“Staying clean is like tap dancing in a minefield”

Chills. That’s what will shiver up and down your spine while watching “Water By The Spoonful” at Red Barn Theater. The Pulitzer Prize winning play puts the dark side of addiction front and center with good puns along the way, but also with thought provoking commentary of how addiction affects families – blood and adopted.

“This is a really tech heavy show,” said Theater XP Founder and “Water by the Spoonful” Director Bob Bowersox. “We saw it in Philly a couple years ago because a friend was in it, and we were just blown away by how powerful it is. We knew we had to bring it to Key West.”

Some of the play takes place in chatroom forums for crack addicts, and the simple stage comes to life with the lighting and characters. The cast is brilliant and their dramatic execution is perfect. Cousins Luis Febo, as Elliot, and Melody Moore, as Yazmin, charm the cast while dealing with yet another death in their Puerto Rican family. Meanwhile, Elliot, an injured in the Iraq war, deals with his inner demons, played by the talented Tony Konrath. Paula Cabot, chatroom name Haikumom, dazzles as a recovering crack addict and truly brings the audience into her struggle of staying clean. Karl Stahl, Tammy Shanley, and Bob Bowersox capture the audience with their back and forth chatroom banter.

“The way the writer intertwines the two webs is brilliant,” said Bowersox. “You’ll see why it won a Pulitzer.”

Lighting Designer John Jaworski honors the actors — “It is such a good, really cool cast.” But his lighting design is just as notable.

Bowersox said it best: this is a rare masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed. The play runs Wednesdays through Sundays through July 31 with an 8 p.m. curtain time. For tickets, call 302-540-6102 or visit keywestsummerstage.com.

“If you’re eating a s#!t sandwich, chances are you ordered it. — Karl ‘Chutes and Ladders’ Stahl in ‘Water By The Spoonful.’

Pic LARRY BLACKBURN/Red Barn Theater


AND It’s free!!!!

In a move mirroring New York City’s free Public Theatre offerings in Central Park, Key West’s TheatreXP will be offering free performances of their powerhouse Summer Stage production of the Pulitzer Prize winning “Water By The Spoonful”, opening Wednesday for a two-week run. Seats may be reserved for specific performances by calling XP at 302-540-6102. Reservations are required, as all seats are reserved as assigned seating.

“I recently read the biography of Joe Papp,” said Bob Bowersox, founder and producing artistic director of TheatreXP. “He was the Broadway producer who started the whole Off-Broadway genre with his Public Theatre, and who insisted that theatre should be free to anyone who wanted to see it. I was impressed by his story and what he accomplished, and thought, I wish we could do that.”

As luck would have it, Bowersox and XP had just received a very generous gift from a supporter who put no limits on what they could do with the funds. The lightbulb went off in Bowersox’s head.

“Combined with our sponsorship funds and grants, the gift more than allows us to do this,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to make Summer Stage a special theatrical event for Key West. It just occurred to me, what better way to do that than to follow in Joe Papp’s footsteps and offer it for free to anyone who wants to come? And it’s one hell of a play – you don’t win the Pulitzer for lousy writing. The more I thought about doing this, the more excited I got.”

Bowersox said he’s researching the idea of making Summer Stage a free festival going forward.

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