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..
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..
Transgendered performance artist Scott Turner Schofield is a collector of stories. Growing up in the South, the tales that were told about the gay and trans community were the ugliest kind of fiction. The story he tells in his one-man show, Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps, coming to MDC’s Live Arts Lab Thursday through Saturday, has the advantage not only of being true, but also of being enlightening and entertaining. We talked to him about his tales and how they unfold on stage, which differs with each performance.
Tell me about your show Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps. Does it work for eighth graders?
Does it work for eighth graders? Hmm…The show is different every night, because there are different stories picked by the audience in each performance. There are a couple of sexually explicit stories, but I mean nothing more than what they would see on television. It’s probably PG 13, as long as you’re okay with them asking some questions later.
Let’s go back in time. You were raised in the South?
I grew up all over the place. I was mostly raised in Texas and North Carolina and Georgia.
It's why I am who I am today. When I was 15 years old I was going to high school in Charlotte, N.C. and [the award-winning play centered around the 1980s AIDS crisis] Angels in America came on a regional tour; there was such a huge fight that the County Commission voted to pull all of the money from the arts--the symphony, kids after-school programs.... Our elected officials were saying things like, “All homosexuals should be pushed off the face of the earth.” The thing about teens is, everything is really intense in adolescence. And so it wasn't like those words were just spoken, it's like they were blasted into my face.
That is the first moment that I had ever had a suicidal thought -- it told me that the government thinks that me, a child, that I am unworthy of being alive because I'm different.
That was a pretty deep spiritual moment. It's also when I tapped into my righteous activist anger. So, it was a double-edged sword. It was the moment of the greatest pain of my life but I was also in the South, which has a deep civil rights history and a long tradition of how to do that, so that's where I learned.
What do you say to kids today who are going through some of the things that you went through?
I would say, look, I spent 20 years looking really hard for what was wrong with me and then I realized that there is nothing wrong with me. Whatever your identity is, whatever words you use for it, however you feel about that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with someone who is going to hate you because of it. But if you are coming at your life with love and if you are helping the community through your life, and the lives of others, you are doing it 100 percent right.
What should we expect from the performance?
The show Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps is overall a lighthearted comedy about my life and process of becoming a man.
I have 127 different short stories that are about me and my experience. It's definitely my experience and not the experience of trans people in general. You get to the universal through the particular, right? I have these 127 stories and only a few of them are about that moment when I decided to change my name and my social identity. There are a bunch of stories about what it was like to be a kid and being very clear about what my identity was and being told I was wrong about that, and the effect that that had on me.
Then there is the experience of realizing that I was trans and the exhilaration of finally having the right label to put on myself. There's the moment when I transitioned and then there's everything that happened afterwards. Other stories include what it's like to be in a relationship as a man when you've been in all lesbian relationships before.
It's just a really wide variety of stories that I choose from, funny stories. I chug a beer in one story -- that's all I do.
People have interesting experiences at work. Funny sh** happens with friends. That's really the point of the story, but you're seeing it from a transgender person's outlook. Which you usually don't get, so you may as well come and see it.
Are you trying to get at our common humanity?
People can roll their eyes at all these "let's get along" stories, and that's not what Becoming a Man is about. Becoming a Man is, let's come in and get a really quick and deep education about some trans stuff and find out how we have sex and find out how we fight with our parents.
Here's the dirt and let's have fun playing in it.
‘Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps’, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Live Arts Lab, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 8:00 p.m. Tickets $30; Students $10; mdclivearts.org/shows/scott-turner-schofield
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...
Singer-songwriter Tiago Iorc may have been one of Brazil’s best-kept secrets, but the word is getting out. Fresh from appearances in New York, Boston and Orlando, Iorc makes his South Flo..
Gustavo Matamoros’ beard has gone gray, but his passionate promotion of listening as a way of engaging the world remains fresh.Whether bats in the Everglades, shrimp in Biscayne Bay or the no..
Just about now, even as the unsuspecting may be lounging at the beach, classical music is thundering forth in Miami. Our town’s annual eight week Miami Music Festival has begun with its offer..
Talk of weddings can quickly split a friendly gathering into camps of pro and con. Those on the pro side retell the moment when the crying six-year-old ring bearer, stunned by the attention o..
What better way to welcome summer than with a burst of live music? Leave it to the French to come up with the idea. Since 1982, they’ve marked the summer solstice with free concerts and p..
Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade is as tiny as a house sparrow, with a voice as clean and pure as a bell. These delicate qualities belie a fierce inner strength and a steely artistic will. A..
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..
Solo hay que aplicar el concepto “seis grados de separación” a uno de los artistas que se han presentado en las Galas de Estrellas del Festival Internacional de Ballet de Miami (IBFM por sus ..
El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..
El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..
La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..
El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..
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, ..
No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..
Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..