Theater Review

‘Brothers Beckett’ gets a showcase at the Arsht


If you go

What: ‘Brothers Beckett’ by David Michael Sirois

Where: Carnival Studio Theater in the Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, through March 24

Cost: $35

Info: 305-949-6722,

Back in the day, when the economy was robust and college grads rushed to get their adult lives started, the Peter Pan lifestyle of brothers Brad and Kevin Beckett would have been a kind of pitiable anomaly.

Today? It’s just how plenty of young adult guys roll.

Playwright David Michael Sirois dreamed up the highly educated, life-challenged siblings and introduced them to the world in Brothers Beckett, a play got its world premiere in 2011 at the Miami Lakes-based Alliance Theatre Lab.

Scott Shiller, executive vice president at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, saw that production and thought that Sirois deserved a larger audience for his funny, observant play. So Brothers Beckett has finally made the move from the cozy Main Street Playhouse in Miami Lakes to the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht’s Ziff Ballet Opera House.

Coproduced by Alliance and the Arsht as part of the Theater Up Close series, Brothers Beckett has had its design scaled larger, three of five roles recast and some work done on the script. Happily, Sirois and director Adalberto J. Acevedo have delivered what Shiller intended: an insightful comedy about just how tough it can be to get going in life.

Sirois’ Beckett brothers are a kind of Ivy League odd couple. Brad (Sirois), the elder, has a graduate degree in philosophy and absolutely no motivation to find work thanks to the oft-strained generosity of his younger brother. Kevin Beckett (Gabe Hammad), a fellow Yale grad, is an aspiring playwright who pays the brothers’ bills through an assortment of small jobs.

The brothers share a studio apartment whose most notable features are the bunk beds where they sleep (Brad has the upper), a free-standing bathtub not hooked up to any discernible water source, and walls painted roughly the shade of Pepto-Bismol. Brad keeps track of his conquests with marks on the wall (he’s at 22 and counting). Sexist and homophobic remarks are just the Becketts’ way of saying, “Hey, bro.” It’s all very frat house.

Their neighbor Doug (Mark Della Ventura at his scene-stealing, hilarious best) breezes in and out of the Beckett pad, mostly to use the bathroom since he’s basically wrecked the plumbing in his. Dr. Joyce Elliot (Julie Daniels), a sexy germ-phobic meteorologist, hangs with the guys on a regular basis. But to Brad’s chagrin, Kevin is about to destroy Brad’s pink post-collegiate cocoon by proposing to his long-distance girlfriend Tuesday (Ashley Price).

The actors, particularly Sirois and Della Ventura, work together with intricately timed ease. Hammad communicates Kevin’s yearning and greater focus, and he and the often-smirking Sirois are both connected and combative as siblings. Price is a bit less edgy as Tuesday, robbing the Kevin-Tuesday dynamic of some beneficial intensity, while Daniels makes the most of her character’s love affair with hand sanitizer. Della Ventura, whose Doug is a caring friend, a nut case and a recurring sight gag, pretty much gallops off with the show, earning the loudest applause and craziest cheers. Not that anyone, including his impressive pal Sirois, seems to mind.

Read more Performing Arts stories from the Miami Herald

  • classical music

    Classical review: Dranoff Foundation does another enterprising two-piano program

    The Dranoff Foundation’s enterprising concert programs have admirably highlighted rarely heard two-piano repertoire, and Saturday night's “Jazz Squared” concert at the South Miami Dade Cultural Center in Cutler Bay was no exception. Duo Stephanie and Saar traversed a menu of jazz-infused works with fine technique and musicality. Still, it’s clear that the husband-and-wife team of Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia are classicists at heart, and their strongest performances were in music of Chopin and Beethoven.

  • classical music

    Classical review: New World Symphony does a lively 18 Musicians by Reich

    The New World Symphony’s Percussion Consort presented American composer Steve Reich’s iconic Music for 18 Musicians Saturday night, attracting a festive, all-ages crowd for this one-hour, high-energy show.

Miami based artist Juana Meneses, left, and Leila Leder Kremer are the creators of “Home "HOME: BEYOND GEOGRAPHY", which is a participatory writing art project which shares personal histories and memories of South Florida on Thursday April 10, 2014

    O, Miami Poetry Festival

    ‘Home: Beyond Geography’ explores immigrants’ stories about coming to Miami

    Two visual artists are asking immigrants to share their experiences about coming to Miami by taking part in a participatory writing project that in part explores the concept of identity.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category