H2Ombre: Arsht Offers Experiential Theater at Its Strangest and Wettest

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Alejandro Ferrer
The liquid onslaught poured forth long before audiences entered the Arsht Center for H2Ombre this past weekend. Torrential rains slowed the flow of spectators into this undeniably unique prooduction. But they finally arrived to find a combination platter that's equal parts rave, 3D movie, and modern dance show.

After passing through the so-called "Bubble Lounge" offering specialty drinks, audiences entered an unfamiliar Ziff Opera House where most of the chairs have been removed. Theatergoers were split between an open dance floor and a VIP area one level up.

During the show, all notions of traditional theater decorum disappear. On opening night, many attendees shot smartphone videos, waved rainbow-colored glow sticks they received upon entry, and donned neon green plastic glasses frames that rendered everything slightly trippy. Servers interrupted the show once to take drink orders, and again to make customers pay, which was distracting--less like a night at the theater than a night at the Improv. Then again, patrons could also wander the two rooms of H2Ombre at will, which proved unusually liberating. Audience interaction and freedom is central to the show's conceit, and so is commerce: You exit through a gift kiosk.

See also: H2Ombre at the Arsht Center: A Waterlogged Theater Experience Like No Other

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Copperbridge Foundation Brings Cuban Artists to Miami Stages

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Geo Darder gets down with the culture in Cuba.
Here in Miami, more than in any other city in America, an encounter with Cuban culture is akin to a return to the roots. No matter whether it's dance or art, music or theater, it's the heritage itself that seems to matter most, with the artistic and entertainment elements often affirming a personal connection.

That may seem like a broad-based generalization, but given Miami's population and its sizeable Cuban quotient, there's no denying its accuracy. It's especially true in the case of Geo Darder, the founder and artistic director of the Copperbridge Foundation, an artistic initiative he and a group of partners launched four years ago as a means of facilitating the exhibition and interpretation of artistic works from the Caribbean, Africa, North and South America, and Cuba in particular.

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Summer Shorts at the Arsht: A Mixed Bag of Mind-Controlling Cats and Grieving Fathers

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George Schiavone
Rather than construct a standard-issue theater review for an evening of mirth and brevity that is always anything but standard-issue, I decided to trek through City Theatre's 19th edition of Summer Shorts play by play, in the order in which they are presented. Liberated from the need to excavate overlapping themes and through-lines from this jumbled theatrical stocking, I've scored each piece on its individual merits and demerits, assigning a point value to each production out of a maximum possible ten. The conclusions take into account both the source material and the production quality, beginning with:

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Evita Captivates the Crowd at the Adrienne Arsht Center

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Richard Termine
Anyone who's unaware might find it easy to dismiss Evita as yet another musical that's run its course -- or worse, a one-hit stage show with a terrific title tune but an otherwise well-worn narrative. But the terrific touring version that opened at the Arscht Tuesday night proved nothing could be further from the truth. Recently revived on Broadway for the first time in 30 years, this Evita for the new millennium is feisty, fast-paced and -- given a world filled with tyrants, political turmoil, and a superficial celebrity culture - more relevant as ever.

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Pinned Miami: Eleven Things to Look Forward to at Miami's First Pin-Up Festival

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Barry Fidnick
Pin-up girls, strip teases, vintage cars and enough rock 'n' roll to bring Elvis back from the dead. What's not to love about Pinned Miami, the three-day pin-up, rockabilly, burlesque and tattoo festival that's hitting Miami this weekend? It's a retro renaissance, with enough cheekiness and '50s cheese to hold your pin curls over for the next half-century.

Here, in no particular order, are ten things to look forward to at Pinned Miami -- besides having a reason not to go to the beach on Memorial Day Weekend, which is something we can all twist and shout about.

See also: Art of the Pin-Up Girl Brings Florida-Born Sex Appeal to the Big Apple

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With Help From the Knight Foundation, FUNDarte is Finding Miami's Artistic Voice

Categories: Performing Arts

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Jose Luis Rodriguez
To create, nourish, and promote art that speaks to South Florida, with an emphasis on Ibero-American culture. That has been the goal of Miami Beach's FUNDarte since day one.

Such an effort got a major boost in 2012, when the non-profit arts organization became one of 34 Knight Arts Challenge Miami winners, receiving a $100,000 award to present new works created by local companies and artists. The fruits of that labor are about to be reaped in Miami with Stage 2014-2015: Knight New Works, which will be inaugurated this Thursday and runs through September.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge South Florida 2014 Finalists Announced

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Here & Now Fest Returns With Shiva, Shamans, and Sex Reassignment

Categories: Performing Arts

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Miami artist and Here & Now Festival performer Juan Carlos Zaldivar
Ritualistic writing, interdisciplinary theater, phosphorescent paintings, and sexual reassignment surgery come together to form the backbone for the 15th annual Here & Now: 2014, A Knight Emerging Artist Series. Here & Now is where and when the Miami Light Project commissions new performance work by innovative South Florida artists. The 2014 performance line-up includes Letty Bassart, Abel Cornejo, Ana Mendez, David Rohn, Danilo de la Torre, and Juan Carlos Zaldivar.

The pieces involve varied process of development and eclectic influences.

See also: Photos from Here & Now 2012

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Everybody Drinks the Same Water: Miami Theater Center's Beautiful, Listless Parable

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This past weekend, Miami Theater Center opened Everybody Drinks the Same Water, a decorous world premiere written by MTC artistic director Stephanie Ansin and resident artist Fernando Calzadilla. It's set in 13th century Cordoba, Spain, a fractious cauldron of faiths and cultures lorded over by a bigoted Christian queen (Barbara Sloan). When she discovers that the water in her castle has been poisoned, she blames the Muslim qadi (Steve Gladstone) who built the aqueduct, and disparages the local Jewish doctor (Howard Elfman) for failing to cure her son, who has become paralyzed from the water. It's only when news leaks that the entire village has been suffering from the groundwater that vindictive accusations are jettisoned in favor of multidenominational problem-solving.

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Jules Massenet's Thaïs: the story of a Courtesan and the Monk Who Loves Her

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Love. Lust. Spirituality. Peace. Thaïs encompasses all of this and then some.

The Florida Grand Opera's (FGO) production of Jules Massenet and Louis Gallet's story of an ancient Egyptian courtesan who finds peace from a troubled monk is set to astound Saturday, May 3, through Sunday, May 10.

The two stars of the production, Kristopher Irmiter and Angela Mortellaro, are ready to bring the power and majesty of the French opera to Miami audiences.

See also: Arts Ballet's Season Finale Stays on Pointe

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Enter the O, Miami Basketball Tournament and Win Street Cred

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What do the Big Three and O, Miami have in common? Their love of dominant basketball.

Miami's literary and athletic worlds are headed for a collision course next Easter Sunday. Do your free throw reps, get that jumper wet, and prepare to have some good time on the hardwood. On April 20, the gauntlet will be thrown.

See also: Young Voices Will Rise During the O, Miami SPEAKtacular

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