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..
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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..
Timur and the Dime Museum is the delightfully demented Los Angeles-based gender-bending/genre-defying hybrid post-punk glam performance band led by the fierce, classically trained Kazakh-American opera singer (Timur) and a cunning and sardonic songwriter (Daniel Corral). The band, like their name, is a blend of haughty style, galactic personalities and flamboyant theatrics. They’re coming to Miami Light Project this weekend.
“When I was attending the New England Conservatory, studying classical opera, I was also hanging out with many bands on the underground scene,” says Timur. “I became good friends with Dresden Dolls and singer Amanda Palmer, who in some way, encouraged me to pursue projects outside the box. After I moved to Los Angeles to study at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a lot of creative, interdisciplinary, off-the-wall projects followed. CalArts profoundly influenced how my different experiences in classical voice, contemporary and popular music and theater were falling into place.”
In the 19th century, Dime museums were lowbrow centers of moralizing entertainment for working class immigrants in major cities, such as New York and Chicago. These centers spread culture to the masses in site-specific performances catering to the local population. Turko-Mongol ruler Timur, on the other hand, conquered most of Asia and consolidated culture under one roof -- the Timurid Dynasty.
What brought Timur and the Dime Museum together was another dynasty of sorts and a 21st century form of lowbrow entertainment for the masses -- America's Got Talent. “After graduating from CalArts. I received a phone call from one of the casting directors of America's Got Talent,” Timur reflects. “She saw my music video, and wanted something similar as a performer on the show. I mentioned that I had a band -- which I did, albeit for the fact that we only played twice together -- and described it as a goth-vaudevillian fantasy with dancers. For the lack of better words, even though at that time, the group was acoustic, without drums, and we played covers of Russian cabaret songs, Kurt Weil, Klaus Nomi and David Bowie.”
On opening night at the Light Box at The Goldman Warehouse, Timur and the Dime Museum will debut Collapse, a post-ecological requiem that uses the conflict between empirical evidence and political debate over climate change as a source of inspiration for the songs. Written by Daniel Corral, the songs explore universal themes in global issues.
“The environmental theme of Collapse was conceived in the dissonance between that empirical evidence and the multi-generational cultural habits that fuel those debates -- compounded by the existence of a seemingly overwhelming global problem. Much of my recent music has included some sort of social commentary, and I needed Collapse to examine a larger, more universal cultural issue.”
Despite the thematically dark and seemingly nihilistic nature of their work, keep this in mind -- Timur and the Dime Museum is insanely fun! They produce intelligent, binary breaking, issue-driven entertainment that breaks binaries and reforms them into a multi-verse of music.
“Some songs are darkly satirical, while some are more direct,” says Corral. “The panoptic stylistic leaps and bounds of Collapse may at first seem incongruous with the morose nature of a requiem, but they attempt to portray a richer, more complex relationship to mortality, and the mortal limit we seem to be bringing this planet to. The libretto and staging of Collapse continue to follow the purpose and ritual of a requiem, though it will be a much wilder ride.”
In the end, Timur and the Dime Museum is a spaceship ride to the other side. And they’re only here for two days.
Timur and the Dime Museum perform Friday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 N.W. 26 Street, Miami. Tickets: $20 or $50 VIP on Saturday for the fundraiser and party, $100 (includes cocktails, post show food); miamilightproject.com; 866.811.4111.This preview/interview also appears in Miami New Times
at 7:00 p.m. at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 N.W. 26 Street, Miami. Tickets: $20 or $50 VIP on Saturday for the fundraiser and party, $100 (includes cocktails, post show food); miamilightproject.com; 866.811.4111.
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