Theater! On South Beach!
The show, next door to the old Carl Fisher clubhouse just north of the convention center, is revelatory. Why? It's theater! On South Beach! In a small place with talented actors and a creative format. There's food by Red Light, the top notch Biscayne Boulevard eatery. And you can even order a martini. And what could be better than watching theater with a martini? .
The brainchild of local bon vivant Carson Kievman and several others, it stars Ivette Viñas, Andrés Lefevre , Philip de la Cal and Montserrat Franco. There are dozens of scenes (actually a few too many for our taste) in four acts. Some include old cartoons of Bugs Bunny, The Tasmanian Devil, Betty Boop and Porky Pig.
There's also serious acting and some script reading that's sold as improv but just might not be. Vinas, a mother of two, is really the best thing going. She is magic as the object of both male actors' affection -- and again in a scene from Sam Shepherd. As a bonus, she sings wonderfully.
Lefevre and de la Cal are solid, too. Improv-like, smart with solid voices, they make the evening entertaining. Constantly in character and hamming it up at the right moments, they have on-stage energy that makes the show go. Franco is less of an actress, but has a good voice that also keeps the show moving along --- and they are all backed by a band led by well known local pianist Kiki Sanchez that doesn't miss a beat.
All in all, in rescuing this theater from disuse was a great thing, Kievman and company are to be congratulated. You should go tonight, but call ahead because tickets are limited. And get ready for several more shows -- including one that promises Shakespeare and music. This is something the neighborhood -- and Miami Beach have long needed. Let's hope they make it go.