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 ..
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami has been on a trajectory best described as meteoric. In its first 18 months DDTM has been a 2017 Knight Challenge Grant recipient and now will debut at New Y..
Amirah Sackett came up as a dancer in Chicago’s hip hop scene at a time when women were rare in the mostly male community. But she also visibly stood out as a Muslim. She keeps her hair cover..
Inside the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, where Dance Now! Miami is in residence, there is a hub of activity as the company prepares for its performance on Saturday night of Contemporanea 201..
One of the signatures of the National Water Dance project since its inception seven years ago was that dance troupes, large or small, professional or school groups, were free to perform whate..
Miami City Ballet is in league with Russians – in a good way -- and this promises to make a selection of dances look great again. The company’s final program this season brings back Apollo an..
Hidden behind a busy street in North Miami Beach is the Ancient Spanish Monastery, where Dance Now! Miami will bring the past into the present – and back into the past. Ekphrasis describes th..
Sometimes dance seems as easy as walking down the street. John Heginbotham, founder and artistic director of Dance Heginbotham, describes his dancers as moving in an unaffected, natural manne..
On the heels of a year-plus parade of #MeToo confessions, celebrity shamings and women’s marches, comes Marisa Alma Nick’s female-power-packed “A Rebel in Venus.” “It wasn’t planned that ..
Choreographers are usually curious people. Augusto Soledade’s curiosity leads him in many directions, including ideas on Madonna, voguing, and selfies. It all began with “thoughts on identity..
“Heaven sends us habits in place of happiness,” two women of a certain age observe in a famous line from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. Yet the new Florida Grand Opera production makes the case that habit, or at least experience, might actually be the source of happiness.
In Onegin’s opening scene at the Arsht Center,two sisters sweetly sing of love’s sighs and sorrows. Soprano Dina Kuznetsova has a ruby-toned voice perfect for the role of the bookish, lovelorn Tatyana. Her tone blends nicely with the contralto of Courtney Miller, as her younger sister, Olga. But as their mother, Madame Larina, who recalls her own youthful folly, the more seasoned soprano Robynne Redmon brought greater confidence and power to the stage.
In the relatively minor role of Madame Larina’s servant Filipyevna, bona fide diva Denyce Graves sent a wave of excitement through the hall. The mezzo-soprano, famous for her turns as Carmen and Delila at the Met, outshined the rest of the cast, despite her gray wig and drab uniform.
But this was not an occasion for star power. As director Jeffrey Marc Buchman explains in his program notes, the FGO production rejects the typical operatic drama and spectacle to achieve what Tchaikovsky considered an even deeper human feeling: intimacy.
Though an opera hall is hardly an intimate space, a simple set of columns suggesting a natural birch tree forest gave even the ball room scenes a sense of nature and peace. This is the peace that Tatyana finally finds in her duty as a wife, but that forever eludes the title character, the careless and thoughtlessly cruel, Onegin.
As Eugene Onegin, looking very much the part with top hat and cane, and moving with the grace of a dancer, the dashing baritone Franco Pomponi could have stepped out of a Jane Austen novel or one of the romantic bard Byron’s poems. His voice has a sweet tinge that could easily seduce an impressionable girl, with none of the gravel often heard in this role to insinuate Onegin’s dissolute character.
Kuznetsova captured the wonder of first love in a famous scene where Tatyana writes Onegin a letter confessing her feelings. Her gorgeous, floating high notes ached with desire.
But if Onegin steals Tatyana’s heart, it is his faithful friend -- and Olga’s childhood love -- Lenski, who stole the show. Tenor Chad Johnson conveyed the pathos of a young man whose jealously has lead him to likely death in a duel with his best friend in a voice tremulous, but controlled.
In another opera, perhaps by an Italian composer, this tragic death might be the story’s end. Following his source, the Russian novelist Pushkin, and Chekhov after him, Tchaikovsky finds tragedy not in dramatic death, but the mundane persistence of life. As Prince Gremin, capably voiced by bass-baritone and FGO Young Artist Alex Soare, intones “all ages surrender to love.”
Unfortunately, conductor Alexander Polianichko did not surrender much to the cast. Tchaikovsky’s music is so full of feeling that the orchestra could tell the story all by itself, but the singers could have benefited from more sensitive pacing as the orchestra crowded even the most poignant moments.
Florida Grand Opera presents Eugene Onegin on Thursday, February 9 and Saturday February 11 at the Broward Center; tickets $21-$139; Fgo.org.
"Nosotros sentimos, y pensamos que Jennifer y Carlos sienten igual, que Miami finalmente ha llegado a posicionarse como una verdadera ciudad cultural donde continuamente se presentan compañías imp..
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