Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a Tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. “Building..
“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..
Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..
Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..
The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..
A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..
The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..
Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..
Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..
Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..
The future came a long time ago. That impression arose in two forward-pointing yet decades-old company premieres on Miami City Ballet’s second program of the season. In the opening performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Peter Martins’ "Calcium Light Night" from 1977 and Jerome Robbins’ "Glass Pieces" from 1983 carried the weight of dance history while keeping current value.
Barbed and tightly coiled, "Calcium" seems to move at the speed of impulse yet reveals an exquisitely timed mechanism.This duet introduced Martins, now New York City Ballet’s artistic director, as a promising choreographer.Yet—rocketing over neoclassicism—it remains an anomaly in his repertoire.The unorthodox rhythms and tonalities in the Charles Ives score, boisterous or eerie by turns, inspired in Martins an arch creativity.
"Calcium" unfolded in a center-stage square of unforgiving illumination.The unitards—blue for the man, red for the woman—against the black depth of the stage suggested color field paintings that sprouted arms and legs.In solos first and finally matched up, Kleber Rebello and then Nathalia Arja showed plenty of spunk and spring.He applied his knack for playing divine jesters, and she—whether echoing his moves or going on pointe on her own unabashed mission— was kittenish, teasing us with glimpses of a prowling tigress. These dancers turned focused progressions into a high-wire act.
In its incremental moves and sweeping repetitions, "Glass Pieces" provided a visually engaging response—influenced by postmodern dance—to the reiterative measures of three Philip Glass compositions. But, coming from the dawn of our electronic era, it also seemed to anticipate today’s world of ubiquitous screens.
“Rubric,” the first segment, featured a grid-pattern backdrop that loomed over lines of crisscrossing dancers, in contrast to three couples (Renan Cerdeiro and Tricia Albertson; Jovani Furlan and Callie Manning; Chase Swatosh and Jordan-Elizabeth Long) moving in spirited classical moves. “Façades” framed a stream of bobbing figures silhouetted by a blue-grey, LCD-like light; while in front of them Simone Messmer and Rainer Krenstetter projected solemnity like celebrants in a temple.“Akhnaten,” a pounding march, brightened the stage with advancing sextets of men before the full ensemble flooded in, earlier cool calculations giving way to a primeval force.
Those mind-driven displays contrasted with the vintage-Broadway lyricism of Kenneth MacMillan’s "Carousel Pas de Deux," another company premiere. The lusty pair in this encounter—using an orchestrated medley from the Richard Rodgers musical—found only fleeting satisfaction amid erotic turmoil. Though girlish, Jennifer Lauren kicked out and raised her fists in frustration before melting into the promise of passion. Embracing her, often in effusive lifts, Cerdeiro trafficked in a roguish magnetism prior to running off.
The true heart of this program lay in Balanchine’s "Serenade," where the mathematics of formations still astonish. Albertson, a refined ballerina, favored subtle interpretation, floating on the Tchaikovsky score in her journey from initiate to icon, partnered adroitly by Reyneris Reyes.Emily Bromberg was at her beguiling best as a mysteriousguide for Didier Bramaz.And Jeanette Delgado carried the light of all-out classicism.Throughout, Gary Sheldon’s baton kept the orchestra on pace in a very demanding range of music.
Feb.4-5 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts; www.miamicityballet.org.
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