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Fine Cast Still Can’t Make Book Club Much Of A Page Turner

The debate begins at The Book Club Play with Barbara Sloan, Paul Tei, Lela Elam, Michael McKeever, Niki Fridh and Stephen G. Anthony (Photo by George Schiavone)

The debate begins at The Book Club Play with Barbara Sloan, Paul Tei, Lela Elam, Michael McKeever, Niki Fridh and Stephen G. Anthony (Photo by George Schiavone)

By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, May 24, 2015 – Professionalism is the only explanation why this much talent—the cream of South Florida theater from the director to the cast to the creative team — invested itself so deeply into the flawed frippery ofThe Book Club Play at Actors’ Playhouse.

Inarguably, there are several laugh lines in Karen Zacarias’ mild smile of a comedy that has been bouncing around regional theaters for a few years. But what makes this mediocre script bearable is the hard work of the six actors under David Arisco’s encyclopedic knowledge of comedy staging.

Seriously, something happens at Actors’ Playhouse as the temperatures rise each spring and it opts for lighter fare. Occasionally, it chooses an entertaining rib-tickler or an innocuous musical satire of contemporary life. Other times it chooses something so insubstantial that the audience shakes its collective head in wonder. This one falls below the median of the two extremes.

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