By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Sisters of Swing: The Andrews Sisters, who rose to megastardom during the World War II big band era, were the Dixie Chicks of their time. That is, if you replace the Chicks' antiwar sentiment with patriotism and then add an unbridled popularity no girl group since the Andrews Sisters has ever quite matched. Okay, so they weren't the Dixie Chicks of their time; they were the Andrews Sisters. During their long career, the three recorded more than 700 songs and sold more than 90 million records. There may have been other sister acts back in the day, but it's difficult now to think of any more closely linked with patriotic support of troops than the A-sisters. To many, LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty were the home front. Getting behind the home-front-girl iconography is the musical's well-realized intention. Among the production's many surprises -- besides an excellent supporting six-piece band, a retro big band orchestra set, and clever musical arrangements -- is the ambitious legwork of the play's two male costar Everymen. Whatever energy created the Andrews Sisters phenomenon is also rabidly contagious. The talented cast and crew of this play have caught that energy and are having as much fun giving good show as the real Andrews Sisters certainly had. -- Dave AmberThrough August 28. Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-585-3433.
Talley's Folly: In Lanford "American theater icon" Wilson's play, it's July 4, 1944, and middle-age St. Louis accountant Matt Friedman has driven under cover of night to woo spinster Sally Talley on her family farm in bucolic Lebanon, Missouri. Matt lures Sally down to the family's elaborate, decaying Victorian boathouse -- the eccentric "folly" built by Sally's ancestors. As crickets chirp this Independence Day, what are an aggressive suitor and his reluctant girl to do? Chatter for an hour and a half of course, about regrets, secret pasts, and pessimistic visions of their future. However, by the time the mysteries behind Matt's existence as a refugee Jew and Sally's spinsterhood are dropped in the last twenty minutes, we just don't care anymore. The production's actors don't fully occupy their roles in the way this "waltz" of a play requires to make it work, and they are mired in a play perhaps only a true Lanford Wilson lover will appreciate. -- Dave Amber Through August 28. Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs; 954-344-7765.
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