Friday, February 26, 2016

"Toruk" To Soar In Sunrise; Miami Too


“Toruk” Set to Soar Over Sunrise

By Skip Sheffield

Think of the fantasy film “Avatar: The last Airbender” and then imagine it bigger, bolder, brighter, much more exciting, and best of all, live and in person
That’s what you will find in the Cirque du Soleil show “Toruk- The First Flight,” which opens Thursday, March 3 and continues through Sunday, March 6 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Based loosely on James Cameron’s “Avator” characters, “Toruk” combines dazzling visual effects, puppetry and bold stagecraft to provide a framework for the amazing human circus acts of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun in French). Created by Michel Lemieux and Vitor Pilon, “Toruk” is narrated by a “Na’vi storyteller” and is set several thousands of years before the events of the movie “Avatar,” before any humans ever set foot on Pandora. When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the scared Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys nearing adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters in their own hands. With a newfound friend Tsyal they set off on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the huge, fearsome red and orange lizard-like predator that rules the Pandoran sky. A prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride the airborne predator Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a gruesome fate.

Words fall short of the full visceral impact of the Cirque du Soleil experience, which engages all the senses at once. “Toruk” is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has performed before more than 155 million spectators in 300 cities on six continents. The organization has nearly 4,000 employees including 1,300 performing artists from 50 countries. After the BB&T Center run, “Toruk” moves to American Airlines Arena in Miami March 10-13. Tickets are $43, $69 and $130 with higher priced Producer’s Seats available on a limited basis. Go to for tickets.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eddie "The Eagle" Lifts British Spirits


Eddie The Eagle Uplifts a Fading Empire

By Skip Sheffield

Everyone loves an underdog. Michael “Eddie” Edwards was more than just an underdog. He was a source of national pride for a fading British empire.
Eddie Edwards is played by Taron Egerton. Egerton is a British actor who co-starred with Alicia Vikander in “Testament of Youth,” but this is by far is biggest role, and he nails it.
Eddie Edwards was plagued from childhood with poor vision and weak knees. He was told he could never make it into the Olympics. What Edwards lacked in physical prowess he made up with intelligence and sheer determination. When Edwards learned the British had not fielded an Olympic ski-jumping team in 52 years, he decided to focus on that. Besides, it was easier to quality for that than for the cut-throat downhill skiing competition.
Eddie’s skeptical father (Keith Allen) is no help. He thinks Eddie should concentrate on the family plastering business. Mom (Jo Hartley) on the other hand is supremely supportive of her dorky son, no matter how unlikely his quest seems.
Taron Egerton must have put on weight to play chubby Eddie. His first yellowish ski outfit makes him look like Winnie-the-Pooh, and his thick glasses make him look even more nerdy.
Director Dexter Fletcher and writer Simon Kelton have taken liberties with the facts. The largest liberty is the fictional character of washed-up, alcoholic ex-ski-jumper Bronson Peary, played with wry bravado by Broadway star Hugh Jackman. The salvation of booze-soaked Peary dovetails with the success of teetotaler, milk-drinking Eddie. Will Peary’s nemesis, former ski jump champion Warren Sharp (Christopher Walken at his haughtiest) finally forgive and respect Pathetic Peary? One guess.

Yes, “Eddie The Eagle” is corny and predictable, but like the real Eddie Edwards it is a crowd-pleaser. Edwards may have come in dead last in both his events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, but he emerged a national hero for a country that desperately needed one.

Monday, February 22, 2016

"The Witch" Not Scary, But Thought-Provocing


Zealotry Abounds in “The Witch”

By Skip Sheffield

Religion can be a dangerous thing. Consider ISIS, who believe themselves radical warriors of Islam.
The religious zealots of early America killed women in the name of their God. “The Witch” is more a statement on religious zealotry than it is a horror film, though that is how it is being marketed.
If you are looking for thrills and chills you will be disappointed by writer-director Robert Eggers’ debut film. If you fear the dark side of religion, it will give you pause.
“The Witch” is set in the New England wilderness in the year 1630; just ten years after the Pilgrims fled religious persecution in Europe and came to America, and 62 years before the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Kate Dickie) are Calvinist dissenters who are exiled from their community and forced to homestead in a cabin at the edge of an ominous dark forest. Tragedy strikes when their infant son suddenly disappears. That leaves the couple with their young teenage daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy).
Thomasin is a free-thinker, which is a no-no in rigid Calvinist beliefs. She takes to wandering about in the woods where she may or may not have met some actual witches.
What is scarier for her and for us is that the townspeople and eventually her own parents come to believe Thomasin is a witch and should be put to death.

“The Witch” is dark, ominous and gloomy, like the single-minded zealots it depicts. It serves to remind us that people serve many Gods, both good and evil. When evil gets mixed up with good, it gets dangerous.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Trini Lopez Honored by Footlighters of South Florida


Trini Lopez Honored by The Footlighters of South Florida

By Skip Sheffield

Former Boca Raton News City Editor Dale King now has his own public relations firm. One of his clients is The Footlighters of South Florida; a charitable organization of show business veterans. I was unable to make it to the Footlighters Valentine’s Day special last Sunday at Seminole Hard Rock Live, but Dale filed a report which I shall pass on.
Guitarist-singer Trini Lopez was presented with the Connie Francis Lifetime Achievement Award, with Ms. Francis in attendance. Connie Francis was the first to receive the award in 2014.
Lopez performed a short set; the highlight of which was his version of “La Bamba,” which had the crowd on their feet, singing along. Among Trini’s actor friends in the audience were Tony LoBianco (“French Connection”), singer-actress Lainie Kazan and Gianni Russo (“The Godfather”).
Also honored was veteran talent agent Stanley Seidenberg, who amazingly is in his 62nd year in show business in which he has worked with such greats as ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Fats Domino and the Supremes.
Others on the program were The Classics performing their 1963 hit “Til Then.” Rodi Alexander performed three numbers and was followed by legendary South Florida comic Woody Woodbury, who is still working at age 92.
Ana Anello sang The Beatles’ “Something” with new lyrics tailored to Trini Lopez.
Brett Wheeler, a vocalist discovered by Footlighters member David Foster, wowed the crowd with “The Prayer.” Gianni Russo sang the theme from “The Godfather,” in which he played Don Corleone’s son-in-law Carlo Rizzo.
The event was a fundraiser for the Footlighters Foundation for Indigent Entertainers and Musicians. The group also raises scholarship money for music students at Florida International University.

For more information on the Footlighters, call 561-632-2397 or e-mail

"Spotlight" Pales Versus "The Club"


“The Club” Makes “Spotlight” Look Gentle

By Skip Sheffield

If you thought “Spotlight” shone a harsh light on the Catholic Church, “The Club” will shock and creep you out.
This is a Chilean film by Pablo Larrain set in a forlorn beach town called La Boca. Four disgraced priests and one nun live together in reflection and penance. They all have been removed from their priestly duties for offenses ranging from child abuse to baby-snatching.
It seems the sun never shines on “The Club.” Even in the middle of the day it is dark and dingy. The only excitement the group has is racing a rescued Greyhound dog called Rayo, trained by Padre Vidal (Alfredo Castro). The group is forbidden from mingling with townspeople and is only allowed to go into town from 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 8-9 p.m.
The predictable routine is disrupted with the arrival of a new ex-priest, Father Lazcano (Jose Soza). Lazcano does not have much to say, but a young fisherman named Sandokan (Roberto Farias) sure does. Sandokan plants himself outside the priests’ house and begins loudly and graphically reciting a litany of Father Lazcano’s abuse of him as an altar boy. This so rattles the elderly padre he shoots himself in the head with a pistol.
This crisis brings in from the Vatican a crisis counselor named Father Garcia (Marcelo Alonso). The priests fear Garcia will shut down the house for good.
Meanwhile we see a strange interlude with young Sandokan and the nun Sister Monica (Antonia Zegers, wife of the director).
The story is brought to a shocking and horrific conclusion and a resolution of sorts.

“Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,” the priests recite. I am not totally convinced.

Katie Holmes Shines in "Touched With Fire"


“Touched With Fire” Walks The Fine Line

By Skip Sheffield

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness-“ Aristotle.
If you have ever thought there is a fine line between genius and madness, you may be right.
“Touched With Fire” is a movie about bi-polar disorders written and directed by Paul Dalio, who is bipolar himself. It is inspired by a book written by bipolar psychologist Kay Jamison.
“Touched With Fire” is also a love story between two artists who meet in a psychiatric hospital. Emily, who calls herself Carla (Katie Holmes) and Marco (Luke Kirby) who calls himself Luna, are both poets. Carla’s bipolar disorder caused her to drop out of college. Marco, is in a manic phase (bipolar is also called manic-depressive) in which he has stopped eating and sleeping and literally can’t sit still.
The conventional treatment of bipolar disorders is with tranquilizers or anti-anxiety medications; “downers” if you will. The problem with that is it dulls the creative impulses. This is quite a dilemma for an artist who gets inspiration from the manic phase.
While “Touched With Fire” is a love story between two similarly-afflicted people, it is a very different love story. The parents of Carla and Marco (Christine Lahti, Bruce Altman and Griffin Dunne) feel they are bad for each other. When they are forced apart, rebelliously they get back together. When they are chased by police Marco does something really crazy that nearly gets them both killed. Theirs is clearly a case of you can’t live together and you can’t live apart. Then something else happens to deepen their bond yet drive them farther apart.
Katie Holmes does the best work of her career as Carla. This is no ordinary mad woman. She is sweet and charming and caring, but there is something she just can’t control.
I am not familiar with Canadian actor Luke Kirby, but he does a convincing job as the even more screwed up Marco.

“Touched With Fire” is not depressing, although there is no simple happy ending. It is educational. Stick around to the end credits and see how many famous artists and writers may have been bipolar.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How Not To Be Single In New York City


“How To Be Single” Not Just Another Chick Flick

By Skip Sheffield

What, another chick flick rom-com?
Yes, that describes “How to Be Single.”  However, this movie has a not-so-secret secret weapon in Rebel Wilson, who plays a variation on her devil-may-care anything- goes character of Robin, the sparkplug to this comedy, based on Liz Tucillo’s book, with screenplay by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (“Valentine’s Day,” “He’s Just Not That Into You”).
The nominal star of “How To” is Dakota Johnson as nice girl Alice, who takes a break from her steady boyfriend whom she has been dating for four years. Acting as her coach and cheerleader is Robin, who urges her to live a little (and have sex) before she settles down.
Johnson is much better suited to the role of Alice than she was as the submissive masochist in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Johnson has matured, yet she still has an appealingly girlish, tentative quality as Alice.
Playing Alice’s older sister Meg is the always-reliable Leslie Mann. Mann plays a successful New York City obstetrician who is proudly single and has no desire to marry. However the lure of motherhood is strong, and she will succumb to that irresistible force.
Allison Brie is Lucy, a woman who firmly believes she can find Mr. Right on Internet dating services. Good luck with that.
Playing the nicest of the male suitors is Damon Wayans, Jr., who plays it straight as a widower with an adorable young daughter. Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacey and Jason Mantzoukas are serviceable as male foils to the female main characters.

“How To Be Single” is more than just another chick flick under the direction of Christian Ditter (“Love Rosie”). It has heart and soul along with easy low humor. It’s a feel-good movie for single people who are not convinced marriage is the answer to everything.

Two Tasty Indie Comedies


Angry Michael Moore and Gentle Jewish Comedy “Dough”

By Skip Sheffield

For this week’s art house films we have Michael Moore’s latest angry tirade “Where to Invade Next” and the Jewish comedy “Dough.”
In “Where to Invade Next,” Moore explores how life is much easier in European and one African country in which basic needs such as medical care, higher education, healthy food and paid vacations are provided by the state rather than private, for-profit providers as in the USA.
I can just hear naysayers ranting that Moore is subversive, un-American, socialist or even Communist. The “invasion” is undertaken by Moore himself as he visits various countries and plants an American flag, declaring they are “conquered.” Obviously the whole scenario in tongue-in-cheek, but Moore does raise the valid point that Americans are work and profit-obsessed to the detriment of enjoying the finer things in life.
It is no mistake that the first country Moore visits is Italy, where “La Dolce Vita” is a way of life. Moore hitched a ride ironically and intentionally on the U.S. Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. Moore visits a young Italian couple, Gianni and Christina Fancelli, who describe their work and lifestyle. The couple receives eight weeks paid vacation per year. The entire country of Italy pretty much shuts down in the month of August, while everyone goes on holiday. Lunch is a leisurely two hours, usually spent at home. Women receive fine months’ paid maternity leave.
How does anything get done? You might wonder. Moore visits Lardini Men’s Fashions, where some of the finest suits in the world are produced. He visits Ducati, the world-class motorcycle company revered by enthusiasts the world over.
Next stop is France, where Moore visits school children in their cafeteria, enjoying gourmet-quality healthy lunches. Moore smuggles in a Coca-Cola and none of the kids even wants to taste it.
Finland enjoys the highest standard of education in the world, and it is all free. U.S. is number 29.
Even in Slovenia the standard of living is higher than the U.S.A. In Norway they gave up on their war on drugs 15 years ago and crime went down.
Call Michael Moore a crank, but his points are well-taken. America spends 60 percent on the military, with dubious results. America has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world, and one of the highest rates of recidivism (near 80 percent of prisoners are re-arrested).
It is possible to love the U.S.A. and at the same time admit we are a bit uptight and no fun. It helps to travel and see how others live. If you can’t, this is an educational, satirical travelogue.

A Feel-Good “Dough”

“Dough” is a niche film under the subhead Jewish comedy. Jonathan Pryce plays Nat Dayan, the aging proprietor of a London Kosher bakery that has been in his family more than 100 years. Nat’s son Stephen has become a lawyer and wants no part of the bakery business. Nat’s customers are either dying of old age or leaving. His apprentice (Andrew Ellis) has been lured away by an entrepreneur (Ian Hart) who is starting a rival super market. After a fruitless search, Nat decides to give young African Muslim Ayyash (Jerome Holder) a chance despite their difference in religion. Ayyash needs a “cover job” because his real occupation is dealing pot for a local mob boss.
One day when cops unexpectedly arrive, Ayyash ditches a bag of weed into the dough. The resulting Challah is a huge success, though no one knows why the bread makes them feel so good.
A humorous subplot is the tentative romance between Nat and the recently-widowed landlady Joanna (Pauline Collins), who is threatening to sell the building from under Nat.

“Dough” is a gentle, kinder comedy that shows with understanding, people of differing views can work together.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Time-Travel to 16th Century With Renaissance Festival


Quiet Waters Park Time-Travels to 16th Century for Renaissance Festival

By Skip Sheffield

I joust you not.
 But if it’s jousting you want to see, come to the 24th annual Florida Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. The Festival opens Saturday, Feb. 13 and continues for an unprecedented seven weekends through March 27.
For this year’s event, producer Bobby Rodriguez has chosen the theme “Renaissance Around the World.” As always there will a full complement of 100 16th century costumed performers on 12 stages featuring 20 acts from around the world, performing acts of dexterity, low and high comedy, juggling, minstrel music, sword fighting, horseback jousting, pirate high jinks and aerial acts.
The Renaissance Festival is the brainchild of Bobby Rodriguez, who is a working musician, bandleader and head of his own talent agency.
“This is my baby,” Rodriguez declares. “We have extended it to a seventh weekend for the first time this year. We used to have three weeks to set it all up, but this year we have to hustle and get it up in just two weeks.”
Rodriguez says he is bringing back by popular demand the rare, massive carillon instrument of bronze bells. As part of the Voyage to the Orient, there will be dragon boat races on the Quiet Waters Lake.
Favorite acts include “The Harper and the Minstrel,” “Trash or Treasure,” “The Kelly Irish Dancers,” “The Duelists,” magic with “Moonie the Magnificent,” “Buckle & Swash: The Cobblestone Characters” and “Caroline Williams Liberty Horse Act.”
Themed weekends are as follows.
“Swashbucklers & Sirens” Feb. 13-15.
“Vikings & Valkyries” Feb. 20-21.
“Fantasy and Adventure” Feb. 26-28.
“Voyage to the Orient” March 5-6.
“Kilts & Colleens” March 12-13.
“Time Travelers’ Weekend” March 19-20.
“Carnivale Masquerade” March 26-27.

Hours are 10 a.m. until sunset. Tickets are $21 adults and $9 children 6-11 years (under 5 free). Season passes are $75. Call 800-3-REN-FES or go to

Impressive Debut By Charles Gluck With "Unlikely Heroes"


“Unlikely Heroes” a Remarkable Debut Play

By Skip Sheffield

From out of nowhere comes playwright Charles Gluck mounting his first play in a full-fledged production continuing through Feb. 21 at the black box theater of Mizner Park Cultural Center.
Dr. Charles Gluck dreamed of a life in theater, but he deferred to his parents’ wishes and became a doctor specializing in gastroenterology. Now after retiring nearly 30 years into his practice he has gotten his wish. It is called “Unlikely Heroes” and it is a comedy-drama about a Jewish family beset by sibling rivalry, deceit, self-loathing and contempt. Did I mention it was a comedy? At first, yes.
Leo (Michael H. Small) is the blowhard older brother of David (Avi Hoffman) and head of a company that manufactures girls’ dance wear. Leo has a tendency to take on more than the company can produce and let his younger brother deal with it.
David had not been very successful in life before his brother took him in and gave him a second chance. David has an overbearing wife Mindy (Margot Moreland) and a simmering resentment of his domineering brother. The couple has a classic slacker of a son Bradley (Robert Johnston), who is 27 and spends his time in the basement playing video games.
Leo has a pretty wife Susan (Patti Gardner) who tries her best to be Susie Homemaker, but is terrified of growing old and childless.
The brothers have a younger sister Gail (Kim Ostrenko) who opted for a career rather than marriage and now wonders at age 50 if it was all worth it.
The play turns on a major revelation in Act Two which affect all family members and turns the comedy into a biting life-and-death drama.
“Unlikely Heroes” is a remarkable first effort by an unproved playwright. Director Avi Hoffman has cast some of the best actors South Florida has to offer. The standout is Michael H. Small as a caddish, deceitful egotist who is brought low by circumstance. Each character has his or her say-so. A revelation is Robert Johnson’s Bradley, who does not have much to say until his emotions explode.
“Unlikely Heroes” is performed briskly and tickets are just $35. Call 800-595-4849 or go to

Thursday, February 4, 2016

"The Choice" Another Nicholas Sparks Weeper


Weep Along With “The Choice”

By Skip Sheffield

Nicholas Sparks has become a wealthy man writing weepy romances. “The Letter” was the first to be adapted to the screen. “The Choice” is the latest, and it is a lot like those that preceded it.
Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) and Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker) are neighbors in a small coastal North Carolina community. Travis is a carefree boat captain and ladies’ man. Gabby is a serious medical student who is in a relationship. When she moves near Travis, he can’t help but noticed the fresh-faced young beauty.
According to the Nichols Sparks formula, the seemingly mismatched couple will fight attraction, then ultimately give in to it. Then something will happen to challenge the relationship.
“The Choice” is distinguished by beautiful coastal North Carolina vistas. The beautiful scenery almost over shadows the love story. As a bonus you have friendly dogs and cute, cuddly puppies.
Benjamin Walker is a likable true Southerner who fits comfortably into the role of confident boat captain. He is less confident as a young father faced with an extreme challenge.
Teresa Palmer is a naturally gorgeous Australian actress who brings an ethereal quality to her Gabby. It is hard not to root for her.

Many in the preview audience were moved to tears by “The Choice.” I am not so easily moved, but if you are looking for a good weeper, here you go.

"Hail Caesar" Imagine "Trumbo" as a Comedy


“Hail Caesar” is “Trumbo” as a Comedy

By Skip Sheffield

“Hail Caesar” is the Coen brothers comical answer to the ultra-serious “Trumbo.”
Set in the early 1950s, “Hail Caesar” is a story-within-a-story that spoofs Hollywood of the fading golden era.
The title refers to a sword and sandals epic that is really about the victory of Jesus Christ over the occupying Romans circa 33 A.D. George Clooney plays the larger-than-life star, Baird Whitlock. Baird plays a cruel Roman centurion who literally sees the light when Christ is crucified. That is if they can find Baird, who disappears from the set in mid-filming.
Cynical studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) figures Baird is off on another bender, but in fact Baird has been drugged and kidnapped and hauled off to a beautiful Malibu beach house where he meets members of “The Future.” It is a group of Hollywood screenwriters with Communist leanings, and they hope to indoctrinate Bird to their point of view. Oh, and they want $100,000 ransom.
“Hail Caesar” is a self-consciously aren’t-we-clever parody on 1950s Hollywood. Alden Ehrenreich plays drawling cowboy star Hobie Doyle who is drawn in over his head by effete director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) to be a romantic leading man. Scarlett Johansson is a hoot as an Esther Williams-style swimming actress who discovers she is pregnant and is have trouble fitting into her mermaid suit.
Tilda Swindon does her deadpan best as twin gossip columnists Thora and Thessaly Thacker, obviously modelled on Anna Landers and Abigail van Buren
The list goes on. There’s Channing Tatum as devious actor Burt Gurney; Jonah Hill as clueless accountant Joseph Silverman and Veronica Osorio as the Carmen Miranda-style Carlotta Valdez.
Though all the trials and tribulations is Eddie Mannix’ loyal secretary, Natalie (Heather Goldenhersh).

As someone who knows Hollywood history more than the average Joe, I got the jokes and laughed a lot at “Hail Caesar.” Someone without foreknowledge may be baffled. But everyone seems to be having fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Young, Female Rising Star on the Podium for Symphonia Boca Rton


Two Rising Stars in Concert for Boca Symphonia Feb. 4-7

By Skip Sheffield

For its February concerts, Symphonia Boca Raton has a rising star on the podium and another one at the keyboard.
Carolyn Kuan is young, Asian, and abundantly enthusiastic about exploring new boundaries of classical music. Alexandre Moutouzkine is the piano soloist. A child prodigy, Russian-born Moutouzkine won the St. Petersburgh International Piano Competition at age 14 and emigrated to the USA at age 19. He has since travelled the world and won countless awards.
The program, labelled “From Paris to Prague,” features works by American composer Aaron Copland (Music for the Theatre); French composers Francis Poulenc (Aubade, Concerto Choreographique) and Gabriel Faure (Ballad for Piano and Orchestra, op 19), and everybody’s favorite, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Symphony No. 38 “Prague”).
Carolyn Kuan was born in Taiwan and began playing piano at age 5. She left her family behind to come to America and attend high school here. She could barely speak English when she arrived, but she was a quick study; good enough to enter and graduate from Smith College. She earned her Master of Music diploma from the University of Illinois.
Kuan conducted the Chinese New Year concerts for the San Francisco Symphony from 2007-2012. In November 2011 she was appointed conductor of the Hartford Symphony. She was the first woman and the youngest ever at the post. She recently signed a six-year contract to stay on.
She conducted the entire 2014-2015 season of the Santa Fe Opera, innovating with Eastern and Western singers and instruments. She has conducted the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. She made her recording debut in 2012, conducting the New Zealand Symphony in works by various Chinese composers.
The Connoisseur Concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7 at Roberts Theatre at St. Andrew’s School, 3900 Jog Road, Boca Raton. A pre-concert conversation will take place from 2-2:30 p.m. for those who want to know more about the pieces beforehand.
Single tickets are $45-$75. Call 866-687-1201 or e-mail

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Reborning" in Delray Beach


The Artistic Challenge of “Reborning”

By Skip Sheffield

“Reborning” does not mean born again. The crux of Zayd Dohrn’s challenging, fascinating, disturbing psychological play is more about the power of creation, both human and artistic. “Reborning” continues through Feb. 14 at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach.
Kelly (Elizabeth Price) is a sculptor who has found she can make more money creating astoundingly natural-looking dolls.
Her boyfriend Daizy (Nicholas Wilder) is also a sculptor. He too has found a practical use for his talents. He creates male body parts for a sex toy company.
Kelly is so good at her art; she is approached by Emily (Deborah Kondelik), a wealthy older woman who wants her to create a doll in the image of her late daughter, who died at age 2.
Kelly dutifully creates the doll, which is just about perfect, but not quite in the eyes of perfectionist Emily. After a debate about how to recreate an image most convincingly (working from still photo or moving picture), Kelly agrees to try to further perfect the doll. She tells Emily to come back in a week.
Meanwhile Daizy, a laid-back, mild-mannered fellow, is caught in the crossfire. He just wants to have sex with Kelly, as they have not in a long time. Kelly has become so obsessive he has stopped eating and sleeping.
“Reborning” starts out as a comedy under Keith Garrison’s direction. Daizy makes dildoes, ha-ha. Emily is shocked, oops. Kelley is embarrassed. As the play progresses it gets darker and darker. Kelly was horribly abused and abandoned as an infant. She has ample scars as proof, including no fingerprints, but her psychic wounds are even deeper.
Emily is wounded too, and needy. The play simmers nicely into a blazing finale, all in 1 hour, 20 minutes, no intermission. “Reborning” is not for children or the faint of heart. I found it bracing and challenging in its ultimate questions, and beautifully acted all around.
Tickets are $30 general admission, $40 reserved seat and $45 premium. Call 561-450-6357 or go to