It has been a long, long time since South Florida theaters went into summer hibernation. There are plenty of shows to choose from this weekend, including Fuerza Bruta, Celia and Summer Shorts at the Arsht; Tu ternura Molotov at Area Stage; Dream Theatre's La Gaviota at New Theatre; El inconveniente at Teatro 8,; In a Dark Dark House at Mosaic; Bent at Rising Action, and the Tony Bennett tribute show I Left My Heart at Broward Stage Door.
Next week brings three more productions, each worth checking out for different reasons.
Alliance Theatre Lab is finally doing what Mosaic Theatre tried to do two years ago: open a production of the controversial My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Kim Ehly plays the American activist who was killed in 2003 by an Israeli-operated bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Artistic director Adalberto Acevedo has received some negative feedback from people who feel Corrie was naive and that the play (put together by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner from Corrie's journal entries, letters and e-mails) is blatantly biased toward the Palestinians Corrie was trying to help.
But the company is forging ahead, opening My Name Is Rachel Corrie on Thursday, June 18, and running it through July 5. Alliance performs at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main St. in Miami Lakes, with shows at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday (matinee at 2 p.m. June 28, no show July 4). Tickets are $24 ($15 for students and seniors). Call 305-259-0418 or visit the Alliance web site.
Ground Up & Rising, which generated great buzz with its production of John Kolvenbach's On an Average Day when it performed the show as a fundraiser at GableStage, opens June 19 for a two-weekend run at Miami Beach's Byron Carlyle Theater, 500 71st St. Arnaldo Carmouze and Ground Up artistic director Arturo Fernandez play very different brothers who reunite after a lengthy estrangement to confront a volatile past.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday through June 27 (the show moves to ArtSouth in Homestead July 10-19). Tickets are $25 ($15 for students, seniors, residents of the 33141 zip code, military personnel, Theatre League members and members of Actors' Equity and SAG). Whew. Call 305-529-6233 or visit the Ground Up web site.
And finally, for anyone desperately in need of some laughs (basically, everyone), there's The New Century opening June 20 at GableStage. Paul Rudnick's riotous script may seem a little familiar -- two of its monologues were done as stand-alone plays in past Summer Shorts festivals -- but GableStage's Joseph Adler has assembled a wickedly funny cast (including John Felix as tres gay cable access host Mr. Charles, gazing admiringly at Daniel Landon's Robin).
The New Centuryruns through July 19, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday (no late show June 21). GableStage performs at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets are $42.50 Friday-Saturday and Sunday matinees, $37.50 other performances. Call 304-445-1119 or visit the company's web site.