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'In the Next Room'....and other theater news

Publicity pictures 203Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) got its professional South Florida debut in May at GableStage.  Now the play about Victorian women, their sexual repression and expression, gets a university production directed by the imaginative, daring Jesús Quintero.

In the Next Room, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, runs this weekend at Florida International University's Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St., Miami, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.  The show resumes Feb. 8-12, with those performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors and FIU faculty or staff, $10 for FIU students and alumni association members).  Because of the adult content and language, those involved with the production recommend it for audiences 16 and older.

Two free special events are connected with the play.  A 45-minute panel discussion about the ideas expressed in In the Next Room will follow this Sunday's matinee.  And at 7 p.m. Feb. 8, a half-hour look at how the production was put together, featuring input from cast members and the production team, will precede the performance.

For info, call 305-348-0496 or visit the FIU theater web site.

***

In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami, in association with the Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, will present two concert performances of Ghetto Tango.  Performed by Yiddish artists Zalmen Mlotek, Daniella Rabbani and Avram Mlotek, the concert features edgy, sad and sardonic songs that were sung in underground cabarets in Europe's Jewish ghettos during World War II.

The performances are 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.  Tickets are $36 (students pay $10).  For info, call 305-284-6882 or email Maxine Schwartz at mschwartz@miami.edu.

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The Miami Lakes-based Alliance Theatre Lab is betting on young play-writing talent for its 2012 season. 

The lineup kicks off with the world premiere of David Sirois' Off Center of Nowhere March 16-April 8. New World School of the Arts grad Sirois, a best new work Carbonell Award nominee for last year's Brothers Beckett at Alliance, this time focuses on a high school student whose revelation of a secret leads to confessions that might destroy her family.

Sirois' friend and fellow New World grad, Mark Della Ventura, is up next with an expanded version of his solo show Small Membership.  Running June 1-24, the play focuses on an insecure young man as he grapples with issues of love, heartbreak and more.  Della Ventura also has another play, roomies, set to close out the Alliance season Nov. 9-Dec. 2.  That one is about five acting conservatory grads living together as one tries to write a play about them.

Alliance performs at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main St., Miami Lakes, and its shows are presented at 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $25 ($15 seniors, $10 students).  For info, call 305-259-0418 or visit the company's web site.

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Times are tough, but the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has some happy news to share.  The company has received a three-to-one challenge grant that will likely result in the company having a $10 million endowment.  The Maltz Family Foundation will give the theater $7 million if the company, which already has $500,000 in its endowment, raises $2.5 million by June 30.  The theater has already raised more than $1.62 million of its share.  For info, visit the theater's web site or email managing director Tricia Trimble at ttrimble@jupitertheatre.org.

(Photo of Michelle Antelo in FIU's In the Next Room by Marilyn Skow)

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