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..
If Dale Andree could come back as an animal in her next life, she’d be a seal. The National Water Dance founder and artistic director, a self-confessed “water baby,” has a kinship with H20 and it’s that draw that helped her to realize an artistic vision that has now become a national force of nature.
She created the Florida Waterways Dance Project in 2011, a collaborative initiative of site-specific performances inspired by Florida’s waterways, and in 2014 the dance project evolved into a nationwide event, National Water Dance. The collective of movement choirs will perform simultaneously for the second National Water Dance at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, near or on bodies of water – from rivers, lakes and oceans to fountains and small streams. There are dance performances set for Florida at the edge of the Everglades, choreographed works to tribute Ohio’s Cuyahoga River that feeds Lake Erie, and dance pieces set at Louisiana's Bayou DeSiard, and Indiana’s Jordan River, a creek that winds through the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. The biggest expected gathering for National Water Dance will be hundreds of students from the largest school district in the United States, Los Angeles Unified School District, at a fountain in L.A. National Water Dance performances are planned from Alaska to Hawaii in 32 states
What began in Florida, and specifically in Miami with Andree and founding producer Daniel Lewis and Miami Dance Futures, now has a collective of 2,000 co-creators across the United States presenting site-specific performances with dance as the main art form.
“My desire was to inspire artists to realize the power of art to bring awareness to environmental issues, particularly water,” says Andree.
In Miami, dancers, singers and musicians will present a water dance creation at the Deering Estate in Cutler Ridge, produced and choreographed by Andree. “What better place?” Andree says of Deering Estate, the 444-acre environmental hub located along the edge of Biscayne Bay. “We're right at the mouth of the issues we’re dealing with -- salt water intrusion and the drying up of the Everglades. But then there’s the beauty of the estate that takes hold of you, too, and with 164 performers, it will be mesmerizing.”
Four percussionists will accompany 80 dancers from Miami troupes, Dance Now! Miami, Karen Peterson & Dancers, and August Soldade BrazzDance, among other dancers, all performing to an original percussion score created by Brandon Cruz, director of South Florida Center for Percussive Arts, based on Beethoven's Ode to Joy. Bridgeprep Academy of Arts & Minds High School choir in Coconut Grove will sing the Ode. New World School of the Arts, Cutler Bay Middle School, and Conchita Espinosa Academy are also participating.
For each of the site-specific groups around the country, Andree encourages autonomy in the creation of the singular water dances; however, she does have a style guide of sorts, a “movement phrase” that serves to connect every dance. On the National Water Dance website, Andree has created movements meant to be used by each group that were formulated from gestures sent in by participants inspired by their water sites. She’s asking that each group begins and ends their dance with the same gesture. “We created an archive of movement – about six or seven minutes long, which is available for people to resource if they want to use it. They can take what they want from it.”
While the growth of Water Dance in its second incarnation is promising, Andree says it’s difficult to quantify the impact the event had in 2014 or will have this year. She wants the scope to expand to include more collaborations with environmental groups and, she says, “That’s happening.” This year, she also wants to pay close attention on gathering information from the groups on “what worked and what didn't,” and dig deep into how to take the awareness created by National Water Dance. “With every manifestation, we create a larger voice. It’s not of those things where you're signing petitions and you get 100,000 names that you take to the legislature. With this many people involved and with this many people being reached, we are making a difference, but in ways that are hard to define. We need to keep building it and just keep it moving.” The next National Water Dance will be in 2018.
She’s more than proud that the dance and water collective was born in Miami. “This is ground zero on climate change and rising sea levels, so it'’s even more important that we are bringing awareness nationally to this location."
National Water Dance will be livestreamed on YouTube from sites around the country. Performances are free. National Water Dance Miami is at the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 S.W. 72nd Ave., Miami, Saturday at 4 p.m. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.; www.nationalwaterdance.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..
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..
Globalization has produced many stories —not all inspiring. But having a Pakistani ensemble become a worldwide sensation by playing Paul Desmond’s immortal “Take Five,” which pianist Da..
When the management of New York’s iconic Apollo Theater approached drummer Gregg Field last year about organizing a concert there in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth..
They’ve opened a Chanel fashion show in Havana and been featured in Beyoncé’s visual album for “Lemonade.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has danced to their music. Their Florida debu..
There are few artists who have had the impact in their disciplines that guitarist Paco De Lucía had in flamenco. There is a before-and-after De Lucía in flamenco. He expanded the harmonic voc..
Yoli Mayor is a 22-year old Miami native who won over the judges of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” with her power voice (think Adele mixed with Etta James). This weekend, Miami audiences will h..
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 ..
Not everybody who begins a musical career at age three singing in his grandfather’s Pentecostal Church finds his way to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soloman Howard did in two short decades...