News release from Robert Rosenberg:
Out in the Tropics: South Florida’s first Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Contemporary Performing Arts Festival
July 7 – 11 at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre
Gender-bending, lesbian marriage, Cuban theater, queer circus arts, racy humor, laughter, tears and much more will fill the stage at Out in the Tropics, South Florida’s first Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) contemporary performing arts festival, from July 7-11, 2010. A stellar group of award-winning, cutting-edge artists from around the world are already set for the festival’s line-up at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, and other venues. Out in the Tropics, presented by FUNDarte, one of South Florida’s most successful presenters of alternative culture, in association with Tropical Wave Productions, was launched this past November with a wildly successful one-night showcase.
The festival begins with a free Opening Kick-Off event on Wednesday, July 7, at 7:00 pm, with a lively evening of food, drink and the ideas and insights of an international group of cutting-edge artists, at the Shore Club Hotel on Miami Beach. The night begins with Queer Culture, Global Culture, a panel discussion with festival artists Carlos Diaz, founder of Teatro El Público, Sara Felder, and Taylor Mac, plus South Florida-based singer Beverly MClellan, in an in-depth discussion about the state of GLBT arts and culture, moderated by Festival Artistic Director Robert Rosenberg. At 8:00 pm the evening continues with a reception featuring food courtesy of First & First Southern Baking Company and a complementary Shore Club signature cocktail, plus cash bar, with live music from Beverly McClellan. The Shore Club is located at 1901 Collins Avenue, and the whole event is free and open to the general public.
The festival’s first two performances at the Colony Theatre on Thursday, July 8 and Friday, July 9, at 8:00 pm, are by Teatro El Público, one of Cuba’s most important and daring theater company, for the first time in the U.S. They will present Las Amargas Lágrimas de Petra Von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant), their Spanish-language theatrical reinterpretation of the classic film by famed bad-boy German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The twist in this version is that the parts of the three main female characters, who are involved in a dark and dramatic but also hilarious lesbian love-triangle, are all played by male actors. El Público’s founder Carlos Díaz, one of Latin America’s most well-known theater directors, brings his uniquely post-modernist Cuban sensibility to this award-winning production. The play will be performed both nights with English supertitles. Following Friday night’s performance there will be a free after-party at Edison Farrow’s Hype Fridays at Bar 721, located at 721 Lincoln Lane, on Miami Beach, with complimentary vodka drinks from 10:00 pm till 11:00 pm.
Out in the Tropics continues on Saturday, July 10, at 8:00 pm, at the Colony, with the South Florida premiere of The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, featuring sensational gender deconstructionist, performer, actor, composer and director Taylor Mac in this solo show. The evening is funny, surprising and adults-only outrageous, as Mac slips in and out of his stunning outfits, pieces of art in and of themselves, tells stories from his life, and sings his unique brand of smart and provocative original songs. In The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, which was a hit at New York’s Under the Radar and the Edinburgh Fringe festivals, he is reimagining a bohemian tradition of drag that ranges from Jackie Curtis to Bloolips to John Cameron Mitchell. Mac has won numerous awards in his long career, including most recently an Obie and a Hammerstein Award for playwriting, and been named one of Out Magazine’s 100 for 2008.
The festival closes on Sunday, July 11, at 7:00 pm at the Colony Theatre, with Sara Felder in the South Florida premiere of June Bride, her one-woman multi-character theater piece that has traveled around the world. The play takes the audience from an awkward first date between Felder and her soon-to-be girlfriend to the struggle to hold a “lesbian wedding ceremony” that, while radical in its pairing of two women, is also a “traditional” Jewish one. While the subject matter may be serious, Felder mines it for both comedy and pathos, blending traditional theater with a zany range of circus arts – including 3-ball juggling, sharp knives, colorful scarves, a crystal ball and a straitjacket escape – to create her signature vaudevillian style that is both engaging and thought provoking. There will be a pre-show reception at 5:00 pm for women and their friends hosted by Mary D. that is free and open to the public at Taschen Books, 1111 Lincoln Road, just down the street from the Colony Theatre on Miami Beach.
“We are so excited to be able to present this international mix of amazingly talented, accomplished artists who address the subjects of gender, identity and sexuality from both personal and political perspectives,” says Robert Rosenberg, Artistic Director of Out in the Tropics. “The festival is a unique addition to South Florida’s cultural landscape that we hope will quickly become a signature GLBT event for the entire community.” In addition to the general public events, Sara Felder will lead a free workshop for GLBT teenagers on Thursday, July 8, at 6:00 pm at Pridelines Youth Service, 9526 N.E. 2nd Avenue, in Miami Shores; and both Felder and Taylor Mac will offer free master classes for professional artists on Friday, July 9, beginning at 10:00 am at the studios of Miami Contemporary Dance Company, 5101 Collins Avenue, on Miami Beach.
Tickets for all performances are $35, $30 and $25 reserved seating, and $30, $25 and $20 for students (25 and under) and seniors (65 and over) Tickets may be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com and by phone (800) 745-3000 (service charges apply). They are also available in advance in-person at the Colony Theatre box office in Miami Beach, Tuesday through Saturday, Noon – 5:00 pm without a service charge. Group sale discounts can also be arranged by calling (305) 316-6165. The Colony Theatre and other venues are wheelchair accessible. More information about the festival and the can be found online at www.fundarte.us and www.facebook.com/outinthetropics or by contacting FUNDarte at email@example.com or (305) 316-6165. For anyone who wishes to stay overnight in South Beach during the festival there are discount room rates available at the Shore Club, the official host hotel, using code 802255 either online at www.shoreclub.com or by calling (877) 640-9500.
FUNDarte is a multidisciplinary non-profit organization, founded and directed by Ever Chavez, dedicated to producing, presenting, and promoting music, theater, dance, film and visual arts that speak to Miami’s diverse cultures. Tropical Wave Productions presents cultural projects from Robert Rosenberg. Support for Out in the Tropics comes in part from Ambiente Magazine; the City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; First & First Southern Baking Company; Glassworks Multimedia; the GLBT Community Project Funds at Dade Community Foundation, in partnership with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force; Mary D. Events: Miami Contemporary Dance Company; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald; the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation; the Shore Club Hotel; SoBe Social Club; South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Florida; and Taschen Books.
Taylor Mac photo by Marianne Barr