Curtain Up: Strong close to a strong season for Players, TheatreZone
Published 05/10/2012 at 9:53 a.m.
Two of our local theater companies filled out their 2011-2012 season with charming low-key ensemble pieces. Both close their runs this weekend. “Steel Magnolias” — the title itself has become famous for its association with Roslyn Carter, and the story ...
Curtain Up: ‘Streetcar’ casts a spell to make one believe, for a little while
Published 04/11/2012 at 10:03 a.m.
There is much to admire of Gulfshore Playhouse’s very professional production of Tennessee Williams’s classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The physical aspects of the production are all excellent — the evocative set, the lighting, the period costumes, the sound, not ...
Curtain Up: ‘A Picasso’ works quite well, while ‘Little Women’ falls a little flat
Published 03/28/2012 at 9:59 a.m.
The Naples Players and TheatreZone have lately presented two interesting plays outside the usual tried and true offerings. One is a pleasantly successful surprise, the other a well-produced effort that nevertheless disappointed this viewer.
Curtain Up: Despite some minor faults, ‘Hello, Dolly!’ a success at Naples Players
Published 03/06/2012 at 5:16 p.m.
Can “Dolly” survive without “Hello, Dolly”? This musical is perhaps the best star vehicle ever written, and the title number the best production number. It is in some ways the heart of the show.
Curtain Up: ‘Race’ and ‘Doubt’ show power of professional and community theaters
Published 02/08/2012 at 9:48 a.m.
Now to Naples come two well-presented serious dramas which, though very different superficially, thematically have much in common. David Mamet’s “Race” at Gulfshore Playhouse is a taut, profane chamber piece, focusing sharply on the issue of race relations, with uncertainty ...
Curtain Up: ‘Moonlight and Magnolias’ makes for an entertaining evening
Published 01/25/2012 at 10:35 a.m.
The Naples Players presents “Moonlight and Magnolias,” a good production of a pretty good play, which adds up to an entertaining evening, especially for a fan of old movies.
Curtain Up: Solid cast makes ‘Company’ a great production
Published 01/10/2012 at 12:48 p.m.
“Company,” now being presented by TheatreZone, is Stephen Sondheim’s breakout play, where he found his voice as a composer and lyricist. When first produced, in the cynical 70’s, it spoke to the zeitgeist and was a hit among the cognoscenti.
Curtain Up: ‘Spelling Bee’ production not too s-h-a-b-b-y at all
Published 12/14/2011 at 9:42 a.m.
TheatreZone started its season strong with a fine production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” I was interested to see this hit show, having only heard some of the music before. Music and lyrics are by William Finn ...
Curtain Up: Sugden productions continue to improve, but ‘Sherlock Holmes’ lacking that extra something
Published 11/29/2011 at 4:58 p.m.
The continuing popularity of Sherlock Holmes is a phenomenon as remarkable as its early success. Virtually countless plays, movies and television shows have been made from the stories. The written texts appear near the top in the mystery category of ...
Curtain Up: Kudos to Gulfshore Playhouse for bringing ‘Handle With Care’ to our little town
Published 10/31/2011 at 9:39 a.m.
Gulfshore Playhouse opened its season with the world premier of “Handle With Care” by Jason Odell Williams. Starring Odell’s real-life spouse Christine Cohn, the play tells the story of a small group of people who by chance find themselves in ...
Curtain Up: Pair of tough ladies shine in ‘Always... Patsy Cline’
Published 10/20/2011 at 9:19 a.m.
This was the weekend for tough women playing tough women, singing their hearts out with passion and stamina. God love the female sex.
Curtain Up: “‘S Wonderful” is anything but
Published 09/21/2011 at 12:03 p.m.
You have to wonder how Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre could have blown this one. Broadway Palm has a perfectly nice venue. There is a production company that puts together shows for several theaters in a chain including Broadway Palm, so ...
Curtain Up: Sometimes remakes get it right, sometimes not
Published 09/06/2011 at 7:08 p.m.
In the theater, when producers run out of original ideas and the crop of new plays is weak, they turn to revivals. Very occasionally — as with the new production of “Follies” about to open in New York — the ...
Curtain Up: Make sure to get a seat now for ‘42nd Street’
Published 07/12/2011 at 12:12 p.m.
Hurry to get your tickets to “42nd Street” at the Naples Players, running through July 30. You are not going to see community theater better than this.
Curtain Up: Life can be quite relaxing when the season is over
Published 06/28/2011 at 11:11 a.m.
Summertime and the pickings are slim in terms of entertainment options, at least as compared to season. That’s not necessarily all bad. It can get exhausting having all that fun in February and March, attending as many performances as you ...
Curtain Up: We all have our ‘Follies’
Published 06/07/2011 at 9:45 a.m.
The presentation of “Follies” now at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is going to be one of those events that divides theater fans into two groups, those who were and weren’t there. This greatest of Sondheim musicals, supremely and ...
Curtain Up: TheatreZone ends season marvelously with ‘Beehive’
Published 05/17/2011 at 10:54 a.m.
TheatreZone ended its 2010-2011 season with a zinger. “Beehive” was a wonderful surprise — well-produced, well-choreographed and, most important of all, well sung. “American Idol” contestant Paige Miles was the advertised star, and she lived up to her billing. But ...
Curtain Up: Don’t expect answers at ‘Rumors,’ but expect a lot of laughs
Published 05/03/2011 at 3:02 p.m.
The Naples Players presents Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” Simon called Rumors a farce, and it is indeed a departure from his other work — situation comedies like “The Odd Couple” or “Barefoot in the Park,” autobiographical or semi-autobiographical works like “Biloxi ...
Curtain Up: The scene is often just as important as the actors
Published 04/20/2011 at 10:10 a.m.
Given an unusually slow (for season!) weekend, I have had the chance to reflect on some aspects of our local theater scene that I cannot normally pay attention to — rather than the actors, the supremely important settings.
Curtain Up: Gulfshore Playhouse’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ definitely worth seeing
Published 04/13/2011 at 10:06 a.m.
During his lifetime Noel Coward fought a reputation as a lightweight, and his work can indeed be frivolous. His reputation has been secured by “Private Lives” and other works now recognized as masterpieces.
Curtain Up: See the “Rabbit Hole,’ but be prepared to cry
Published 04/04/2011 at 1:43 p.m.
At the opening of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” now playing in the Tobye Studio at the Sugden Community Theatre, two sisters are having a conversation.
Curtain Up: ‘Blood’ and ‘Dirty’ musicals as different as they can be
Published 03/15/2011 at 10:43 a.m.
Two musicals opened in Naples recently, as different as they can be. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Sugden Community Theatre is a good production of a mediocre musical, which takes advantage of the facilities there to create some razzle-dazzle. “Blood ...
Curtain Up: Don’t miss the chance to see ‘View from the Bridge’
Updated 03/08/2011 at 1:12 p.m.
Very rarely — perhaps on only a few occasions in a lifetime — there is a theatrical experience so shattering, so full of pain, grief and love, that one feels one will be changed by it. Many years ago I ...
Curtain Up: Reinventing the classics not as easy as it looks
Published 03/01/2011 at 9:49 a.m.
My first Broadway play (I’m clearly dating myself) was “Camelot.” Attending that show began my lifelong love affair both with the theater and the Arthurian legend. I had the chance to direct “Camelot” in college and it was a labor ...
Curtain Up: ‘Art of Murder’ was almost murder to watch
Published 02/15/2011 at 3:30 p.m.
The mystery play is a genre unto itself. It bears little similarity to mystery fiction, where the focus is on discovering which suspect committed the crime.
Curtain Up: Never underestimate the nice guy
Published 02/01/2011 at 9:23 a.m.
Gulfshore Playhouse continues its run of well-produced, professionally acted productions with “Unnecessary Farce,” presented through this weekend. Watching farce is like reading Dagwood. You know what to expect, but the conventions and the running gags are funny, in part, just ...
Curtain Up: Don’t discount nightlife at our nation’s capital
Published 01/04/2011 at 9:51 a.m.
In the old days, Washington, D.C., was considered a cultural backwater. You would find intellect in Boston, arts and money in New York, power in Washington. Things have changed. We had the opportunity to spend the holiday weekend there and ...
Curtain Up: Holiday music offers perspectives
Published 12/28/2010 at 9:35 a.m.
It was a holiday weekend of stark contrasts. On Saturday we were in St. Petersburg, and in a little music venue called the Hideaway, we enjoyed the Christmas show of the Sara Mac Band.
Curtain Up: Two great performances that you must see soon
Published 12/07/2010 at 10:22 a.m.
The Naples Players’ production of “A Christmas Carol” is an outstanding, inventive staging of the Dickens tale. It is possibly, from a creative point of view, the best thing they have ever done.
Curtain Up: Opportunities to see first-class opera in town now plentiful
Published 11/22/2010 at 12:07 p.m.
Opera Naples opened its season with a concert at Moorings Presbyterian. Two things stood out: the amazing way that Steffanie Pearce manages to attract great talent, and what I will call “the controversy,” which kept coming up as the performers ...
Curtain Up: Naples Players put together an amazing cast for ‘Regrets Only’
Published 11/08/2010 at 2:53 p.m.
With “Regrets Only,” the Naples Players have put together one of their strongest ensembles ever, maybe the strongest I’ve seen here, to present a witty and urbane comedy.
Curtain Up: With the crowds come plenty of entertainment options
Published 10/25/2010 at 11:29 a.m.
Things are starting to pop around town as the population swells. The Phil season begins. The theater season gets going. (It may sound hifalutin to call what we have a “theater season,” but look around — with all the groups ...
Curtain Up: The beginning of the ‘Ring Cycle’ performed beautifully
Published 10/12/2010 at 10:34 a.m.
Robert Lepage’s highly anticipated new production of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” for the Metropolitan Opera started its rollout with “Das Rheingold,” which was simulcast in HD on local movie screens last weekend. It is a triumphant success.
Curtain Up: A tale of three Aidas
Published 09/28/2010 at 9:40 a.m.
There is now an alternative available to the live HD presentations of Metropolitan Opera productions at Hollywood 20. SilverSpot has begun a program of pre-recorded filmings of live opera.
Curtain Up: Unless violence isn’t your thing, ‘Machete’ can be a good time
Published 09/14/2010 at 9:58 a.m.
It has been remarked that when movies became popular, melodrama walked off the stage and onto the screen, where it has remained ever since. It’s easy to forget how much the modern action movie, with its good guys and bad ...
Curtain Up: ‘Cats’ performance had its ‘moments’
Published 08/24/2010 at 10:49 a.m.
My favorite college English professor managed to get through his Harvard doctorate without having read “Hamlet.” He had no particular prejudice against Shakespeare. He simply noticed at some point that he had missed reading the play, and after that it ...
On the Town: A story about inconsistent performances
Published 06/25/2010 at 11:24 a.m.
TheatreZone continues to be frustratingly inconsistent.
On the Town: ‘Dragon Tattoo’ better on film than in print
Published 05/27/2010 at 1:08 p.m.
Think about how many really good American films are released in the course of a year. Of all the movies produced at great expense, how many do you want to see? Ten percent? Five? Two? How many times do you ...
BILL O'NEIL: On the Town - Looking beyond season for performing arts
Published 05/12/2010 at 4:42 p.m. 1 Comment
It’s time to get in the last licks on the busy performing arts season and start thinking about venues that don’t shut down for the summer. The Sunday Times had its annual supplement describing summer festivals and special events nationwide, ...
BILL O'NEILL: On the Town - ‘Earnest’ showcases Players’ professionalism
Published 04/28/2010 at 4:14 p.m.
ou should see “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Sugden Theater. Emphasis is on the word “see.” Once again, the Naples Players have demonstrated that they can produce a show with professional-quality sets and costumes, more beautiful and exciting ...
BILL O'NEILL: On the Town - Hey, expand your horizons...y’all!
Published 04/14/2010 at 4:23 p.m.
How’s this for a near-perfect evening? A musical education from a charming woman, a delicious and surprising dinner, a free concert of engaging and surprisingly accessible music.
BILL O'NEILL: On the Town - A fine cast for ‘A Doll’s House’
Published 03/31/2010 at 4:36 p.m.
Ibsen’s A Doll’s House may be a part of the basic theater canon, but it creates some special challenges in live theatrical production. Gulfshore Playhouse has as usual assembled a fine cast that ultimately meets these challenges to create a ...
BILL O'NEILL: On the Town - Bayshore Landing opens with new casual decor
Published 03/17/2010 at 4:21 p.m.
The latest incarnation of our favorite coffee house is Bayshore Landing Cafe, at the same location as the former Bayshore Coffee House.
BILL O'NEILL - On the Town - Community theater productions offer choices
Published 03/10/2010 at 7:36 p.m.
The Naples Players current production of Fiddler on the Roof offers much to admire and appreciate. Another outsized character is taking the stage at TheatreZone, as that company presents a premiere of a new one-man play about infamous Broadway producer ...
BILL O'NEILL - On the Town - Beau Jest a Playhouse success
Published 03/03/2010 at 4:28 p.m.
It’s official as far as this reviewer is concerned. Kristen Coury’s Gulfshore Playhouse consistently presents the best theater in the area.
BILL O'NEILL: Curtain Up - Mauritius has plenty of depth in local production
Published 02/17/2010 at 4:09 p.m.
Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius has received a fine production by the Naples Players. The plot of this contemporary play revolves around a pair of 19th century stamps issued by the island nation of the title. The ownership, the provenance, the genuineness ...
BILL O'NEILL: Curtain Up - ‘Spring Awakening’ - a hit, but why?
Published 02/03/2010 at 2:48 p.m.
What makes a show a hit? Why did A Chorus Line run forever, while Chicago, in many ways a better show, opened two weeks later and was only a mild success -- until its 1996 revival, which is still running. ...
BILL O'NEILL: Curtain Up - ‘Honour’ no romp, but thought-provoking
Published 01/27/2010 at 4:17 p.m.
One thing you have to say about our Collier County arts community – its members have high ambitions and surprising success at achieving them. Gulfshore Playhouse set out to bring quality professional productions at reasonable cost.