Master Class

April 5 – April 21, 2013
by Terrence McNally

I attended the matinee performance of “Master Class” presented by the Gulfshore Playhouse at the Daniels Pavilion of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. It was stunning.

The play itself was beautifully written by Terrence McNally. The acting was sensational, and the music was outstanding.

I have attended many theater performances, both here and in New York, and have rarely been as moved as I was by this production.

‘Master Class’ Great show
Dorothy Clarkson, Naples, NaplesNews.com

For the second time this season (the first time was “I Am My Own Wife”), Gulfshore Playhouse has brought us a tour-de-force performance. If you are interested in opera, Maria Callas, or acting you should get one of the remaining seats and see “Master Class.”

Talk about ending their season on a high note, Gulfshore Playhouse is doing just that with their spectacular production of “Master Class.” The Tony award-winning play takes place in an empty opera hall at Julliard where opera diva Maria Callas subjects her students to constructive criticism. She reminds everyone that singing is serious business. She doesn’t bite, she barks, however some of her students might disagree.

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A Masterful Play At Gulfshore
by Di Saggau, The River & Island Sun

Kristen Coury, Artistic Director of the Gulfshore Playhouse, has outdone herself once again. She is the person who brought us THE WHIPPING MAN, that total triumph I enthusiastically declared was the best play I had seen this season. Well, she’s outdone, even that one. (more…)

‘Master Class’ – An Absolute Must See
Theater Notes, by Sidney B. Simon

“My friends all said ‘This should be the easiest role you’ve ever done!'” Re laughed as she perched in a spindly office chair across a desk from me on the second floor of the Toni Stabile Education Building. The actress had just come out of rehearsal for the Gulfshore Playhouse production of “Master Class,” Terrance McNally’s play about an aging opera star who turns to the classroom after her career ends.

Naples Philharmonic and Gulfshore Playhouse team up for a play, “Master Class,” for most of April 2013 at The Phil.

The Whipping Man

March 15 – 30, 2013
by Matthew Lopez
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer

It clearly is my favorite. THE WHIPPING MAN, and it is dazzling audiences at the Gulfshore Playhouse. I insist that this be the one play this season you must see. Not just consider seeing it. You must see it. It is ALL that I believe great theater needs to be. read more

“THE WHIPPING MAN … is dazzling audiences”
Theater Notes, by Sidney B. Simon

The performances are all perfectly assured and convincing. Biko Eisen-Martin is a magnetic presence as John. Johnnie Hobbs Jr. is expressive and passionate as Simon. As Caleb, Cody Nickell, who has appeared here before, gives the strongest performance we have seen from him.
The set is a wonder, evocative and in its own way beautiful, a symbol of ruin. The lighting completes the picture.

For all its unusual premise and its central irony, “The Whipping Man” is a somewhat old-fashioned piece of stagecraft. There are portions of the play where the characters hardly move, performing their words like opera singers their arias. The action and the revelations are predictable. However, the play reminds us how an old-fashioned well-constructed play, expertly presented, can be powerful and moving.

‘The Whipping Man’ a powerful and moving production
By Citizen Contributor, NaplesNews.com

Don’t be put off by the fact that this show is about slaves, the Civil War, Jews, (black Jews no less!) or even an incredibly traumatic scene in the first half where Nickell’s character exposes a gangrenous leg. “The Whipping Man” delivers a stunning, captivating evening of theater that seizes you, holds you transfixed, rattles your brain and rearranges the way you look at the world.

Delivers extraordinary ‘Whipping Man’
By Chris Silk, NaplesNews.com

“Great plays ask great questions,” Pfeiffer said. “That’s our job in theatre, to change people’s lives.”
“The Whipping Man” does that. Thrills. Laughs. Jewish slaves and pressing questions about the future of America, delivered live on stage, direct from 1865.

Director Matt Pfeiffer believes that great plays must ask great questions. He also believes that “The Whipping Man,” which opens March 15 under his direction for Gulfshore Playhouse, lives up to that requisite.
Even a short description of the play by Matthew Lopez, which made its New York premier in 2011, intrigues: “It’s Passover in 1865. The Civil War has just ended, and the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes across the country. One of these homes, that of the DeLeon family in Virginia, sits in ruins. Confederate officer Caleb DeLeon has returned from the war to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining on the property. Caleb is badly wounded and the men, Simon and John, are forced to care for him.”

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Pfeiffer has directed “The Whipping Man.” The same year the play won the 2011 John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle, he directed it at the famed Arden Theatre in Philadelphia.

Passover meets emancipation in ‘Whipping Man’
By STEPHANIE DAVIS, Forida Weekly

The Importance of Being Earnest

February 15 – March 3, 2013
by Oscar Wilde

I Am My Own Wife

January 18 – February 3, 2013
The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-Winning play by Doug Wright
Directed by Kristen Coury

“Wife” offers Neapolitan audiences a brilliant piece of theater that they rarely get the chance to see. Vapid musicals, Neil Simon comedies and throwaway farces might entertain, but they fail to feed the mind. “I Am My Own Wife” marries smart direction, a a bravura performance and top-notch creative work to ensure a spellbinding night of theater.

Engaged to a hit ‘I Am My Own Wife’
by Chris Silk, NaplesNews.com

God of Carnage

October 20 – November 18, 2012
by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Cody Nickell

‘God of Carnage’ explores couples on verge of insanity. “God of Carnage” offers a hilarious and horribly real portrait of just how awful supposedly nice people can behave. But most of us knew that – it is just far more entertaining to watch Laura Faye Smith rip the heads off tulips in a screaming frenzy than deal with the crazies in our own lives. Give “God of Carnage” 90 minutes of your time – you won’t regret it.

Fabulous, funny ‘God of Carnage’
by Chris Silk, NaplesNews.com

A pinch of Oscar Wilde. Two dashes of Yasmina Reza. Generous portions of Tony Award winners. Four of them. Six plays in all. That, very quickly, is the menu for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Open the season with two by Yasmina Reza
BY GLENN MILLER Florida Weekly Correspondent

Gulfshore Playhouse actors, directors ready for ‘Reza in Rep’ adventure
The totally true story of how Gulfshore Playhouse will produce two completely different plays – with the same actors – on the same stage – less than four hours apart – on Saturdays this fall

Ready for ‘Reza in Rep’ adventure
by Chris Silk, NaplesNews.com

I mentioned our friend Patty Baker who, along with her husband, Jay, have been a force when it comes to the entertainment field, producing award-winning Broadway shows, as well as being instrumental in the growth of The Naples Players at the Sugden Community Theatre. And, for the last almost eight years, Bob and I have been intensely involved in Gulfshore Playhouse – one of Naples’ first and finest professional theater companies.

Patty and Jay Baker sponsor Reza in Rep
By Linda Harden, Naples Illustrated

Art

October 20 – November 18, 2012
by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Kristen Coury

The current offering at Gulfshore Playhouse is a theatrical event that you won’t soon forget. If you consider yourself a theatre lover on any level, then do not wait another moment to see ‘Art’. You will witness a master class in solid and sure-footed direction, and an award worthy performance by Scott Greer that needs to be seen to be believed. The real star of this one-act gem is the amazing performance by Scott Greer as the put-upon, peace making, guy next-door Yvan. I’m not sure that I have seen a performance in recent years that was so funny and yet so moving.

Gulfshore Playhouse Creates a True work of ART
by Justin Cowan, BroadwayWorld.com

“Art” makes you laugh. “Art” makes you question what – and how – you think. “Art” takes white lines on white pigment on white canvas and paints an entire world of angry words, hurt feelings, bitter recriminations and fractured friendships. Then, it heals them. “Art” the play, much like “art” the medium, can transform the soul.

A pinch of Oscar Wilde. Two dashes of Yasmina Reza. Generous portions of Tony Award winners. Four of them. Six plays in all. That, very quickly, is the menu for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Open the season with two by Yasmina Reza
BY GLENN MILLER Florida Weekly Correspondent

Gulfshore Playhouse actors, directors ready for ‘Reza in Rep’ adventure
The totally true story of how Gulfshore Playhouse will produce two completely different plays – with the same actors – on the same stage – less than four hours apart – on Saturdays this fall

Ready for ‘Reza in Rep’ adventure
by Chris Silk, NaplesNews.com

I mentioned our friend Patty Baker who, along with her husband, Jay, have been a force when it comes to the entertainment field, producing award-winning Broadway shows, as well as being instrumental in the growth of The Naples Players at the Sugden Community Theatre. And, for the last almost eight years, Bob and I have been intensely involved in Gulfshore Playhouse – one of Naples’ first and finest professional theater companies.

Patty and Jay Baker sponsor Reza in Rep
By Linda Harden, Naples Illustrated

Gulfshore Playhouse Press

Gulfshore Playhouse, which wants to expand the theater at Naples’ Norris Center; and Casey Weston, former finalist on “The Voice.”

As the theater’s seventh season approaches, the future looks brilliant. On May 14, the Naples City Council gave approval to Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury (left) to begin discussions with the City of Naples regarding the expansion of the Norris Center to be a bigger and better home. The center’s auditorium now accommodates just about 200 people. Coury wants to increase the number to 300 or 350. With the Council’s approval, talks can begin-and we are thrilled.

BROADWAY VIA NAPLES
By Linda Harden