Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..
"The Other Mozart" is a suitcase play – one of those shows where a single actress can pack the entire contents that creates the setting – costume, wig, and props, and go anywhere in the world. It is the way Samantha Hoefer will arrive in Miami to present Sylvia Milo's one-woman play about Maria Anna Mozart, the not nearly as famous older sibling of that 18th century rock star Wolfgang Ama..
Early on in the Argentinean film “El Último Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. theatrical debut this week, a deceptively quaint and humorous scene takes place between the film’s protagonist, 88-year-old Abraham Bursztein and his young granddaughter. The little girl refuses to join in a family photo with Abraham surrounded by his many grandchildren. When he cajoles and insists, ..
Gone are the days when filmmakers needed huge budgets, and major movie studios backing them with big bucks to get their films seen, according to two producers who spent decades in Los Angeles, and have now moved their base to Miami Beach. "From a creative standpoint, there are amazing opportunities for filmmakers today," says producer Kevin Chinoy, who, along with producing partner Frances..
Mark St. Germain has achieved ongoing success with small-cast plays involving historical figures in fictional scenarios, and South Florida has been as welcoming to his work as the rest of the country. St. Germain’s “Camping With Henry and Tom,” about a 1920s camping trip involving Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding, was produced in 1996 by New Theatre in Coral Gables..
Mexico City-based theater collective Teatro Ojo's works are constantly evolving. Nothing is ever really finished. That's because they take from every performance. Whatever the audience experiences, observes, feels, and offers feedback, which they highly encourage, all is used, considered, and included in the evolution of the same piece, or introduced into another new work. Two of the ..
“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..
“Once” has always been touched with magic. And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. When Irish director-screenwriter John Carney first told the tale of a heartbroken Irish street musician and the spunky Czech pianist who reignites his passion, a 200..
Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..
Revivals are hot on Broadway these days with “CATS”and “Hello, Dolly!“once again gracing the Great White Way. There is a certain nostalgia in taking a second or even third viewing of a beloved show. Such is the case with “The King and I,” now on tour after winning four 2015 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. The play opens on Tuesday, May 9 at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
East meets West in Rogers and Hammerstein’s 1951 musical, which tells the story of Anna Leonowens (Laura Michelle Kelly) and her time spent at the court of the King of Siam (played by Jose Llana), educating his children in the ways of the West. The king is dedicated toadvancing his country while still clinging to the customs of his time – the 1860s -- and place. Anna has her job cut out for her as she craftily deals with the king, and his many wives and children. Her story is told through music coupled with sumptuous sets and costumes designed by Michael Yeargan and Catherine Zuber -- Tony Award winners for this production.
Then there’s the dancing. Choreographed by Tony winner Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins, the dances are an essential part of the musical. Sixty-six years after it opened on Broadway, the artistry and talents of Robbins are still very much apparent today.
Robbins brought to the production a background in both ballet and musical theater. In 1940 he appeared in “Keep off the Grass”with choreography by George Balanchine; and in 1944 he choreographed “Fancy Free” for Ballet Theatre with music by Leonard Bernstein. “Fancy Free”is in the repertoire of the Miami City Ballet. He worked with Bernstein again in 1957 on “West Side Story.” Throughout his long career, Robbins not only choreographed for both the concert and musical stage, he changed and left an indelible print on both.
Just as he was able to move within dance worlds, Robbins was also able to bring a fusion between East and West in his choreography for “The King and I.”From the ice-breaking fan dance in Getting to Know You to the inventive use of Cambodian classicaldance blendedwith Japanese Kabuki theater in The Small House Of Uncle Thomas – based onHarriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Robbins used dance as a mechanism to push the story forward and at times, to drive home a point.
The Small House of Uncle Thomas is composed of an all female cast -- reflective of the classical dances traditionally performed for the Cambodian court. In this case, it’s performed for the king and his English guests and presented by the slave Tuptim. The symbolism of this piece is far-reaching and multi-layered. The production of this ballet threatens the power of the king and serves to highlight the recurring themes of tolerance, equality and freedom. Robbins is at his most artful self in the manner in which he adapts Cambodian dance to a Western audience.
Revivals are an important linkage between the past and the present, serving as cultural and artistic barometers. Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, who worked directly with Jerome Robbins as a soloist and principal dancer with New York City Ballet, says, “Jerry taught, what he himself lived, a commitment to dance that involved questioning and looking past the art form’s traditional parameters to imagine a more potent form of theater, one capable of poetically expressing a deep felt humanity.” “The King and I”couldn't arrive at a more appropriate time.
‘The King and I,’ Tuesday May 9through – Sunday May 14, with evening and matinee performances; Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami; Tickets start at $29 to $150; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.
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