Florida Spotlight: August 2009
I Remember Mamma!
Contemporary classics abound in August, especially in the Miami area. The Adrienne Arsht Center plays host to gangsters and raucous reggae with The Harder They Come (August 28-September 13), the Theatre Royal Stratford East / UK Arts adaptation of the hard luck-and-fast times film starring Jimmy Cliff. Meanwhile, The Gable Stage at the Biltmore closes out their season with satire in Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet's wry send-up of Hollywood culture playing in Coral Gables August 15-September 13. Also in Coral Gables, things get a tad more traditional with the New Theatre's season opening production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (August 27-September 27).
North to Fort Lauderdale, enjoy Tommy Femia as Judy Garland Live! as the multiple award-winning impersonator channels the singer through an evening of cabaret with pianist Gary Lawrence at the Rising Action Theatre (August 12-23). And in Boca Raton, a Civil War family of slaves finds challenges and contradictions in their adopted Jewish faith in the Caldwell Theatre Company's staging of The Whipping Man, Matthew Lopez's historical drama (August 12-30).
In Orlando, the Greater Orlando Actors Theater continues its first season in their new performance space with a production of Closer (August 28-September 19), Patrick Marber's anti-romance about Londoners, lies, and betrayal. West to Tampa, the Jobsite Theatre turns Shakespeare up to 11 with their staging of Pericles: A New Rock Musical at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (August 6-23). Rocker Joe Popp provides the script and the punk-edged soundtrack for this adaptation that reworks the Bard's globetrotting intrigues into a modern mafia setting. Traveling south to Bradenton, we find softer melodies in the Manatee Players' production of Crazy For You (August 20-September 6), where a New York city slicker woos a small-town theatre girl to the tune of Gershwin classics.