Mormon’s positive message feels more vital

    Photo courtesey bookofmormonbroadway.com/tour The missionaries from The Book of Mormon prepare to head off for their assignments.   MIAMI — No matter how many times you’ve seen The Book of Mormon, the musical phenomenon feels more uplifting, encouraging and vital this time around. At this writing, more than a month...

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Phantom sequel’s lush melodies, visuals enthrall

  Photo by Joan Marcus The Phantom, regularly played by Gardar Thor Cortes (left), seduces Christine Daae (Meghan Picerno) in the national tour of Love Never Dies. FT. LAUDERDALE — There are moments in Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, that will likely startle, or...

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A sensitive, encouraging show brimming with humanity

  (Photo by Ahron R. Foster) Dina (Katrina Lenk) and Tewfiq (Tony Shalhoub) share a moment in The Band’s Visit.   NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — You might call them “The Hope Musicals.” The Broadway shows Come From Away and The Band’s Visit offer hope — hope that goodness still exists...

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Slow Burn’s less-is-more approach works with Tarzan

Photo by Rodrigo Balfanz Tarzan (Natale Pirrotta) and Jane (Lindsey Corey) share a moment in Slow Burn Theatre Company’s production of Tarzan.   FT. LAUDERDALE — There are lighting effects galore (some overdone, some mood-enhancing by Thomas Shorrock) in Slow Burn Theatre Company’s mostly commendable, high-flying production of Tarzan: The Stage...

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New staging of musical offers fresh take on a classic

Maria (Jill-Christine Wiley) is at home amid the hills in Austria near the Nonnberg Abbey. FT. LAUDERDALE — Chances are, you’re familiar with The Sound of Music. But you’ll rediscover this classic musical anew once you’ve witnessed three-time Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien’s fresh, vital take on the beloved Rodgers...

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A unique stage experience is brought to vivid life

(Photo courtesy of Area Stage Company) Mallory Newbrough (Dora) and George (Robert Richards, Jr.) appear in a scene from Area Stage Company’s production of An Octoroon CORAL GABLES, Fla. — “If anything, the theatre is no longer a place of novelty,” says a character in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’  An Octoroon. “The...

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PBD’s Sweeney Todd is riveting

Sweeney Todd (Shane R. Tanner) raises his razor high (Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Dramaworks).   WEST PALM BEACH — How do you sympathize with a barber who slashes the throats of his customers, instantly killing them and sending their remains down a chute for his partner-in-crime to bake them...

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Adaptation of graphic novel set to music has world premiere

  PALO ALTO, Calif. — Award-winning Bay Area playwright and composer Min Kahng thought his discovery several years ago was “fascinating” and “unique.” It would be “fun and interesting” to adapt for the stage, he further believed. Kahng has done that. His adaptation of one of the first-ever graphic novels...

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This lighthearted ‘Legend’ will whisk you away from your worries

  CORAL GABLES, Fla. Go ahead, poke fun at drag queens all you want. Call them weirdos, freaks or any other name to express your disapproval at their lifestyle or your inherent dislike of them, for whatever reason. The bottom line is that at least twice now in the make-believe world...

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Taken into the mind of a frustrated, tortured artist

Taken into the mind of a frustrated, tortured artist

MARGATE, Fla. — There’s a moment during the Tony-Award-winning musical “Nine” when a cacophony of voices drifts through the air, belonging to women speaking, or even shouting, on top of one another. The resulting noise vividly symbolizes the chaos racing through the mind of renown but struggling Italian filmmaker Guido Contini,...

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