Who's afraid of putting on Edward Albee? Not GableStage. And this production of the playwright's mind-bending verbal labyrinth was a dizzying, enigmatic tour de force. Strong all around, from Joseph Adler's crisp staging through the tight and engrossing performances (including some nifty work from John Felix and Cynthia Caquelin). Add to the mix the excellent work of Jeff Quinn, Daniela Schwimmer, and Nate Rauch -- for sets/lighting, costumes, and sound, respectively -- and what you get is hard to beat, even if it were competing in a theatrical capital.
Who's afraid of putting on Edward Albee? Not GableStage. And this production of the playwright's mind-bending verbal labyrinth was a dizzying, enigmatic tour de force. Strong all around, from Joseph Adler's crisp staging through the tight and engrossing performances (including some nifty work from John Felix and Cynthia Caquelin). Add to the mix the excellent work of Jeff Quinn, Daniela Schwimmer, and Nate Rauch -- for sets/lighting, costumes, and sound, respectively -- and what you get is hard to beat, even if it were competing in a theatrical capital.
Somogyi gets the nod for her droll, inventive 1950s design scheme, in itself a hilarious social critique. From nightmarish polka dots and pony skirts to her big-shouldered suits for men, the New York City designer brought Red Herring an added level of comedy and social commentary. Somogyi has tailored her craft to this era before. She was the one who dressed up Kathleen Turner as Tallulah Bankhead at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and sent us back, through ball gowns, to 1940s post-war America.
Somogyi gets the nod for her droll, inventive 1950s design scheme, in itself a hilarious social critique. From nightmarish polka dots and pony skirts to her big-shouldered suits for men, the New York City designer brought Red Herring an added level of comedy and social commentary. Somogyi has tailored her craft to this era before. She was the one who dressed up Kathleen Turner as Tallulah Bankhead at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and sent us back, through ball gowns, to 1940s post-war America.
Using an all-white set and a series of mobile screens, Becker created an ever-shifting funhouse of mobile space, a perfect setting for Lee Blessing's elusive, dreamlike comedy that offered director Michael Bigelow Dixon plenty of staging opportunities. The space allowed the play itself to expand into the marvelous production that it was. If you wanted to see how it's done, this was the perfect learning ground.

Using an all-white set and a series of mobile screens, Becker created an ever-shifting funhouse of mobile space, a perfect setting for Lee Blessing's elusive, dreamlike comedy that offered director Michael Bigelow Dixon plenty of staging opportunities. The space allowed the play itself to expand into the marvelous production that it was. If you wanted to see how it's done, this was the perfect learning ground.

More kudos for the little Florida Stage that could. And here's why: Stephen G. Anthony, Patricia Dalen, Suzanne Grodner, Kendra Kassebaum, Johnathan F. McClain, and Gordon McConnell. This outstanding cast served up an endless stream of hilarious yet sometimes touching characters in this black comedy, from Anthony's tortured G-man to Grodner's wacky Mrs. McCarthy (wife of Senator Joe) to Kassebaum's smoldering, sex-hungry good girl. This romp of a production included romance and intrigue, spies and bagmen, nuclear secrets and red scares, hard liquor and clever parody. The cast took the basket of outrageous thematic goodies and ran with spirit, hilarity, wit, and panache. Can't wait for more.
More kudos for the little Florida Stage that could. And here's why: Stephen G. Anthony, Patricia Dalen, Suzanne Grodner, Kendra Kassebaum, Johnathan F. McClain, and Gordon McConnell. This outstanding cast served up an endless stream of hilarious yet sometimes touching characters in this black comedy, from Anthony's tortured G-man to Grodner's wacky Mrs. McCarthy (wife of Senator Joe) to Kassebaum's smoldering, sex-hungry good girl. This romp of a production included romance and intrigue, spies and bagmen, nuclear secrets and red scares, hard liquor and clever parody. The cast took the basket of outrageous thematic goodies and ran with spirit, hilarity, wit, and panache. Can't wait for more.
Florida Stage
This Palm Beach County company serves up challenging productions with a nice blend of local and New York City actors and a welcome infusion of talented directors and designers from across the nation. Artistic director Louis Tyrrell has an excellent instinct for play selection and maintains close relationships with several important playwrights. The result is a sophisticated level of theatrical artistry that sets the standard in South Florida. Some highlights this season: the sly and sophisticated comedy Red Herring, set during the McCarthy era (hey, red baiting can be a hoot!), and Lee Blessing's Black Sheep, also a dark comedy that takes aim at racial relations, the idle rich, and insipid pop culture.
This Palm Beach County company serves up challenging productions with a nice blend of local and New York City actors and a welcome infusion of talented directors and designers from across the nation. Artistic director Louis Tyrrell has an excellent instinct for play selection and maintains close relationships with several important playwrights. The result is a sophisticated level of theatrical artistry that sets the standard in South Florida. Some highlights this season: the sly and sophisticated comedy Red Herring, set during the McCarthy era (hey, red baiting can be a hoot!), and Lee Blessing's Black Sheep, also a dark comedy that takes aim at racial relations, the idle rich, and insipid pop culture.

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