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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..

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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, ..

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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 ..

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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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