Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..
Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..
We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..
“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..
Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..
We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..
After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..
Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..
Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..
This week, MDC Live Arts brings the explosive energy of Combinado Argentino De Danza to Miami for their U.S. debut, featuring a series of pop up performances and residency workshops, culminating in a performance at Miami Beach’s Colony Theater on Saturday.
Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Andrea Servera, Combinado Argentino De Danza (CAD) has developed into a company that seamlessly blends movements from hip hop, Argentinean folkloric and contemporary dance into a stunning display of athleticism and feverish excitement. Hip hop dancers defy gravity with spins and flips, while the intricate footwork of folkloric dance taps a staccato rhythm against the stage.
Made up of a group of artists as diverse as its movements, CAD features conservatory and street trained dancers, DJs, and visual artists. One such company member is 26-year-old Agustin Franzoni, who started dancing only six years ago after being inspired by videos of Michael Jackson. “When I saw him the first time, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I started practicing and watching the videos for like eight hours a day, I wanted to learn it all,” he says via translator from his home in Argentina.
A self-described popper, named after the signature break dancing style that utilizes a series of articulated muscles contractions to simulate limbs “popping” forth from the body, Franzoni learned to dance by studying YouTube videos.
He took his dancing to the streets and found kinship and community with his fellow dancers in Buenos Aires’ famed Tecnópolis park. It was there that he met Servera, and was invited to join her company and create work. “Andrea saw us, and liked how I danced, and wanted to try to mix up styles, to create a new language of dance.”
This new language of dance has taken Franzoni and the other members of Combinado Argentino De Danza around the world, not just performing, but teaching their signature style and spreading their message of dance as a unifying force. It was this community minded energy that captivated the attention of MDC Live Arts Executive Director Kathryn Garcia.
“One of the things that attracted me to this company was their spirit of generosity and interest in doing a lot of activity and engagement with the community. A delightful thing about working on this show is how excited the company is to come here,” Garcia says. “They are so excited, and so revved up to spend time in Miami and work with our community. They are not 100 percent focused in the show, and they really, really want to engage while they are here, which we find very exciting.”
In addition to their concert at the Colony, the company will present a series of pop-up performances across Miami-Dade College’s many campuses, as well as at the Wynwood Walls on Friday. These guerilla-style engagements will be interactive and free of charge, and will allow Miami to get to know CAD and their work.
As Garcia explains, “There is this spirit of eagerness and freshness, and this real vibrancy and newness that you get from the company because they are such a young company. It’s exciting to see what is new and being created in a different part of the world that so clearly has influences from the U.S.”
Franzoni just wants “people to go see our show, it’s like dream for us, for me, I want to show people our world, and what we do, and how we do it in Argentina.
“People always have a good time. When we finish, the DJ always invites the audience to dance with us. We really mix it up, mix different dances. At the same time, we are equal, and we are like family. It’s more than just technique -- we dance with our hearts.”
Combinado Argentino de Danza pop up performance, Friday, 6:00 p.m. at Wynwood Walls, 2516 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; tickets free.
Combinado Argentino de Danza performance Saturday, 8:00 p.m. at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; tickets $25, $10 MDC students; 305-237-3010; mdclivearts.org .
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