Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..
Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..
Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some, that might mean taking a second or third job. Or robbing a bank. Or moving in with family. For Casey, a straight lip-syncing Elvis impersonator in a Panama City bar, desperation means forsaking the King’s rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for leg hair-hiding pantyhose, fake boobs and big-hair wigs, the better to sell himself as a fa..
Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..
As this steamy spring melts into a sweltering summer, Actors’ Playhouse is inviting theater lovers to a wedding – a big, fat Jewish-WASP wedding, otherwise known as the Broadway musical “It Shoulda Been You.” Though the show seemingly takes place in the present, the piece by book writer-lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi is an old-fashioned, stereotype-filled throwba..
'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..
Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..
Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..
The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..
Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..
With a heightened emphasis on “Noise” as an innovative musical genre, this sixth installment of the Miami Performance Festival International (M/P’17), running June 23 to 25, challenges South..
After 17 years as a principal dancer with the esteemed San Francisco Ballet, dancing every major role and style possible, Lorena Feijoo is retiring from that company to embark on a new journe..
Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick is a storyteller. Her company Alma Dance Theater brings a particularly female inner world to the stage, through lush and sensual choreography. Nick’s..
Pools are ubiquitous in Miami. They dot the landscape like Jackson Pollock drip paintings. Residents swim or idle the hours away by or in the pool – and dancers of Momentum Dance Company also perf..
May’s “Mujeres” series of strong, multi-faceted, women-focused productions, commissioned for Miami Theater Center’s SandBox space, concludes with Spanish-born dancer-choreographer Carlota Pr..
One could say that Bistoury’s 305 & Havana International Improv Fest, which debuts this Saturday at Miami Theater Center, has been in the works for almost 20 years. In 1999 Cuban-born cho..
The process of creating “Shade,” choreographer Augusto Soledade’s latest full-length work, has been one of remembering and reconfiguring memory to discover new ways of talking about identity ..
Upcoming this week, Tigertail presents choreographer Myriam Gourfink and musician Kasper Toeplitz. Hailing from France, the two will be present for a 3-day residency at Subtropics’ South Beac..
From her home base at 6th Street Dance Studio in Little Havana, longtime Miami dance figure Brigid Baker has been slowly crafting a new performance piece. It’s not conceptual or political like con..
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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