‘Pulp,’ ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ & ‘Hamilton’ - Theater ‘Seen’

"Pulp" at Island City Stage. Photo via Facebook.

Patricia Kane’s “Pulp” is both an homage to and a parody of film noir, lesbian pulp novel, and tough-dame movies.

She captures the genre perfectly and 1950s period score, by Amy Warren and Andre Pluess with lyrics Kane, only adds to the campiness of the evening. “Pulp” takes place at The Well, a teeming-with-sex women’s bar. Vivian is the glamorous owner of The Well, Bing is the resident sexpot and Winchester and Pepper are two other bar employees into this world steps Terry, a plain-speaking butch lesbian. 

I saw the world premiere of this play in Chicago nearly 20 years ago, and it was a bit rough around the edges. The Island City production, with Nicole Stoddard’s fine directing, gives it the polish it deserves. Alyiece Moretto’s wonderful set makes the best use of the space, giving us a believable underground bar setting. Ardean Landhuis’ lighting adds to the comic “revelations,” but we could have used some more classic film noir lighting techniques. 

The cast is spectacular across the board, although I never for a moment believed that Valeria Di Babbo ever saw a Barbara Stanwyck movie. I didn’t expect her to imitate Stanwyck, but to at least deliver her lines in a reasonable facsimile of her style (it’s part of the joke in the script, after all). But that is a minor quibble, when everything else (including the rest of Di Babbo’s performance) is sheer perfection. The show runs 95 minutes without intermission. I wanted more! 

Island City Stage
Through May 5

“Mrs. Doubtfire”
Broadway Fort Lauderdale
Broward Center

Like the movie version, the stage musical “Mrs. Doubtfire” is a star vehicle. In the movie it was the late Robin Williams, on stage, it is Rob McClure, and while his name may not have the same star wattage as Williams, his talent glows just as bright. He starred in the ill-fated Broadway production, which opened just before the COVID pandemic, and then re-opened when folks were still too leery to return to the theater. However, I doubt this show would have run much longer than it did, for other than McClure, it has little going for it. The book is a faithful reworking of the movie plot, keeping all the memorable bits, but there is little that’s memorable on its own. The score is forgettable, and the lyrics, while serviceable, aren’t anything that will keep your interest.

However, that doesn’t stop the show and the cast from keeping everyone entertained. The show moves at an amazing clip, almost cinematically, and the talented cast gives it all, especially the trio of kids. The role of Daniel’s gay brother and husband are stereotypes that I’d hoped we’d moved past by this time. The show is updated with topical references, but its attitude still feels as if it's set in the early 1990s.

Kravis on Broadway
Kravis Center

If there was any doubt as to whether “Hamilton,” written by and starring Lin Manuel-Miranda on Broadway was a star vehicle (three Tony Awards for performers) it was answered on opening night at the Kravis with a resounding, “NO!” “Hamilton” is an ensemble piece and every member of the touring production of “Hamilton” delivered a Broadway-caliber performance in a show that was as fine-tuned as a show just a few weeks into its run. This show is tight! Each actor was laser-focused and gave a stellar performance. Sure, there were a couple of times where words could have been better enunciated, but you try singing Miranda’s score and not tripping over a lyric or two (the group behind us did the entire show, and far from being annoying, it was endearing). One of the best shows I’ve seen in South Florida. Ever. Period.


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Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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