Best Theater for Plays

Florida Stage

Besides delivering first-rate performances, Florida Stage artistic director Louis Tyrrell this season struck the right chord with music lovers and theatergoers alike. His productions of Syncopation, The Music Lesson, and The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith proved theater can sing, dance, wail, and waltz. Syncopation, the story of two immigrants in 1911, underscored the basic human need to dance and hear music. As the characters awkwardly stumbled through the waltz and fox trot, they became more human. The Music Lesson transformed classical music classes into moving instruction on life and loss. The Devil's Music was a closely woven tapestry of the blues great Smith's music and harrowing life. Actress Miche Braden gave the role the electrifying singing voice and powerful stage presence it warrants. All three shows enlivened good theater with impressive, live, musical accompaniment. In each piece melody became an integral part of the cast as well as a vibrant and multifaceted vehicle for the excellent drama Florida Stage continues to produce.

 
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