'37 Postcards' staged at Anna Maria's Island Players

May 9, 2013 

A good few months are ahead for local fans of playwright Michael McKeever. In July, Florida Studio Theatre will stage his "South Beach Babylon," but there's no need to wait that long to satisfy your McKeever craving.

Island Players is producing the prolific playwright's comedy "37 Postcards" today through May 19.

It's the story of a man who returns home after eight years of traveling abroad. He's brought his fiancee home to meet his family.

But his home and his family have changed in a lot of different ways. For one thing, the house is literally askew, tilting slowly into a sinkhole, which no one seems to have noticed. For another, Aunt Ester has a new business, running a phone sex line for octogenarians.

Reviews of other productions of "37 Postcards" have been very positive, praising it for its celebration of eccentricity in the vein of "You Can't Take It With You," for its zaniness and for the cleverness of its language.

Downsides cited by some reviewers are a slow set-up (even though the whole play is only about an hour and 45 minutes long) and some heavy plot points that don't sit well within the comedy.

McKeever's based in South Florida an he's one of the most often-produced playwrights in the country, and he's even popular abroad. German companies produce his work regularly, and a production of "37 Steps" is set to open next month at the Bolshoi Drama Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Details: May 9-19, Island Players, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Show times: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $20. Information: 941-778-5755 or www.theislandplayers.org.

-- Marty Clear

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