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..
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.
Late last year, on Dec. 20, 2016, Romero Britto and Mark Bryn hosted the Great Artists Series Cocktail Reception at the Britto Fine Art Gallery to celebrate the legendary impresaria, Judy Dru..
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