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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..

Promising a night of airiness and ardor, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami will bring “Ballet’s Pointe of Passion” to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, where the company joins an att..

Great friendships can nurture and prod an artist to make greater work. Think Pablo Picasso and Wifredo Lam, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Such is also the case fo..

It’s a tall order to present a season as surprising as it is moving, as disturbing as it is delightful. Miami-Dade College’s Live Arts 2017-2018 season -- Ojala/Inshallah: Wishes from the Mu..

It was only a few decades ago that finding a professional, locally produced performance was an aerobic dance in itself. But after the Miami City Ballet (established 1985), the New World Schoo..

A 50th anniversary calls for gold in celebration. But Balanchine’s “Jewels”­—a sublime marriage of music and choreography from 1967—brings Emeralds, Rubies,and Diamonds. Those pre..

When the Limon Dance Company returns to Miami-Dade this weekend, it brings with it the powerful vision of founder José Limon. He was a man deeply concerned about and connected to the humanity..

When Cardi B, with her trademark no-filter attitude, raps in her recent hit “Bodak Yellow” – Now I don’t got to dance/I make money move – she has something to sing about, with her smash hit N..

Despite a packed show schedule, including performing with the Frankfurt Opera in “Rinaldo,” Sarasota native, dancer and choreographer James McGinn had a chance to discuss the upcoming dance-opera ..

Anniversaries usually celebrate the success of a partnership with symbolic gifts of crystal, china, silver and gold. For the Arts Ballet Theater of Florida, the company celebrates 20 years of..

A Force of Nature Blows Into Miami for ‘Climakaze’

Photo: Photo : Jodie Hutchinson
Written by: Elizabeth Hanly
Article Rating

Critics on five continents have described her work as “indecent and breathtaking,” or some close variant. One blessed her for always “going too far.” Another stated he would prefer death to missing one of her performances. They are talking of Moira Finucane, designated a “National Treasure” in her native Australia.

She will perform in a one woman show entitled “Rapture” as the opening event at this weekend’s three-day Climakaze extravaganza produced by Elizabeth Doud in conjunction with FUNDarte and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

“Imagine,” Finucane begins as she describes what her audience may expect. “Imagine you are at Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors and the mirrors crash and become water, a sea of water, and then there are icebergs, but suddenly you are in a dark forest and in the company of a bitter woman who’s looking there for her husband. But then she begins a rant, a ridiculous no-sense song about structural oppression. Ah, but soon the woman begins to waltz, and you waltz too for she has invited you, her audience, to waltz with her.”

All this, by the way, is set to music, which at times is reminiscent of medieval baroque, at times cutting edge industrial and in both cases the work of leading Australian composers.

Suffice it to say, this is experiential work seeking new ways to tell stories.

By its very nature, it is also work deeply interested in transformation. Art at its best is, for this performer, nothing less than electricity.

Several years ago, Finucane went literally on a personal odyssey. She intended to develop an “autonomy of hope” and began a project that entailed asking folks in myriad different walks of life, perhaps most tellingly oncologists, how they understood hope. All the comments pointed her back to her early fascination with fairy tales and lives of the saints. “Tiny actions can have epic consequences.”

So it is in the narratives she weaves both on and off stage.

Those individual tiny actions are the ones that allow her to have hope even as she works on a range of social issues that she regards as profoundly interrelated: refugee rights, human trafficking, gender rights, and issues of climate change.

Director and producer Doud understands hope a little differently. As she prepares for this, the third annual Climakaze, she emphasizes the need for the reflection and the grief that must come before new paradigms, new stories can be imagined.

“We look around at our world,” she says, “we look at all issues … but particularly those relating to climate and know we have taken a loss. The Romantic ideal of nature is not coming back. We don’t yet know the quality of what might come, but we need to begin trying telling stories of what may be possible even if those stories are still hard to put into words. We need art to begin to help us imagine.”

And so, as part of her extravaganza, Doud has invited the New York City-based Super-Heroes' Clubhouse to present two days of their trademark interactive Eco-Theater Labs. “Everybody -- local artists and scientists, anybody concerned about issues of climate -- is welcome to participate in these labs. Here again, the idea is both to have a place to give witness to a community’s loss and also a place to allow oneself to dream, and perhaps sense together stories waiting to emerge.

But hang on, there’s still more to the weekend’s line-up.

To bring still more stories of our interrelatedness to light, Doud has asked Miami vocalist and musician Inez Barlatier to take the stage in a Saturday night concert. If author Joan Didion is right when she says “one can understand nothing if one doesn’t understand the rhythm behind it," then Barlatier may be the perfect bookend for the two Climakaze concerts.

The daughter of master drummer and poet Jan Sebon, Barlatier grew up seeped in just about every kind of African diaspora rhythm, as well as those from the Iberian Peninsula and the Near East.

Today she describes her music as taking all this and adding a bit of Shakira and more than a little of Tracey Chapman.

Besides her own band, the Kazoots, she plays with an all women drumming group, Venus Raising, and still manages to find time to instruct area children in the rhythms of their traditions.

“When I think of my Haitian roots,” she says, “I don’t think of the problems. I think of the morning after the revolution, the morning after our apocalypse, when everywhere there was singing. There was nothing anywhere but singing and dancing and joy.”

Climakaze Miami 2017; Friday, May 5at 8:30 p.m., ‘The Rapture’ by Moira Finucane; Saturday, May 6 at 8:30 p.m., Inez Barlatier in Concert; Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eco-Theater Labs. Mid-Stage at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; tickets $25 Adults, $40 weekend pass; $20 seniors and students. A limited number of $5 performance tickets will be available for students ages 13-22 through www.cultureshockmiami.com.(Eco-Theater Labs are free of charge.)Tickets at www.ticketmaster.com; 800-745-3000; 305-547-5414; www.climakazemiami.org/program-info/

 


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