The resident company at the Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theater cemented its regional dominance this season. With a slate of just three shows, director Stuart Meltzer made each one count, excelling in works that included an edgy world premiere by a South Florida playwright, a brainy rom-com about feminism, and a chamber musical by a national treasure. Meltzer imbued the shows with distinct directorial flourishes. There were jazzed-up, staccato courtroom deliberations in Stripped and an intoxicating moving platform and a gender-bending supporting cast in Passion. The designs for each show reimagined the carnival space, from a blind Lady Justice towering behind the quarreling mortals in Stripped to the ladders of opportunity dangling existentially above the manicured homes in Rapture, Blister, Burn. Then there was the multitiered birthday cake of a set in Passion, reflecting the show's multiple layers. Exceptional acting from a stable of the region's finest professionals made it all look easy, and the well-curated mix of shows ensured that audiences always had plenty to discuss on the car ride home.
Readers' choice: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts