Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Channeling Kevin Spacey
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Deniro and Wolf Productions present the world premiere of Channeling Kevin Spacey. The eighty minute, one act play features a script by Cory Terry and Elan Wolf Farbiarz, who is also the director and co-producer of the show.
Channeling Kevin Spacey is the story of a good-hearted, downtrodden man named Charlie. Charlie is taken for granted by his stripper, live-in girlfriend and abused and underpaid by his boss. He struggles under the weight of both a dead end job and a dead end relationship. The highlight of his day is his morning visit to a bagel shop run by an employee he has had a crush on for four years.
One day, while enjoying his meager indulgence in alone time with a Netflix video, he realizes that he has been living his life like many of the secondary movie characters played by Kevin Spacey. Tired of having people walk all over him, he decides to instead act like the kind of tough guys played by actor Al Pacino. He spends the next twenty-four hours taking back his manhood at the cost of his job and girlfriend. In the end he realizes that to get what he wants maybe all he needs to do is act like himself ... just maybe.
This production uses a minimalist set of four chairs, a bar and a bed, with some projections on an overhead screen to help out. Scott Douglas Wilson as Charlie pours out his woes to the audience as two actors, Arick Fudali and Monica Mercedes Garcia, play the many characters in his everyday life. The lighting design/execution is not helpful, as it seems Wilson's acting choices are dictated by the immovable spotlights. If it is meant to be comedic that he must adjust his actions by moving into the light, then it is not made clear. The focus of the lights also makes it hard to see Wilson's eyes, and in a piece with a lot of monologues delivered straight out, the audience needs to see the actors' eyes to get what he is going through and to empathize.
Fudali and Garcia do an admirable job transitioning quickly from character to character, and coming up with distinct physical and vocal differences for each one. Farbiarz is at his best when portraying the Al Pacino version of Charlie, as those are his funniest moments. Unfortunately, it is those moments in which the script is stretched to it's thinnestbecoming merely a ploy to allow him to say every possible Al Pacino movie quote. A fresh eye is needed in the direction of this show. Farbiarz slips in letting the audience reaction show on his face a couple of times, when we are in fact not really there. He also is frequently self-indicating in his acting. That final release of control would free him to inhabit the character rather than just pretend to be the character in a style that approaches children's theatre. This play feels like a nicely done college acting project, not truly worthy of presentation at a venue such as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
Channeling Kevin Spacey appeared October 29th and 30th, 2010 in the Amaturo Theater of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Presentations at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support is also contributed by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment Consortium is a cultural partnership between the Performing Arts Center Authority, Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Florida Grand Opera., Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and The Historic Stranahan House Museum. It is supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Visitors Bureau. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts houses the Au-Rene Theater, the Amaturo Theatre, and the Abdo New River Room, and has affiliated venues at the Parker Playhouse, the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, the Miramar Cultural Center and the newly opened Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. For any of the offerings of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts you may contact them by phone at 954-462-0222 or online at www.browardcenter.org.