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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..

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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: ..

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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..

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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..

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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..

Timur and the Dime Museum On a Spaceship Ride to the Other Side

Photo: Timur
Written by: Neil de la Flor
Article Rating

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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About The writer

Performance arts writer, teacher, photographer, magician

Neil de la Flor is a writer, teacher, photographer and Executive Director of Reading Queer. His publications include An Elephant's Memory of Blizzards..

About the Writer

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