Best Theater Company Miami 2014 - Zoetic Stage
Zoetic Stage has been producing fine work since its inception in 2010, but this past season was the one in which the company really came into its own, establishing itself as a powerhouse incubator of new plays and an accomplished interpreter of canonical classics. The antiwar dramedy Fear Up Harsh opened the season with a proverbial mortar blast of energy, wit, and insight, earning a pair of Carbonell Awards in its wake, including Best New Work for playwright Christopher Demos-Brown. Its followup, Assassins, likewise plumbed comedy from dark scenarios. A standout cast, a spare-no-expense set design, and dynamite costumes brought to life the black humor, complex musicality, and blistering monologues of one of Stephen Sondheim's most controversial musicals. The season continued with one of Michael McKeever's finest comedies, Clark Gable Slept Here, a world-premiere satire about Hollywood that explored the movie industry's myth-making at the expense of its humanity — if such a thing can exist in the plastic Dream Factory. Producing only four shows in its season (The Great God Pan opened after this writing), compared with other companies' five or six, Zoetic had fewer chances to stumble, but the flawlessness of its track record remains impressive and sets an intimidating bar for next year.