Beehive: The '60s Musical Sensation: Even as the fine band warmed up the crowd with an "It's My Party"-infused medley, deep in my gut the pain began. It was the same pain that accompanies all such musical reviews, and it sharpened with the play's first chipper hit-parade memory, "The Name Game." If you recognize this bastard song, definitely best left in the Sixties, then you know it starts out painfully: "Shirley, Shirley bo Birley/Bonana fanna fo Firley/Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!" Except as I sat there in my Stage Door Theatre seat, the translation into my skull shotgunned: "Kill me, kill me, bo bill me/Bonana fanna fo fill me/Fe fy mo mill me, kill me!" If you hate musical reviews, then you'll be praying for sudden death. Beehive is almost completely upbeat, with songs generically linked together by happy don't-you-remember reflections. Didn't any of these people hear about the My Lai Massacre? I was hoping for a drag queen version. That would've been cool. But the voices are nice. However, I still can't get away from the annoying banter, with no story line, yet with insipid asides about JFK's assassination and the civil rights movement. Thirty years from now, a musical about the first decade of the 21st Century will undoubtedly highlight all the singles by American Idol winners. Sure, there might be a few sad reflections thrown in about terrorism and war, but mostly it will be cheery, like, "Remember back in 2009 when we listened to iPods and still had the right to vote?" And then they'll sing a memorial duet to honor Clay Aiken and Celine Dion. Dave Amber Through June 25. Stage Door Theatre, 1444 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors; 954-344-7765.
Summer Shorts: This month-long festival comprises sixteen plays, features nine actors, is staged by six directors with channel-changing speed, and offers something for everyone. The world premiere of Leslie Ayvazian's miniature play Rosemary and Elizabeth is a triumph at the heart of City Theatre's festival. This year the sixteen works are divided into two programs, though not everything is as intimate as Ayvazian's jewel. If the quiet Rosemary is the emotional climax of Program B, the Southeast premiere of Brian PJ Cronin's exuberant I Am Drinking the Goddamn Sun is not only the finale of Program A but also the rambunctious apotheosis of the festival itself a comic feast boasting the entire City Theatre Ensemble. Strong yet improbably mellow, and with a sweet aftertaste, Cronin's comedy makes enophilia interesting, even to those who prefer wine from a box. Summer Shorts offers many pleasures, chiefly the shapeshifting City Theatre actors sinking their teeth into a lot of dramatic hors d'oeuvres. Octavio Roca Through July 2. University of Miami's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Dr., Coral Gables; 305-365-5400, www.citytheatre.com.
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