By Alex Rendon
By Monica McGivern
By Michele Eve Sandberg
By Alex Rendon
By Monica McGivern
By Ian Witlen
By Christina Mendenhall
By Michele Eve Sandberg
Dangerous, written by Michael McKeever. Directed by Clove Cholerton. Run time, approximately 90 minutes. Presented through March 29 at the Caldwell Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Visit caldwelltheatre.com, or call 561-241-7432.
For his first adaptation, SoFla playwright Michael McKeever reimagines an 18th-century classic, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Les liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) as a bisexual romp in Weimer, Germany. This is more than a good idea: It takes the original's big argument (money + no authority + too much leisure time = amoral decadence) to a conclusion so wild and yet so obvious (amoral decadence + time = Nazi Germany!), that you leave the theater flabbergasted that nobody's done it before. But Dangerous doesn't invite comparison to the original — Laclos' scenes fit their new period like they belong there, and McKeever has no trouble pulling the essence of the original dialogue into his own, rich idiom. If it's overwritten from time to time, what the hell — call it a workshop. McKeever's likely there, in the audience, taking notes and plotting fixes, so there's no need to get critical. Just check out the hot bod of actor David A. Rudd and be wowed by the sudden decomposition of actress Marta Reiman when her character has her heart broken. Marvelous.
There is something wonderful in the dancing cadences of Sarah Ruhl's The Dead Man's Cell Phone: the way its madcap scenes chase each other like bits of the author's associative thought process. The tale follows Jean, a shy and needy woman who one day finds herself seated next to a dead man in her neighborhood café. She answers the man's phone and is off on an improbable journey, trying to make sense of his (deeply amoral) life to his lovers, family, and shadowy underworld business associates. As always, Ruhl's characters are a little too weird to be real — too vibrant, too colorful, and too perverse — but for the most part, we should be grateful for the chance to look at anything so interesting for an hour or two. The exception is Jean, our meddling protagonist, whose neediness and devil-may-care attitude toward others' privacy makes her almost unwatchable. Almost.
The Weir, through April 5 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 322 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call 561-514-4042, or visit palmbeachdramaworks.org.
The Weir was Conor McPherson's breakthrough play, and to realize that while watching it could restore your faith in humanity (or at least in "the humanities"). Because The Weir is challenging: It has no real message, no cogent theme, and its story is skeletal. What story there is involves a bunch of Irish louts in a tavern, sharing ghost stories with the town's newest resident (and the play's lone female). The story is just a setup for the story-telling; the drama lies in watching the good time yarn-spinning transformed into soul-quaking catharsis. When it happens, souls will quake, thanks to an almost perfect cast and the almost magically introspective atmosphere that settles over Palm Beach Dramaworks' little auditorium — an atmosphere summoned as much by Michael Amico's darkly gorgeous set as by McPherson's elliptical writing and the actors' work.
As the title of this crowd-pleasing exhibition indicates, the pairing is a natural. But this is the first time the work of these two 20th-century titans has been presented side by side. It includes more than 40 O'Keeffe paintings and more than 50 Adams photographs, covering the scope of their careers but emphasizing comparisons and contrasts of works completed in the desert Southwest, where both traveled extensively and where O'Keeffe eventually settled for much of her long life. Some of the show's juxtapositions are startling — slightly different views of the same subjects, for instance, or uncannily similar takes on very different subjects, captured by two virtuosos of their respective media. It's an extraordinary, not-to-be-missed exhibition.
Miami artist and infamous graffiti rat Typoe has refused to sacrifice his street cred for his first solo show, "I Want Typoe So Effin Bad." Instead, the 20-something artist, who declines to give his name, has created an exhibit celebrating his urban lifestyle that brings the raw energy of the mean streets into the Spinello Gallery's fresh digs on the Upper Eastside.
"I worked my ass off," the ever-defiant Typoe crows. "I approached the gallery space as a classroom to teach people about my experiences, about who I am."
Inside the gallery, located in a '50s-era apartment block on 82nd Terrace, a few buildings off Biscayne Boulevard, Typoe's unusual self-portrait greets visitors with evidence that the aerosol bomber plans to sling spray paint to the grave.
Til the Day I Die is a life-sized plastic skeleton with its arms crossed over its rib cage. The bottom half of its skull is hidden by a black bandanna covered with the initials TCP, which stand for "The Cat's Pajamas," Typoe's graffiti crew. The urban outlaw's bony doppelgänger sports a Harlem-purchased heart-shaped medallion with Typoe's moniker set in red stones. It also wears a pair of size 8 1/2 Supra kicks — the "same style I rock," the artist adds. "The bandanna is to hide its identity. I think it's important when people don't know too much information. Everybody loves a little chase. He's standing tall, letting you know I'll be doing this until I croak."