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Tuesday September 11, 2012

A tour of the Gusman/Olympia theater

gusman olympia theater downtown miami

Dating back to 1925 the Gusman/Olympia Theater is one of Miami’s real treasures. Last Saturday, as part of Downtown Art Days, the Gusman’s assistant director Robert Geitner gave a tour of the theater.

See the whole article and 25 photos


Tuesday April 8, 2008

C.L. Jahn gives us a history of the last 2 years of the Coconut Grove Playhouse, and proclaims, “It’s time to admit it: the Coconut Grove Playhouse is dead.” But careful — what he means is the organization, not (necessarily) the idea of performances in that building (though that too seems unlikely for a long time, as the building is quite deteriorated). Bummer.


Thursday January 31, 2008

More on the Lyric Theater in this week’s Sun Post. Including this tidbit: the Miami CRA was going to donate a parcel of land to the Black Archives to complete the Theater’s expansion. The County is blocking the donation by laying claim to the land because of something to do with an adjacent housing development, so, I rest my case.


Monday October 22, 2007

Spiegel Tent coming to Miami Beach

spiegel tent

The Spiegel Tent, seen here in it’s usual home under the Brookly Bridge, is coming to Collins Park in December for a couple of months. I’m hoping they plan to flesh out the season with some local acts. (thanks, Mr. Entertainment)


Wednesday September 26, 2007

Miami Project Hip Hop, 2007

hip hop project

Miami Light Project, one of my favorite organizations in the county, is opening their season with the Hip-hop project mini-festival, now in its 5th year. Performances, residencies, film screenings, and other events, most free, happen daily tomorrow through Sunday. This is ‘hip-hop’ in the broadest cultural sense, and filtered through an arts/cultural perspective, so nobody should feel unwelcome. Watch the video, and come out for an immersive mini-festival done up right.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:00pm
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip Hop Culture can be proud to have given birth to Youth Expressions (YE), a not-for-profit organization (501c3) committed to helping at-risk urban youth develop into self assured, focused, productive and skilled adults. Now in the 4th year of partnership with MLP, members will perform an original work developed during their MLP residency.

Friday, September 28, 2007 8:00pm LIGHT BOX STUDIO SHOWCASE
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- RESERVATION REQUIRED-
This showcase features Rudi Goblen’s Insanity Isn’t and the Nicole Klaymoon’s Into the Fourth Dimension.

Saturday, September 29, 2007, 2:00pm
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a riveting documentary that examines representations of gender roles in Hip Hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Conceived as a “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “Hip Hophead,” Hurt examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s Hip Hop culture.

Saturday, September 29, 2007, 8:00pm
Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl 33139- $20.00-
Miami Light Project proudly presents the seminal NY-based theater company Universes’ in Live From the Edge, an evening that showcases the ensemble’s special brand of fusion theater in a “best of” evening that tracks the evolution of their poetic language from childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theater, Hip Hop and gospel. Redefining what theater is and who it speaks to, Live From the Edge is a unique performance event that turns the poem into a communal act.

NOTE: as of right now, you can get two-for-one tickets to this event (the only non-free event in the series) by entering the code ‘MPH10’ at this page. No idea how long this will work.

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 11:00am
Jeff Chang Book Signing and Discussion
Jeff Chang has written extensively on race, culture, politics, the arts, and music. His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered honors including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also edited an anthology entitled Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, released in February 2007.


Friday August 17, 2007

Whatever else we may take away from the recent CG Playhouse post, we learned that the South Florida theater scene has a blog(!): South Florida Theatre Scene. Three months of archives, nine (count ‘em) contributors, and no silly “blogroll” (whatever that is). Good job guys! (But note: you’re spelling “theater” wrong.)


Thursday August 16, 2007

Let's cut the Coconut Grove Playhouse some slack

coconut grove playhouse Miraculously, the Coconut Grove Playhouse appears to be on a slow road back to solvency. A foreclosure was avoided yesterday, and many of the major debts are repaid, including all the back-pay owed the former employees and actors. But:

Money owed to Actors’ Equity for salaries, pension and health insurance has been repaid, but because there are penalties outstanding, the theater and Mittelman remain on the union’s default list — meaning no Equity actor or stage manager can work at the theater until that debt is eliminated.

I say it’s time for Actors’ Equity to cut the playhouse some slack. “Promoting the theater arts” is central to AE’s stated mission, and with regional theaters all over the country struggling and/or closing, here’s their chance to put their money where their mouth is. If they drop their fines, they forgo some potential profit, but they help hasten a theater back to its feet, where it can employ their members again. The playhouse is doing the right thing, and a show of confidence from AE would be a welcome gesture. If you agree, let them know: here’s their contact page, and here’s a sample message you might send; feel free to cut-n-paste and modify to your liking:

As a theater fan in Miami, I support the Coconut Grove Playhouse. The playhouse has been struggling to pay off its obligations and reopen, and it has paid everything it owed to your members. Yet it remains on your organization’s default list because of unpaid fines for shortfalls during its most troubled period. Please help the Coconut Grove Playhouse get back on its feet — and begin to employ your members — by forgiving its outstanding debts to your organization. You’ll be helping to strengthen the theater scene in Miami, and sending a positive message of encouragement.

Photo by ImageMD.


Thursday July 5, 2007

Margaret Lake, the new director of theater operations of the Gusman Center, has big plans for the place. Historical renovations are to be completed, and she envisions more outreach and more original programming. Hopefully this will bring the Gusman the prominence it deserves.


Thursday December 14, 2006

The Blue Man Period of Milton Van der Spuy

The Blue Man Period of Milton Van der Spuy

Greig Coetzee performed this one-man play tonight, and will do so again Saturday and Sunday. It’s a fantasy about a man who fancies himself an artist, a “Renaissance Man,” but is actually a wannabe dabbler. Coetzee lets us laugh at his character for most of the play, but of course he’s got a sad twist up his sleeve: the refrain of the play seems to be “but mother says, my talents lie elsewhere.”

Any one-person play will struggle to be more then a monologue, right? But Coetzee does a remarkably good job, making excellent use of fractured story lines, jumping from present to reverie, and making surprisingly great use of props. It’s a low-key and whimsical little piece, but completely worth seeing.

At the Carnival Center Studio Theater; two performances this weekend. Coetzee is also doing White Men with Weapons, which looks at least as good. (At just over an hour each, it seems like they could have done them both together with a long intermission.)


Monday October 2, 2006

Great idea: Verticus proposes turning the Biscayne Boulevard corridor around the CCPA into a theater district. It’s going to take some forward-thinking folks in the development sector, some daring creative types, and a little help from the government.


Thursday September 21, 2006

Some harsh words for the Coconut Grove Playhouse’s board of directors. Good news for the Playhouse, tho.


Friday November 4, 2005

Lyric Theater renovation

The Biscayne Boulevard Times has a great article about the renovation of the Lyric Theater in Overtown.

From the 1930s to the 1960s, N.W. 2nd Avenue from 6th to 10th Street, the main strip of a vibrant and pioneering black community called Colored Town, was better known as “Little Broadway.” (…) Today, all that remains of Little Broadway are miscellaneous press clippings, billboards donated by Clyde Killens (the era’s entertainment king) and the Lyric Theater, which, according to material provided by The Black Archives, has been described as “the most beautiful and costly playhouse owned by Colored people in all the Southland.”

There is something very exiting about this. All the development to the north of downtown is going to spread to Overtown sooner or later. This project is funded by government money, so it’s not necessarily an early sign of the trend, but eventual gentrification is inevitable. The exact nature of that gentrification is still up for grabs, though, and this would be another opportunity for Miami to do something right. This project, by preserving the history of the community, is a step in the right direction.