Let's play a word association game: If I say "Mister Man," what image comes to mind? How about "hobbling?" "Dirty birdie?" For much of the moviegoing public, these associations end at the 1990 film adaptation of Stephen King's thriller Misery, with Kathy Bates' deranged nurse and "number-one fan" Annie Wilkes looming over James Caan as her bedbound prisoner, romance author Paul Sheldon.
Michael Ogborn's new musical Tulipomania, commissioned by the Arden Theatre, has been through six years of development, several scripts, plus the addition and eventual subtraction of playwright Michael Hollinger (Opus Ghost-Writer). Its story, pegged to the 17th-century Dutch tulip craze, remains a topical match for any number of parallels: subprime mortgage crisis, real estate bubble, Facebook IPO.
South Camden Theatre Company concludes its season — dedicated entirely to Tennessee Williams’ centenary — with his 1961 play The Night of the Iguana. It’s a fine capper; what’s a better send-off than a sultry south-of-the-border evening filled with sex, liquor, and a nervous breakdown or two? When John Huston filmed the drama in 1964, the offscreen shenanigans of its stars — Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr among them — earned Puerto Vallarta a reputation as el centro de amor long before the Love Boat ever docked there. The story at its core is equally lusty, if more tragic, but Williams doles out pathos and humor as liberally as widowed hotelier Maxine (Nicole DeRosa Kukaitis) dispenses complimentary rum-cocos to favored guests. Consider this bit of stage direction regarding one of Maxine’s native boy toys: “Pancho … reappears, sucking a juicy peeled mango — its juice running down his chin onto his throat.”