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..
At an age when many are winding down their working lives, Ignacio Berroa eagerly anticipates a new stage in his career.
It would be understandable if the 64-year-old drummer, recognized as one of the greats of his generation, elected to rest on his laurels. Born in Havana, he turned professional as a teenager and was one of Cuba’s most sought-after percussionists by his early twenties. In 1980 he left home in the Mariel boatlift, and with the assistance of trumpeter Mario Bauzà and others, he re-established himself in New York, eventually becoming a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s band. He’s also played with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Ivan Lins and countless others.
Rather than look back in satisfaction at a stellar career, Berroa looks forward to a busy schedule of gigs and master classes, including South Florida shows Jan.13 in South Miami-Dade and later in May.
“2018 is going to be very good for me,” he said, taking a break from a holiday visit with his grandchildren. “I got a lot of things to do.”
This month, Berroa joins pianist Martin Bejerano and bassist Dave Holland to form Trio Nation. It’ll be the fulfillment of a wish for the drummer. “I have never played with Dave Holland. He’s one of my idols that I never had the chance to play with,” said Berroa, noting that he has worked with such legendary bassists as Charlie Haden and Ray Brown. “We’re going to get together probably two or three days before the concert and rehearse.”
The audience can expect originals from each musician and some tunes from Berroa’s latest release, “Straight Ahead from Havana.” The title captures him perfectly at this point in his musical life. “For the past three years, I have concentrated my career on doing more what I really want to do than doing things that I have to do for money. I’m concentrating more on what I like to play, which is straight-ahead jazz.”
Out last year, the album consists of Cuban standards played straight ahead: in standard jazz rhythms rather than their native meters. “It’s an unexpected approach, but it works, illuminating even familiar songs in a sort of bas-relief,” Neil Tesser said in his review for Jazziz magazine.
At least as much as he enjoys playing what he wants, Berroa is grooving on his educational efforts. “I really enjoy passing my knowledge to the new generation regardless of what they’re going to do with it,” he said. He has written two books, and a video presentation, “Afro-Cuban Jazz and Beyond.”
“I showcase the development of Afro-Cuban music and Cuban music, its influence on jazz and the jazz influence in Cuban music, demonstrating the long connection between Cuba and the U.S. since the days of Congo Square.” Now part of Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, in the 19th century the square hosted gatherings of people from diverse African backgrounds, some enslaved, some free. Elements of their music became part of early jazz compositions and can still be heard in the New Orleans sounds of today.
“Everybody should know the histories, the rhythms that our ancestors brought from Africa, how that is spread around the Caribbean,” he said. “I love that as much as I love playing straight-ahead jazz.”
In May, South Florida Jazz presents the Ignacio Berroa Trio in Davie. Before that performance, Berroa will share his video presentation. He’s also planning another recording. “I’m going to do more gigs to get rid of the albums that I ordered, then go to the studio and get more debt,” he said ruefully. “When you go to the studio you never recoup the money.” But he wants to document his work, and he’s enjoying himself.
“I’m just a proud Cuban guy who likes to play straight-ahead jazz,” he said.“I’m combining my heritage with my passion, and that’s something I’m going to do until the Lord tells me to stop.”
Ignacio Berroa, Martin Bejerano and Dave Holland as the Trio Nation appear Sat., Jan. 13, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the black box theater at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay; tickets are $35 in advance, $40 on show day; smdcac.org/events/trio-nation-feat-dave-holland-ignacio-berroa-and-martin-bejerano ; 786 573-5300.
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