“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..
Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..
Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..
Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..
Thirty-two playwrights, a half dozen directors, and around ninety plays in less than two hours. This is the South Florida One-Minute Play Festival, now in its fifth year, which runs this weekend. The festival, performed at the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay and curated by Caitlin Wees and Dominic D’Andrea, has become a phenomenon in its own right. South Florida’s version of the festival i..
Mention the Harlem Renaissance, and those who know their history would be able to tell you a little or a lot about that vibrant period in New York’s black social and cultural life. But bring up the New York Renaissance – also known as the Renaissance Big Five or the Rens – and you’d be likely to stump anyone who isn’t steeped in basketball lore. Playwright and director Layon Gray ..
Listen up, humanity. God has a bone (or 10) to pick with us, and we’d best pay attention. I mean, if he can zap the wing off an argumentative archangel – and he can – just imagine what’s in store for us. Or simply consider the news, post-election. David Javerbaum, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer and head writer of Comedy Central’s much-missed “The Daily Show with Jon Ste..
I saw Lorca en un vestido verde, the Spanish-language version of Nilo Cruz’s play Lorca in a Green Dress eight years ago on a cramped stage in Little Havana’s Teatro Ocho, where Rolando Moreno took on the task of directing four actors who play eight roles. Even with the limitations of the production, Cruz’s inventive and lyrical script made Lorca one of my favorites from the Pulitzer Priz..
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (2016) is a masterful and engaging film exploring the dilemma of a singularly strong-willed, exceedingly attractive older woman who refuses to budge when power comes knocking at her door and tries to blow it off its hinges. A relative newbie to the director’s chair, Mendonça is a former film critic who layers a rich texture of skillfully developed metaphor..
The words that South Florida playwright Michael McKeever has chosen for his intense new play ‘After’ are powerful indeed. They would have to be, since his Zoetic Stage world premiere at Miami’s Arsht Center is a devastating piece about bullying, school violence and the moment when one horrific act destroys two families. But just as powerful as the words in “After” are the silences, as..
Tango, one of the most democratic forms of music and dance, grew out of the diverse working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s. The rich blending of different cultures mixed with local music produced unique sounds and dances born from the displacement and loneliness of immigrants in a strange place.
Estampas Porteñas Tango Company embodies that essence, which will be on display when the company arrives at the South-Miami Dade Cultural Center on Saturday. It was founded in 1996 by Carolina Soler, a ballet dancer and choreographer, who performed with numerous ballet troupes including the esteemed Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires. She also studied tango with well-known masters in Buenos Aires and has danced with various tango groups.
Deseos… Stories of Longing and Desire presents a theatrical performance filled with expressive dance, soul searching music and a compelling narrative: a young woman (Margot) leaves the countryside of Argentina for the fleeting promises of Buenos Aires. Estampas Porteñasinfuses her experiences with a variety of Argentine dance styles including the exciting malambo of the gauchos (cowboys), whose use of the boleadores (a strap with balls attached that’s used to entwine and immobilize animals) echoes the intwining and sharp movements of the dancers’ legs. Deseos reveals a journeyacross the cityscape of Buenos Aires: a train station, docks, a barrio, a brothel and a ballroom. All seen through projections that transports the dancers and audience alike back to the Argentina of the 1930s and 1940s.
Margot’s flight from her rural home to the big city of Buenos Aires is a storyline that encapsulates the audience in a time and place that helped develop this unique genre. Tango and Argentina are almost synonymous; and Deseos is a comprehensive travelogue, touching upon places associated with an art form that pulls and wraps people together. This is seen from the opening scene in the village square, where a group of men compete in who can perform the most intricate footwork. The festivities continue with flirtatious dance steps, zapateos (foot stomping), ganchos, malambo twists and singing.
The village square gives way to a train station in the city (with the use of a backdrop of images created by a 3-D projection), the vibrant sounds of the city are heard as newspaper sellers shout out the news and announce a milonga (dance party) that evening. Along the way to the milonga Margot witness a reos- a street gang fight. She finds her way to a cabaret and her adventures (or misadventures) continue to unfold through the intricacies of tango.
Meanwhile, Margot’s boyfriend, Charlo, has arrived in the city seeking her. Due to unfortunate circumstances Margot finds herself in a house of prostitution, where she performs a seductive dance with the other women of the house. Margot and Charlo engage in a game of seek and find throughout the city. They both arrive at a nightclub where everyone is dancing, but disguised by masks. In this anonymous atmosphere dancers turn, glide forward, stop and make abrupt reversal of movements as legs whip around bodies to the music of Piazzolla. This is the city where lovers reunite and the tango consumes a people whether in the 1940s or 2016.
Estampas Porteñas Tango Company, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8:00 p.m.; South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center; 10950 S.W. St., Cutler Bay; tickets $27.50-$60; www.smdcac.org.
Seduced by the jazz in his dad’s music collection, a kid from Perth, Western Australia, takes up the saxophone at age 13. He grows up, moves to the United States and becomes a star. Dreams do..
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