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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..

Yoli Mayor: Miami’s Young Songstress with a Big Voice

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Written by: Diana Dunbar
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Yoli Mayor is a 22-year old Miami native who won over the judges of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” with her power voice (think Adele mixed with Etta James). This weekend, Miami audiences will have the opportunity to experience firsthand the incredible talent of Mayor as she croons familiar hits as well as original material at Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

Mayor’s concert is the season opener for Culture Shock Miami Presents, an arm of Culture Shock Miami, which is a program of the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs. “The premise of the program is to introduce teens and young adults to the arts by making tickets and arts events available for five dollars…they can attend some of the highest quality arts events in Miami-Dade county,” says Christina Tassy-Beauvoir of Culture Shock Miami, which is now in its 13th season.

As a teenager, Mayor attended many of the programs presented by Culture Shock Miami. She spoke by phone on her upcoming concert, and her time on “America’s Got Talent,” where she was cut just before the finals on Sept. 6.

Describe your time on “America’s Got Talent.''

It was an incredible experience. I have not felt so many emotions at once. [It covered] a lot of new territory, but it felt, in a sense, like home -- home in the aspect of preparing for the show; the rehearsals, the lights, the sounds of the stage. The stage is where I feel the most comfortable in the world.

Did you have a favorite judge on the show?

I like them all for different reasons. I liked the tough love that I got from Simon [Cowell].I liked the affection I got from Heidi [ Klum] … the affection from Mel B., and the quirkiness from Howie [Mandel].

Musically, who inspires you?

I am inspired by Amy Winehouse, Miquel, and Childish Gambino. I am very much into lyrics and people who can emit emotions through their music, people who are raw and give the sense of really being there -- living the song.

Could you speak about your years at the BridgePrep Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove?

It gave me time to be who I am as an artist. I did musical theater, theater, and chorus. It was a great benefit to be so expressive during my teenage years. It set a foundation for me to feel confident in my skills, and in my ability to do this as my career.

When did you know you wanted to pursue singing as a career?

At my first gig. It was Valentine’s Day and I was 18 years old. It was the first time I’ve ever been booked for an event or otherwise. It was truly amazing, the reaction I got from the crowd, and the love. I was like, I need to see how I can make this what I do for my life.

You have said that your favorite reaction is to see the audience in tears. Why is that?

Because, in my personal case, when you’re crying it’s because there is such an overload of emotions, such a large amount of emotion that it’s literally spilling out of your body through your eyes.

You are now working on an album. Can you tell us about it?

Just that I’m working very hard to make it as Yoli as possible.

What can we expect from the concert?

It’s a concert fitting for all ages. I’m very excited. Culture Shock was a part of my youth; to be performing at one as an adult is an honor.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

I’m Cuban-American. I have been singing my entire life. I hope I continue to shock and set people off balance with my music. I look forward to growing with my supporters. Miami will always be home base.

Yoli Mayor in Concert, Sunday, 5:00 p.m., Miami-Dade County Auditorium, On.Stage Black Box, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; tickets $5 for ages 13-22; standard admission $20; 305-375-1949; cultureshockmiami.com.

 

 


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