Over the last 25 years, WIOD reporter/anchor Ed Goodman has reviewed and interviewed players from both professional and amateur theatre, music and dance companies from St Louis to South Florida. Ed earned a degree in Theatre Arts and has performed and directed in professional, and high-end amateur theatrical companies.
May 18 - June 16
"Cockfight: The Play" is not the actual name of the show opening this week at the GableStage at the Biltmore. The actual name is only one syllable and is found in our title.
A provocatively titled play about an unlikely love triangle that was a huge hit in London and New York. When a gay man takes a break from his boyfriend the last thing he expects is to suddenly meet the woman of his dreams. Filled with guilt and indecision, he decides there's only one way to straighten this out. A playful, candid look at one man's sexuality and the difficulties that arise when you realize you have a choice.
For your tickets, please call 305-445-1119 or or go online at www.gablestage.org
Performances: Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm & 7pm
GableStage is located in the eastern section of the Biltmore Hotel
1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Valet parking is available. Free parking is available in the west area of the Biltmore area
Zany Farce "Fox On The Fairway" a Hole-in-One Hit
Well, that was silly! Happily, it was supposed to be.
Fox On The Fairway is one of those tough-to-do farces that either soars or sinks.
This production of Ken Ludwig's (Lend Me A Tenor) show on stage at Actors’ Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre soars, but not without having to blast out of a couple of bunkers.
This type of farce requires commedia dell'arte style timing from the cast as they dash in and out of doors, throw breakable objects around on stage, run into walls and each other, and generally create frenzied, precision mayhem everywhere they go. Once they got warmed up a bit, the talented cast was more than up to the task.
The basic story is classic golf club stuff: let’s have our ringer play your ringer and see which ringer’s club takes home the trophy (and in this case, massive private wager made between the two CEOs). Tee it up, it’s at the annual grudge match between Quail Valley and Crouching Squirrel clubs.
Fox On The Fairway got off to a bit of a slow start with the actor’s timing seemingly off, just a bit. I’m not sure that was entirely the cast’s fault though, as the first act is used for so much exposition (read: setting up act two payoffs) that it’s hard to get the comedy going full tilt. It was like trying to build a rhythm during the first 9-holes of a golf game. Happily everything got back on track quickly in the second act.
They say “life is easy…comedy is hard”, but you’d never know it with this group of actors in Fox On The Fairway. Led by Ken Clement (Bingham) and Todd Allen Durkin (Dickie) as the dueling CEO’s of their respective clubs, the small ensemble works very well together, as it needs to. Clay Cartland (Justin) and Betsy Graver (Louise) spice up the stage as the golf(ing) lovers, while Margot Moreland (Muriel) and Amy McKenna (Pamela) play their tarty wife and lover roles to the max.
Artistic Director David Arisco, a self professed fan of the author Ken Ludwig’s work, turns in his usual fine performance too. The movement, staging and pace are spot on. Good tech work and design turned the upstairs theatre at the Miracle into a great replica of most old school private golf clubs – shade of green and all. And a special bow to Ellis Tillman’s costume design. Where did you get those pants on Dickie?
There are the shenanigans, twists, trysts and double-entendres you’d expect in a farce and a lot of good old fashioned nonsense. All of which makes for a good time in this production, no matter how far-fetched the story. You buy the premise, you buy the bit. I bought both and laughed a lot.
"Fox On The Fairway"
Through June 2nd
Weeknights/Matinees $40, and Friday/Saturday evenings $48.
Actor's Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre Box Office
305-444-9293. Online at www.actorsplayhouse.org
10 percent senior discount day of performance and $15 student rush tickets 15 minutes prior to curtain with ID. Discounts are based on availability and exclude Saturday/Sunday. Group rates are available.
Giant, Life-Like Puppets Amaze on Stage
WarHorse is a grand metaphor for comradeship,courage, loyalty and love.
The story. With mechanized warfare just beginning, horses were still used as the main way to move men and materials. England’s army was in need, so young Albert’s beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Back home, Albert can’t forget Joey, the horse he’s raised from a foal, so he enlists in the army embarking on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home. The horse’s extraordinary journey through the war, serving two masters at one point, takes him into the harrowing killing fields and leaves him stranded in the aptly named “no man’s land”.
This powerful drama filled with moving incidental music and Irish songs, (John Milosich and Nathan Koci) is a show of incredible strength and depth At the very heart and soul of War Horse the unbelievable life-like and life-sized puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company. All are so animated you believe immediately that living, breathing, galloping, charging horses are on stage in front of you.
Human actors inside and outside the horses bring the majestic “animals” to life. So much so that after the initial curiosity of watching how they work, you just sit back and watch, the craftmanship is that good. We can see them all the time and there’s not a hint of distraction. There are at least 13 actors who rotate moving the horses on stage. On Wednesday night Joey was manned by Danny Yoerges, Brian Robert Burns and Gregory Manley, Topthorn by Jon Hoche, Adam Cunningham and Aaron Haskell. They are the human element behind the puppetry that brings the horses to a life fulfilled.
On the real, human side of things, Albert (Alex Morf) turns in a fine performance as Joey’s young owner and keeps the wonder alive with his intimacy with Joey. His war scenes with David (Brandon Drea) are particularly moving. As German Captain Freidrich Muller (Andrew May) does a great job reminding us that war is hell from both sides of the barbed wire.
The minimalist set (Rae Smith) is used to perfection by director (Toby Sedgwick). Lighting designers (Paule Constable and Karen Spahn) use their design to move the action from fast and furious to slow and shadowy. Overall the technical end of this show is some of the best ever seen on stage. It doesn’t feel gimmicky at all – it just works to perfection.
The magic of theatre is when you take a show like WarHorse with all its puppetry and technical pizzazz - and make it real. When it works, as it does in this production, special things happen on stage and the audience is the beneficiary.
Majestic and magnificent are the words that best describe this production of WarHorse. It’s a great finale to the Broadway Across America 2012-13 season and definitely one not to miss.
WarHorse runs until May 19th
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets start at $39.50
All photos by BrinkhoffMögenburg
Note to parents. Some scenes are intense and very loud. May not be a suitable for children under 10.