Insider Comedy for the Masses

Terrence McNally’s backstage farce is filled with humor that can be appreciated by everyone from seasoned theatregoers to dramaturgical neophytes.



Michael McKeever and Joe Ferrarelli in IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrence McNally

It’s Only A Play, Terrence McNally’s 1982 backstage farce about the opening-night party for a play that gets roasted by the critics, was given a new lease on commercial life by a Jack O’Brien-directed 2014 Broadway revival that starred Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham. Now Florida’s GableStage, whose intimate 150-seat theater is in Coral Gable’ Biltmore Hotel, is presenting a production of the same play that doesn’t have any stars but is fully as funny.

While the effectiveness of this production is partly due to the quality of Mr. McNally’s one-liners, it has at least as much to do with Joseph Adler’s direction. GableStage performs in a wide, shallow space that is hard to use effectively, but Mr. Adler knows its quirks and makes the most of them, and the modes size of the house (there are only six rows of seats) makes you feel as though you’re a guest at the party. The seven members of the cast act broadly but without exaggeration, as befits the close quarters, and you laugh at them even harder  because they’re so believable. Michael McKeever, for instance, plays the role assumed by Mr. Lane on Broadway, a stage actor turned sitcom star who can’t decide whether to hate or love himself, and his neat, dapper malevolence is as right in its own way as was Mr. Lane’s play-to-the-top-balcony flamboyance.

Mr. McNally updated the period references in It’s Only a Play for the Broadway revival, and he’s added a few new inside-baseball touches since then (yes, there’s a Hamilton bit). Fortunately, you don’t have to know who Daryl Roth or Scott Rudin are in order to get most of his jokes, and there are more than enough to go around.


The Hilarious Comedy IT’S ONLY A PLAY comes to the Gables!


Wesley Slade, Christopher Chisholm, Amy McKenna, Antonio Amadeo, Lourelene Snedeker, Michael McKeever, and Joe Ferrarelli star in IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrence McNally. Photo by George Schiavone.

What happens behind the scenes on an Opening Night in theatre? Well, come see IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrence McNally to find out!

Christine Dolen, Miami Herald & Artburst Miami

“A SOLIDLY ENTERTAINING COMEDY! A first-rate production by pros at the top of their game! Glorious performances burnished by Adler’s masterful direction! McNally’s collection of artists and narcissists is brought to vibrant, grandly funny life!” Read full review here.

Bill Hirschman, Florida Theater On Stage

“FUNNIER AND FAR MORE HEART THAN THE BROADWAY EDITION! Beneath the considerable humor, this comedy remains a paean to the glorious narcissistic and divine misfits who populate theater!” Read full review here.

Roger Martin, Miami Art Zine

“HILARIOUS! Ensemble acting at its best!” Read full review here.


Michael McKeever, Joe Ferrarelli, Wesley Slade, Lourelene Snedeker, and Amy McKenna in IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrence McNally. Photo by George Schiavone.

The show is on NOW thru Feb 23rd with performance Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm & 7pm. Get your tickets NOW!

Miami New Times’ John Thomason speaks with the Cast and Director, FIND OUT MORE BEHIND THE SCENE TIDBITS HERE!


CONSTELLATIONS is a multi-verse masterpiece!


Katherine & Antonio Amadeo star in Constellations by Nick Payne. Running NOW thru Dec 21.

The reviews are out! Make sure you take a moment to read them and then come see the show!

“INTRIGUING! CHALLENGING! Katherine Amadeo and Antonio Amadeo give richly varied, beautifully shaded performances! Not the usual linear drama…but for audiences willing to traverse its multiverse, it’s rewarding!”-Christine Dolen, Miami Herald Find the full review here!

“A JOY TO WATCH! The most wily, beguiling, life-affirming piece of theater GableStage has produced in years! It goes by in a blip but leaves you with a stimulated brain and a heavy, possibly aching heart!”-John Thomason, Miami New Times Find the full review here!

 “ENTHRALLING! An outstanding achievement in playwriting, direction and some of the most skilled acting you may see this season! It reaffirms GableStage’s commitment to the deal inherent in great theater: The audience can only get the most from a piece of art when it is willing to participate, invest its heart and mind in the journey. But the rewards are great!”-Bill Hirschman, Florida Theater On Stage Find the full review here!


Katherine & Antonio Amadeo in CONTELLATIONS by Nick Payne.

Find out some behind the scenes details from Miami Herald’s, Christine Dolen, HERE!


GableStage takes MDC Public Schools by storm!


JC Pix 1 - credits (s)

A tightly edited contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has been performing at Miami-Dade County Public Schools for the past month. This production is under the direction of FIU Associate Professor, Phillip Church, and features 7 dynamic actors, all FIU Theatre Alumni. It is produced in collaboration with WhatIfWorks, Inc. Complete with multi-media video and imagery, it has lifted Shakespeare’s language off the page and into the lasting memory of every student who has attended. By the end of the tour, we will have reached thousands of students from 15 schools and performed the production 26 times!

View a photo slideshow below. Photos courtesy of Anton Church.


Amanda Ortega as Cassia at DASH


Lucas Hood as Marc Antony, Gabriel Bonilla as Octavius at DASH


The cast taking a bow at Coral Park Senior High


Coral Park Senior High

A FREE community performance will be held at the Downtown Library Branch on Saturday, November 21st at 11am. It is located at 101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130. It is accessible by Metrorail at the Government Center stop. All are welcome. No reservation required.

An additional performance will be held at GableStage on Sunday, November 22nd at 7pmReservations CLOSED! SOLD OUT!

JC Pix 4 - credits (s)

This year’s Educational Programming is generously supported by Shakespeare in American Communities, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Peacock Foundation, Inc. and the many GableStage supporters and sponsors listed on our Sponsor page.


Joe Adler celebrates his Birthday…which is unlike him!

JSD - Joe Sky Dive

Joseph Adler, Producing Artistic Director at GableStage, takes his adventurous spirit from the theatre to the skies!


“I don’t usually acknowledge birthdays–but a few days ago I decided to commemorate the day by jumping from a perfectly good plane at 10,000 feet–with the added handicap of an almost perfect stranger strapped to my back! One more off the bucket list!

Above is an image from my Leap of Faith–not easy for an avowed Atheist!”


What’s on your bucket list?


DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar gets rave reviews at GableStage



The reviews are in for Ayad Akhtar’s PULITZER PRIZE winning play, DISGRACED. Take a look, come see the show and let us know what you think!

THE MIAMI HERALD, Connie OgleRead Full Review Here

“A TERRIFIC CAST AND IMPECCABLE TIMING! This sleek, swiftly paced, topical work moves nimbly from drama to occasional comedy and back again! Riveting and incisive, inciting laughter and gasps in equal measure!”

MIAMI NEW TIMES, Chuck StrouseRead the Full Review Here

“TIMELY AND POWERFUL! Fast-paced, smart, keeps you constantly thinking!”

FLORIDA THEATRE ONSTAGE, Bill HirschmanRead the Full Review Here

“THOUGHT-PROVOKING DRAMA that forces you to re-validate, even reexamine your perception of the tumult around us! A beautifully executed and bracing production!”


Want a little more info on the show?

Check out Miami New Times preview article by John Thomason here.



FUNNY and FOUL-MOUTHED, Sue Mengers comes to life on stage!


Laura Turnbull as Hollywood super-agent, Sue Mengers, in I’LL EAT YOU LAST by John Logan


FUNNY, FOUL-MOUTHED AND INSIGHTFUL! Carbonell-winning director Michael Leeds has helped Carbonell-winning actress Laura Turnbull achieve a beautifully shaded performance, biting yet warm, casually commanding!” –Christine Dolen, Miami Herald

Read the full review here.

THE WITTICISMS AND BARBS FLOW smoothly like sparkling champagne, although laced with every obscenity, anatomical and sexual reference you have ever heard, in ingenious combinations! Brought to life by the exquisite Laura Turnbull under Michael Leeds’ deft direction.” -Bill Hirschman,

Read the full review here.


Read the full review here.



What’s Sue saying? Attend the show and find out!

Need to know more about Sue Mengers and the process of putting up a one-woman comedy extravaganza? The Miami New Times’ John Thomason wrote an excellent preview article on the production. Read about it here.

The production continues through Aug 30th with performances Thurs-Sun. Tickets are available online, by calling the GableStage Box Office at 305-445-1119, or by calling Ovationtix at 1-866-811-4111.


Pulitzer Prize Winner, DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar, closes the 2014-2015 Season

Pulitzer Prize Winning Play

DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar

will close the 2014-2015 Season

October 3-November 1.


Our exciting 18th Season opens with Nick Payne’s CONSTELLATIONS, Nov 21-Dec 20, and was described by the NY TImes as “SEXY! May be the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen!” The 2015-2016 Season will also include IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrance McNally running from Mar 26-Apr 24, 2016.  Four additional plays are currently in negotiation.

Subscriptions are now on sale and can be purchased online or by calling the GableStage Box Office at 305-445-1119.

Renewal Subscriptions $250

New Subscriptions $275

NOTE: Renewal Subscriptions, if purchased prior to July 15th, include an additional ticket to bring a guest to the theatre or attend a show multiple times. 7 total tickets for the season! This is a savings of $188!

Subscribers receive preferred seating, easy exchange and cancellation with 24 hrs notice, no additional fees, flexible ticketing, $5 off additional ticket purchases, and discounts on special events.

Single Ticket Prices for the 2015-2016 Season:

Thurs & Fri at 8pm $45.00

Sat at 8pm $60.00

Sun at 2pm $55.00

Sun at 7pm $45.00

Per Ticket Convenience Charge $3.00

*Prices and Dates are subject to change


Welcome to the World of Self-Made Women


Cliff Burgess as Gloria, Roland Rusinek as Bessie, Wayne LeGette as George/Valentina, Kevin Reilley as Charlotte, Howard Elfman as Terry, Peter Galman as The Judge/Amy

Featured Reviews from Harvey Fierstein’s CASA VALENTINA:

A SUBLIME THEATER EXPERIENCE! The powerful cast have found and illuminated all the sweet (and tender and tough) spots in Fierstein’s script! The play is a passport into a secret corner of life and history, one that’s all the more fascinating because of its real-life roots!” -Christine Dolen, Miami Herald

Read the full review here.

THOUGHT-PROVOKING! The generous humor and rending tragedy are all beautifully excavated! Stays with you hours after the house lights return and on into the next morning! The play takes us not just into a world most of us are not familiar with, but into questions of recognizing and accepting who we are, questions anyone can identify with!”-Bill Hirschman, Florida Theater On Stage

Read the full review here.

MUST-SEE for those interested in theatre which makes one think! One of the most thought-provoking plays to hit the boards locally in years! Two hours of enjoyment!” -Ron Levitt, Florida Media News

Read the full review here.

The play runs thru June 28 at GableStage and is 2 hours including a 15 minute intermission. Tickets range $40-$55. $15 Student Tickets and Group Rates Available.


Faith and Philosophy Face Off


Pictured L to R: Hannah Benitez, Javier Del Riego, Stephen G. Anthony, Abdiel Vivancos, Larry Bramble, Gregg Weiner, Natalia Coego

*Excerpt from Miami New Times review by John Thomason:

“Ives seems to suggest Spinoza was to philosophy what Mozart was to music – a brilliant, youthful disrupter. And he’s given the philosopher dialogue that’s so unabashedly lyrical that if it came from anyone else, it would seem purple and pompous. But it rolls of Vivancos’ tongue with ease, beauty, sly humor, and the confidence of someone who knows he’s right.”

“The format of New Jerusalem is similar to that of a modern courtroom drams (albeit one in which the verdict is pretty much rigged). Director Joseph Adler paces the action accordingly and invisibly – points and counterpoints fly with the rat-a-tat-tat excitement of a machine gun. Adler’s direction is breathless but easy to follow…”

New Jerusalem is about reason, faith, and intolerance, but it is most profoundly about how persuasive arguments can enlighten minds. Isn’t that what we look for in any great play?

Read the full review here.


*Excerpt from The Miami Herald review by Christine Dolen:

“David Ives’ New Jerusalem is set in 1656, and it’s about the herem of excommunication, of philosopher Baruch de Spinoza from Amsterdam’s Talmud Torah congregation. But as director Joseph Adler’s new production at GableStage demonstrates, the 2008 Off-Broadway play is no stuffy historical drama.

“What makes New Jerusalem worth watching, even for those who know little about the rationalist many consider the most relevant 17th century philosopher, are the company’s largely powerful performances and the play’s many resonant human moments. Those would include betrayal by a friend, the hopelessness of a forbidden love, understanding twisted into vengeance.”

Vivancos is a fascinating Spinoza, a questing and gentle spirit who finds God in places his accusers would never consider. His delight in following the exploratory trails of his ideas shows as radiance on his face. yet when faced with banishment from family and community, from all that he has known, he’s strong and stoic.”

Read the full review here.


*Excerpt from review by Bill Hirschman:

“Vivancos, former Miamian who appeared in GableStage’s Masked, creates a fascinatingly flawed protagonist. His Spinoza exudes a likable charisma and a blithe self-destructiveness pursuing what he knows his community will consider heresy. Holy energy and passion virtually shine from Vivancos.”

“But the strongest work of the evening comes from Bramble who has made a modest reputation playing classic Jewish seniors at Broward Stage Door. Finally given a meaty role as well as a fine director, Bramble delivers a powerful presence as Spinoza’s only intellectual equal. A stern rectitude emanates from Bramble’s rabbi but we later see his deep affection for his prize pupil. The final scenes in which Mortera must knowingly abrogate his intellectual integrity for the good of the community is an enviable piece of acting.”

Read the full review here.



Abdiel Vivancos as Baruch de Spinoza



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