By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Dan Goggin, who brought the hit comedy musical Nunsense to the stage, brings the singin' sisters back for another romp with Meshuggah-Nuns. In their latest adventure, the nuns find themselves on a "Faith of All Nations" cruise thanks to the generosity of the Kunkel family. The ship eventually hits a terrible storm, causing seasickness and havoc onboard, most notably among the ship's entertainment — the entire cast of Fiddler on the Roof, save for the actor who plays Tevye. Desperate to salvage the trip and not anger the passengers, the ship's captain asks the show-biz-inclined sisters to replace the ailing cast and perform Fiddler with Tevye. The result is a hilarious frolic with nuns performing sidesplitting ditties such as "Say It in Yiddish," and "Matzo Man." This is the fifth in the Nunsense series, but you don't need to be familiar with the other productions to enjoy this quirky musical.
A sprawling tale such as Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac — which features romance, lust, longing, and a rapier sword duel — was tailor-made for the opera. The big-nosed romantic nobleman is in love with the beautiful Roxane. But self-doubt over his schnoz discourages him from expressing his feelings. So he agrees to help his handsome but romantically challenged rival win her heart. Composer David DiChiera's Cyrano, making its Florida Grand Opera debut at the Arsht Center, is an epic three-act opera that features the original Michigan Opera Theatre cast of baritone Marian Pop as Cyrano and soprano Leah Partridge as Roxane. DiChiera's opera was specifically composed and tailored to Pop and Partridge's voices. Conductor Mark Flint also makes his FGO debut here.
The Red Thread
Taking inspiration from a Chinese folktale called "The Magical Embroidery," the PlayGround Theatre, which prides itself on staging unique and innovative stories for all ages, has unveiled yet another foray into myth and fantasy: The Red Thread. At the center of this splendid and fluid production is a simple, universal tale of a young Chinese girl, Ling Shih (Christina Jun), who goes on a magical odyssey. She sets off on an arduous and lengthy trek across China to save her father's grand masterpiece — a tapestry he's been meticulously crafting for years. She crosses kingdoms and eventually is forced to climb the Kunlun Mountains, where she meets a mystic who helps her confront her ultimate destiny. The Red Thread is a story steeped in traditional archetypes. Love, family, and fate are interwoven into the story much like the tapestry that is the tale's MacGuffin.