Island City Stage Prepares Michael McKeever’s Latest

“Daniel’s Husband” reading is perfect and timely

Michael McKeever
By Ron Levitt

Usually, a “reading” of a play is done prior to its full production so the author/playwright can make adjustments, tweak the plot and update the dialog.

Michael McKeever’s latest work – “Daniel’s Husband” – is an exception. It had a reading the other night at the Jan McArt’s New Playreading Series at Lynn University - but was so perfect in every aspect, it
needed not a single word changed or plot tweaked for it to open at Island City Stage in Fort Lauderdale on May 28.

I advised McKeever (although he did not ask me for advice), “Don’t change a word.”

My prediction is that this play will be produced all over America – in fact, worldwide – and, even though it is early in 2015 (and the Carbonell Awards for theatrical excellence for 2014 won’t be voted upon until Saturday), this play will be the frontrunner for “best new work” (possibly “best production”) of 2015. In addition,I will go out on a limb only two weeks into 2015, that Antonio Amadeo, will be considered for best actor and Alex Alvarez and Barbara Bradshaw for “best” in supporting roles. In fact, the rest of the cast – veteran actor Larry Buzzeo as a writer’s agent and newcomer Kristan Bikic as a health care worker are superb.

“Daniel’s Husband” is the story of two men who have been together seven years - Mitchell (Amadeo), who does not believe in gay marriage (in fact, any kind of marriage), and his partner Daniel (Alvarez), who does. The play explores the consequences of their points of view.

It does so in such a manner that the audience is moved to tears. Several members of the audience could be seen crying in the waning moments of the play. It is that emotionally charged.

Andy Rogow, Artistic Director of Island City Stage, deserves a lot of the credit for dramatically moving this work, while fitting in the comic relief. It is theatre at its best!

Ron Levitt, a freelance writer, is a former United Press Staff Correspondent and chairman of a public relations firm. He served as Florida’s Assistant Secretary of State. He currently is president of the South Florida International Press Club and secretary of the Society of Professional Journalists (South Florida chapter). He is a theatre critic and a Carbonell voter, Vice President of the Theatre League of South Florida and serves on the Board of WLRN Public radio/TV in Miami and on the Executive Committee of the University of Miami Citizens Board.

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