The talented (and very busy) Zach Braff, part of the soon-to-open movie Oz: The Great and Powerful, took a break from project-juggling in Los Angeles for a quick trip to Miami over the weekend. He had heard from his dad Harold (who lives in South Florida) and others that the current Zoetic Stage production of his first play, All New People, was really good and rather different from the play's 2011 New York production and the 2012 London production in which Braff played the suicidal yet appealing Charlie.
So he flew to Miami with his girlfriend and saw the Saturday night performance with her, his dad and other family members. The verdict, according to Zoetic artistic director Stuart Meltzer? He liked it.
To be there for Braff's hush-hush visit, Meltzer drove back to Miami from Key West, where he's directing a production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks for the Waterfront Playhouse (it previews Jan. 29-30, opens Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 16). After the show, the former Scrubs star posed for photos with the cast, offered positive feedback, and then everyone went to the nearby City Hall restaurant for a happy late-night dinner.
All New People winds up its run in the Arsht's Carnival Studio Theater on Sunday. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, with tickets priced at $40 and $45. Meltzer says the shows have been packed, to a large degree with theater lovers 40 and younger. If you want to see what Braff wrote -- and what he saw -- call the Arsht at 305-949-6722 or visit the web site. The Carnival is in the Ziff Ballet Opera House at 1300 Biscayne Blvd.
Oh, and Meltzer says Braff is warm, humble and very nice. That's not always the case with Hollywood types, but it's refreshing to hear that the director, writer and star of Garden State is one of the good guys.(Photos of Braff solo and Braff with cast members Todd Allen Durkin, Betsy Graver, Nicholas Richberg and Amy McKenna by Nathan Valentine/World Red Eye.)