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..
Blessed by good parentage and nurturing support, a hale and hearty ballet company has just been born in South Florida. Under the direction of Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Carlos Miguel Guerra, much-admired former Miami City Ballet principals, aided by a dedicated production team, Dimensions Dance Theatre came into our midst at Miami-Dade County Auditorium in late November with the program “Between Havana and Heaven.”
Ahead lies the hard work of bringing up baby: expanding the repertory to establish a clearer artistic identity, polishing up performances to better serve the dances, and—perhaps most daunting—building a solid financial base. Still, this first show held promise and established a worthy mission to include women choreographers and, whenever possible, live music.
Welcome, then, Under the Olive Tree, a multi-segmented work by Tara Lee, an Atlanta Ballet member who choreographed this (to Vivaldi and Max Richter) for New Orleans Ballet Theatre last summer. Drawing from Greek mythology, the ballet traces a passage from static divinity to vigorous human striving as gods forsake their majesty, stamped on the olive tree, to enter the world’s fray. But it was just as well to withdraw from that reading and merely enjoy the excitement of emotion-laden encounters in solo, duet, and ensemble work.
True, after a looming formation of entwined dancers split up, the curve of their arms and raised hands with twig-stiff fingers illustrated the transformation of arboreal rigidity into pulsing flesh. Yet the ensuing push and pull of movement, sweeping across the stage, served the senses more than the concept. Dancers brushed by each other, joined up, and opened their bodies to the light; the eight women were slinkier than the three men, who—bare-chested and blocky-muscled—stayed closer to their woody origins, each one quite a looker nonetheless.
Who wouldn’t want to see Katia Carranza dance here again? Elegant of line and declarative in technique, the former MCB principal can bring an engaging directness to her moves—evidenced even in the hoary medium of The Talisman Pas de Deux, extracted from the 19th-century Russian repertoire, which she laudably polished. Her partner, Maikel Hernández, though somewhat odd in carriage, still showed off his obligatory turns and leaps with enough force.
Desire was in the air to see Kronenberg and Guerra do what they do best: exult in a pas de deux.And they fulfilled expectations for that feast of thrust and trust, though in the relatively unassuming mode of Yanis Pikieris’ Ante El Escorial.To a solemn piano composition by Ernesto Lecuona (played by Marcel Guerra on stage), this didn’t portray, as so many duets, a mere romantic dalliance, but—aloft on the resonance of the music—more of a vital alliance. Fitting for this married couple at the cusp of an artistic adventure.
Juanita y Alicia is Septime Webre’s memory-stitched valentine to his Cuban heritage, at once aching with intimacy and arching toward cultural lore; overall lively and not without wit. The musical selections, played with fervor on stage by Alain García and The Latin Power, are familiar island classics, most recently made popular for wider audiences by Buena Vista Social Club; a passage of pure percussion, however, unearthed deeper African roots to nourish the hot-blooded fusion of Masiel Alonso and Ignacio Galíndez.
Most interesting here was the use of popular rhythms and crooning vocals for high-gear classicism in the dancing, Cuban accents used as condiment. The scenes, arising from the choreographer’s family history, kept close to the commonplace: white-clad youngsters in childhood games, endearing flirtations on festive occasions. But when a shirtless carnival figure (Todd Fox) came on the scene, a bolder sensuality flared. Chloe Freytag (another MCB alumna) met this wholeheartedly in a duet with Fox in the bolero Dos Gardenias. Then the cast got down to party in El Cuarto de Tula, a joy the audience readily embraced.
Dimensions debuted during an especially busy dance week. Among the events, Miami City Ballet’s Open Barre, a company-studio series, showed excerpts from Balanchine’s Gershwinsuite, Who Cares?,with reminiscences and on-the-spot coaching from Patricia McBride, a thoughtful advocate of an exquisite legacy. At Miami Light Project, Pat Graney’s Girl Gods illuminated women’s social history, packing critique and tribute in arresting vignettes. And, most thrilling, Britain’s Michael Clark Company concluded its residency at YoungArts by presenting three works—silken or steely but always shimmering—at extreme close-up and duplicated in the long mirrors of the Jewel Box space; to great effect, the music ranged from David Bowie to Eric Satie, leading to Patti Smith’s raw-throated outpouring of The Land of a Thousand Dances. If Dimensions Dance Theatre keeps adding to the wealth of movement celebrated in that song, our corner of geography will be a happier place indeed.
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..
Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain s..
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You might expect something a tad unusual from a jazz band comprised of Bulgarians and Cubans that’s led by the principal percussionist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. And that’s what you’ll ..
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Hay pocos artistas que han tenido el impacto en sus disciplinas como el guitarrista Paco De Lucía tuvo en flamenco. En este género, hay un antes y después de De Lucía. Expandió el vocabul..
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Esta es una gran noticia para el público amante del ballet en Miami. Tras un paréntesis de diez años en los que solo nos visitó de manera esporádica, la Primera Bailarina mexicana Katia Carra..
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Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..