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Theater Notes: Some plays are worth a short drive

By Staff | Jan 13, 2011

Many more plays are done off-island than on — there’s a wide range from which to choose. Start with Theatre Conspiracy in Fort Myers at Alliance for the Arts Foulds Theatre, currently featuring that mesmerizing one-man-show artist, Will Stutts, doing Frank Lloyd Wright. Stutts is masterful. He doesn’t disappoint.

Wright is 90 years old and Stutts has nailed him, right down to the crop of snow white hair and the tremor in his hands… even more in the passion and the fury of Wright’s need to be endlessly creative and always right.

Stutts walks us through the major events in the architect’s life. With eloquent selections from the literature, we learn much about the Taliesin Community and School Wright built and how much it meant to him to train people to do the revolutionary work he needed to do. It becomes clear that his drive to make Taliesin a center of architectural creativity was what makes all of us at least be aware of Wright’s wonders.

We walk with Wright as Stutts tells of the famous illicit love of his life, Mamah (Martha Bothwick), and how the scandal of their affair drives away the commissions he needs.

Then he faces the utterly cruel burning down of Taliesin and the murder of Mamah. All this comes to the stage at Theatre Conspiracy.

The evening crackles when Wright faces Senator Joseph McCarthy in his attack on Wright’s Communist connections. Wright is fierce and unafraid then and when he takes on the critics. Stutts truly takes us deep into the 90-year-old as he responds to their viciousness about his no world-famous Guggenheim Memorial Museum.

Come see and hear it all. You will walk away 1) having learned a lot, and 2) as satisfied as Wright devotees feel at the sight of Falling Water in Pennsylvania.

Call the box office at (239) 936-3239. Tickets are only $18, a real bargain. Shows are Jan. 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m., and there is a matinee on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m.