‘Happy Days’ at Thinking Cap Theatre thanks to bravura production

    Photo by Nicole Stodard Despite Winnie’s odd situation, she finds reason to smile. In Thinking Cap Theatre’s production, Karen Stephens (pictured) plays the character.   By AARON KRAUSE FT. LAUDERDALE — A man with much physical difficulty tries to reach the love of his life. Naturally, she seems...

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‘Aladdin’ still astonishes with visuals, while offering enough substance

  Photo by Deen van Meer The titular character (Jonah Ho’Okano) and Jasmine (Kaena Kekoa) share an intimate moment in a national equity touring production of Aladdin.   By AARON KRAUSE FT. LAUDERDALE — The musical Aladdin might transport us to a “whole new world,” but the show also presents...

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Powerful ‘American Son’ prevails at Zoetic Stage

Photo by Justin Namon A struggle breaks out between a father and a police officer in the riveting drama, American Son. Here, the officer, Paul Larkin (Ryan Didato) tries to restrain the dad, Scott Connor (Clive Cholerton). Flanking the strugglers are Scott’s ex, Kendra Ellis-Connor (Karen Stephens) and Lt. John...

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‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ sweet, not scrumptious

Photo by Jeremy Daniel Willy Wonka (Cody Garcia, far right) shows visitors his chocolate factory.   By AARON KRAUSE MIAMI — Remember Willy Wonka’s chewing gum? When it assumes a blueberry pie flavor, problems arise. Well, the stage musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is also problematic. To...

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Wick Theatre’s ‘The Music Man’ mesmerizes

        Photo by Amy Pasquantonio John Tartaglia works his magic as Harold Hill in The Wick Theatre’s production of The Music Man.   By AARON KRAUSE BOCA RATON –Before Lin-Manuel Miranda there was Meredith Willson. Sure, Miranda’s bold use of non-traditional musical genres in Hamilton may have changed...

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Stage adaptation of ‘Tootsie’ improves upon the film

Photo by Matthew Murphy The cast of “Tootsie” with Santino Fontana, center, as Dorothy Michaels.    By AARON KRAUSE NEW YORK, N.Y. — Dorothy Michaels is unstoppable. We learned that much in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical adaptation of Tootsie. It is based on the popular Academy Award-nominated 1982 movie with the...

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Les Miz remains a favorite due to upbeat messages, breathtaking songs

    Photo by Mattthew Murphy Nick Cartell appears as a transformed, polished Jean Valjean in a U.S. touring production of Les Miserables.   By AARON KRAUSE FT. LAUDERDALE — Even after witnessing Les Miserables for the umpteenth time, this beloved British megamusical from the 1980’s somehow re-assures us anew...

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MNM’s ‘Man of La Mancha’ delves into material’s darkness

    Courtesy of Jacek Photo Don Quixote (Michael McKenzie) and Sancho (Mark Kirschenbaum) stand and sit tall and proud in MNM’s production of Man of La Mancha. By AARON KRAUSE WEST PALM BEACH — This isn’t how your grandparents experienced Man of La Mancha. No, the nonprofit, professional MNM...

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Area Stage’s ‘Matilda’ is filled with humor, heart and magic

    Photo by John Rodaz Katie Duerr as Miss Honey and Alejandra Bess as Matilda are deep in thought in Area Stage’s commendable production of Matilda.   By AARON KRAUSE CORAL GABLES — The smell of rebellion from “revolting” children has rarely produced a sweeter scent. The aroma emanates these...

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New City Players’ bleak ‘Macbeth’ reflects the zeitgeist

      Photo courtesy of New City Players Macbeth (Seth Trucks) makes a point to his wife, Lady Macbeth (Laura Plyler) in New City Players’ production of “The Scottish Play.”   By AARON KRAUSE FT. LAUDREDALE — If you ask most people, they may tell you that they’ve always...

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