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..
Just about now, even as the unsuspecting may be lounging at the beach, classical music is thundering forth in Miami. Our town’s annual eight week Miami Music Festival has begun with its offerings of some 75 performances from 250 young professionals.
This week alone the festival will present two operas – Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” and Janacek’s family-friendly “Cunning little Vixen,” as well as a traditional July 4 orchestral extravaganza.
Offenbach’s ever popular “Tales,” with its melodic rises and falls, its three stories of love and lost needs little introduction to South Floridians.
But the “Cunning Little Vixen” may be far less familiar. The work is based on a popular Czech early 20th century comic strip. Our vixen is a fox who encounters crickets and frogs and grasshoppers and a schoolteacher and a hunter, among other beasts. Ah, she is sure of herself as the opera opens. But at the end? Dancers from the Miami City Ballet also take to the stage as the vixen’s story unfolds. Michael Rossi, artistic director and festival founder, calls the opera itself as well as his production “wildly beautiful.”
Children and their families are not only welcome to share in the beauty, Rossi has fashioned a post-opera event particularly for them. He refers to it as a “petting zoo.”Kids are encouraged to come, talk to the musicians, and ‘pet’ the various orchestral instruments.
It should come as no surprise that Rossi is this interested in the young. He established the whole festival as a performing institute to help accomplished but emerging musicians -- those still early in their careers to further their craft.
It all began five years ago while Rossi, a young Washington, D.C., based orchestral conductor, was vacationing in Miami with his family. He wanted to hear live classical music; during the summer there was precious little here to be had. Meanwhile through his work with the Washington National Opera as well as his experience as a guest conductor in dozens of cities, he knew how many young musicians were hungry for more performing expertise.
Right from the start the festival was ambitious, featuring full operas, symphony recitals, zarzuelas, and chamber music ensembles, let alone evenings devoted to arias and faculty recitals. And what a faculty it is. This year’s crop includes Grammy-Award winning soprano, Christine Brewer, among dozens of others.
Applications from young musicians to perform in the festival and participate in its training have blossomed from a few hundred that first year to well over a thousand this summer. “Choosing among so much talent can be heart-breaking,” Rossi says.
If pressed to choose which part of the festival for which he feels most proud, Rossi would point to the Wagner Institute. “Wagner is its own law,” he says. “A voice needs to mature before it can take on that music. A singer needs in to be in his/her 30s or 40s. But by then vocalists are deep into their careers. There was not a place, a safe one, for accomplished vocalists to practice Wagner.” The upcoming performance of selections from the Ring Cycle on July 22 at the Arsht Center may be the high point of all the festival’s presentations.
This is not to slight the South Florida premier on July 27 of contemporary composer extraordinaire Jake Heggie’s opera “Dead Man Walking.” The work, familiar to some from the Sean Penn movie of the same title takes a hard look at the death penalty, and what forgiveness may mean.
But this week Rossi is focusing on those those operas, especially “Vixen.” Last year at the end of one of the family operas, he invited the kids to do more than “pet” the instruments. He offered a volunteer among the children a chance “to play an instrument none of them ever had.” Then he gave a seven year old who volunteered the conductor’s wand. The boy ‘played’ the entire orchestra. “He was shockingly good,” Rossi laughs. “I’m hoping to see him again.”
Miami Music Festival first week highlights:
“Tales of Hoffman,” June 29, 7:30 p.m.; July 1, 7:30 p.m. “The Cunning Little Vixen,” June 30, 7:30 p.m.; July 2, 2:00 p.m.
Independence Day Celebration: Bernstein Symphonic Dances, 1812 overture, and other patriotic favorites; July 4, 6:00 p.m.
Shepard & Ruth K. Broad Performing Arts Center, Barry University, 11300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami Shores; tickets $15-$35; miamimusicfestival.com; 305-482-3793.
Hay pocos artistas que han tenido el impacto en sus disciplinas como el guitarrista Paco De Lucía tuvo en flamenco. En este género, hay un antes y después de De Lucía. Expandió el vocabul..
Dance NOW! Miami, la Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO), Miami Dance Futures y la New World School of the Arts (NWSA) colaboraron el fin de semana pasado para presentar la Daniel Lew..
Esta es una gran noticia para el público amante del ballet en Miami. Tras un paréntesis de diez años en los que solo nos visitó de manera esporádica, la Primera Bailarina mexicana Katia Carra..
Solo hay que aplicar el concepto “seis grados de separación” a uno de los artistas que se han presentado en las Galas de Estrellas del Festival Internacional de Ballet de Miami (IBFM por sus ..
El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..
El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..
La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..
El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..
Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..