Cannibal! The Musical
Through September 6 at the Promethean Theatre, 3301 College Ave., Davie. Call 786-317-7580, or click here.
Cannibal! is a musical Trey Parker composed as a college student, years before he found fame and fortune as cocreator of South Park. But all of that show's signature elements are present and accounted for on the Promethean Theatre's blood-covered stage: random devolutions into senseless-but-funny obscenity, nonsensical songs, a giddy embrace of the profane, a Dadaist sense of novelty, and sudden, surprising flashes of intelligence. Matthew Chivezer leads a cast of game crazies through the Rockies as Alfred Packer, the "only American ever convicted of cannibalism," and along the way gets freaky with a hot horse (Katherine Amadeo), befriends gay Indians, feuds with trappers, builds a snowman, and eats his friends. Brandon K. Thorp
The Whipping Man
Through September 6 at the Caldwell Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Call 561-241-7432, or click here.
This is the heaviest the Caldwell's been in years, and you'd best pay attention: The Whipping Man is good for your soul. The play sets Brandon Morris, John Archie, and Nick Duckhart (playing two former slaves and one former master) amid the ruins of the latter's Virginia manse in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Tiny conflagrations of revenge, love, desperation, and hope smolder beneath the men's restrained banter as they struggle to get along in a world stripped of all certainty. Every performance is masterful and layered. Despite playwright Matthew Lopez's insistence upon a hackneyed denouement, one leaves the theater with the indelible feeling of having witnessed something irreducibly, tragically, and beautifully true. Brandon K. Thorp
Take Me Out
Through October 4 at Rising Action Theatre, 840 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Wilton Manors. Call 954-561-2225, or click here.
Hot-button sociopolitical themes dominate much of the Tony-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated Take Me Out, a play about a biracial baseball superstar who, until telling the media he is gay, had never experienced the pain of discrimination. Good-looking and charismatic, Darren Lemming, played by a cool Laris Macario, is at the peak of his career with major-leaguers the Empires. But after his outing, no one wants to shower with the gay guy. The team is a melting pot of ethnicities, languages, and economic backgrounds, so it's impossible to ignore the scope of the play's message about overcoming discrimination. But Take Me Out succeeds most as a love story. Audience pleaser Mason Marzac, Lemming's jovial, gay business manager, played by a delightful Ted Dvoracek, is a bit of a stereotype. And the character, if miscast, runs the risk of seeming out of place in a play about baseball and masculinity. But Dvoracek manages the character perfectly. Through Marzac, Take Me Out becomes more about a guy and his love for baseball rather than a study of the prejudice in sports locker rooms. Larry Buzzeo turns in a notable depiction as narrator Kippy Sundstrom, Lemming's best friend. The set design features a successful series of locker scenes, baseball playing, and, well, shower scenes. Lots of shower scenes. But gratuitous nudity be damned. The sold-out audience didn't seem to mind. Erica K. Landau
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"Nine Lives: Dog Days of Summer"
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through September 5 at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-573-2700, or visit bernicesteinbaumgallery.com.
Carol Prusa's celestial Aporia is a two-foot-wide acrylic hemisphere housing a matrix of fiber optics currently casting twinkling-star patterns upon the walls of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery. The Boca Raton artist's enchanting globe is covered in gorgeous undulating abstract patterns created from a labor-intensive process. Prusa sandblasts her surfaces before adding gesso, silverpoint, and titanium-white pigment to convey the sense of a heavenly constellation. Her work is on view as part of the "Nine Lives: Dog Days of Summer" group show at the Miami gallery. The exhibit also features works of more than a dozen artists who are part of the gallery's stable. Carlos Suarez de Jesus