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Superlative the Word for McKeever Play

World Premiere of Daniel's Husband at Empire Stage


Roger Martin, ATCA

Photo credit:  Robert Figuera.<br>
LEFT: Antonio Amadeo, Laura Turnbull, Alex Alvarez. RIGHT: L-R:  Antonio Amadeo, Alex Alvarez, Larry Buzzeo, Kristian Bikic in Daniel's Husband.

Photographer:

Photo credit: Robert Figuera.
LEFT: Antonio Amadeo, Laura Turnbull, Alex Alvarez. RIGHT: L-R: Antonio Amadeo, Alex Alvarez, Larry Buzzeo, Kristian Bikic in Daniel's Husband.

Daniel's Husband is a world premiere for Michael McKeever. He has presented a piece that is worthy of the word "world." This play will travel and bring joy for a long time because he's managed the almost incredible act of making stage love real.

Two gay men live together for seven years. One wants to get married, the other doesn't. Simple plot, simple conflict? No. Daniel's Husband is built layer on layer, with characters so deeply defined that there's not a word nor a gesture wasted.

McKeever is known for his sense of fun, his witty dialogue, his sophistication. All that is present. and to it he has added a tenderness, an insight into heartbreak, that takes this piece to an emotional level seldom seen.

To call the cast excellent is not doing them justice. They have absorbed and believe in the script to the point where they just are. People living the drama. Open and unafraid.

Andy Rogow has seamlessly melded the extremes of Daniel's Husband and it is Alex Alvarez as happy, crème brulee cooking, well to do architect, Daniel; Antonio Amadeo as Mitchell, his seven year partner and a successful writer; Larry Buzzeo as Barry, Mitchell's agent who prefers his partners young and temporary; Kristian Bikic as Trip, home care giver and Barry's treat of the week, and Laura Turnbull as Lydia, Daniel's widowed mother drifting through a life of Red Hats and dogs who make this a play not soon forgotten.

Michael McKeever has written extraordinary monologues. I won't tell you the subjects. Daniel's Husband has secrets.

Island City Stage's production values are high. Michael McClain's artistic design for Daniel's home is just right, as are Peter A. Lovello's costumes, Preston Bircher's lights, and David Hart's sound.

Daniel's Husband is playing through June 28 at Empire Stage, 1140 North Flagler Drive, Ft. Lauderdale. 954-519-2533. islandcitystage.org

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