Stage Capsules

Five Course Love: One night, five restaurants, and fifteen characters sum up this tasty yet not entirely filling new musical onstage in the Miracle Theatre's intimate upstairs room. Directed by David Arisco, the ensemble of Oscar Cheda, Janet Dacal, and Christopher A. Kent is the hardest-working trio in show biz. And they make this breezy, 80-minute-no-intermission romp very, very funny. Each restaurant comes complete with an ethnic waiter, all roles with which the shape-shifting Cheda has a ball. Then there is music to match: country and western for the Texas joint, followed by vaguely Italian pop for dinner at Trattoria Pericolo; Bavarian folk dances for Der Schlumpfwinkel Speiseplatz; fake Tex-Mex, a wink to Zorro; and a touch of the Rawhide theme for Ernesto's Cantina; and a forkful of doo-wop via American Graffiti for the Star-Lite Diner. You cannot fault the score for failing to include a single original note, since the whole affair is decidedly eclectic by design. It is silly to quibble about a show that sets out to do nothing more than amuse — and succeeds so spectacularly. — Octavio Roca Through June 4. Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293,

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: "George and Martha. Sad, sad, sad." For lovers of the Woolf, those six words will induce Pavlovian joy. Such a cruel play. Such total destruction. Such delight. It was October 13, 1962, though, at the Billy Rose Theatre in New York City that first contact was initiated between an unsuspecting world and, in Woolf's scripted stage notes, "The living room of a house on the campus of a small New England college." That's the setup, and to describe the Olympic Games of Dysfunction that happen next in the resulting three-and-a-half-hour marathon would be as patronizing as to give you a scene-by-scene description of Hamlet (oh, and then Hamlet kills Polonius, and then he gives this crazy soliloquy that you've just got to hear ...). Despite the recent Broadway revival that brought Kathleen Turner to the stage in what was trumpeted as a spectacular turn, it's somewhat curious that there aren't more productions of the play. But watching Morgan and McConnell's work suggested the reason for the scarcity. If you can't create a production that outdoes, or at least equals, the performances in the film, then why bother? Should Dramaworks have bothered? This is what the audience has to say as it empties into the street: "They look exhausted." It's not only a brilliant and worthy comment but also a genuine compliment to the actors' work (all four of them) and the shared experience that has just torn all of us apart. — Dave Amber Through June 11. Palm Beach Dramaworks, 322 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-514-4042.


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