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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..

Of Jazz, Biking Tours, and Poetry

Photo: Photo credit: Kelly Jensen
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In the fall of 2014, Jazz composer Taylor Ho Bynum spent five weeks biking from Vancouver to Tijuana, with concerts stops along the way in an effort to re-envision the process of creating and consuming music while reducing his own carbon footprint. Surrounded by breathtaking sunrises and colorful sunsets, he played his cornet to both audiences of stoic ancient red wood trees and raucous jazz fans.

MDC Live Arts brings him and his Acoustic Bicycle Tour to Miami for a series of concerts, discussions, and improvisations at locations across South Florida -- including five of Miami-Dade Colleges’ campuses. The weeklong residency will allow Bynum to create deeper relationships with the local community and artists that live here.

“When I did the West coast bike tour,” Bynum says, “I realized once it was over, that one of my few regrets was not having the chance to have a deeper engagement with any particular community, because I was always on the go. So while the journey aspect of it was incredible, I felt I hadn’t fully tapped into the potential of connecting with a community, and sort of generating discussion.

“What’s been fantastic about this program, is that its become a really in depth collaboration, and that’s one of the things I’m excited about.”

Kathryn Garcia, MDC Live Arts executive director, who was attracted to the flexible nature of the work and the opportunity to engage the community in many different ways, agrees: “We jumped on the chance when we heard about this project because we knew that it would be perfect, as it doesn’t require any particular venue -- he can do performances anywhere. This piece is all about alternate thinking -- alternate ways of listening to music, so that for us, was really exciting.”

In addition to residencies and pop-up improvisations along his bike route to each campus, Bynum will also perform with his long-time ensemble. the Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette at WDNA studios on Friday, April 10. On April 11, he will lead an Emerge Miami bike ride through Little Havana, culminating in a concert with his 7-tette and local musicians at MDC’s Koubek Center.

“The chance to not just come to a town, play a gig and leave, but to work with the local artists who are there is something I find really exciting,” Bynum explains. “I think it’s really important, because I think we are all guilty of looking to the visiting artist as the exciting ones, and I think all of us always take for granted the musicians that are in our own backyard. The same way there has been a sustainable and local food movement, the way people are aware of where their food has come from, and trying to eat locally, and source locally, or source sustainably, I think we have to think about that in our art consumption.”

Bynum’s time in Miami closes on Sunday, April 12, with a collaboration with O, Miami and Miami’s Peddling Poets in a 16-mile bike ride that begins and ends at New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park. “We are going to do a ride, visiting places that they each have written a site specific poem for, I’ll improvise. The experience of getting there becomes part of the poem.”

By reconfiguring the context in which his music is consumed, and through collaborative residencies like his bike tours, Bynum has found himself more in touch with the music he wants to create and the way he wants to create it. “You come up as a jazz musician with a certain set of expectations and definitions and contexts in which you perform. And then you get to a certain point: does the music that I make really fit into this limited definition of what jazz is in this culture? How can I expand that? And how can I expand the context in which I am being presented and performing? Ultimately, I feel like the smoky bar is not where I want to perform my music.

 “For me, it means I have a deeper relationship to the outdoors, or to just people I meet on the street…. This bike tour has been a real affirmation of the choices I’ve made in that direction.”

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette performs Friday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. at WDNA Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or call 305-662-8889.

Emerge Miami Bike Ride led by Taylor Ho Bynum, routing through Little Havana with stops at Domino Park, Los Pinarenos Fruteria and more, ending at the Koubek Center a performance, Douglas Metrorail Station, intersection of Douglas Road (S.W. 37th Ave) and South Dixie Highway (US-1), Saturday, April 11, 10:00 a.m.; free.

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette in concert with some of Miami's leading new music performers, creating a 15-piece ensemble, at the Koubek Center Theater, 2705 S.W. 3rd St, Miami, Saturday, April 11, 12:30 p.m.; free.

Site-specific poetry and music with the Taylor Ho Bynum and the Peddling Poets, starting and ending at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach, on Sunday, April 12, 3 p.m.; free.

 Performance by Taylor Ho Bynum and poetry by The Peddling Poets at O, Miami's Poetry in the Park celebration, New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach on Sunday, April 12,  6:15 p.m.; free.

 

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