Humorous Year Ahead On FAU Stage; ‘La Cage’ Takes Local Actors To Rinker

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By: Dale King Contributing Writer

The Department of Theater and Dance in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University has set the theme for its 2017-2018 season of plays.

All four shows will be comedies.

That’s quite a departure from last year’s schedule when master of fine arts students presented four productions of a somber tone – Omnium Gatherum, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Spitfire Grill and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.

Because of Hurricane Irma, “The Government Inspector has been moved to Friday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 19. This satiric comedy takes aim at greed, stupidity and political corruption – long before it was vogue. Written in 1836, it remains a relevant jab at politicians who use government to line their own pockets.

The second show is The Rivals, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, has been moved to Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 25. Sheridan’s comic tale is a raucous comedy of manners that involves two couples thwarted on their way to matrimony.

Featuring some of theater’s best comic characters – the windbag Sir Anthony Absolute and the foolish Mrs. Malaprop – The Rivals pokes good fun at our superficial, narcissistic and preening times.

Finally, the Bard comes to the fore with The Merry Wives of Windsor, running April 13-April 22. It features one of William Shakespeare’s best loved comic characters, Sir John Falstaff, the loud, foolish, blowhard who adores liquor, ladies and money. When he sets his lecherous sights on two merry wives, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, a battle of wits ensues in which the ladies have the last laugh and many a man gets his comeuppance.

For more information about FAU’s Department of Theatre, visit www.fau.edu/theatre.

La Cage aux Folles

Marcie Gorman-Althof and Michael Lifshitz, producing partners for MNM Productions, which performs in the 300-seat Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, have named the cast for its third show of the season, La Cage aux Folles. Some familiar names are on board.

Albin and George, the two lead characters, will be played by Michael Ursua and Larry Alexander in the show that runs from Oct. 6-22. Ursua has appeared in numerous national tours and performed in both Mame and They’re Playing Our Song in Boca. Alexander is a veteran of Broadway and TV.

Also in the cast is Elijah Word, a North Broward resident first seen several years ago in Sounds of Simon at the Cultural Arts Center in Boca Raton. Word has also been in shows at the Wick and at Broward Stage, and was part of the hippie cast in MNM’s production of Hair.

The roster of performers includes Troy Stanley, who was Belle’s pop in Beauty and the Beast in Boca and Peter Librach, who just completed a month-long run in The Sunshine Boys at Broward Stage Door Theatre.

Also featured are Aaron Bower, Clay Cartland, AJ Cola, JR Coley, Jinon Deeb, Rebecca Diaz, Patti Gardner, Kimmi Johnson, Alex Jorth, Rio Peterson, Christie Rohr, Ashley Rubin, Keagan Tanner, Pierre Tannous and Frank Vomero.

Kimberly Dawn Smith, who directed and choreographed A Chorus Line, Hair and Monty Python’s Spamalot, will helm the production, with award-winning Paul Reekie returning as music director.

Tickets are $45 each and are now available for purchase online through the Kravis Center’s official website at kravis.org and by phone at 561-832-7469.

Delray Beach Playhouse

The performance venue on the shore of Lake Ida in Delray Beach – the Delray Beach Playhouse – is ready to roll out its 2017-2018 shows.

The theater opens with The Amorous Ambassador, by Michael Parker, Oct. 6-22. Then, Annie, Get Your Gun, by Dorothy Fields and Herb Fields, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, Dec. 1-17; And the World Goes Round – the Music of Kander & Ebb, a musical by David Thompson, Scott Ellis and Susan Stomen, Feb. 2-18; Blackout, a mystery thriller by Rick Harlowe, March 23-April 8 and Edward Albee’s classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, May 18-June 3.

The playhouse is located at 950 NW 9th St., Delray Beach. For tickets, call 561-272-1281.