Review: Performances highlight Marco Players "Absalom"
Published 11/07/2013 at 10:59 a.m.
An apple tree blooms in Marco. The Marco Players opened their season with touching, twisty Zoe Kazan drama "Absalom" Wednesday. The biblical Gordian knot of a play unwinds on stage in touching fashion until the pressure-cooker of family drama explodes.
Review: Island Theater Company blames great big laughs on comedy “Beckett"
Published 11/06/2013 at 10:02 a.m.
Make haste, all ye actors, writers, theater types and lovers of laughs. The season's second great comedy has been born down on Marco Island. Pat Berry and her cast of clever thespians at the Island Theater Company can "Blame it ...
Preview: Marco Players explore familial drama in "Absalom"
Published 11/06/2013 at 9:29 a.m.
Beverly Dahlstrom found Zoe Kazan entirely by accident. Marco Island audiences will too. Kazan's sharp play "Absalom," about an angry father and the knotty relationship with his adult children, opens the Marco Players season this week.
Review: Ghostbird soars with "Miss Julie" and a lovesick Swedish crash
Published 09/12/2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Ghostbird Theatre Company's sophomore season took flight in style Wednesday. Brittney Brady's audacious production of August Strindberg's 1888 one-act "Miss Julie" bears all the hallmarks of her avant-garde style, from white-box style to literal knife-edge emotional brutality.
Preview: Green Day musical "American Idiot" rocks Fort Myers May 16
Published 05/03/2013 at 12:38 p.m.
Alison Morooney never thought she was a rocker. She wasn't even a huge Green Day fan before she auditioned for musical "American Idiot." More than 175 shows later, her tune has changed. Green Day's anthem to suburban ennui, finding yourself ...
Review: TheatreZone closes solid season with passionate "110 in the Shade"
Published 05/03/2013 at 5:05 a.m.
Kudos to Mark Danni. He makes it rain for the third time out of four this year, ushering "110 in the Shade" to a successful - if a tad stormy - landing. Daytime stars Jim and Kassie DaPaiva offer sterling ...
Preview: "50 Shades" parody is "a little sexy, a little raunchy"
Published 04/29/2013 at 12:20 a.m.
Spencer Rose promises one thing to audiences flocking to see "50 Shades! The Musical" on tour through the United States. "You're going to laugh your face off," the actress crowed from a hotel room in Atlanta late on a Friday ...
Review: Ghostbird, Brady push boundaries with Beckett masterpiece "Endgame"
Published 04/25/2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Here, at the end of all things, in a desolate wasteland where mankind does little but sit and wait to die, we watch Samuel Beckett. This is "Endgame," the writer's meditative theater of the absurd about religion, death, family, loyalty, ...
Review: Florida Rep goes back to school with "Educating Rita"
Published 04/22/2013 at 12:31 a.m.
Florida Repertory Theatre closed their 2012-13 season Friday with a respectable, if unremarkable, production of "Educating Rita." Willy Russell's two-hander imagines a British college professor tutoring a lower-class student because she wants to know "everything." Both learn a lot!
Chris Silk: Three reasons Kathleen van Bergen is right about Artis-Naples
Published 04/22/2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Like the rest of the known universe, I was shocked when I found out that the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts was renaming itself as Artis-Naples. What. The. Expletive. Admit it. Some variation of that was on everyone's lips. ...
Review: Island Theater Company finds out just why "Mama Won't Fly"
Published 04/19/2013 at 3:44 p.m.
Savannah Honeycutt, Norleen Sprunt and Hayley Quinn (it's the South) are in Birmingham, Ala. Hayley's gettin' hitched in California. There's just one eensy, weeny, teeny, tiny 'lil 'ol problem. Mama won't fly. So, let's drive to the West Coast! In ...
Review: Naples Players sleuth good time with Christie mystery "Mousetrap"
Published 04/19/2013 at 9:33 a.m.
Oh, Agatha. Christie of course. Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. And author of "The Mousetrap," one of the most famous and celebrated plays in the English language. She might even give that ...
Review: Broadway Palm celebrates 'the change' in 'Menopause the Musical'
Published 04/15/2013 at 2:15 p.m.
Ladies, this one is for you. "Menopause the Musical" runs until May 18. Put down the paper. Call. Now. Grab your sister, your girlfriends and the gals at the office. Group discounts start at 20 people; the drinks are lethal. ...
Review: Silly "Nosemaker's" takes scalpel to society, surgery at Lab Theater
Published 04/13/2013 at 1:51 p.m.
Beauty is only skin deep. But don't tell Gavin, the Nosemaker's Apprentice. He's a wizard with a nip of this, a dash of that. Gavin can work medieval medical miracles. Why, the Queen of France parades around in a pair ...
Review: Gulfshore Playhouse brings Callas to Phil with "Master Class"
Published 04/08/2013 at 10 a.m.
"Master Class," Terrence McNally's play about the life of opera diva Maria Callas, seems tailor-made to continue the partnership between Gulfshore Playhouse and the Naples Philharmonic. Produced by Gulfshore, performed in the Daniels Pavilion, the show combines a larger-than-life character, ...
Review: Edison finds comedic gem with "Government Inspector"
Published 04/06/2013 at 4:30 a.m.
Hey, Stu? The kids are alright. In fact, they're pretty darn good. Students at Edison State College delivered a giddy, effervescent production of "The Government Inspector" on a cold, wet, rainy Thursday. The show delights to no end, ranking among ...
Review: FGCU, Hayford capture canine whimsy in "Dog Wish"
Published 04/04/2013 at 3:34 p.m.
Oh. Hey. Look. Shoes. Feet. People. Sniff. Smell. People. People. People. I am surrounded by all these people and what are all these smells. I am in heaven up in here. I love people. Yay. Oh I like you pretty ...
"Wicked Diva" Julia Murney casts bold spell on April 6
Published 04/03/2013 at 12:22 p.m.
As of this writing, a handful of tickets remain for the April 6 "Wicked Divas" concert at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. What is "Wicked Divas" you ask? Oh, just two women who have both performed in Broadway ...
Preview: Gulfshore Playhouse "passionate" about opera diva Maria Callas
Published 04/03/2013 at 12:01 p.m.
Marina Re has never been accused of being a diva. Well, not exactly. Her eyes flash and the corners of her mouth turn up in the beginnings of a grin that quickly spreads to her entire face. Her nose crinkles ...
Review: BIG ARTS entertains with restaurant comedy "Fully Committed"
Published 04/02/2013 at 12:24 a.m.
There's one man (and a bunch of junk) on the stage. There's 40 characters on the stage. There's a laptop. A desk. A chair. A phone. An intercom. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. That. Incessant. ##### ####### ######## ######## ...
Review: "Clean House" sweeps audience up into director's gorgeous vision
Published 04/01/2013 at 11:43 p.m.
Whatever I expected at the Naples Players show "The Clean House" Wednesday, I didn't get it. I got something better. Thank you, Michael Scanlan, your actors and a talented creative team for bringing Sarah Ruhl's vision of a frozen tableau ...
Longtime Naples philanthropists donate $100K to Gulfshore Playhouse
Updated 03/28/2013 at 5:04 p.m.
Patty and Jay Baker, already prominent philanthropists in the Naples area, will be getting even more exposure in coming months. Gulfshore Playhouse announced Thursday morning that the Bakers had donated $100,000 to the group, becoming "Season Benefactors" for the group's ...
Preview: Hayford, FGCU going to the dogs in new play "Dog Wish"
Updated 04/04/2013 at 2:17 p.m.
Dr. Michelle Hayford, an assistant professor of theatre at Florida Gulf Coast University, loves dogs. She tells me this just two questions into our interview, in a statement that leaves no wiggle room. Not even for the slightest tail wag ...
Review: Second City delivers first-rate comedy at Phil
Published 03/26/2013 at 11:49 p.m.
There's a reason - a simple one - that Second City can fill an auditorium on a cold, windy evening in late March in Naples, when the sun is shining and the million distractions of a coastal resort town beckon. ...
Review: Broadway Palm eagles out with golf farce "Fox on the Fairway"
Published 03/25/2013 at 1:08 a.m.
Rival golf clubs. A prodigy with a broken arm. A priceless vahze. A $200,000 wager. Granny's engagement ring. The Golf Channel. Oprah. Raw oysters. Champagne. There's even a couple putters & golf balls knocking about the stage. Sounds like a ...
Review: Florida Rep casts magical spell with entrancing "Fantasticks"
Published 03/24/2013 at 9:46 p.m.
Call. Now. Get tickets to the Florida Rep production of "The Fantasticks." There's a reason the show has been running for decades in New York. Jason Parrish finds every one of them in this magical dreamscape that celebrates the whimsical ...
Review: "Deathtrap" serves up thrills, chills at Marco Players
Published 03/24/2013 at 9:18 p.m.
I could spend days explaining the plot of "Deathtrap," the final show of the Marco Players season. I won't. Suffice to say it thrills, it chills, characters talk in funny voices, disappear, re-appear with weapons when you least expect it ...
Review: Sassy Seth Rudetsky dissects Broadway in funny Phil performance
Published 03/22/2013 at 8:57 p.m.
Thank you, Seth Rudetsky. The last thing you expect to hear on a wet Wednesday in March is a cover of "I Dreamed A Dream," that song from "Les Miserables," yes THAT song, as performed by Aretha oh please no ...
Review: "The Liar" offers great, gaudy fun at Theatre Conspiracy
Published 03/18/2013 at 6:18 a.m.
Bill Taylor popped "The Liar" into his "classics" spot when he announced the 2012-13 schedule. Daniel Benzing as Dorante. Brittany Albury, wearing frilly period clothes. The married Hales were going act on stage together. "The Liar" is here. "The Liar" ...
Preview: Broadway funny man Seth Rudetsky brings acidic wit to Naples
Published 03/18/2013 at 3:15 a.m.
Seth Rudetsky might be the funniest man most of you have never heard of, myself included. Before I got the assignment to write about Rudetsky's upcoming "Deconstructing Broadway" show at the Naples Philharmonic," I'd never heard of him either. Don't ...
Review: Florida Rep opens wonderful, intelligent "Other Desert Cities"
Published 03/18/2013 at 2:47 a.m.
Florida Repertory Theatre scored a coup, grabbing the rights to red-hot Jon Robin Baitz play "Other Desert Cities" for their 2012-13 season. In some ways a thinly veiled take on Ron and Nancy Reagan, the show features a daughter confronting ...
Review: Gulfshore Playhouse delivers with extraordinary 'Whipping Man'
Published 03/17/2013 at 11:29 p.m.
Gulfshore Playhouse explores the Civil War in frightening, fascinating, thrilling, extraordinary fashion in this Matthew Lopez show. A Jewish soldier returns home, his house in ruins, just two former slaves left. The starving trio celebrates Passover with a makeshift Seder, ...
Preview: Politics, family at play in scorching "Other Desert Cities"
Published 03/15/2013 at 11:27 a.m.
On Interstate 10 in California, as motorists launch their rolling tanks made of steel, rubber and fiberglass down the concrete ribbon heading toward Palm Springs, a sign appears overhead. It bears the name of no particular city, no finite destination; ...
Review: Renewed, refreshed "Les Miserables" thunders into Fort Myers
Published 03/13/2013 at 3:13 a.m.
Let's get to the point. "Les Miserables" is back in Southwest Florida for the second time in fifteen months, playing through March 17 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Will you like it? That depends. ...
Preview: Gulfshore Playhouse delves into Civil War with drama "Whipping Man"
Published 03/12/2013 at 3:52 p.m.
With Matt Pfeiffer, it's all about religion. Or movies. He name-checks "Lincoln" twice. Or politics. He name-checks "Zero Dark Thirty." That "s" word even crops up in our conversation. No, not "sequester." Instead of Boehner, budgets and billions, we're talking ...
Review: Lab Theater finds salvation in stirring "Judas Iscariot"
Published 03/10/2013 at 4:49 p.m.
The Lab Theater continues its genre-hopping season with "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," a play about the trial of the betrayer of Jesus. Screams of laughter mix with questions of faith while Satan quaffs wine at the bar. Before ...
Review: TheatreZone tackles crazy with "Next to Normal"
Published 03/08/2013 at 5:52 a.m.
Mark Danni continues to tackle ambitious projects at TheatreZone. With critical and commercial hits "Forum" and "Grand Hotel" behind him, success augured well for edgy small-cast, sung-through musical "Next to Normal." The pieces just don't fall into place.
Review: Rachel York blows the roof off "Anything Goes" at the Phil
Published 03/06/2013 at 2:13 p.m.
The Roundabout Theatre Club production of "Anything Goes" sailed into the Naples Philharmonic Tuesday on a tide of tapping and trilling, carried along by one of the single greatest act one curtain numbers in musical theatre history.
Preview: Jean Valjean of "Les Mis" talks China, Colm and great big gulps
Published 03/04/2013 at 5:31 p.m.
Peter Lockyer's journey toward the role of Jean Valjean in beloved musical "Les Miserables" has taken him around the world. China. New York. And now, South Beach. There, my first phone call interrupts Lockyer as he attempts to secure a ...
Review: Naples Players pack punch with peppy "Producers"
Published 02/28/2013 at 5:52 a.m.
The Naples Players threw everything at the audience Wednesday. A kick line of goose-stepping Nazis. Old ladies with a rat-a-tat chorus of walkers. Dancing birds. Bialystock & Bloom are in town for "The Producers." With sets and costumes rented straight ...
Review: Comedy about married life brings big laughs to the Phil
Published 02/26/2013 at 9:23 p.m.
Comedy "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!" playing through Thursday at the Phil is for married folks. I was quite possibly the only non-divorced, non-widowed singleton in the room. The rest of the crowd rolled over the laugh lines ...
Review: Hills ring with song in Broadway Palm's beautiful "Sound of Music"
Published 02/25/2013 at 4:39 p.m.
Sitting in a darkened house, listening to the scrape of chairs, the clink of glasses and the rustle of napkins, you forget just how charming "The Sound of Music" can be. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II could write songs. ...
Review: Fall in love with the "Marvelous Wonderettes" out on Sanibel
Published 02/25/2013 at 4:24 p.m.
By the time the final notes of Aretha Franklin girl-power anthem "Respect" die down, after Friday's opening night crowd whooped and cheered as Anne Chamberlain juggled, flipped and successfully caught an errant microphone, you're totally, completely, utterly in love with ...
Review: Theatre Conspiracy taps transcendental romance in "Call Me Waldo"
Published 02/22/2013 at 4:47 p.m.
Theatre Conspiracy asks audiences to "Call Me Waldo" in their latest show, a romantic comedy with the subtitle "A Transcendental Romance." The call gets completed - begrudgingly. "Waldo" has charms, but it feels as if we're yelling down a mile ...
Review: "Addams Family" amuses, in a kooky sort of way
Updated 02/21/2013 at 5:57 p.m.
Da da da dum (snap snap). "The Addams Family." You want a verdict? Not bad. Pretty good. Da da da dum (snap snap). Sitcom. Very sitcom. Which it is. (snap snap). Memorable? Not at all. (snap snap). Fun? Absolutely. But ...
Review: Beautiful, but unsatisfying, 'Billy Elliot' dances into Naples
Published 02/20/2013 at 4:04 a.m.
The national tour of "Billy Elliot" dances into Naples for a six-night run at the Philharmonic. The show thrills, but never quite forges the intense emotional connection it so obviously labors toward. While dazzling ballet sequences and soaring lyrics wow, ...
Review: "Steel Magnolias" bloom at Firehouse Theatre in LaBelle
Published 02/18/2013 at 5:09 p.m.
"Steel Magnolias" remains a favorite of local playhouses. The play offers six strong female roles, a colorful set and a beloved story identified with the award-winning movie. With that in mind, I journeyed out to the Firehouse Community Theatre in ...
Review: "Pageant Play" crowns new group's inaugural effort with laughs
Published 02/18/2013 at 2:09 p.m.
Let's Put On A Show Productions earned their company name Saturday. "Pageant Play," the fledgling theater venture's first show, offers a palpable sense of surprise and delight to everyone in the room - actors, volunteers and audience alike. The joyful ...
Review: Gulfshore Playhouse discovers magical "Importance of Being Earnest"
Published 02/16/2013 at 2:29 p.m.
Gulfshore Playhouse has produced good shows, great shows and shows I wasn't quite a fan of. Now, with "The Importance of Being Earnest," Kristen Coury finds herself in a different place entirely. "Earnest" is amazing. This will be the best ...
Review: FGCU explores magnetic attraction in "Fool for Love"
Published 02/16/2013 at 2:15 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast University's theatre program continued their season with a play for the Valentine crowd, Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love." My second foray into collegiate theatre turns up fascinating themes and a strong performance or two, if not a ...