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A Flourish of Hatpins: A Special Virtual Theater Event

A Flourish of Hatpins: A Special Virtual Theater Event

Performing Arts

Published 8/6/20

As if ripped from today’s headlines, the play deals with equality for women, contagious disease, political discord, and family conflict. Tickets for the online theatrical event, which can be streamed on demand from August 18-23, are now on sale at The Studios of Key West.One century ago, Key West was largely isolated from the rest of the country. Young Elizabeth Watson helps her mother and sister run a boarding house on Duval Street, but she dreams of becoming a hat designer and owning a hat shop in a big city. Her dream unravels in Washington D.C. and she finds herself working with a group of suffragists who are at the center of the raging 19th Amendment debate.Leonard immersed herself in books, articles, and first-hand testimonials to learn more about women’s suffrage in America. “The reports of the abuse and violence that these women confronted were shocking,” says Leonard. “A woman with entrepreneurial dreams had very little chance of success at that time. …

GABLESTAGE REACHES OUT VIRTUALLY TO ENGAGE DIVERSE AUDIENCES

GABLESTAGE REACHES OUT VIRTUALLY TO ENGAGE DIVERSE AUDIENCES

Performing Arts

Published 8/3/20

That hurdle turned into a crossroads on April 16 when Joseph Adler, the company’s award-winning producing artistic director since 1998, passed away after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.Added to the major loss of Adler, an outspoken artist whose company reflected his eclectic taste and passion for deeply engaging theater, GableStage’s planned move to a smaller, state-of-the-art version of the Coconut Grove Playhouse continues as its own contentious drama. And the remainder of its current season, which was to have run into the fall, has been scrapped.All pose undeniable challenges.Even so, GableStage’s board and its chairman, Steven M. Weinger, along with general manager Isabel Almaraz and the theater’s staff, are continuing to connect with artists and audiences via a world premiere digital project titled “Engage@GableStage.”Administered by director Margaret M. Ledford, who produced GableStage’s version of Joseph McDonough’s “Ordinary Americans” with Adler, …

South Florida Theatre League Announces the 2020 Remy Award Recipients

South Florida Theatre League Announces the 2020 Remy Award Recipients

Performing Arts

Published 7/9/20

The Remy Awards, named in honor of Remberto Cabrera, the former Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Senior Cultural Administrator and Chief of Cultural Development, are given to the unsung heroes who provide outstanding service behind the scenes of the South Florida Theatre League Community.The Awards will be presented via livestream on Zoom and Facebook Live as a fundraiser for the South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund. Presentation of each award will be accompanied by a performance from an artist chosen by the recipient. While access to the livestream will be available without a ticket, donations to the South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund will be encouraged throughout the evening. The fund was created this year in response to the COVID-19 crisis and has already given away over $10,000 to artists and theatre workers who have lost work due to the pandemic.The Remy Awards have been a part of the South Florida Theatre League since its first year (1994) – with …

Fantasy Theatre Factory to reopen to the public

Fantasy Theatre Factory to reopen to the public

Performing Arts

Published 7/2/20

“We are very excited to re-open to the public after three months of producing only virtual programming,” said FTF CEO/Executive Artistic Director Larry Fields. “We are among the first of South Florida’s theaters to re-open, and we cannot wait to welcome back our loyal patrons as well as welcome new ones.” He added that the health and safety of FTF’s guests, artists and patrons remain his number one concern. “We submitted a reopening plan to Miami-Dade County, and we’re thrilled that it was approved with compliments from staff on its completeness.”On July 10, FTF will present “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” as part of its summer Film@SRT series. The series will continue every Friday evening during the month of July, except for July 31 (the evening of the theater’s Summer Camp showcase). Although firm dates for “ONE@SRT” have yet to be determined, the series is expected to launch in August. It will showcase select solo performances in theater, dance …

TOGETHER APART: ONE@SRT

TOGETHER APART: ONE@SRT

Performing Arts

Published 6/8/20

“For the past three months, we have been working hard at Sandrell Rivers Theater, where FTF is the managing company, to create a safe environment so our audiences can once again enjoy live, theater performances,” said FTF CEO/Executive Artistic Director Larry Fields. “Once the county, state and federal governments give the green light for performing arts facilities to open, we will be ready to safely and legally present shows.”“By starting with solo performances, our objective is to protect the health and safety of the performers, since they will be the only one on the stage,” continued Fields. FTF will also reduce the number of seats in the audience to adhere to social-distancing guidelines; it has installed hand sanitizers around the facility, and it will be implementing other measures so guests, too, will feel more safe and comfortable during a performance. “Like many other businesses and industries around the country, the performing arts have suffered greatly …

THE 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS IN THE ARTS

THE 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS IN THE ARTS

Performing Arts

Published 5/26/20

The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year.Sarah Arison, Chair of National YoungArts Foundation, said, “Now, more than ever, it is important that we as a country celebrate the hope and promise of the next generation of great architects and designers, writers and poets, and visual and performing artists. YoungArts is honored to continue to support and nominate the nation’s most talented artists for the Presidential Scholars program. We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to continuing to offer our support throughout their artistic journeys.”“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and …

MIAMI’S JUGGERKNOT AND NY’S POPUP THEATRICS CRAFT DRAMA FOR A VIRTUAL WORLD

MIAMI’S JUGGERKNOT AND NY’S POPUP THEATRICS CRAFT DRAMA FOR A VIRTUAL WORLD

Performing Arts

Published 5/20/20

The new joint production from Miami’s Juggerknot Theatre Co. and New York’s PopUP Theatrics – available at longdistanceaffair.info from May 23-30 – just happens to be a trailblazing example of a form that theater may utilize more frequently in the future.“The world is going in that direction,” says Juggerknot founder and artistic director Tanya Bravo. “Right now, we can’t [easily] fly or go anywhere, but we can connect in this way.”“Making theater this way won’t be instead of [traditional theater],” adds director Tamilla Woodard, who founded PopUP Theatrics with fellow director Ana Margineanu. “It’s a new vocabulary. It’s in addition to other forms. It lets people who are homebound enjoy live performance.”This is the seventh iteration of “Long Distance Affair” since the project debuted in New York in 2011. But it’s the first in partnership with Juggerknot, and the first one audiences will access from their homes.“Long Distance Affair” is made …

SOUTH FLORIDA THEATER-LOVERS HAVE LOTS TO ENJOY ONLINE

SOUTH FLORIDA THEATER-LOVERS HAVE LOTS TO ENJOY ONLINE

Performing Arts

Published 5/20/20

Here’s a look at what’s on the horizon:Florida Shakespeare Theater is keeping fans of the Bard happy with its “Go Big or Go Home” series of free livestreamed readings directed by artistic director Colleen Stovall. “Macbeth,” featuring Seth Trucks in the title role and Sara Grant as the calculating Lady Macbeth, is set for 8 p.m. May 23. “The Merchant of Venice” will be read at 8 p.m. June 6; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 2 p.m. June 20; “The Tempest” at 8 p.m. July 11; and “Hamlet” at 2 p.m. July 25. Watch on the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/floridashakes.Miami’s Zoetic Stage is heading toward the championship game of its popular online quiz show, “The Spectacular Fabulous BYOB South Florida Theater Game Night,” hosted by artistic director Stuart Meltzer, with assists from scorekeeper Amy Rauchwerger, managing director Michael McKeever and musical clue-giver Jeni Hacker. Champs from the preliminary rounds – Clay Cartland, Mary Damiano, …

 South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund has raised over $12,000!

South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund has raised over $12,000!

Performing Arts

Published 5/20/20

In under two months, the League has raised over $12,000 and is currently in the process of distributing the first $10,000 to artists and contractors laid off from productions scheduled to happen in March and April of 2020. In the first round of funding, the South Florida Theatre League collaborated with ten theatre companies to distribute $10,000 into small stipends to the workers they had to lay off. While no stipend can replace a steady income, the funds help artists buy groceries, pay bills, and make it to the next month.“One recipient told me that it was the first income she’s had had since March,” said Andie Arthur, executive director of the South Florida Theatre League.The Relief Fund helps theatre companies pay independent contractors. Most small business assistance programs focus exclusively on employees, but in the performing arts, many of our workers are independent contractors who have fallen through the cracks.Most of the funds raised are from small donations, ranging …

VIRTUAL SHORTS

VIRTUAL SHORTS

Performing Arts

Published 5/20/20

City Theatre postponed the 25th Anniversary Season of its popular annual SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL scheduled to perform June 4-July 3, 2020 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. It’s now scheduled for June 3-July 3 2021.However, always nimble and eager for innovative opportunities, City Theatre has welcomed its inclusion as an arts partner of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Arsht@Home programming where it’s begun experimenting with the creation of digital content. Plays from City Theatre’s SHORT CUTS school tour and more original offerings are currently on rotation on that site.Expanding on this, City Theatre Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford said, In 24 seasons of producing hundreds of short plays and now musicals on stages throughout South Florida, City Theatre is excited to explore creative alternatives for ways to present aspects of our work, alongside some of the artists and theatre makers we have collaborated with who help make SUMMER SHORTS so much fun”. …

Online Monologue Festival Part 2

Online Monologue Festival Part 2

Performing Arts

Published 4/20/20

Theatre Lab presents its second Online Original Monologue Festival from Monday, April 13 through Thursday, April 16. Theatre Lab is inviting the general public to again participate in online creative writing workshops and submit original pieces based on the theme for this next edition: “Heroes.” While looking for original stories and monologues to be performed, Theatre Lab is also adding a new component for this edition: two-person, three-page plays. Theatre Lab’s “Parts of A Story” and “Elements of A Monologue” workshop from the inaugural monologue festival remain on their Facebook page and can be watched at any time. Theatre Lab will also provide a brief “Scene Writing” workshop live on Facebook on Thursday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in the process can tune in live and learn some tips for how to create compelling scenes and dialogue, which they can use to try their hand at a two-person, three-page …

The South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund

The South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund

Performing Arts

Published 4/7/20

The purpose of the fund is to help theatre companies provide compensation to artists and other employees that have been laid off because shows and events were cancelled. “Many local artists as well as those who work behind the scenes in box offices, technician booths, and scene and costume shops have lost their main source of income as this pandemic has closed all theatres across our region,” said Andie Arthur, executive director of the South Florida Theatre League.The League is seeding the fund with money that was originally budgeted for their annual Soiree - a major networking event that normally happens right at the end of the annual Carbonell Awards. The application process will be for theatre companies only with the intent for them to pay laid off artists and other employees during this epidemic. The board of the League and executive director Andie Arthur are currently putting it together and will release it once there is a sizeable fund to allocate for this purpose.When …

Engage virtually with New City Players

Engage virtually with New City Players

Performing Arts

Published 4/7/20

Every night | 9pm On Instagram LiveUntil we all get through this pandemic and theaters have safely opened their doors, NCP is talking to a different theatre artist, singing songs, playing games, and getting wacky. This past week they sang duets, had a puppet show, played Pictionary, argued about Star Wars, and learned a new home workout. Join them every night!Friday, April 10th | 7pmJoin NCP during Autism Awareness month as we “shine a light on autism” and hear true stories from those impacted by autism spectrum disorder. Mark your calendar and plan to watch on Facebook Live or Zoom.Monday, April 13th | 7pmThis gathering of artists was a huge success last Monday, so NCP taking it to every other week. If you want to write a 1 to 10 minute play the prompt is, "Well that was embarrassing...". They will gather on Zoom, read the plays, and connect as artists. You are also free to just watch if you'd like! For more info and to register, click here.Donate to Artists in NeedThe South …

MIAMI NEW DRAMA'S MASTERMIND MASTER CLASS SERIES

MIAMI NEW DRAMA'S MASTERMIND MASTER CLASS SERIES

Performing Arts

Published 4/6/20

MasterMiND Class - WRITING (RSVP here)MONDAY, APRIL 6 3:00-5:00pmThe Political is Personal / The Specific is Universal: writing big events from a personal and specific place. Join Winter Miller for an in depth discussion about writing about seemingly big events--politics, war, disaster, and making them sing with your personal stamp. Why are YOU the one writing and telling this story--getting clear on that will allow you to proceed. Winter Miller is a founding member of the Obie-winning collective 13Playwrights. She is a proud affiliate of New Georges and The Lark, and is the NYC Dramatists Guild Rep. A graduate of Smith College with Latin honors, Winter holds a Masters in Playwriting from Columbia University. Winter has written more than 70 articles for The New York Times, plus New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune, Variety, Huffington Post, The Village Voice, and Ms. Magazine.MasterMiND Class - WRITING (RSVP here)WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 …

Online Original Monologue Festival

Online Original Monologue Festival

Performing Arts

Published 4/6/20

In an effort to help local theatre artists affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the Theatre Lab launched the Online Original Monologue Festival March 29th.The festival featured original monologues and stories, written by community members and performed by South Florida actors and artists, all to support local artists.“The idea is to engage the community through acts of art in an effort to support South Florida’s performing artists who need help right now,” said Matt Stabile, Theatre Lab producing artistic director.Experience hope with South Florida’s actors and artists here. To support the South Florida Theatre League's Benefit Fund, visit: www.southfloridatheatre.org.

REVIEW: ARSHT CENTER’S ‘HAMILTON’ LIVES UP TO ITS REPUTATION, IN EVERY WAY

REVIEW: ARSHT CENTER’S ‘HAMILTON’ LIVES UP TO ITS REPUTATION, IN EVERY WAY

Performing Arts

Published 2/22/20

This season, the “Hamilton” love continues unabated, albeit with a different touring company of the same show. Fresh from three weeks at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the “Angelica” cast has begun a four-week run at Miami’s Arsht Center. The actors are different from the ones in the “Philip” cast who played Fort Lauderdale last season, and of course each brings his or her interpretive skill set to these now-famous roles.But as the silent attentiveness to specific moments and the appreciative roars at the end of multiple numbers so clearly demonstrate, the play (or musical, in this case) is resoundingly the thing. Everyone from diehard “Hamilfans” to first-timers in the audience is there to experience the groundbreaking vision of Miranda and his creative collaborators.From its sold-out debut at New York’s Public Theater in 2015, “Hamilton” has been a piece of wildly inventive yet carefully crafted theater and a cultural phenomenon.MacArthur “genius” …

The Arsht Center announces 2020/2021 season!

The Arsht Center announces 2020/2021 season!

Performing Arts

Published 2/22/20

Reach for your calendars, people! The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade Count announced its 15th season of showcasing Broadway’s greatest hits in the Ziff Ballet Opera House with a six-show subscription package that is power-packed with musical blockbusters.The 2020/2021 Broadway in Miami season opens with the anticipated South Florida premiere of the Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award® ® for Best Musical Theater Album, HADESTOWN.Three additional 2020 / 2021 Broadway in Miami premieres include Tony and Grammy Award-winning DEAR EVAN HANSEN (March 30 – April 4, 2021), ANASTASIA (May 18 – 23, 2021) and THE CHER SHOW (June 22 – 27, 2021). Plus, HAIRSPRAY kicks off 2021 (January 5 – 10, 2021), and back by popular demand, WICKED (February 17 – March 7, 2021), returns for a three-week run.“We have a must-see combination of blockbusters lined up for the Arsht Center’s 2020/2021 Broadway in Miami …

RISING STARS - An Evening of Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts

RISING STARS - An Evening of Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts

Performing Arts

Published 2/21/20

The Rising Stars Exhibition, The Condition of Being Oneself, kicks off the showcase featuring a wide range of artwork created by the college and high school students of the prestigious New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami. The themes of this show are the self, the uniqueness of every person, and the viewpoint of the artist. In approaching their work for this exhibition, visual arts students will focus on something that they bring to their work that is particular to themselves, or the way in which they see the world. Whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a film or a design, it is the artist’s singular vision and being that serves as inspiration to make the work unique.Just blocks away, at the historic Olympia Theater, NWSA continues an evening of artistic showings with excerpts of renowned works in dance, music and theater that will capture the artistic heart and soul of the audience. Presenting an excerpt from Paul Taylor’s dynamic masterpiece work, Cloven …

Bold, innovative, woman-founded theatre company that has championed creative experimentation, diversity, equity, and inclusion turns 10 in 2020

Bold, innovative, woman-founded theatre company that has championed creative experimentation, diversity, equity, and inclusion turns 10 in 2020

Performing Arts

Published 2/6/20

In keeping with TCT’s mission, in conjunction with the League of Professional Theatre Women’s “50/50 in 2020 Initiative,” TCT has championed gender parity in programming since its inception. TCT’s programming history—30 full-length productions—includes 16 plays by women, 12 plays by men, and 2 plays by transgender playwrights. TCT’s 10th Anniversary Season features 2 male playwrights (Beckett, Wilde) and 3 female playwrights (Fornes, Mueller, Morgan).  “Gender parity in season play selection has not just been on the list of TCT’s priorities since its founding in 2010,” says Founding Artistic Director Nicole Stodard, “it has been at the very top of TCT’s priority list.” Study after study has shown that gender parity and diversity in American theatre programming remain glaring issues. Anyone interested in learning more should consult the Dramatist Guild’s most recent statistical findings, “The Count 2.0”; according to this, …

Immersive Theatre Puts Everyone in the Front Row

Immersive Theatre Puts Everyone in the Front Row

Performing Arts

Published 2/6/20

Immersive productions leaves a much larger personal imprint because there are no stages and audiences can become totally immersed in the performance itself. Audience participants can choose to be masked or unmasked, and stand within a few feet of the actors. Oftentimes, in immersive shows, a single performer will pair off with a single theatregoer for an encounter. It can be a performance for an audience of one, or the theatregoer can volunteer as a character in a plot.Many times immersive theatre productions are held at site-specific locations to enable audiences to talk to the actors and interact with the surroundings. These types of productions are really far from new. In fact, in the Middle Ages most theatre presentations were site specific, immersive, and participatory.South Florida has seen the Juggerknot Theatre Company expand Miami Motel Stories into Wynwood, the multi-media Medea at MDCLiveArts and the unique and wildly popular Amparo Experience. The long popularity of …

Community vs Professional Theatre

Community vs Professional Theatre

Performing Arts

Published 2/6/20

By Larry SchwingelThe subject of community theatre versus professional theatre can stir a debate about understanding the differences, but the bottom line is that professionals get paid and amateurs do not. Earnings, skill levels and formal training are all factors in the success of professional theater. Community theatre is at a disadvantage in these areas, but it feeds into the community spirit and brings awareness to the artistic sensibilities of everyone that participates.Community TheatreCommunity theatre is comprised of a cast of volunteer actors, set designers, and crewmembers that “work” for their love of theater and stage. Collectively, they bring a unique, fresh approach. Often times, the productions are of high quality—a compliment to their passion and unbridled enthusiasm. This is the heart and foundation of community theatre. South Florida is unusual because of the intermingling in professional and granting organizations. Almost all theatres in the …

REVIEW: ‘ORDINARY AMERICANS’ IS AN IMPACTFUL CAUTIONARY TALE AS RELEVANT TODAY AS IN THE ’50S

REVIEW: ‘ORDINARY AMERICANS’ IS AN IMPACTFUL CAUTIONARY TALE AS RELEVANT TODAY AS IN THE ’50S

Performing Arts

Published 1/24/20

Commissioned by Palm Beach Dramaworks, Joseph McDonough’s play about pioneering television titan Gertrude Berg had a highly successful five-week run at the West Palm Beach theater before making the move to GableStage, where it runs through Feb. 16. The companies collaborated on the world premiere, but with the exception of one cast change, the production that Coral Gables audiences will see in GableStage’s more intimate space at the Biltmore Hotel is essentially the same one that became an in-demand Dramaworks show from the time it was announced.The idea for a play about the creator, writer and star of the 1949-57 TV series “The Goldbergs” came from Carbonell Award-winning actor Elizabeth Dimon, who portrays Gertrude “Tillie” Berg in “Ordinary Americans.”Dimon and castmates David Kwiat, Rob Donohoe and Tom Wahl have finely honed their moving performances through the play’s earlier run. At GableStage, they’re joined by Patti Gardner, who brings her own take to a role …

MIAMI NEW DRAMA’S ‘THE CUBANS’ IS ALL ABOUT FAMILY

MIAMI NEW DRAMA’S ‘THE CUBANS’ IS ALL ABOUT FAMILY

Performing Arts

Published 1/24/20

Leon also has been an admirer of complex family plays, but he’s felt that diverse voices are too often missing.“I got tired of going to the theater and not seeing myself and my family represented. We deserve more. I felt compelled to start creating something, not for me but for my community,” he says.This week, after four years of writing and readings and rewrites, Leon’s creative response to what he felt was missing will get its world premiere when Miami New Drama opens “The Cubans” at the Colony Theatre on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road.Company co-founder and artistic director Michel Hausmann credits Erik J. Rodriguez, Miami New Drama’s director of new work, with championing Leon’s play.“Erik insisted I should consider it further and organized a reading,” Hausmann says. “I love that Michael is exploring his generation, his community. It’s his Miami play. There is a lot to explore in the Cuban-American experience … lo bonito, lo feo (the pretty, the ugly) … …

ZOETIC STAGE’S ‘AMERICAN SON’ REPRESENTS S. FLORIDA THEATER AT ITS FINEST

ZOETIC STAGE’S ‘AMERICAN SON’ REPRESENTS S. FLORIDA THEATER AT ITS FINEST

Performing Arts

Published 1/15/20

Demos-Brown’s finest play to date was created in Miami and is set here, though its world premiere was in 2016 in Massachusetts, followed by a high-profile Broadway run in 2018 and a Netflix debut in 2019.But those who take in the new Zoetic Stage production of “American Son” at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts – and anyone who loves intensely engaging theater should seek it out – will understand that the wait for the play’s homecoming was worth it.The work on the stage at the Arsht’s Carnival Studio Theater represents South Florida theater at its finest.Demos-Brown, a lawyer/playwright whose excellent work has made him a key part of the region’s growing playwriting scene, and Zoetic Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer, who has staged four Demos-Brown world premieres, are superb creative collaborators.Actors Karen Stephens, Clive Cholerton, Ryan Didato (all of whom worked on developmental readings of the play) and Zoetic newcomer James Samuel Randolph …

‘MACBETH’ TAKES A MURDEROUS QUEST FOR POWER TO 4 MIAMI-DADE LOCATIONS

‘MACBETH’ TAKES A MURDEROUS QUEST FOR POWER TO 4 MIAMI-DADE LOCATIONS

Performing Arts

Published 1/8/20

In August, Trucks played the ruthlessly pragmatic Scottish king in an intimate New City Players production at The Vanguard in Fort Lauderdale. Now, throughout January, the accomplished actor is going bigger, of necessity: He’ll play Macbeth, the once-valiant general who murders his way onto the throne, at four outdoor locations in Miami-Dade County, the smallest of which seats 550 people.“Playing him twice has given me an increased familiarity with the role, allowing for intimate finetuning and detail work,” Trucks acknowledges via email, adding, “but the change in space requires a larger, more performative approach, which has been an interesting tightrope to walk.”Trucks is working on his second “Macbeth” in six months with Florida Shakespeare Theater’s founding producing artistic director, Colleen Stovall. The company will take the play, which Stovall has placed in the early 12th century, to the North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach on Jan. 3-5, the Downtown Doral Park …

NOVELIST JAMES GRIPPANDO’S ‘WATSON’ TO PREMIERE AT GABLESTAGE

NOVELIST JAMES GRIPPANDO’S ‘WATSON’ TO PREMIERE AT GABLESTAGE

Performing Arts

Published 11/21/19

When Thomas J. Watson Sr., the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), traveled to Berlin in 1937 as president of the International Chamber of Commerce for the group’s biennial gathering, he gave a keynote speech advocating world peace through world trade.At the meeting, he was presented with Nazi Germany’s Order of the German Eagle, making Watson one of only a few Americans to receive the regime’s medal.And what was behind the dubious “honor”? IBM’s German subsidiary Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft (known as Dehomag) used the company’s punch card machines to tabulate census data that revealed the location and ethnicity of respondents – thus contributing to the deadly efficiency of the Holocaust.Watson, who opposed Germany’s brutal treatment of its Jewish citizens, returned the medal in mid-1940, before the country’s declaration of war against the United States. But that asterisk in his biography would always remain.The story of the …

ACTORS’ PLAYHOUSE STARTS SEASON WITH THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH

ACTORS’ PLAYHOUSE STARTS SEASON WITH THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH

Performing Arts

Published 11/15/19

The late music legend – a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Memphis Music Hall of Fame – is the subject of “Ring of Fire,” the biographical show that’s kicking off the 2019-2020 Actors’ Playhouse season.Conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby Jr., the show had a relatively short Broadway run in 2006 as a large-cast jukebox musical focused on the many songs written by and linked to Cash rather than on the man himself. But Maltby kept revising his show, and the piece that’s running through Dec. 8 in the Miracle Theatre’s upstairs Balcony Theatre is an engaging, joyous gem.Directed by Ben Hope, who played the starring male role in the Actors’ Playhouse production of “Once” in 2018, “Ring of Fire” is a showcase not just for Cash’s life story and many hits but for the prodigious talents of the five actor-singer-musicians who make up the …

MEET ANDIE ARTHUR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA THEATRE LEAGUE

MEET ANDIE ARTHUR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA THEATRE LEAGUE

Performing Arts

Published 11/15/19

Arthur is also the co-founding Artistic Director of Lost Girls Theatre, a contributing editor of the nationally recognized theatre blog 2amtheatre and adjunct faculty at New World School of the Arts. She has previously served as the Florida regional representative of the Dramatists’ Guild and as a board member of the Southeast Cluster of the Unitarian Universalist Association.In her 12 years working as Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League, Andie has reinstated the League’s Unified Auditions, implemented audience development programs (such as Free Night of Theatre and Summer Theatre Fest), and created professional development workshops for both artists and administrators.Arthur has a BFA in Playwriting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Her plays have been produced by Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, Lost Girls Theatre, The Alliance Theatre Lab, Marquette University, and the Theatre School at DePaul University. She is currently working on a brand-new play …

GABLESTAGE’S RIVETING “WIESENTHAL” REMINDS US WHY WE MUST NEVER FORGET

GABLESTAGE’S RIVETING “WIESENTHAL” REMINDS US WHY WE MUST NEVER FORGET

Performing Arts

Published 10/3/19

He is also a captivating storyteller. But those stories? They will shatter your heart.“Wiesenthal,” Tom Dugan’s engrossing solo show about famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, has just opened at GableStage, ushering in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with a timely artistic representation of a man who dedicated his life to remembrance and justice.With intricately nuanced direction by Gail Garrisan, the GableStage production stars Carbonell Award-winning actor David Kwiat, who expertly navigates the blend of humor, empathy and horror woven throughout Dugan’s 90-minute play.The conceit of the play is that Wiesenthal, then 94, has gone into his office at the Vienna Jewish Documentation Center one final time. It’s 2003, and he is about to retire – much to the relief of his wife, Cyla Müller Wiesenthal, and their daughter Paulinka Kreisberg, who is visiting from Israel. Wiesenthal has promised Cyla that he’s done hosting groups at the center. But here we are, willing listeners, so …

THEATER SEASON PREVIEW: ‘AMERICAN SON,’ ‘THE CUBANS’ AND MORE ‘MIAMI MOTEL STORIES’

THEATER SEASON PREVIEW: ‘AMERICAN SON,’ ‘THE CUBANS’ AND MORE ‘MIAMI MOTEL STORIES’

Performing Arts

Published 8/27/19

As these and other writers blossomed, South Florida theaters brought greater focus to premiering new works. Those companies and Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs launched developmental programs, giving playwrights the opportunity to hone their scripts and theater lovers the chance to be among the first to experience a play that might wind up on Broadway (as Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics,” Demos-Brown’s “American Son” and McCraney’s “Choir Boy” did) or off-Broadway (as McKeever’s “Daniel’s Husband” and “After” did last season).Both the Arsht Center-based Zoetic Stage in Miami and Miami New Drama at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre have the nurturing of new work as a key part of their theatrical DNA. But the two companies won’t be alone in bringing fresh theater to Miami-Dade stages during the 2019-2020 season. Here’s a brief look at some of the key productions on the horizon, in order of their openings.Christopher Demos-Brown’s …

Broadway in Broward

Broadway in Broward

Performing Arts

Published 7/29/19

“I have been producing theatre year-round in Florida for over 26 years and am most notably known for Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on the west coast in Fort Myers,” Will Prather, Prather Productions owner and Executive Producer said recently. “While I have also produced national and international tours, it has been a goal of mine to have a consistent presence on the east coast of Florida. The opportunity to partner with LPAC couldn’t have come at a better time, and all of us at Prather Productions are extremely excited to bring together our creative team and the incredible local talent that the east coast of Florida has to offer.”LPAC's General Manager, Amanda Segur agrees: “I am thrilled to be a part of the team working to bring Broadway musicals back to the LPAC stage,” she says. “Working with Prather Productions is going to be an exciting, creative, artistic adventure, and the City of Lauderhill is extremely pleased to have forged this new relationship. We are …

 ‘MURDER FOR TWO’ AT ACTORS’ PLAYHOUSE ISN’T KILLER, BUT IT GETS THE JOB DONE

‘MURDER FOR TWO’ AT ACTORS’ PLAYHOUSE ISN’T KILLER, BUT IT GETS THE JOB DONE

Performing Arts

Published 7/29/19

The Joe Kinosian-Kellen Blair musical has a history. Created in 2011 in Chicago, where it won the Joseph Jefferson Award as best new musical, the show had an off-Broadway run in 2013, a national tour and multiple regional productions. Martin Landry, who plays the musical’s multiple suspects and serves as the production’s musical director, made his “Murder for Two” debut in the national tour and performed the show at eight theaters in seven states before hitting the stage in Coral Gables. Mark Schenfisch, who plays an aspiring detective, has also done multiple productions of the show.That the actors, who must also be excellent pianists, have done the show before is a blessing for a couple of reasons. Schenfisch replaced a previously announced performer just a week before the show opened, and it’s doubtful that someone new to the intricacies of themusical could have mastered it and achieved a chemistry with Landry in such a short time. Moreover, the frenetic, 100-minute …

‘SKELETON CREW’ WORKS ON MANY LEVELS AT GABLESTAGE

‘SKELETON CREW’ WORKS ON MANY LEVELS AT GABLESTAGE

Performing Arts

Published 7/29/19

The Detroit Project, three linked plays by MacArthur “genius” grant winner Morisseau, consists of “Detroit ’67” (a 2013 drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots), “Paradise Blue” (a 2015 play set in the city’s Black Bottom neighborhood in 1949) and 2016’s “Skeleton Crew,” a four-character drama set in the break room of an auto stamping plant as the 2008 economic downturn is starting to hit the city hard.GableStage is now bringing Morisseau’s words and insights to life in a new production of “Skeleton Crew,” a play that is both powerfully specific and more broadly resonant. The black, working-class folks toiling in this relatively small plant where metal is turned into car parts worry about so many things: putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads, pressured personal lives, building a better future, losing their jobs. Who can’t relate?This time, artistic director Joseph Adler has entrusted the production to Haitian-American actor, writer …

					 BROADWAY FANS CAN EXPERIENCE SIX HIT MUSICALS, INCLUDING HAMILTON, FOR LESS THAN $43* PER SHOW WITH NEW “VIEW FROM TOP” SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE

BROADWAY FANS CAN EXPERIENCE SIX HIT MUSICALS, INCLUDING HAMILTON, FOR LESS THAN $43* PER SHOW WITH NEW “VIEW FROM TOP” SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE

Performing Arts

Published 7/29/19

The 14th season of showcasing Broadway’s greatest hits in the Ziff Ballet Opera House is power-packed with musical blockbusters. The 2019/2020 Broadway in Miami season is anchored by the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which will play its premiere Miami engagement for a limited 4- week run (February 18 - March 15, 2020). Three additional premieres include “Fiddler on the Roof” (October 29 - November 3, 2019), Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (January 1 -5, 2020), and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” (May 12 - 17, 2020). Plus an exciting new production of the classic “Miss Saigon” (April 7 - 12, 2020) and the iconic musical phenomenon, “Jesus Christ Superstar” (June 23 - 28, 2020).The View From The Top subscription package starts at $253 and offers a convenient payment plan with no fees which includes the option to break up the cost of the package into three easy payments. To become a View From The Top season ticket holder, visit …

John Leguizamo brings hilarity with much needed history lesson

John Leguizamo brings hilarity with much needed history lesson

Performing Arts

Published 7/7/19

Hear that school bell? It’s the start of class and professor John Leguizamo is about to educate South Florida on 3,000 years of American Latino history (from the Aztec empire to Pitbull!) And, the comedian/actor/producer/playwright is as outrageously funny, uncensored and on point as ever before.Written by and starring Leguizamo, “Latin History for Morons” enlightens, empowers and entertains beyond measure. This one-man solo play, directed by Tony Taccone, comes to the Adrienne Arsht Center stage on November 29 and 30. Other leading comedic talent who have graced the performance destination include Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Jay Leno, John Mulaney, Eddie Izzard, Louis CK, Gad Elmaleh, and Dame Edna Everage.Latinos are the second oldest ethnic group in America after Native Americans, yet remain invisible in many ways. “I grew up without seeing people who looked like me on screen, on stage, or in …

CORTEO IS COMING TO SUNRISE WITH ITS NORTH AMERICAN ARENA TOUR

CORTEO IS COMING TO SUNRISE WITH ITS NORTH AMERICAN ARENA TOUR

Performing Arts

Published 5/15/19

This unique production, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, first premiered in Montreal under the Big Top in April 2005. Since then, the show has been a great success and has amazed 8 million people in 19 countries on four continents. The cast of Corteo includes 52 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world.Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth. The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to …

Latest News on Coconut Grove Playhouse Revival Project

Latest News on Coconut Grove Playhouse Revival Project

Performing Arts

Published 3/13/19

Miami’s historic preservation board recently voted against the demolition and reconstruction of the long-closed Coconut Grove Playhouse. An appeal, signed by cultural affairs director Michael Spring, was filed by the county and is scheduled to be considered by the City of Miami Commission on April 25, at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive.This is is a deciding moment for the future of the Playhouse and the revitalization of downtown Coconut Grove. If the City Commission approves the County’s appeal, the County is ready to submit the Playhouse project’s architectural plans for a building permit. After years of work and exhaustive research, renovation and construction are ready to begin. The plans include thoughtful historic preservation to return this historic theater to its former glory. The theater abruptly closed in 2006 amid growing debt.For updates, visit: http://miamidadearts.org/coconut-grove-playhouse-updates.

Frida

Frida

Performing Arts

Published 2/26/19

By Peter Petrov"Frida sings as she lived - against the tide from the very first note," Rodríguez explains, and indeed, what better way to describe both, this larger-than-life woman and his opera tribute to her.Frida was the kind of woman that could reject a description of her art as flattering and poetic as “ribbon around a bomb,” even if it came from principal initiator of the surrealist movement André Breton, if she thought that description was false. “I never paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality,” Frida famously said in response.And certainly, over time, Frida has come to epitomize the truest kind of artist, the kind who lives the way she paints and paints the way she lives, making no compromises with either of those two interconnected facets.Frida never really had many friends growing up in Mexico City and was often taunted by other girls. After a near-death bus accident that kept her bedridden and caused her lifelong health problems, her isolation deepened, …

Actors’ Playhouse: 30 years of excellence and splendor

Actors’ Playhouse: 30 years of excellence and splendor

Performing Arts

Published 11/1/18

By Petar PetrovActors’ Playhouse is one of 14 major cultural organizations in Miami-Dade County and the largest self-producer of critically acclaimed dramatic and musical theatre for adults and children in South Florida. But even after 156 Mainstage productions, 140 Children’s Theatre productions, 85 Carbonell Awards (the South Florida equivalent of the Tony Award) for artistic excellence, and a South Florida’s Theatre Company of the Year Award, the theatre hasn’t deviated from its 30-year old agenda – “to enrich South Florida's cultural vitality with the highest caliber classic and contemporary live theatre productions and to provide comprehensive educational outreach programs to multi-cultural audiences and a supportive and creative work environment for Florida-based theatre professionals,” all while preserving “the identity of its home venue, the historic Miracle Theatre,” as Barbara S. Stein, Executive Producing Director puts it. The Miracle Theatre …

Microtheater Miami: A Highlight Reel of Intimate and Punchy Theater Shows

Microtheater Miami: A Highlight Reel of Intimate and Punchy Theater Shows

Performing Arts

Published 11/1/18

By Petar PetrovOn so many different levels, Microtheater Miami offers professionals creative freedom while providing the public with what a traditional theater experience never could – a diversity of shows within a single, inimitably cozy night. Every Thursday to Sunday from 8 pm to 12 am, all year round, just like the pumpkin in Cinderella, 7 shipping containers are transformed into little theatrical gems; their walls witnessing a gushing stream of 15-minute plays in both English and Spanish, inspired by a specific theme. Plays are performed 8 times per night, cost only $6 each, and together constitute a continuous, annual cycle, charged with the same rapid-fire dynamics of a single evening – unlike traditional theater seasons, Microtheater Miami starts a new season every 5 weeks, for a total of 10 theater seasons annually. A specific theme is selected every season, and open calls for original plays inspired by it result in 7 to 8 original plays per season. On …

Culture Shock Miami Fosters the Next Generation of Arts Patrons with the Launch of its 14th Season of Affordable Programming Directed to Younger Audiences

Culture Shock Miami Fosters the Next Generation of Arts Patrons with the Launch of its 14th Season of Affordable Programming Directed to Younger Audiences

Performing Arts

Published 11/1/18

By Petar Petrov$5 tickets to live theater performances, events and museums for ages 13 to 22. Culture Shock Miami, the young audience development program of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs, has been working with all kinds of cultural institutions since its launch in 2004 to bring eclectic compositions of cultural destinations and shows to teens and young adults between the age of 13 and 22 for an affordable price. Not only do all events cost only $5, but the program also allows participants to purchase a second ticket for $5 for a person of any age. Culture Shock Miami keeps going strong, entering its 2018-2019 season. As a result, certain art forms and events no longer seem out of young people’s financial reach. Culture Shock Miami strives to level the playing field, so the youth can develop a taste for culture according to their inner voice rather than their pocket. But Culture Shock Miami owes its continuous success to the constant search for …

Theater Etiquette

Theater Etiquette

Performing Arts

Published 11/1/18

By Annie Sparks1. Dress for the occasion. Wear something a little more elegant than usual. Be comfortable, but polished. It’s part of the experience. 2. Avoid wearing too much perfume or aftershave. Imagine sitting next to someone wearing a scent that you simply cannot stand. Avoid doing that to others and go easy on the shpritz!If you’re on time, you’re late3. “If you’re on time, you’re late” is a crucial rule of thumb. Arriving 15-30 minutes before the show allows time for everyone to get comfortably seated. In many instances, when you’re late, a venue will not allow you to enter until the end of the first number. Some may have a monitor so you could watch while in exile, but if you want to see the live performance for which you’ve paid, come early. Don’t be the person who makes everyone get up so you could reach your seat after the show has started! 4. If you’re one to enjoy a candy or need a cough drop to refrain from coughing during the …

MDC Live Arts Presents Radical 2018-19  Season - A Focus on Women, Immigrants & Innovators

MDC Live Arts Presents Radical 2018-19 Season - A Focus on Women, Immigrants & Innovators

Performing Arts

Published 9/28/18

The lineup includes performances that re-tell mythical/historical womensí narratives with new perspective. This month, La Medea (cover) reimagines Euripedes’ Greek tragedy as an interactive Latin-disco variety show. The genre-bending musical/simulcast/feature film is performed, shot and edited in real time— promising a provocative and unpredictable ride for cast, crew and audiences alike. Hailed as “a spectacle that upends any attempt to pin it down” by Broadway World, La Medea portrays not a dangerous foreigner, but an infinite woman rejecting the gaze imposed upon her. This spring, in The Fourth Light, Persian electroacoustic duo Niyaz team up with interactive design artist Jerome Delapierre for an immersive tribute to the under-recognized first female Sufi mystic and poet. Live music, sacred dance and advance technologies help merge the real and the virtual for a multi-sensory spiritual experience. Last month, the season opened—gothically—with The Black …

NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS - A BEACON OF ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE

NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS - A BEACON OF ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE

Performing Arts

Published 9/28/18

The high school students, who also receive their training at MDC Wolfson Campus, earn dual enrollment credits from Miami Dade College as NWSA students. Fully accredited by The National Associations of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design, New World School of the Arts provides a comprehensive educational program of artistic training and academic and creative development, while preparing students for professional careers in Dance, Music, Theater and Visual Arts.Providing access is one of New World School of the Arts most important missions. Blind to academic standing at the onset, New World School of the Arts’ acceptance policy is based solely on artistic talent. This allows students from all backgrounds, ethnicities and socioeconomic status to compete for their spot in the school’s coveted arts programs based on their individual talent. Once accepted, students are expected to achieve both academically and artistically. Earning respected national merit and leadership-based …

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis return to Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in the high voltage rock ‘n’ roll musical Million Dollar Quartet

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis return to Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in the high voltage rock ‘n’ roll musical Million Dollar Quartet

Performing Arts

Published 5/7/18

Actors’ Playhouse brings back the much-anticipated return of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. One of the company’s most acclaimed (and longest running) productions in its 30-year history, Million Dollar Quartet will once again rock the Balcony Theatre from May 9 – June 24, 2018.This high voltage rock ‘n’ roll show, with book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, is inspired by the electrifying true story of the famed recording session that brought together music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for one of the greatest jam sessions of all time. Featuring over 20 timeless hits such as "Blue Suede Shoes," "Great Balls of Fire," "I Walk the Line," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Fever," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog" and more, this thrilling musical brings audiences inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together to create a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night.Directed …

Shorts  On Ships - Professional Theatre at Sea

Shorts On Ships - Professional Theatre at Sea

Performing Arts

Published 4/2/18

The theatre is the heart of the onboard cultural entertainment. Now, the theatres of three of Azamara Club Cruises’ ships – Journey, Quest and Pursuit, will welcome City Theatre and one of their most innovative projects to date. Shorts on Ships is basically the theatre version of cruising – a series of short and charged performances which end on a pitch-perfect high note to deliver a lot while demanding very little. City Theatre is entering its 23rd season as the only professional theatre in the U.S. that is dedicated to producing short plays and musicals. Its imaginative new venture Shorts On Ships is the latest of a long-standing legacy of challenging the status quo. With the following their past works like Summer Shorts Festivals, Winter Shorts, City Shorts, Short Cuts and Shorts Gone Wild have garnered, the artistic troupe seems to have found the perfect platform to reinvent their vision on another, more fluid scale. City Theatre has hand-picked some of its …

Showcasing Rising Stars

Showcasing Rising Stars

Performing Arts

Published 3/1/18

With an exciting program that includes a vibrant and diverse art exhibition at the New World Gallery, followed by performance excerpts of renowned works in dance, music and theater at the Olympia Theater, the showcase will capture the artistic heart and soul of its guests. With excerpts from the performing arts divisions, the evening will highlight the work of world-renowned choreographers including Echad Mi Yodea by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. This iconic dance is set to the music of Israeli rock group Nikmat Hatractor and will be performed by select college dance students. Overture by NWSA alumnus Robert Battle, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance will also grace the stage.Led by Maestro Alfred Gershfeld, the NWSA Orchestra will come alive with the famous Overture to Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Opera (popularly known as the William Tell Overture), premiered in 1829 and the last of Rossini’s 39 operas. NWSA Wind Ensemble will present a movement from …

Florida Grand Opera Unveils Its First Production of Richard Strauss’s Potent, Sexually Charged Shocker Salome in Fifteen Years

Florida Grand Opera Unveils Its First Production of Richard Strauss’s Potent, Sexually Charged Shocker Salome in Fifteen Years

Performing Arts

Published 2/1/18

Operas are known for their passion, tugging at your emotions with heart-wrenching arias of tragic or unrequited love. Of course, sometimes love can be a just a tad extreme. One of our favorite Operas, Richard Strauss’s 1905 Salome, definitely takes the expression “falling head over heels” over someone to a dark place that’s guaranteed to thrill, shock, and entertain.When Salome first premiered, this steamy brew of eroticism and religion so unnerved audiences that it was banned in Vienna and London. The opera’s troubles didn’t end there. In 1907, at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, it was yanked from the company’s repertoire just days after its premiere.So why is this story so romantic, yet controversial? And why has it become one of the most successful and popular of all twentieth-century operas? Perhaps it’s the thematic mix of religious fervor, sexual fury, and necrophilia that audiences just can’t get enough of!In a nutshell, the plot of Salome boils down …

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