Three South Florida playwrights are headed to prestigious fringe theater festivals this summer: Kim Ehly to the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) with her play Baby GirL, Luis Sosa and Casey Dressler to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their plays Mangos & Rice and The Wedding Warrior.
Ehly’s Baby GirL, a South Florida hit for the Kutumba Theatre Project in 2012, is a poignant, funny, moving play about a young lesbian’s journey toward self-knowledge and love. It will run at New York’s Kraine Theatre, 85 E. Fourth St., during the festival Aug. 8-24, with the exact performance schedule still to be announced. Noah Levine and Nori Tecosky will reprise their roles from the original production, with South Florida actor Jessica Farr and New York actors Christa Meyers, Joe Wissler, Amy Bizjak, Samuel Floyd and Lucy McMichael completing the cast. Ehly is raising money for the production at www.gofundme.com/babygirlgoestonyc. Tickets to the New York production are $18 in advance, $24 at the door. For more information, visit www.fringenyc.org.
Pals Sosa and Dressler, who met at Miami’s New World School of the Arts, will present their paired solo shows under the umbrella title Driving with the Parking Brake Up. Sosa’s Mangos & Rice is about a young gay Cuban’s journey toward maturity and self-acceptance. Dressler’s The Wedding Warrior features her as a single 30-year-old wedding coordinator in Key Largo. Both actor-authors are raising money for their production in Scotland at www.gofundme.com/EdinburghFringeDream.
The playwrights will offer a South Florida preview of their Edinburgh shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at the Bluedog Acting Company in the Town Square Mall, 6905 W. Broward Blvd., Suite 109, Plantation. Tickets are $20, and reservations are required. Call 305-879-7282, email email@example.com or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/709401.
Sosa and Dressler will also perform their shows in New York during the East to Edinburgh Festival at the 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., at 6:30 p.m. July 11, 4:30 p.m. July 12-13. Call 212-279-4200 or visit www.59E59.org. Their shows will run daily except Sunday Aug. 1-23 at the Edinburgh Festival. For information, visit www.drivingwiththeparkingbrakeup.com.
Florida Grand Opera has announced its casting and production details for next season.
Company favorite Kelly Kaduce will return as the doomed geisha Cio-Cio San in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which will open the season Nov. 15. Vanessa Isiguen will sing the role in the second cast, while Martin Nusspaumer and John Pickle will alternate in the role of the caddish American Pinkerton. Caitlin McKechney will portray Suzuki and Todd Thomas, Sharpless. Ramon Tebar will conduct this production from Sarasota Opera.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte is up next, opening Jan. 24 with Sari Gruber and Brenda Patterson as the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, and Jason Slayden and Jonathan Beyer as their suitors Ferrando and Gugielmo. The second cast features Hailey Clark and Carla Jablonski with Daniel Bates and Isaac Bray. Arthur Woodley is Don Alfonso for both casts, with Ava Pine alternating with Rebecca Henriques as Despina. Tebar conducts the FGO production.
Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers will open Feb. 28. Sydney Mancasola and Emily Birsan will alternate in the role of the priestess Leila, with Philippe Talbot and Corey McKern as her vying lovers Nadir and Zurga (Bates and Bray in the second cast). Anthony Barrese will conduct in his FGO debut.
The season will conclude with Gian Carlo Menotti’s Cold War drama The Consul opening May 9. Kara Shay Thomson stars as Magda Sorel with Keith Phares as her husband John, Carla Jablonski as The Secretary and Victoria Livengood as The Mother. Andrew Bisantz conducts this Seattle Opera production.
Subscriptions are now on sale starting at $40 for the season, which is presented at both the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Call 800-741-1010 or visit www.fgo.org.
‘Girl Play’ ready
The fifth edition of Girl Play, an annual festival of lesbian-themed plays, takes next weekend at the Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 N. Dixie Hwy., Wilton Manors. Presented by the Women’s Theatre Project and the Pride Center, the festival will feature staged readings of 18 scripts chosen from more than 100 submissions.
Being read this year are Litter by Maria Brandt, The End by Leslie Powell, Off by Joey Brenneman, Princess by Amy Hollon, Rebecca Will You Marry Me by Ariande Blayde, Digging Up Aunt Billie by Lindsay Marianna Doukopoulous, Tofurkey Day by Allie Costa, Mary’s Baptism by Connie Schindewolf, Recently Divorced and Essie and Rachel Raising a Son by Sharon Goldner, The Conductress by Lynn Wells Nelson, The Happy One by Kim Ehly, Late Night with Mu Shu Pork by Martha Patterson, Don’t Play it Safe by Inbal Kashtan, Hypocrites and Strippers by Kim Yaged, Searching for Mary Jane by Anna Nicholas and Passionate Partners by I. Zephyr.
Genie Croft, Beverly Blanchette, Steven Chambers, Kim St. Leon and Ehly will direct the readings, with six plays presented in each program. The festival happens at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. June 29. Tickets are $10 per performance or $25 for all three. For information, call 866-811-4111 or visit www.womenstheatreproject.com.
Ground Up news
Miami’s Ground Up & Rising theater company has chosen two plays for its 2014 season and named a new artistic director. Collin Carmouze will now lead the theater company, with original artistic director Arturo Rossi moving into the position of executive director.
Ground Up will present each of its plays in two venues, starting off with several free outdoor performances at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, then moving to Miami’s intimate Artistic Vibes, 12986 SW 89th Ave., for the rest of the run. Even there, anyone under age 25 gets in free, with everyone else paying $25.
First up is Bill Cain’s 9 Circles, a play about a former soldier accused of a horrific war crime in Iraq. It runs July 5-6 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, July 12-13 and July 19-20 at 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday at Artistic Vibes. Christopher Shinn’s haunting Dying City is the second show, playing the Botanical Garden Sept. 7 and Sept. 13-14, moving to Artistic Vibes Sept. 20-21 and Sept. 27-28. For information, call 305-562-5849 or visit www.groundupandrising.org.
Ring season set
The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at the University of Miami has announced a five-show 2014-2015 season with a pair of intriguing highlights.
The lineup begins with the hit Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Sept. 24-Oct. 4, then the Ring will pair with Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to present the southeastern premiere of the Tony Award-winning Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, a play-with-music based on a Dave Barry- Ridley Pearson novel for young readers. It will run in the Arsht’s Carnival Studio Theater Oct. 9-26.
Moisés Kaufman, artistic director of the Tectonic Theatre Project, is coming to UM Nov. 12-23 for an in-development production of a new musical version of Carmen. Set in Cuba in 1958, the piece will feature an Afro-Cuban take on Georges Bizet’s score by Arturo O’Farrill. After that, the Ring will present a production of Clare Boothe Luce‘s biting comedy The Women (Feb. 18-28), then close out the new season with Oklahoma! (April 15-26). Subscription are $100 and are now on sale; individual tickets, which go on sale Sept. 2, are $25 ($22 for seniors, $10 for students). The Ring is at 1312 Miller Dr. on the UM campus in Coral Gables. Call 305-284-3355 or visit www.miami.edu/ring for information.
Miami’s Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and Arca Images producer Alexa Kuve will host a disco-themed fundraiser from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday to raise money for their next collaboration. DJs Danny Santiago and Jesse E. Velazquez will be spinning the music, Bacardi will bring the booze and Casa Larios the appetizers. A silent auction is also part of the evening, which happens at Miami Dade-County Auditorium’s On.Stage Black Box, 2901 W. Flagler St. Admission is a tax-deductible $100. Call 305-342-9312 or visit www.arcaimages.org.
• Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places was recognized during the recent Americans for the Arts Conference in Nashville, Tenn., for commissioning some of the most innovative and exciting examples of public art in the country this year. Immersive and large-scale projects by two Miami-based artists were featured in the Public Art 2014 Year in Review: Bhakti Baxter’s Coral Reef City and Jim Drain’s The Bollard Project, both at PortMiami. For more information, visit www.miamidadepublicart.org
• Butter Gallery is presenting a new show by artist Jeffrey Noble, with oversized canvases depicting life in Cape Canaveral’s suburban space coast. Welcome to MarZ is positioned on the second floor of the gallery in the Gesamtkunstwerk building at 2930 NW Seventh Ave., Miami. See it from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday or by appointment through Aug. 30. Call 305-303-6254 or visit www.buttergallery.com.
• The National YoungArts Foundation’s The Art of Collaboration fuses the talents of renowned choreographer and New York City Ballet soloist Justin Peck and singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, as part of the foundation’s Salon Series. The session is moderated by Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The session is at 6 p.m. Thursday in the seventh floor lounge at YoungArts headquarters, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets are $35 ($28 for members, $20 for students). To reserve, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eventbrite.com/e/youngarts-salon-with-justin-peck-sufjan-stevens-tickets-11782336285.
• Artists and creative entrepreneurs are invited to attend a free Business Plan Clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Participants will learn how to prepare a business plan and effectively work with lenders to obtain financial support in a session sponsored by the Broward Cultural Division, the Florida Small Business Development Center in Broward and the South Florida Regional Planning Council. Katerina Wagner, founder and principal of Miami Art Scene, will also present a lecture on developing a brand for the artist. Space is limited and an RSVP is required. Call 954-357-7463 or visit www.patronsecure.com/bccd/events.cfm?#jid863.
• Professional artists residing in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties are now eligible to submit an application for the mural project honoring Broward County’s centennial celebration. For Broward 100 — Celebrating the Art of Community, several artists or artist teams from the tri-county area will be chosen to transform at least nine prominent outdoor locations. The deadline to apply is July 7. Those who responded to a previous call to artists need not reapply. Visit email@example.com or www.broward.org/Arts/PublicArt.
Christine Dolen, Lawrence A. Johnson and Galena Mosovich contributed to this report. Send news to cdolen@MiamiHerald.com (theater), jlevin@MiamiHerald.com (dance, pop and Latin music), jwooldridge@MiamiHerald.com (visual arts) or khamersly@MiamiHerald.com (jazz, classical music).