Former adulterous lovers Amy McKenna and Nicholas Richberg have a reunion while her husband Chaz Mena is in their thoughts  (Photo by Justin Namon)

Affair In Reverse Provides Thoughtful Fodder In “Betrayal”

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 17, 2015 – If God is omniscient, He must be inconsolably sad. Zoetic Stage’s superb production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal puts its audience in that poignant and painful position in which Knowledge is, indeed, the poisoned apple in Eden. Since Betrayal charts the dissolution of an adulterous affair in reverse chronological order, we know at each receding step what will happen to these people. Watching the lovers and the woman’s cuckolded husband, we […]

Lindsay Bethea as Ruby, the chorus girl turned Broadway star in one day, leads the cast in The Wick Theatre’s Dames At Sea

Spoof Of ’30s Musicals, Dames At Sea, Lands At The Wick

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 12, 2015 – We were tough last week on the national tour of Anything Goes. If those folks want to know what we were hoping to see, they should take the day off and drop in on what The Wick Theatre is doing with Dames At Sea with a fifth of the resources. Both musicals – and the On the 20th Century revival we just saw in New York — gently poke fun […]

Kara Shay Thomson as a distraught Magda trying to get a visa from a soulless bureaucracy (Photo by Brittany Mazzurco)

FGO’s English Language “The Consul” Is Affecting Nightmare

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 11, 2015 – Is it because Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul is in English that Florida Grand Opera’s production is so unusually effective? Is it the accessibility of the 20th Century setting or the still resonating themes of dehumanizing repression of a soulless bureaucracy? Is it the familiar sound of mid-century classical music? Whatever factor or factors are involved, FGO’s season closing production of what may be Menotti’s greatest work is somehow far […]

Michael H. Small enlists the services of a killer Harry Marsh in one of the short plays in No Fear of Flying  (Photos by Carol Kassie)

Pigs Do Fly Launches Seven Short Plays For The Over 50 Set

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 10, 2015 – Fitzgerald facilely wrote “There are no second acts in American life” and Baby Boomers have spent their lives trying to prove him wrong. Ellen Wacher’s Pigs Do Fly Productions opens its second season by, for and about people over 50 years old arguing that Fitzgerald was wrong with its newest anthology of playlets under the umbrella title No Fear of Flying. Six of the seven pieces are world premieres and […]

The high point of the national tour, Emma Stratton leads the kids in the title song of Anything Goes (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

So-So “Anything Goes”: Better You Should Listen To The Cast Album

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 7, 2015 – It would be facile, unfair and, in fact, inaccurate to compare the soggy national tour of the sea-borne Anything Goes to the Titanic, the Lusitania or even the Marie Celeste. But if there ever was proof that Broward Center audiences will give a standing ovation to anything, it was the opening night Tuesday of a pallid production so lackluster that someone should have thrown a life preserver at it. Seriously, […]

Robert Johnston is surrounded by the voters in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Photo by Shannon Ouellette)

Outre’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Is, Well, Bloody Good

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, May 5, 2015 – When critics write that they can’t wait to see a full production of a musical viewed in a concert version/tryout, as we did in 2013 about Outré Theatre Company’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,the truth is that we hold our breath wondering whether the reality will match expectations. Well, no need to fear here. With bracing anger, profuse profanity and biting satire that is more slashing than surgical, this edition ofBloody […]

The hopefuls in Broward Stage Door’s A Chorus Line (Photo by George Wentzler)

Some Drama Kicks Off A Chorus Line At Broward Stage Door

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, April 25, 2015 – Most reputable theater critics despise when some editor adds a letter grade to their review. But watching Broward Stage Door’s admirable production of A Chorus Line kept bringing up over and over the idea of a “B” and what that means. That’s not any kind of insult. In fact, given Stage Door’s resources, it’s a genuine compliment. C is average and Kevin Black’s edition was definitely above average. Flaws and […]

Barbara Sloan as an expansive Virginia Woolf entertains Niki Fridh as Vita Sackville-West in Thinking Cap Theatre’s Vita and Virginia  (Photo by Nicole Stodard)

Words Are The Heroines In Thinking Cap’s “Vita And Virginia”

“Words. Words. Words.” —Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2 By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, April 24, 2015 – In theory, Eileen Atkins’ play Vita and Virginia details the relationship between Bloomsbury icon Virginia Woolf and writer Vita Sackville-West. But the real romance is a profligate, glorious love affair with words, with language, with literate expression. Superb performances by Niki Fridh and Barbara Sloan impeccably shaped by director Nicole Stodard luxuriate like their bodies lounging on the elegant chaises in Thinking […]

Michael Uribe and Chris Crawford try to make a connection in The Little Dog Laughed  (Photo by Robert Figueroa)

Satire Skewers Pursuit Of Celebrity In “The Little Dog Laughed”

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, April 23, 2015 – Can a meaningful relationship blossom in a world where cynicism and self-interest seem to trump integrity and burgeoning affection? Island City Stage’s production of Douglas Carter Beane’s hilarious and touching The Little Dog Laughed explores the conundrum set amid the pragmatism of 21st Century seekers of fortune and fame in the shallows of a celebrity-centric culture. The solid cast under Michael Leeds’ direction mines both the copious Dorothy Parker-style wit […]

Dennis Watkins, star and playwright of The Magnificents from The House Theatre of Chicago playing at the Arsht (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

The Magnificents Is Old Fashioned Entertainment

By Michelle F. Solomon,, Special to, April 22, 2015 – A full moon hangs high above stage left, birds chirp. It feels as if you’re out in the middle of nowhere. The time? Somewhere back in time. The quiet is interrupted by Carnies, three carnival act types who hoot and holler to the audience and begin to show off their wares. You’re in the middle of a sideshow, and these are the players: There’s the strong man, the clown […]

No day but today: The cast of Slow Burn Theatre Company’s Rent (Photo by Gemma Bramham)

Slow Burn Theatre’s Ambitious Rent Pays Off In Spectacle

By Michelle F. Solomon,, Special to, April 21, 2015 – Slow Burn Theatre Company’s Rent is ambitious, daring, electric and 2 hours and 30-something minutes of non-stop rock ‘n’ roll — a no-holds barred, take chances, go-out-on-a-limb spectacle. But when stripped of the aforementioned spectacle, the characters in this Rent, some of them facing death, with others living in the shadows of HIV/AIDs, lack life. Rent is an ambitious project because of the scope, for sure (large cast, through-sung, […]

George Macia and Samantha Streich make an odd couple in The Addams Famly at Evening Star Productions  (Photo by Carol Kassie)

Evening Star’s The Addams Family Gamely Delivers The Goofy Giggles In A Flawed Script

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to, April 20, 2015 – The difficulty sorting out the virtues and flaws in Evening Star Productions’ The Addams Family is separating the admirable, ambitious and unflagging efforts of this fledgling troupe and what can be laid off on a congenitally flawed piece of material. There’s enough giggles and grins delivered by these game, committed thespians to keep this production mildly diverting, but they still are finding their artistic chops and they still are chained […]