Sawdust

Tom Tom on a Rooftop

The Old Settler: John Henry Redwood's acclaimed 1994 work is about two middle-aged sisters, living in Harlem in the '40s, whose relationship undergoes strain as one of them falls for a young man from North Carolina. Sex and dysfunctional families -- a sure thing.

Painting Churches: Tina Howe's study of an artist who returns home to size up her elderly parents, both of whom take the opportunity to dig up buried hatchets of their own. A good chance to introduce Howe, a playwright of considerable talent, to audiences in South Florida.

Private Lives: OK, the Noel Coward favorite about a formerly married couple who run into each other while each is honeymooning with a new spouse is a chestnut of sorts, but it's also a great comedy. Perfect for Beth Holland and Dick Robison, for example.

Dick Robison and Beth Holland need a vehicle that highlights their talents, not their sponsors
Dick Robison and Beth Holland need a vehicle that highlights their talents, not their sponsors

Details

Written by Daniel Keough. Directed by Kevin Dean. Starring Beth Holland, Joan Turner, Ellen Simmons, Dick Robison, M.J. Quinn, and Jerry Waxman.
Through January 16. Hollywood Boulevard Theatre, 1938 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, 954-929-5400.

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The Madness of George III: Alan Bennett's riotous story about the Hanoverian king several decades after he's lost the Colonies has great parts for the royal couple as well as various statesmen, doctors, and courtiers. Never mind that the king's bodily fluids are examined on stage.

And finally, Shakespeare's history plays: Nobody's having happy sex in Richard III, of course, but this work and several of the other histories offer wonderful roles for older women. Roles for older men in the Bard's work are more than plentiful.

Here's hoping that artistic directors and audiences swiftly ignore mediocrity like Tom Tom on a Rooftopand listen for the beat of theater's more compelling drums.

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