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..
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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..
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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..
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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..
In a combo that promises to be both sublime and rip-roaring, three generations of Cuban and Cuban diaspora musicians come together this Saturday at The Miami-Dade County Auditorium to celebrate FUNDarte’s 10th anniversary of its Global Cuba Fest.
The elder statesman of the group is Cuban pianist and composer Ernán López Nussa. This is a musician compared by the venerable Jazz Times to nobody less than Grammy-award winning Irakere founder Chucho Valdes. “Like Chucho before him, Nussa is an insatiable musical omnivore with an intellect to match his giddy enthusiasm.”
Besides his work in jazz clubs all over Europe, Nussa is probably most widely known as the pianist in AfroCuba, the all-star band that collaborated with famed Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez during one of the vocalist’s more popular decades in the 1980s.
But as Nussa is a classically trained guy, perhaps it is not surprising that he happens to also enjoy reworking the dense structures of Bach and Beethoven to create gorgeous miniatures like “Fugue Negro” and “Sonata Patetica Cubana.”
Next generation up on Saturday night’s bill: Carlos Puig-Hatem, another classically trained composer and jazz musician, one who not only graduated from Havana’s world-class Instituto Superior de Artes conservatory of the arts (ISA), but was both innovative and disciplined enough to become the subsequent chairman of its department of composition.Since arriving in Miami 11 years ago, the trumpet and flugelhorn player has recorded and collaborated with some of the top jazz and pop industry headliners, including Celia Cruz and Willy Chirino. These days besides his performances and arranging, Puig-Hatem is finishing up a doctorate at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in choral composition. Puig-Hatem is nothing if not versatile. Since founding the Babel Latin Jazz Quintet in 1985, he has composed for chamber groups and orchestras, worked on film scores, and continued to perform as part of his latest project, the Carlos Puig Group, which combines jazz, pop and Afro-Cuban elements. On Saturday expect a sound closer to a Pat Matheny groove.
Third generation up: a band called Picadillo, now based in Madrid, Spain, a band that still flies under the radar in Miami, although crowds in Havana and Madrid wait in long lines to sing and shout along with the group during a performance.
The singer who fronts the band is Cuban-American Sol Ruiz, who studied opera for a bit before taking off to become a street musician in New Orleans -- “oh that Zydeco,” she says. Soon after she was playing gigs around Europe and opening for the likes of Patti Smith. One Madrid afternoon she wandered into a plaza and heard some musicians riffing on the Cuban music she grew up on. She jammed with them for most of a day and a night. Picadillo was born.
“Picadillo” she explains, “isn’t so much the name of a band as a description of how we make our music. Cuban son and guaracha is the meat of the meal, but we add in whatever else we find in the refrigerator.” A whole lot of those refrigerator’s contents are rooted in Ruiz’s time in New Orleans. Small wonder that the flavors mix so well together since Cuban musicians and those from the American south, most especially the deep blues players of New Orleans and the Delta, have been mixing it up going back at least a century. At Saturday’s Picadillo performance there’ll be a blues harmonica and ukulele, and stylings that are reminiscent of Billie Holiday, Dr. John, and even Janis Joplin. All this atop your guaguanco.
It’s a three-tiered concert night nicely reflecting a decade of a Global Cuban fusion fest.Cuban Fiesta celebrating the 10thAnniversary of Global Cuba Fest in Miami, Saturday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.); Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; tickets $30 general admission, $25 students and seniors, $20 groups of 10 or more (limited availability).On sale through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com; or 800-745-3000, and at Miami-Dade County Auditorium Box Office, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
For more information: www.fundarte.us, 305-547-5414 and (786) 348 -0789
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