Before I say anything about Maplewood Playhouse’s production of The Glass Menagerie, which opened last night at the small Delray Beach theatre usually occupied by Improv U, I suppose it’s my duty to preface this review with the fact that
- I got approximately 2 hours of sleep last night and
- I am categorically incapable of being at all objective, given that The Glass Menagerie is the play I usually name as my favorite of all time.
When we go to the theatre, we’re used to seeing plays in their final, perfected form, so it’s somewhat easy to forget all the hard work and revisions a play goes through while it’s making its way towards that hallowed state.
Like the Alice who inspired my blog’s name, I can sometimes get very, very, curious, which is why I recently ventured quite a ways off my beaten path to Wilton Manors, a city that has been officially named the “second gayest city in America,” to see a play called “Grindr Mom” by acclaimed gay playwright Ronnie Larsen.
I’d certainly been looking forward to Falling after attending many of the New City Players’ lead-up events, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The fast-paced 75-minute show never dragged or faltered, and, as promised, it offered us a rare window into the seldom represented day-to-day life of a family dealing with a severely autistic child. Timothy Mark Davis nailed the pivotal role of Josh, the 18-year old boy with severe autism around whom the play (and the characters’ lives) revolved. The endearingly childlike enthusiasm of his portrayal gave life and soul to a type of person many consider less than human.
My last post was about, among other things, the connection between theatre and the community, and another way that theatre can transform a community is by encouraging and educating its young performers. Thus, I decided to support Sol’s Children’s Theatre by bopping over to its first production of the season, Little Shop of Horrors.
The art of theatre is about a lot more than just what happens onstage. Ideally, it’s also about creating a community and raising the consciousness of that community, and about, in the words of another favorite director, “telling stories that need to be told.”
The Southeastern Premiere of Wiesenthal seemed as good a theatrical fit as any for my “days of repentance,” the ten days between Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that are meant to be a time of intense religious reflection. Presented at Gablestage’s intimate Biltmore Theatre, the show explored the life of famous Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
This Saturday was another theatre-filled day in Ilana-land! First, I spent most of it at rehearsal! I’m acting again for the first time since undergrad in the upcoming Playwrights’ Festival, which plays on October 26th and 27th at the Delray Beach Playhouse. Four short plays are playing on Saturday night and four different short plays are playing on Sunday afternoon, but since I’m cast in two of them, you’ll get to catch me no matter which day you attend!
At first glance, the synopsis of Boca Bound, a new musical by Bonnie Logan and Richard Peskin, intrigued me greatly. After all, it’s not so often a piece of theatre comes along that takes place in South Florida, in a city half an hour from mine and to which I’ve lately been commuting on a daily basis. Plus, the show’s protagonist Nadine had, like me, been convinced somewhat reluctantly to abandon her former life as a New Yorker and head south.
As enjoyable as my last adventure’s whirlwind of color and excitement had been, Actually by Anna Ziegler as presented by Bob Carter’s Actor’s Workshop and Repertory Company in West Palm Beach was an example of the raw, haunting, heart-stabbing, head-spinning kind of theatre that’s much more my speed.