By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Amadeus: Peter Shaffer's play about the life and death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a satisfying potboiler. John Felix is splendid as the villainous Antonio Salieri, a hard-working but mediocre composer who seethes in jealousy and despair when Mozart effortlessly proves his musical genius. Director Richard Jay Simon ably stages the monster show -- the production features fifteen performers in full eighteenth-century regalia jammed onto the Mosaic's tiny stage -- and the supporting cast is solid if not exceptional, but the production is hampered by a lumbering pace and some subpar production elements. -- Ronald Mangravite Through October 31. Mosaic Theatre, American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Bldg. 3000, Plantation. 954-577-8243.
Barrio Hollywood: The New Theatre's latest world premiere has considerable potential: it's not only a play about boxing, it's also about Mexican-American culture, family loyalty, and cross-cultural romance. To this add some imaginative staging by the New's Rafael de Acha and evocative, colorful production design, and all signs point toward superior stagecraft. Yet while each of these assets is on display in this world premiere, the sum of the parts doesn't add up to much impact: this boxing play looks good but doesn't land many punches. -- Ronald Mangravite Through November 14. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables. 305-443-5909.
Frozen: Bryony Lavery's explosive play gets a gripping Florida premiere under Joseph Adler's direction. Glimpses into a mother's blind hope, brief intimations of a psychiatrist's own emotional vulnerability, frightening little vignettes of a serial killer's ordinariness -- these are the dizzying ingredients of a tale that spans two decades and portrays nothing less than every parent's worst nightmare. Nearly everything rings true in Adler's pitch-perfect direction: from the very British dowdiness of Lisa Morgan's mother and the unexpected wackiness of Bridget Connors as the American psychiatrist, to the scary blandness of Gordon McConnell's tattooed killer. These details seem familiar, even banal. Much like evil. That may be the most unsettling detail of all. -- Octavio Roca Through November 7. GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. 305-445-1119, www.gablestage.org.
Late Nite Catechism: You don't have to be Catholic to laugh with Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan's one-woman show starring Kathleen Stefano that has turned the Encore Room into a parochial school complete with holy cards, wooden rulers, and one formidable nun who will be sure you do not chew gum, speak without permission, or ever everforget your Easter duty. You've heard about Irish Alzheimer's? That's when you forget everything but the grudges. Should priests be allowed to marry? Only if they really, really love each other. You get the idea. --Octavio Roca Through December 19. Coconut Grove Playhouse, Encore Room, 3500 Main Hwy., Miami. 305-442-4000.