brook’s Tony Award-winning La Tragedie De Carmen, James Joyce's Ulysses in Nighttown starring Zero Mostel, Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!, both starring Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst. He will live to age 79.

1938    Helen Hayes is named the stage's greatest performer when the New York Sun prints its list of great performers today. Compiled after polling 150 notable people, mostly in the theatre industry, the list names Katharine Cornell as runner-up. The pair of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne is third and others on the list include John Barrymore, Maude Adams and John Gielgud.

1955    The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company presents King Lear. Sir John Gielgud, Helen Cherry and Claire Bloom star in this latest production of the Shakespearean tragedy.

1962    Comic actor Victor Moore dies today at age 86. Moore clowned around opposite straight man William Gaxton in seven original Broadway musicals, including Anything Goes, Of Thee I Sing, and Louisiana Purchase. As a dramatic actor, Moore appeared in a revival of On Borrowed Time and in the Hollywood film "Swing Time."

1975    After a smash run at The Public Theater in New York City, the Marvin Hamlisch-Edward Kleban musical A Chorus Line makes the move uptown to Broadway's Shubert Theatre. The Michael Bennett-helmed show, including such songs as "What I Did for Love" and "One," features Donna McKechnie, Kelly Bishop and Robert LuPone. A Chorus Line will truly prove to be, as its lyrics say, "one singular sensation," racking up 6,137 performances to become Broadway's longest running show up to that time. (In June 1997, Cats will break that record.) A 1985 film version of A Chorus Line, directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, will feature Michael Douglas and Terrence Mann in its cast.

1982    Little Shop of Horrors begins a 2,209-performance run today at Off-Broadway's Orpheum Theatre. Based on the Roger Corman cult classic about a man-eating plant, this Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical stars Lee Wilkof and Ellen Greene. The 1986 film version of the musical, directed by Frank Oz, will star Rick Moranis, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, John Candy, and Greene reprising her stage role as Audrey.

1985    Film buffs will be interested to know that up until this day in 1985, Tony-winner Mandy Patinkin was to star opposite Meryl Streep in the Mike Nichols film Heartburn. After this one day of shooting, however, Patinkin is replaced on the project by Academy Award-winner Jack Nicholson. The Evita star's future film credits will include 1987's "The Princess Bride" and 1990's "Dick Tracy." He will return to Broadway in fall 1998 with his one-man show Mamaloshen.

1992    Broadway star Alfred Drake, 78, dies today. Born Alfred Cappuro, Drake went on to star in the original productions of such Broadway musical classics as Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate, and Kismet. For a time in 1953, Drake replaced Yul Brynner as the King of Siam in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's The King and I, a role he had turned down when the show was first being produced.

1996    Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's musical The Fantasticks, which opened Off-Broadway May 3, 1960 plays its 15,000th performance. The story about two young neighbors whose stars are crossed purposely by their fathers' fake feuding runs at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City's Greenwich Village. It will close in January 2002.

1996    Tony Award-winning musical star Patti LuPone returns to the Broadway stage tonight in Terrence McNally's Master Class. Taking over the reins from the play's original Tony Award-winning star, Zoe Caldwell, LuPone is said to speed up the evening's proceedings significantly, due to her fast-paced interpretation. When LuPone finishes her run as opera diva Maria Callas in this Tony-winning play, stage and television star Dixie Carter will become the third -- and final -- actress to play Callas in the production. Faye Dunaway will play the part on tour.

1997    After 738 performances, the Broadway production of Victor/Victoria will terminate its run after today's matinee performance. Based on the 1982 Blake Edwards film of the same name, the Edwards-helmed stage version of Victoria opened in fall 1995 at the Marriott Marquis with stage and screen legend Julie Andrews in the leading role(s). Andrews had also starred in the film version, earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance. During the first year of the show's run, Andrews and the show became the center of a Tony nomination controversy. When Victor/ Victoria failed to garner any nominations other than the goes-without-saying citing for Andrews, the actress announced she would decline that honor in protest of the nominating committee ignoring all other members of what she called an "egregiously overlooked" company. Subsequent stars of the Broadway production were Liza Minnelli, who filled in for several weeks while Andrews took a vacation, and Raquel Welch.

1997    Following a sold-out limited run at Greenwich House, Douglas Carter Beane's comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown, begins a commercial Off-Broadway run today at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Although Bo Foxworth has taken over the lead role from Josh Hamilton, who must leave to honor a film commitment, most of the cast, including J. Smith-Cameron, T. Scott Cunningham, Sandra Daley, and Mark Nelson, remains intact.

1999    Cross-dressing British comedian Eddie Izzard begins previews for Lenny, the biopic on the life of American shock comedian Lenny Bruce. The production, directed by Sir Peter Hall, plays at the Queen's Theatre in London. Izzard is best known for his touring comedy shows and videos such as Dress to Kill and Glorious.

1999    Andrea Martin is The Cat in the Hat in the workshop of the new Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical, The Seussical (later known as Seussical the Musical, and then just Seussical) in Toronto. Director Frank Galati helms a cast that includes Kevin Chamberlin, Jason Fuchs, Janine LaManna, David Lowenstein, Michele Pawk, and others. The musical based on the work of late children's author Dr. Seuss (real name: Theodore Geisel) will open at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre Nov. 30, 2000 — but with David Shiner as the Cat.

1999    Writer-performers David Collins and Shane Dundas join the likes of Metallica, Alanis Morisette, the Dave Matthews Band, Rage Against the Machine, Buckcherry and Sheryl Crow as they perform at Woodstock '99 in Rome, New York. At the time, the duo, better known as The Umbilical Brothers, also perform their Off-Broadway show Thwak at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

2000    Tony Award-winning director Joseph Hardy returns to San Diego's Old Globe with Alan Ayckbourn as he helms Things We Do for Love, which begins performances tonight. Charlotte Booker, Monique Fowler, Tom Lacy and Dennis Parlato star in the romantic comedy as the tenants of a Victorian home-turned boarding house.

2000    Thrice extended at Chicago's Goodman Studio Theatre, Rebecca Gilman's comedy Spinning Into Butter officially opens in New York City at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the show featuring Hope Davis and Daniel Jenkins exposes the cosmetic and sometimes destructive political correctness that erupts on a small Vermont college campus when an African-American student finds several racist notes pinned to his door.

2000    Nathan Lane stars as Sheridan Whiteside and Jean Smart stars as Lorraine Sheldon in the revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play, The Man Who Came to Dinner, which opens tonight at the Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway house, the American Airlines Theatre. Lane will probably be remembered more for his second starring role of the season, as Max Bialystock in The Producers which won him the Tony for Best Actor. The American Airlines Theatre is the refurbished and rechristened Selwyn Theatre on 42nd Street.

2001    Alan King's solo show, Mr. Goldwyn debuts at New York Stage & Film at Vassar College. The production later transfers to Off-Broadway.

2001    Director-choreographer Graciela Daniele's revival Annie Get Your Gun, celebrates its 1,000th performance at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. Leads on that date are Crystal Bernard and Tom Wopat.

2001    Mike Nichols' starry production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull begins performances at Central Park's Delacorte Theatre. Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline head the cast as Arkadina and Trigorin. Also in the cast are Marcia Gay Harden as Masha, Natalie Portman as Nina, Christopher Walken as Sorin, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Konstantin, John Goodman as Shamrayev, Debra Monk as Polina, Stephen Spinella as Medvedyev and Larry Pine as Dorn.

2002    Clark Gesner, the composer of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, one of the most simple-hearted and frequently-produced musicals in the history of the American theatre, dies at 64. He is visiting the Princeton Club in Manhattan when he suffers a fatal heart attack.

2003    Actor and comedian Bob Hope dies at age 100. Though he's known primarily for his film career, he appeared in eight Broadway musicals in the late 1920s and early 1930s, notably Jerome Kern's Roberta, Cole Porter's Red, Hot and Blue! and Vernon Duke's Ziegfeld Follies of 1936.

2004    Like an open vein, water from a burst pipe spurts into the stage left wing of the Belasco Theatre, halting rehearsals for Dracula, the Musical two days before its first preview. Due to the spillage, the show will eventually start July 30.

2008    Bruce Adler, the scion of Yiddish theatre family who went on to have much success on the Broadway stage, winning two Tony Award nominations, dies at age 63. He had been battling liver cancer for several years. Adler, in the mid-1990s, played to huge success with a series of shows in the theatres of South Florida, from the Palm Beaches to Ft. Lauderdale to Miami.  His shows paid tribute to the performers who had shaped his own style including Danny Kaye, Sammy Davis, Jr., Red Buttons, Cab Calloway and Jimmy Durante, among others. Bruce Adler's first marriage ended in divorce in 2002. He married director/actress Amy London in 2003. In February 2007, he and London had their only child together, Jacob Hayden Adler.

2008    I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, which opened at the Westside Theatre Aug. 1, 1996, plays its final performance at that Off-Broadway venue. The musical revue played a total of 20 previews and 5,003 regular performances, making it the second longest-running musical in Off-Broadway history.

2008    Stuart W. Little, who for three decades covered the New York theatre as a reporter and author, dies at age 86. He wrote a theatre column for the New York Herald Tribune from 1958 until the newspaper closed in 1966. Thereafter, he became known for a series of books that examined the inner workings of the theatre business.

2009    Merce Cunningham, the American choreographer who was one of the most important and influential forces in the dance world during the 20th century, dies at age 90.

2011    Jane White, a stage veteran who created the role of Queen Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress, dies at age 88. Ms. White, a New York City native who grew up in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem and attended Smith College and the New School, also appeared on Broadway in Strange Fruit, Take a Giant Step and the 2001 revival of Follies.

Today's Birthdays: Alexandre Dumas, fils 1824.  William Gillette 1853.  Nat C. Goodwin 1859.  Montague Glass 1877.  Lord Dunsany 1878.  Arthur Treacher 1894.  Aldous Huxley 1894.  Gracie Allen 1895.  Herbert Fields 1897.  Jack Gilford 1908.  Vivian Vance 1909.  Helen Martin 1909.  Keenan Wynn 1916.  Blake Edwards 1922.  Jason Robards, Jr. 1922.  Estelle Getty 1923.  Barbara Harris 1935.  Chris Sarandon 1942.  Santo Loquasto 1944.  Helen Mirren 1945.  Larry Shue 1946.  Maureen McGovern 1949.  Simon Jones 1950.  Kevin Spacey 1959.  Woody Harrelson 1961.  Jeremy Piven 1965.  Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967.  Kristin Chenoweth 1968.  Tamyra Gray 1979.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reviews for the week of July 23, 2012

The Katumba Theatre Project and Empire Stage presents Baby GirL, Written and Directed by Kim Ehly.  Starring:  Sally Bondi, Clay Cartland, Miki Edelman, David R. Gordon, Noah Levine, Nori Tecosky. Jessica Welch, and featuring Lindsey Forgey as ASHLEY.  Design Team: Lighting Design – Nate Sykes;  Sound Design – David Hart;  Costume Design – Kim Ehly.

John Thomason reviewed the show for NewTimes

At Empire Stage, the ability to accomplish so much with so few resources never ceases to amaze, no matter which theater company is renting out the space. Kim Ehly's Baby Girl, conceived at a New York City writer's workshop just after 9/11, has finally received a full-fledged production at the intimate Fort Lauderdale space, courtesy of Ehly's Kutumba Theatre Project.

It's something close to magic that Baby Girl not only works but excels with just eight cast members, a mostly bare-walled set, and static props limited to a bed, a sofa, a beat-up desk, and some movable pedestals. No matter — this is a transportive, original piece of stagecraft that rewards our imagination and always keeps us on our toes.

As Ehly's surrogate, Lindsey Forgey is a natural comedian and a performer of effortless talent; ditto to Clay Cartland and Noah Levine, the versatile young actors who play many of the men who populate her life (most of the supporting cast members play upward of five characters). The rest of the ensemble play off one another like a perfectly oiled machine, with Bondi's spastic exuberance connecting her pivotal roles as both of Ashley's mothers.

A comedy that lurches unexpectedly and effectively into a thriller, Baby Girl has resonated with the same-sex couples who have so far made up the majority of its packed-to-capacity run. Its references to South Florida institutions like Lester's and the Peter Pan Diner will bring smiles of recognition across all swaths of the audience. And David Hart's sound design, with its milieu-capturing audio samples and eclectic song selection, helps make the small assemblage of uncomfortable-looking furniture feel, ultimately, like a home.

Ron Levitt reviewed the show for Florida Media News

One would expect Baby Girl, the story of a young gay woman coming out and also searching for her birthmother  currently at the Empire Stage here - to be a drama. it has has all the makings of high excitement expected in a tear-jerking presentation!

Ehly could well be the star in this production, though she is not on stage.  The playwright – known locally as an outstanding young actress – lets loose with a pack full of comic moments while writing a play about one’s identity, only to  find her “family”  may be closer than one expects.   Her language as a playwright is outstanding,.

A powerful Lindsey Forgey plays Ashley ( the notable  narrator /alter ego of Ehly)  in this tear- and smile inducing two act play and is the center of attention from the first moment the stage lights go on.  What she eventually finds is that her closest friends and an unexpected finale finally leads her to what ‘family” really means.  Amid the chuckles and smiles of Ehly’s realistic  language is enough pathos to bring a tear to one’s eye.

Baby Girl is filled with acting prowess as a seven-person cast take  on some 26  roles admirably.

Sally Bondi, as both the birth-mom and adoptive parent , has some of the most telling moments. She beams with energy in both roles, alongside husbands played by David R. Gordon, Empire’s producer who proves he is an adept actor as well as entrepreneur /businessman.

Clay Cortland and Noah Levine shine in several roles as hunky males, providing some of the X-rated, intimate moments on stage.  Add (in) veteran actress Miki Edelman and newcomers - a comedic talent named  Jessica Welch and especially charming Nori Tecosky, who has her own Outre Theatre Company --  and you have the makings of an A-One ensemble tackling a right-on-target situation representing life accurately.

Ehly takes us through several decades, notably the 70s, 89s and 90s at several locations including Fort Lauderdale, Seattle and Jacksonville – times and areas in which the heroine Ashley discovers herself while seeking ‘family.”

Sound-man David Hart deserves special mention as he inserts melodies of each decade as the actors tell this vibrant story of self-discovery.

The Adrienne Arsht Center presents The Donkey Show.  Starring:  Stephanie Chisholm, Leah Verier-Dunn, Inger Hanna, Rudi Goblen, Derick Pierson, Shira Abergel, and Jimmy Alex.  Choreography by Rosie Herrera.
Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for the Florida Theatre On Stage.

Reviewing The Donkey Show is irrelevant. The immersive multi-media experience at the Arsht Center joyfully cross-dressing as spectacle-drenched theater is about surrender, not analysis.

The Donkey Show is the Arsht’s attempt to lure a younger, broader, more diverse audience into what some might call theater, but it’s really theatrically enhanced performance art. Set in a sensory overload environment evoking Studio 54, the show is a hybrid of circus, karaoke, dance, light and sound. It’s loud, infectious, silly. Is it fun? Absolutely. Entertaining? You bet. Theater? I’ll go out on a trapeze hanging from the ceiling and say no. Narrative or theme isn’t even secondary; it’s tertiary.

The hour-long  “play”  is bookended by 45 minutes in which the performers cavort with the audience as a DJ spins Barry White, Chic and The Bee Gees. Don’t leave before the cast does a post-show kick-butt kick line to Inger Hanna’s scorching rendition of “It’s Raining Men.”  The overall experience is overwhelming and, if you allow it, thoroughly satisfying.

The six-figure production has thrown in strobes, smoke machines, bubble dispensers, everything but the kitchen sink and that’s likely because there wasn’t enough time to find one. They’ve even secured the services of Harry Wayne Casey, the local resident who founded KC and the Sunshine Band, to participate opening night and during the last two Sunday performances as an auxiliary emcee/enabler.

A couple of performers in the 20-member cast have acting credits although those skills weren’t called upon. What every member brought was an unflagging enthusiasm and energy that seduced even the stoniest audience member. The performers all pose and style better than Madonna’s backup boys in “Vogue” (although dancing in sync with each other seemed beyond their reach).

First among equals, certainly the most noticeable, is Miami-based Stephanie Chisholm as Tytania. Tall, lithe and wearing hot pants, mask, a gossamer cape and butterfly pasties, she marched around the stage with a regal air appropriate to the Queen of the Fairies. She delivered the high point of the show when Tytania is hoisted above the crowd in a cargo net and gyrates in various aerial acrobatics, sometimes barely hanging on with one limb. Another standout is local actress Shira Abergel who brings the strongest voice in the cast to the music.

Christine Dolen reviewed the show for the The Miami Herald:

Call it immersive theater, interactive theater, environmental theater — whatever rings your bell. Label it or don’t, but know that The Donkey Show, the big summer deal at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, isn’t like any other version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream you’ve ever seen.

How much of Shakespeare’s story you extract depends on several factors: how well you know the original, how carried away you get dancing to songs like YMCA and You Sexy Thing, and how many of the club’s $10 drinks you consume. But craft and cleverness, artistry and humor are all at work in The Donkey Show, and Shakespeare’s tale of love misguided and requited, the malleability of identity and a sexually charged fantasy world gets played out in a novel way.

What’s particularly impressive is how unrecognizable the performers are when they switch from male to female roles, and how quickly they go back and forth. Kudos to Abergel, Chisholm, Leah Verier-Dunn and Carolina Pozo, along with Luis Cuevas as Dr. Wheelgood (aka Puck on Rollerskates), Felix Sama as DJ Rudolph Valentino (Rudi Goblen assumes the role for the rest of the run) and singer Inger Hanna, who belts a fierce It’s Raining Men as a post-show treat.

Chisholm’s Tytania embodies the sensuality of The Donkey Show, wearing nothing more than tiny butterfly pasties, shiny shorts, boots and a mask as she stretches and twists her long limbs, executing Janos Novak’s aerial choreography above the pulsing crowd. Along with two performers who have been transformed into a donkey (well, a donkey with an Afro), she also plays out the X-rated reference in the show’s double entendre title, though the scene is staged in such a way that it’s barely R-rated.

To purists, The Donkey Show probably comes off as faux Shakespeare and faux disco. But whatever this immersive-interactive-environmental thing is, it’s genuine fun.

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