By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
An early Mamet masterpiece that once almost made a Broadway star out of Madonna, Speed-the-Plow hits the Biltmore this weekend, featuring Greg Wiener and Paul Tei. No critic has seen this production yet, so it's impossible to say whether the combination is going to work as well as it should — but it should work very, very well. Plow is sharp, mean, and devastatingly smart as it explores the brutal borderlands between success and integrity, art and commerce, and compassion and solipsism through the prism of big-bucks Hollywood politicking. Wiener, Tei, and director Joe Adler have visited similar terrain before and have never failed to discover new, strange things. Here's betting they will again.
By Molière. Adapted by Paul Tei. Through August 22. Mad Cat Theatre at the Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets cost $30; myspace.com/madcatcompany
Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, first performed in 1670, was about a man struggling to cope with wealth, obscure his piss-poor origins, and achieve classiness — and profoundly embarrassing himself at every turn. If that reminds you of a certain somebody, you're definitely on the wavelength of Mad Cat Theatre's artistic director, Paul Tei, who has adapted the classic to a modern setting and turned its lead character into... Elvis. It's a silly idea wrapped around an important insight, and it's eminently worth seeing, both for the novelty of the concept and for the sheer comic balls of Erik Fabregat, who crams his performance with every Elvis you could want: the teddy bear, the hick, the stud, and the charisma-monster who could slay a room with the thrust of a shoulder, the flutter of a finger, or a wink.
If you're looking for laughs in a summer show about matrimony, you could head to Palm Beach Dramaworks, where they're doing Noel Coward's Private Lives. Here in Miami, there's Married Alive: a silly, fun, slight little whisp of a revue, full of observations on married life that are piquant without being angsty. The best reason to go is probably the singing: Gary Marachek and Marcia McClain, playing husband and wife Ron and Diane, have perfectly complementary instruments that should be wedded more often.