Stories of addiction are, unfortunately, nothing new. However, this well-worn subject is examined in a refreshingly original way in Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Water By The Spoonful. This play surprised the establishment by landing the 2012 Pulitzer Prize without first having a prominent New York production.
Forget Victoria’s Secret; it’s Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring who know the real secrets, at least to making ladies laugh! The unrealistic beauty standard peddled by such media is just one of the many everyday tribulations of womanhood the two mine for humor in their Girls Only: The Secret Comedy Of Women.
At the end of The Last 5 Years, which the Maplewood Playhouse is currently staging, the play’s central couple breaks up. The breakup is no spoiler; because they also do it at the play’s beginning!
My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy, a one-person show performed and written by talented actor and comedian Brad Zimmerman, is described in its program as “part stand-up, part theatre.” However, while the evening indeed featured more highs than lows, this viewer found herself wishing it had included a little more of the latter – and a little more originality in the former.
My last review was of Watson, a show which explores the consequences of giving into nefarious pressure. Playwright Joseph McDonough’s new play, Ordinary Americans, instead illustrate the cost of speaking up against the powers that be.
Based on the 2000s hit movie of the same name, Once, playing until this December 22nd at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, is pretty non-traditional as musicals go. For one, most of the musical numbers do not serve as inexplicable expressions of the character’s internal states but instead spring organically from the characters’ status as musicians.
For… reasons that are definitely reasons, our eternal and often futile struggle to create and maintain human connection is a bit of a preoccupation of mine. Maybe that’s why I felt so affected by Everything Is Super Great, the new play by Stephen Brown that appeared in its co-world premiere at Theatre Lab last weekend and is playing until December 22. (In a co-world premiere, more than one company produces a play at about the same time so they can share world premiere credits.)
Watson, playing at Gablestage until this December 22nd, replaced the show originally scheduled for this slot in the company’s season. Director Joseph Adler, who also helped playwright James Grippando develop the show, felt that its story was especially urgent, and it doesn’t take any great leaps of the imagination to see why.
While I doubt any comedy will ever get quite as close to my heart as darker material tends to, there’s also really no bad time to take a visit to one. Theatre, after all, is as much escapism as it is anything else, and the breakneck pace, too-perfect coincidences, and fast-paced dialogue of well-done humorous farces like Lipstick, which finishes its run this upcoming weekend, often constitute a perfect evasion from every day.
Fortunately, you still have a whole weekend of performances left in which you might behold A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, a uniquely uproarious musical farce. The show was produced by MNM Theatre Company, a group that can be distinguished by its live music and its practice of showcasing exclusively Florida-based actors, which made the musicals more or less perfect casting and the sheer caliber of everyone onstage all the more impressive.