Miami's City Theatre celebrated its 15th anniversary last summer with the world premiere of the full-length family-friendly musical Camp Kappawannaby Lisa Loeb. So how to top that for the Sweet Sixteen summer of 2011? Bring in Jai Rodriguez, actor and TV personality, to lend some extra buzz to the Summer Shorts acting company.
Rodriguez, one of the stars of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (he also scored Broadway replacement gigs in Rent and The Producers), will headline this summer's company. His fellow actors, according to festival artistic director John Manzelli, are Gregg Weiner, Finnerty Steeves, Ceci Fernandez and Steve Trovillion, a.k.a. "Mr. Summer Shorts." The summer's directors will be Manzelli, Trovillion, Barry Steinman, Gail Garrisan and Margaret Ledford.
Manzelli adds that the festival, which will be in the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts June 3-26 (and at the Broward Center June 30-July 3), will include three late-night performances of Rodriguez' solo show Dirty Little Secrets, presented in partnership with Out in the Tropics. The regular Summer Shorts lineup will feature nine pieces.
As a fund-raising kickoff, Rodriguez is coming to Miami Feb. 10 for a reception and sneak preview of the summer fare. Manzelli says the actor will sing, others will read from a few plays that will be done at the festival, and there will be drinks and food.
The fund-raising event is at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 on the 30th floor of Sabadell United Bank, 1111 Brickell Ave., Miami. Admission is $60 per person. RSVP by Feb. 1 to City Theatre executive director Barry Steinman by calling 305-755-9401, ext. 15, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.