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7 posts from August 2012

August 29, 2012

Hot casting news

_DCS0020-2 finalSouth Florida's artistic directors do compete for the services of actors they like working with, and increasingly they find find some stage veterans unavailable due to shooting schedules for made-in-Miami TV shows like Burn Notice and Magic City. Those realities may factor into some early -- and exciting -- casting news.

At GableStage in Coral Gables, Joseph Adler is getting ready to open his production of Lynn Nottage's Ruinedon Sept. 8, but he has already picked the duo who will star in David Ives' Venus in FurNov. 10-Dec. 9.  Matthew William Chizever plays a playwright auditioning actresses for his stage adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 19th century erotic novel; Betsy Graver is the young actress who turns out to be just right for the part.

Ken ClementPlantation's Mosaic Theatre is opening its season Sept. 20-Oct. 14 with Nikolai Gogol's Diary of a Madman, adapted by David Holman along with Neil Armfield and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush.  Ken Clement gets the dazzling role of Russian civil servant Poprischin, a man driven crazy and delusional by bureaucracy.

Cig300In West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Dramaworks has announced some key casting for its entire season, which begins Oct. 12-Nov. 11 with Erin Joy Schmidt and Brian Wallace starring in Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly.  Edward Albee's searing drama A Delicate Balance, which runs Dec. 7-Jan. 6, will star Broadway (and Albee) veteran Maureen Anderman, along with Carbonell Award winners Angie Radosh and Dennis Creaghan.  Ethan Henry gets the lead role in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, running Feb. 1-March 3.  The infinitely watchable Colin McPhillamy will star in Eugene Ionesco's absurdist classic Exit the King March 29-April 28.  Julie Rowe and Margery Lowe close out the season May 24-June 23 with Brian Friel's Tony Award-winning Dancing at Lughnasa.

Don't know about you, but the prospect of seeing these actors at work makes me eager for the season to start.

(Photos of Betsy Graver and Matthew William Chizever in Venus in Fur and Ken Clement by George Schiavone; photo of Angie Radosh, Dennis Creaghan and Maureen Anderman in A Delicate Balance by Alicia Donelan)

 

 

August 24, 2012

Storm scrubs Sunday 'Donkey Show'

IMG_3185The Donkey Show is racing toward its final performance on Sept. 2, but due to the uncertainty surrounding Tropical Storm Isaac's impact on South Florida, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts has canceled the 7:30 p.m. show for this Sunday, Aug. 26.

The center's popular melding of A Midsumnmer Night's Dream and Studio 54 goes on as scheduled this Friday-Saturday at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m., then has its closing weekend performances at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2.

Harry Casey of K.C. and the Sunshine Band hosts tonight's shows and each of next weekend's performances.  Tickets range from $25 to $75, depending on the performance, and there are discount deals.  For information on the show or ticket exchanges for this Sunday's canceled show, call the Arsht at 305-949-6722 or visit the center's web site.

(Photo by Justin Namon)

Curse of the Scottish play

Macbeth Flyer Final Press picOne of theater's most enduring superstitions is that you don't utter the word "Macbeth" inside a theater unless you are actually performing the play.  Not sure if anyone at Ground Up & Rising goofed during rehearsals, but the company's free hour-long Macbeth set for this Sunday at the Miami Beach Botannical Garden is cancelled, though the play will still be done there Sept. 2.

The culprit, this time, isn't bad theater karma but Tropical Storm Isaac.  Because of uncertainty about the storm and Sunday's weather, the company decided to call this week's debut shows off for safety reasons.

But, as noted, you can still see Curtis Belz's post-apocalyptic take on one of William Shakespeare's great tragedies at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach.  For info, call 305-756-4672 or visit the Ground Up & Rising web site.

August 21, 2012

Free theater

Macbeth Flyer Final Press picThe theater season will begin in earnest next month, but if you're itching to see something sooner, two companies have a couple of options -- and both are free.

Ground Up & Rising continues its "Zero Point" initiative -- a project aimed at attracting new audiences with bare-bones yet thrilling theater -- with Curtis Belz's hour-long adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, reimagined as a cautionary tale in a post-apocalyptic world.  The production features David Gallegos, Jenny Lorenzo, Claudio Pinto, Jose Antonio Paredes and Belz, and it's directed by Collin Carmouze.

The play will be presented this Sunday and Sept. 2 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach.  Performances are at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days.  Call Ground Up at 305-756-4672 or visit the company's web site.

Next Tuesday, the new Crashbox Theatre Company gets launched with a staged reading of James Carrey's If This Play Sucks, Blame Facebook.  The playwright directs Noah Levine, Casey Casperson, Scott Douglas Wilson, Nori Tecosky, Johann Azcuy and Kaitlyn O'Neil in the play about two friends whose weekend stay at a lake house turns weird.

The reading is at 8 p.m. Aug. 28 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale.  Admission is free, but donations are welcome.  For more info, call 954-678-1496, visit Empire Stage's web site or check out Crashbox on Facebook.

August 20, 2012

Theatre at Arts Garage, M Ensemble pick seasons

Some theaters roll out their new season lineups early, the better to get the jump on subscription sales. Others take their time. But by now, most companies have pulled back the curtain on their plans, and we'll update you with some of that news through the week.

Louis04 NEWPLAYS TROP RDELou Tyrrell, founder and artistic director of Florida Stage throughout its 24-year history, launched his new venture at the way-cool Arts Garage in Delray Beach last season.  Working in more intimate quarters and on a far smaller budget, Tyrrell offered readings and interview sessions with big-name playwrights, a new play festival and a pair of small-scale revues, Woody Sez and Cabaret Verboten.

For 2012-2013, Tyrrell is presenting three plays:  Lauren Gunderson's Southern "revenge comedy," Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Dec. 7-30); Israel Horovitz's dark comedy Gloucester Blue (Jan. 25-Feb. 17); and Duncan MacMillan's Lungs (March 15-April 14), a play about a couple torn over the question of having a baby.

Tickets to each show are $30-$40.  The Arts Garage is at 180 NE First St., Delray Beach, just a short walk from Atlantic Avenue with its busy restaurant-bar scene.  For info, call 561-450-6357 or visit the facility's web site.

                     ***

M Ensemble, South Florida's oldest theater company, has lined up its next season at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 28th St., Miami.

AUGWILSON.IMGThe company continues working its way through August Wilson's 10-play cycle, this season kicking off with King Hedley II (Nov. 15-Dec. 2).  In the spring, M Ensemble will present the musical revue It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues (March 14-April 7).  Gus Edwards' Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking wraps up the season (May 9-June 22).

Tickets are $40 for opening night, $25 for general admission, $20 for students and seniors. For information on the season, call 1-786-953-8718 or visit the theater's web site.

 (Photos of Lou Tyrrell, top, and August Wilson)

August 15, 2012

Linking theater to doing good

NEWPOSTERsummer2012There's another new company on the South Florida scene, this one dubbed What if Works Inc.  Not the simplest company name, maybe, but the concept and mission are interesting.

Phillip Church, who has taught theater for 32 years at Florida International University, is artistic director of the not-for-profit company aimed at giving young artists professional opportunities in theater, film and music.

The mission statement reads this way:  "What if Works offers theatre, film and music graduates a creative bridge by which to transition from an academic environment to the professional world of entertainment while sustaining the power of literature through the exploration of works that champion compassion and social justice."

The troupe's first effort is a production of South Florida native Grace McKeaney's play How It Hangs, an insightful comedy about four women at a Wyoming gas station, gals who have abusive pasts in common.  A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to No More Tears, a Plantation-based support group for women dealing with domestic abuse.

Chelsea Wallach directs Vicky Collado, Michelle Antelo, Melissa Ann Hubicsak, Lali Navarro and Gabriel Bonilla in the play, which will be performed at three locations: City Church, 1400 Krome Ave., Homestead, at 8 p.m. Aug. 23-25, 2 p.m. Aug. 26; the Roxy Performing Arts Center, 1645 SW 107th Ave., Miami, at 8 p.m. Aug. 29-30; and the Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, at 8 p.m. Sept. 8 as part of the No More Tears gala fundraiser.

Tickets are $12 at City Church and Roxy; call 305-271-1073 for Homestead info, 305-226-0030 for the Roxy performance, or visit the company's web site. Gala tickets are $20, available by calling 954-646-2955 or visiting the No More Tears web site

August 06, 2012

'Donkey' extends, New Theatre picks, Ground Up resurfaces

Some late-Monday random theater news you can use:

19donkey071212 donkey show ADD*  The Arsht Center's big summer deal, The Donkey Show, is extending through Aug. 18.  But the center wants more booty-shakers at its disco remixed Midsummer Night's Dream, so special weekend theme nights and discounts are being offered.  The 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday have a girls' night out theme; groups of five or more using the promo code GIRLS get a discount.  After-parties follow the Friday shows at Ricochet (Aug. 10) and Will Call (Aug. 17).  Show your Donkey Show ticket stub to get free admission and a cocktail.

Guys get a boys' night out experience at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, with groups of five or more getting a price break. Use the promo code BOYS on the Arsht's web site. Harry Casey, the KC of KC and the Sunshine Band, hosts earlier Boogie Nights performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Regular prices are $45-$60 for the dance floor, $60-$75 for VIP seating, depending on the performance. Need info? Call the Arsht box office at 305-949-6722 or visit the web site.

* New Theatre has filled in the other half of its four-play 2012-2013 season lineup.  The world premiere of Robert Caisley's Happy kicks off the lineup Sept. 7-23. Then comes a fresh production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita, to be directed by Steven A. Chambers; that one runs Nov. 30-Dec. 16.  The world premiere of artistic director Ricky J. Martinez's play Road Through Heaven runs Feb. 1-17, and the season winds up with a Martinez-directed production of John Pielmeier's Agnes of God April 26-May 12.  The theater is also inaugurating a late-night series of edgy theater dubbed BOOMFrog, which will run Oct. 19-27 and March 15-23.  Subscribers will get admission to two BOOMFrog performances with their season passes.

Subscriptions are $160 if you buy before Aug. 17, $210 after.  New Theatre performs at the Roxy Performing Arts Center, 1645 SW 107th Ave., Miami.  Call 305-443-5909 or visit the company's web site for more info.

-GA- JC PP #1 2012*  Ground Up & Rising is resurfacing on Saturday with two free performances of an hour-long adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.  Curtis Belz did the adaptation and appears in the show along with Collin Carmouze (who also directs), David Gallegos and Jenny Lorenzo.  Future Ground Up plans include a free hour-long Macbeth and a black-box production of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.

Julius Caesar happens at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Miami Beach Botannical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach.  Call 305-673-7256, ext. 201, for info.