God’s honest truth, “The Liar” is one of the best productions you’ll see all season.
A lighthearted frolic, it’s fun, entertaining and silly, yet devilishly clever, too.
By NANCY STETSON. Florida Weekly
APR 4-26, 2015
by David Ives, directed by Cody Nickell
based on the play by Pierre Corneille
Let’s dispense with the finery, for you’ll notice it first (and be talking of it long after!). John Keabler (Doronte) stalks the stage in knee-high black leather boots, orange tights and a yellow mesh top; he blows kisses to the ladies in the front row from a blue brocade jacket with puffed sleeves of zippers, so book your seats now!
Take one of the wittiest, down right hilarious plays of The Season, mix it with a dazzling ensemble of eight Equity players, with brilliant directing by Cody Nickell, production values of the highest quality, and you get a genuine thrilling hit. Kudos to everyone at Gulfshore Playhouse. It’s well worth the drive down to Naples.
The play is “The Liar,” by the award winner, David Ives, and adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille. Oh, and comedy it is. How the heck Ives ever pulled it off, and in verse, too boot, has to be a sign of genius. (more…)
“We all have lied, we’ve all been lied to, we’ve all told the truth, we’ve all gotten into trouble because of telling the truth,” says Cody Nickell, director of the Gulfshore Playhouse production that runs April 4-26 at The Norris Center in Naples.
“We’ve all fallen in love, we’ve all wanted to be in love,” he adds. “The ideas in this play are universal.”
FEB 28 – MAR 22, 2015
by Gwydion Suilebhan, directed by Kristen Coury
Gulfshore Playhouse has given us a rare opportunity to see an important new work here in Naples. “The Butcher,” a world premiere of a play by Gwydion Suilebhan (pronounced Sullivan), is intense, provocative and remarkably polished and well-constructed.
The play addresses issues of religion, belief, fanaticism, tolerance, assimilation, prejudice, gender roles, American culture and more – without contrivance or polemics, and through relatable human interactions.
“The Butcher” is like nothing else I’ve seen on Southwest Florida stages. It’s entertaining and smart, sure, but it also has the potential to change the way we think about religion and the seemingly insurmountable cultural divide.
As it turns out, art (or theater) can change the world. It just takes people to start the conversations. Gwydion Suliebhan’s world premiere play “The Butcher,” … is proof of that.
Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples has given us a powerful, riveting, drama, that all serious theater lovers must go see. The play is “The Butcher.” It is a world premiere of a play that is so good, I suspect it will be picked up by every major regional theater company in the country, much like “Clybourne Park,” another brave play tackling highly dangerous topics was.
Kristen Coury, the Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse directed “The Butcher.” I have raved about her work in the past, but this serious, brave play may well be her outstanding triumph, so far. She has cast it exquisitely with the help of Michael Cassara, CSA , her casting director in his sixth year with Gulfshore Playhouse. The five Equity Actors dig deep into their roles and deliver us a brilliant ensemble performance. They just couldn’t have been better, and the stage lights up with what they force us to look at. (more…)
JAN 17 – FEB 8, 2015
by Christopher Durang, directed by Kristen Coury
“Vanya and Sonia…” speaks to some universal truths and is along the way funny, fast, entertaining and witty, and this is a top-notch production, up to the high standards that Gulfshore Playhouse has set for itself.
Russian literature never looked so good! Russians are funny. Who knew? Apparently Kristen Coury did, as evidenced by Gulfshore Playhouse’s oftentimes hysterical production of Christopher Durang play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Grab the vodka (and a ticket), because crowds will be lining up before it closes Feb. 8.
I like good movies, but I love good plays even more And one of the finest plays I have seen all season is right now at The Gulfshore Playhouse down in Naples. “Vanya, and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang.
What is that extra something that a play can give that a film can’t? For me, It’s the intimacy, the bigger than life happening that fills the theater, and that is something just fifty feet away from where you are sitting. Perhaps the fact that the mirror held up for you to look at is so present, the scene doesn’t go away and in an enthralling way, you are trapped to deal with it.
DEC 6-21, 2014
by Tom Mula, directed by Kristen Coury
A drive down to Naples and The Gulfshore Playhouse will bring you the most amazing and unique theater experience of the season. It is a production of the one-man version of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.”
That one man is no ordinary one man. He is Cody Nickell, and this “Christmas Carol by the playwright Tom Mula, is certainly not your conventional “Christmas Carol.” I gave it a rave review last year at it’s premier and this year and the brilliant director, Kristen Coury has made it even better. She calls it version 2.0. The audience that leaped up to a resounding standing ovation, including me, would certainly agree. Add this play to your holiday favorites list.
You’d have to be a mean old Grinch indeed to rain on Cody Nickell’s farewell parade, happening through Dec. 21 at the Norris Center in downtown Naples. Gulfshore Playhouse’s artistic associate pours his heart and soul into “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” a magical, comical retelling of an old favorite that’s never seemed so lively.
“Marley” invades “A Christmas Carol” from the viewpoint of Jacob Marley. He appears in Charles Dickens’ story as a ghost, warning Ebenezer Scrooge to repent. Now? Our Marley’s a lost soul bent on redemption and full of “spirited” ideas. Check out his swanky gold frock coat and dozens of delightful voices.
OCT 4-19, 2014
by Katori Hall, directed by Cody Nickell
Together, Nickell and his actors create some intense, profound moments in “The Mountaintop,” and they give King’s final night all the power and drama it deserves.
Hall’s play…[is] endlessly fascinating and has one of the most resonant endings I’ve seen.
There are no reservations about the performances. Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King and Felicia Curry as Camae are superb. Mangan’s rolling basso tones and vocal cadences evoke the great orator. Ms. Curry has an even showier role and she makes the most of it – preening, flirty, profane, prophetic, warm. She is a gem.
Once again, the set designers work miracles on the small stage at the Norris Center. There were some inexplicable lighting effects here and there, but overall the look of the piece is just right.
Jamil Mangan isn’t portraying just anybody in Gulfshore Playhouse’s new play, “The Mountaintop.” He’s portraying an American legend – none other than civil-rights demigod Martin Luther King Jr.
Mangan is well aware of the expectations that come with playing such an iconic figure. Everybody know what King looked like and what he sounded like – especially the way he sounded when delivering speeches like the one that doubles as the play’s title.
So the pressure was on to get those details right.
SEPT 4-7, 2014
Rust On Bone by Bianca Sams
Harlowe by Jennifer Lane
Doublewide by Stephen Spotswood
Shepherd’s Bush by Scott C. Sickles
Plays are meant to be watched, not read. That’s why Kristen Coury loves her annual New Works Festival: It’s a chance to see a play finally come alive onstage – actors, audience and all.
“Actors get inside these characters for the first time,” says Coury, founder and producing artistic director for Gulfshore Playhouse in downtown Naples. “You get to see how they work onstage. It’s so vital to the process.
Passion. For life. For love. For theater.
It’s why they write. It’s probably why they exist – to propel new pieces of literature onto stages and in front of audiences.
“Dead people can’t get all the glory,” playwright and scriptwriter Scott Sickles said. Sickles gets his shot at glory next week. His play “Shepherd’s Bush,” along with three more never-produced works, goes before audiences during Gulfshore Playhouse’s second annual New Works Festival.