South Florida Arts Scene

Mad Cat stages world premiere in new home in Miami Shores


Mad Cat Theatre Company, which has called the Miami Light Project’s Light Box home since its 2000 founding, is moving to the Miami Theater Center, 9816 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores, where it will perform its edgy original work in MTC’s 50-seat SandBox.

“With a move to Miami Theater Center as our core venue, we look to return to our roots and expand our mission,” founder and artistic director Paul Tei said in a statement. “It’s a prospect we are all looking forward to. A new homecoming.”

Mad Cat’s first MTC production will be the world premiere of B**w Me by Jessica Farr, which the company sampled at the recent South Beach Comedy Festival. Erin Joy Schmidt will star in the dark comedy as the tragic, flamboyant British fashion muse Isabella Blow, who tried multiple times to take her own life before succeeding.

B**w Me opens Aug. 16 and runs through Sept. 1;

Christine Dolen

Villella honored

Edward Villella, founding artistic director of Miami City Ballet, will be honored on May 15 with the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts, joining a list of past recipients that includes Villella’s mentor George Balanchine, theater producer Joseph Papp, publisher Alfred A. Knopf, public television figure Bill Moyers, violinist Isaac Stern, opera singer Beverly Hills, dancer Judith Jamison and folk singer Pete Seeger.

Now based in New York, Villella, 76, this spring coached the Cincinnati Ballet for its performances of Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, his trademark role. In June, he will chair the international jury at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss., one of the world’s top ballet competitions.

Jordan Levin

Lowe documentary

Student curators of last year’s University of Miami’s ArtLab@The Lowe exhibition, “Adapting and Adopting: Waves of Change as East Encounters West Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art,” will be featured in an upcoming TV documentary, West Encounters East, premiering Monday, May 6, at 9 p.m. and encoring Friday, May 10 at 10 p.m. on WPBT/Channel 2. The documentary, by executive producer Stella M. Holmes, examines the fusion of Asian and Latin American artistic traditions in the work of artists of Asian heritage who live and work in Brazil.

(This year’s ArtLab exhibition explore recurring themes in indigenous Panama in the Lowe’s collection of traditional blouses and pre-Columbian ceramic and stone objects, is on display through April 2014.)

Galena Mosovich

Season finales

•  Loras John Schissel, senior musicologist at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., will be the guest conductor for the Greater Miami Symphonic Band’s 16th annual May Pops Concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Schissel, conductor of the Virginia Grand Military Band, will lead the GMSB in marches and arrangements by Henry Fillmore, a prolific early-20th century American composer. Tickets are $15, $5 students at or the box office; 305-273-7687.

• The Greater Miami Youth Symphony ends its season from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday when the group’s Young Sousas Band, Young Mozarts Orchestra, Concert/Jazz Band, and Concert Orchestra will perform at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Ridge. Tickets are $11-$21 at 786-573-5300 or

‘Laramie Project’

The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman’s acclaimed play about the hate-crime murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, will close out the New World School of the Arts theater season with performances Friday through May 12 at Miami Beach’s Colony Theater.

Written by Kaufman in collaboration with members of the Tectonic Theater Project, the play explores the tragedy from the varying perspectives of townspeople in Laramie, Wyo., where Shepard was beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in 1998.

Directed by faculty member Stuart Meltzer, the play features actors from New World’s high school program. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. May 12 at the Colony, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets are $12;

Christine Dolen


The third annual CityWrights Professional Week for Playwrights, set for June 19-23 at Miami’s Epic Hotel, has extended its early-registration discount. All-access fees of $275, $175 for students, are available through May 20, after which they rise to $350/$275. The event includes workshops, readings, professional development sessions and information on protecting new work, launching plays and writing for various media.

CityWrights’ master playwrights include Pulitzer Prize finalist Tina Howe, Lauren Gunderson, Steve Yockey, Robert Caisley and Matt Hoverman. Special credit-granting sessions for lawyers (June 20) and teachers (June 21) are available at a reduced day rate;

Christine Dolen

Compiled by Miami Herald staff. Send news about theater to; dance, pop and Latin music to; visual arts to and classical music and jazz to Add events to our calendar at

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