BWW Review: NATIVE GARDENS at Gulfshore Playhouse is Full of Flowers and Fun
NATIVE GARDENS at Gulfshore Playhouse, directed by Kristen Coury, tells the story of the two couples at war over a property line, a party, and peonies.
The Del Valle family, Tania (Elizabeth Ramos) and Pablo (Armando Acevedo), has just moved in next to the Butley family, Virginia (Maureen Silliman) and Frank (William Parry). The Del Valles are getting ready to welcome their first child, along with preparing to host a work BBQ for Pablo's new law firm. The Butleys are getting ready for an annual gardening competition, which Frank has been trying to win for years. When Tania and Pablo discover that their property line actually extends two feet into Frank and Virginia's garden when trying to install a new fence, drama, of course, ensues.
NATIVE GARDENS is a very funny, lighthearted show. It's incredibly entertaining to see how the tension between these neighbors escalates over a garden. I really liked all of these actors in their respective roles, as you could truly see the commitment they all had to their characters and the plot. I especially enjoyed Ramos as Tania; she plays a very pregnant woman, and I thought she did a fantastic job at adding little details of such to her portrayal, such as waddling when she walks and struggling to pick up a rake.
The beginning and end of this show include short dance breaks as well as narration about what happened before and after the parts of the plot the audience sees. Though some people may feel these moments are a bit random, I think they work well with this show to sum up what happens and add another aspect of fun. I'd definitely recommend checking out NATIVE GARDENS while it's playing at Gulfshore Playhouse. It's a short and sweet show, and it's a fantastic way to relax and forget about your own worries for 90 minutes as you watch these two couples argue about where a fence is going to go.
NATIVE GARDENS is running at Gulfshore Playhouse now through February 2. Evening shows begin at 8 p.m.; matinees begin at 3 p.m. Show subscriptions are available and include priority seating, exclusive events, and discounted pricing. Tickets start at $45; $25 for students. All tickets are $38 two hours before a performance. For purchase information, visit www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org or contact 239-261-PLAY (7529).
Photo Credit: Matthew Schipper