Misery: Horror meister Stephen King certainly knows a thing or two about the vicissitudes of fame. Like many a writer before him, King draws on personal experience for his short novel Misery, a grim fairy tale about a famous novelist held captive by his "number one fan." The 1992 play is directed with feverish intensity by Joseph Adler and features not-to-be-missed performances by a crackerjack cast of two. Although the script fails to fully exploit King's tale, the production is a Grand Guignol of horror and humor. In this modern fable, a riff on the classic wicked-witch-in-the-woods motif, the naive author stumbles into the dark gingerbread kingdom that lurks beyond the familiar world of logic and daylight. Stephen G. Anthony anchors the show and provides a thoroughly credible performance as the wounded hero -- no small feat considering he's onstage the entire show. But Lisa Morgan's chilling portrayal of Annie is captivating. -- Ronald MangraviteThrough September 4. GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119.
Macbeth: "So fair and foul a day I have not seen" goes the famous line, and may it be said, so fair and foul a play can now be seen at New Theatre. Shakespeare's shortest tragedy is one of his most magnificent and most produced works, but it's quite a task to stage, perform, and watch. According to theater lore, the play is jinxed, but director Rafael de Acha's stark, modern-dress staging solves at least some of the play's formidable problems. Purists may grit their teeth at the many textual cuts and revisions, and those unfamiliar with the story may find some aspects a bit confusing. Playing Shakespeare's most powerful female character, Lady Macbeth, Bridget Connors commands attention whenever she is onstage. In the title role, Keith Cassidy brings a modern intensity and physical power. -- Ronald MangraviteThrough August 28. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables; 305-443-5909.
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. 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. 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.
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