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"Shorts" programs get restyled

City Theatre's ever-popular Summer Shortsfestival is on the horizon, with rehearsals about to start, the acting company chosen, plays picked, directors at the ready.  The headlines this year go this way:  no more "A" and "B" programs; instead, one program of eight "Signature Shorts," and another eight pushing-the-envelope plays in the late-night "Undershorts" bill.  The "Shorts 4 Kids!" program also has eight elements, including a pair of mini-musicals (aka songs) by Lisa Loeb and Cyndi Lauper.

This season's red-hot "Signature" and "Undershorts" acting company features, Steve Anthony, Elena Maria Garcia, David Hemphill, John Manzelli, Amy McKenna, Erin Joy Schmidt, Laura Turnbull and Steve Trovillion (better known as "Mr. Summer Shorts").  In the "Shorts 4 Kids!" company are Katherine Amadeo, Chris Dallau, Nick Duckardt, Vanessa Elise, Betsy Graver and Joshua Robinson.

Directors for this 14th edition of Summer Shorts are Patrice Bailey, Sean Paul Bryan, Gail Garrisan (the company's former artistic director), Avi Hoffman (Turnbull's hubby), Margaret Ledford, Amy London, Gordon McConnell, Deborah Mello, Stuart Meltzer (City's current artistic director), Stephanie Norman (City's executive director), Marjorie O'Neill-Butler, Leland Patterson and James Samuel Randolph.

Among them, the three programs include 11 world premieres.  The "Signature" program includes plays by Davie playwright Michael McKeever, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter and Christopher Durang.  "Undershorts" includes a song by Michael John LaChiusa and a piece by South Floridian Christopher Demos-Brown.  McKeever and rising star Marco Ramirez have contributed to the "Shorts 4 Kids!" bill.

The Shortsget revealed May 28-June 21 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, June 25-28 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.  For info, call the Arsht box office at 305-949-6722 or visit the Arshtweb site; call the Broward Center box office at 954-462-0222 or visit the center's web site; or call City Theatre at 305-365-5400 or visit City's web site.