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.
AT THE ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER
5 PERFORMANCES ONLY
OCTOBER 11 – 13, 2013
Adrienne Arsht Center through August 25th
Growing up we remember clowns as those goofy men and women that rode around on undersized bicycles at Ringling Brothers (or whatever other circus you grew up with), wearing big red noses that honked and even bigger shoes. In broad and fine strokes they made us laugh or cry. Originally, they were used to distract us while they cleaned up after the elephants in the next ring over, getting ready for the Flying Wallendas. Not so though in “Slava’s Snowshow” now playing at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center – there is no distraction from the opening scene onward, all eyes are glued to the stage. It is a magical night for the “...ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages...” in the house.
(Photo: Erica Rodriguez)
This extraordinary, but small, group of eight interchangeable actors/performers takes us on ride that is at once absurd, funny, exhilarating, sad, silly, and touching. As all good clowns do, they connect with the audience using mime, nuance, illusion, big hats, big red noses and big red shoes. Their connection is effortless, their personalities beaming through the greasepaint and beagle-eared hats. And with few exceptions, it’s all done without a word being spoken, with no computer generated bells and whistles, with no ornate set pieces. It’s simplicity at its best, compelling and extremely entertaining.
(Photo: Erica Rodriguez)
Highlights of the 90 minute show are the spoof on “Chariots of Fire” mashed up with “Titanic” and “Jaws”, the longest death scene since Mortimer’s in “Fantastiks”, a beautiful “empty coat” recreation at the train station and a blockbuster blizzard. DO NOT be late coming back from the intermission break as the clowns are in the audience wreaking a playful, wet, havoc everywhere starting Act 2 from the middle of the house, maybe even your seat.
(Photo: Erica Rodriguez)
“Slava's Snowshow” is entirely unconventional, so bring your imagination and be prepared to be enchanted, mesmerized, astounded, tickled and touched. It’s a strange little world. But it’s a world to which we can all escape, if we want. Go ahead and go – it’s worth the trip.
Adrienne Arsht Center
Ticket Information: Box office @ (305) 949-6722 or arshtcenter.org.
At The Biltmore
presents the Southeastern Premiere of
For many, saying you were from the old neighborhood was a badge of honor – a way of saying “…I got out, while the gettin’ was good…”. For others the old neighborhood is the millstone around their neck that keeps them mired in the claustrophobic ways of family, friends, fear and futility.
GableStage’s current production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People” paints that picture with well placed broad and narrow strokes, that show how hard it can be for people to break free and what happens to them when they can’t.
Set in the working class “Southie” neighborhood of Boston, “Good People” rings true with a cast that gives performances that make you ache for them; wishing them the grit,determination, ability, and plain ole luck they need to get out and once out, deal with their past.
Laura Turnbull (Margie) lights up the stage with her strong, well-modulated intensity. As the mother of an unseen special needs child, her firing from a job for tardiness, sets off a series of events that makes up what good “Good People” is all about, looking for hope and a better life. That single event serves as the culmination of all Margie’s “bad luck” that sums up her inability to move beyond what she has or evidently will ever have. Her scenes with Stephen G. Anthony (Mike) are white hot with rage, bitterness and indignation, whether founded or unfounded. For his part, Anthony plays his role as one of the ones who “…got out of Southie…” with an unapologetic, guilt-tinged appeal that was spot on.
Barbara Bradshaw (Dottie), Elizabeth Dimon (Jean) as Margie’s two best friends provide wizened, but painful reality and much needed sarcastic comic relief, as two women who have seen it all in Southie. Renata Eastlick (Kate) Mike’s overachieving, snooty wife and Clay Cartland (Stevie) the boss who started it all, round out the top notch cast.
If I had a (minor) complaint, it would be the inconsistency with those Boston accents. They’re tough to do and came and went at times during the show taking me out of Boston and into some other working class neighborhood in America. Not bad, since those neighborhoods, people and problems exist everywhere in major cities, just a bit disconcerting.
“Good People” is a well-paced show, smartly directed by GableStage Artistic Director, Joe Adler. Lyle Baskin’s set design was perfect, down to the god awful color on the gym (Bingo hall) walls.
It’s a gritty, tough to listen to show that hits a lot of highly emotional notes and smacks of current problems and sensibilities. For most of us it’s a “…there, but for the grace of God, go I…” kind of story. It’s a story worth telling, and more than worth seeing.
For Tickets: 305-445-1119 or gablestage.org
Performances through August 18:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm & 7pm
GableStage is located at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Valet parking is available-Free
parking at Biltmore lot west of the hotel.