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Florida Spotlight: May 2007

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George Wendt and Richard Thomas in Twelve Angry Men
(© Joan Marcus)
The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Twelve Angry Men, set records when it ran for 32 weeks at the American Airlines Theatre in New York. Now on tour, the courtroom drama stops at the Carnival Center for the Arts in Miami (May 15-20). As they deliberate a murder trial, a group of jurors (including Richard Thomas and George Wendt) must first come to terms with their own prejudices before they decide the fate of the accused.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosenweig plays the Shimberg Playhouse of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (May 10-27). The play follows three very different sisters as they search for love, self-definition, and fulfillment during a birthday bash in London. Also at the Tampa Bay Arts Center is another show that will appeal to women, Menopause The Musical (May 18-July 29).

For something newer, check out the Southeastern premiere of Shiloh Rules at the Cooper City Theater (May 3-20). Presented by The Women's Theatre Project, which specializes in works written and performed exclusively by women, the show humorously presents the story of a group of ladies who re-enact a bloody Civil War battle while vying for the title of "best female re-enactor." Thrown into the mix is an African American park ranger who is encouraged to join the Union's cause.

Another Southeastern premiere is Bruce Graham's According to Goldman at Florida Stage in South Palm Beach (May 11-June 17). A has-been Hollywood screenwriter becomes intrigued by a student in the college class he now teaches. Thinking a collaboration with the socially awkward boy may be his ticket back to the big time, the professor sacrifices domestic tranquility for the lure of fame and fortune.

Palm Beach Dramaworks is offering The Voice of the Prairie (May 9-June 10), John Olive's nostalgic look at first love and childhood adventure. It tells the story of Davey Quinn, who traveled around the country with his grandfather during the 1890s and now shares the stories of his youth on the radio.

The Actors' Playhouse presents its second world premiere production at the Miracle Theatre: Susan J. Westfall's The Boy From Russia (May 9-June 3). In the show, Jack and Beth impulsively decide to adopt an orphaned boy they see on an adoption agency video. Leaving the doubts of friends and family behind, their journey to find the child takes them to a wintry Russian village.

For family entertainment, there's plenty to choose from. People Fair Productions presents Disney's extremely popular High School Musical at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (May 3-5). At the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, choose from either Franklin's Class Concert (May 5) or Hans Christian Andersen's The Steadfast Tin Soldier, adapted and directed by Vyatcheslav Dolgachev from a translation by Aleksandr Kheyfets (May 5-6).

Finally, Theatreworks USA presents the lively musical Junie B. Jones on May 6 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

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