theater

Review: Arsht Center's 'Hamilton' Lives Up To Its Reputation, In Every Way

Feb 21, 2020
Joan Marcus

Last season, undisputed honors for the hottest theater ticket in town went to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Hamilton” in its regional debut at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

This season, the “Hamilton” love continues unabated, albeit with a different touring company of the same show. Fresh from three weeks at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the “Angelica” cast has begun a four-week run at Miami’s Arsht Center.

Review: 'Miami Motel Stories: North Beach' Tries Something Different

Feb 13, 2020
Pedro Portal

“Miami Motel Stories,” Juggerknot Theatre Co.’s immersive gift to a theatrically diverse South Florida, is back for another round. This time, resident playwright Juan C. Sanchez has interwoven historically inspired short plays with an overarching concept, pushing boundaries yet remaining true to the immersive style that has won Juggerknot so many loyal fans.

Titled “Miami Motel Stories: North Beach,” the show begins in the inviting lobby of The Broadmoor Hotel on Miami Beach’s Ocean Terrace.

Review: M Ensemble's 'Ain't Misbehavin'' Doesn't Fully Hit Its Stride

Feb 11, 2020
DEBORAH GRAY MITCHELL

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was a prodigious composer, a great entertainer and a plus-sized pianist whose life ended way too early when he died of pneumonia on a cross-country train trip in 1943. He was just 39.

Thanks in part to the 1978 Tony Award-winning revue, “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Waller’s musical legacy lives on. His wit (and that of his frequent lyricist, Andy Razaf), joy and famous stride piano style have been enjoyed by generations born long after Waller’s Harlem Renaissance heyday.

Review: 'The Cubans' Marks Debut Of Playwright With A Voice Worth Experiencing

Jan 28, 2020
JUSTIN NAMON

An observant, funny, moving slice of Miami life is occupying the stage of Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre just now, thanks to Miami New Drama’s world premiere of Michael Leon’s “The Cubans.”

A New York-based actor who grew up in Miami and graduated from Florida International University, Leon has said he wrote “The Cubans” in part because he didn’t see his community and culture represented in the complex family plays that spoke to him so powerfully.

Review: 'Mamma Mia!' At Actors' Playhouse Is Escapist Theater Of The Best Kind

Jan 28, 2020
ALBERTO ROMEU

Feeling joyous is not so easy these days, given the country’s toxic politics, global climate change, potential pandemics — well, pick your anxiety-producing crisis.

But at least temporarily, joy can be experienced for the price of a theater ticket.

Zoetic Stage's 'American Son' Represents South Florida Theater At Its Finest

Jan 13, 2020
JUSTIN NAMON

Like many contemporary plays, Christopher Demos-Brown’s “American Son” is a small-cast drama, one that unfolds in a taut 84 minutes. But those minutes hold a story of uncommon depth, one that is straightforward yet layered, observant, achingly real and ultimately devastating.

Demos-Brown’s finest play to date was created in Miami and is set here, though its world premiere was in 2016 in Massachusetts, followed by a high-profile Broadway run in 2018 and a Netflix debut in 2019.

WLRN

The future plans for the Coconut Grove Playhouse, a theater built in the 1920s that was center stage to a plethora of  performances over the years, has become a political topic. 

Courtesy of the Colony Theater

A new musical at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach tells the story of Afro-Caribbean band Parranda El Clavo. The band comes from the small village of El Clavo nestled in Venezuela’s jungle. They regularly play house concerts around the village and are an essential part of the community.

PETER ANDREW BOSCH / Miami Herald

A controversial plan to revive the historic, long-shuttered Coconut Grove Playhouse that requires demolition of its auditorium narrowly won the endorsement of Miami commissioners on Wednesday, but backers are not celebrating as the potential for a mayoral veto looms.

Peter Cunningham

In the opening scene of Christopher Demos-Brown's play "American Son," a black woman sits alone in the waiting room of a Miami police station, desperately waiting for word of her missing 18-year-old son.

Demos-Brown says the impetus for the story was a number of deadly interactions between American police officers and young black men in recent years. But he says his past experience working in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office gave him a glimpse of the relationships between law enforcement officers that eventually made it onto the stage.

The Colony Theatre / Courtesy

A new play in Miami explores the implications of Cuban politics on art.

"FAKE" takes place in an auction house in Miami where curators have received an extremely rare painting from prestigious Cuban artist Amelia Pelaez. Immediately, they face questions about its authenticity.

Playwright Carmen Pelaez, the artist's great-niece, wrote FAKE to explore the lengths people will go to protect what they love.

"Art is the only real history that we have," Pelaez said on Sundial.

FAKE is at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach until Feb. 17.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Imagine stepping back in time just by stepping into a hotel room.

Through one door, it's 1957 again. A young couple arrives in Miami for the first time.

In another room, it's the mid 90s. A recovering alcoholic has found God and is struggling to stay sober.

In a third, you enter 1964. A Playboy Bunny takes a break from work with a man she's met at the club. 

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

When it first hit the off-broadway stage twenty years ago, Hedwig and the Angry Inch stunned audiences with its progressive stances on homosexuality, transgender identity and crass humor. Since its opening performance, it has been turned into an award-winning film, a Broadway show starring Neil Patrick Harris and a cult classic for lovers of the theater. 

Another producer of a Spanish-language play in Miami is apologizing for showing a character in blackface.

Neil Simon, the enormously productive comic playwright who often adapted his work into screenplays, died on early Sunday morning. He was 91. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia, according to Bill Evans, his longtime friend and publicist.

Among the most prolific playwrights in American theater from the 1960s through the 1990s, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers, which he said was his deepest play. But Neil Simon was better known for being funny.

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