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Thinking Cap pushes back the opening of The Vanguard (slightly)

Stodard HeadshotFort Lauderdale's Thinking Cap Theatre has been working for months to get its new home, The Vanguard, ready for the Feb. 19 opening of Dave Hanson's comedy Waiting for Waiting for Godot.

But stuff happens in the world of theater, in this case an illness for cast member Scott Douglas Wilson (one of just three actors in the play) that brought rehearsals to a halt and forced founder/artistic director Nicole Stodard to consider her options.  Wanting to do right by the piece and longtime company member Wilson, Stodard decided to delay that show until August.  After a multimedia dance performance, The Forest Diaries by Swedish choreographer Jenny Larsson, on March 7, Thinking Cap at the Vanguard will officially open the new venue with Always...Patsy Cline March 12-April 4.

The space, which will be Thinking Cap's home and a place for all sorts of performances, was built in 1939 as a church.  During the long renovation period, the 30-foot-high Dade County Pine ceiling in what will be the main performance space was uncovered, and cool pop art touches and Sputnik chandeliers now grace the building.  Now called "The Vanguard -- A Sanctuary for the Arts," the theater is close to the always-bustling Tap 42 on S. Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.  So once The Vanguard is up and running, it may help spark a compact new arts-and-dining district in that part of town.

You can check The Vanguard out early if you see The Forest Diaries at 3 or 7 p.m. March 7.  Tickets are $15, and the performance will feature Larsson, LIze-Lotte Pitlo and Rachel Carroll, along with an original score and film. You can purchase tickets via the Vanguard web site.  

Or plan to see Ted Swindley's Always...Patsy Cline starring Ann Marie Olson as the great country singer along with Sally Bondi as Cline's pal, Houston housewife Louise Seger.  The show will run March 13-29 at the Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., with tickets priced at $35.  Performances will be 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. For info, call 813-220-1546, visit the Vanguard site or buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

(Nicole Stodard photo)