GableStage turns to Broadway and Off-Broadway for its eclectic new season

Classical Review editor launches foundation to foster American music.

08/10/2014 1:00 AM

08/10/2014 7:41 PM

Provocative Off-Broadway dramas and comedies, a solo show about the great trumpeter Louis Armstrong, an unusual based-in-fact Broadway play and another work from Miami’s Tarell Alvin McCraney will be featured in GableStage’s just-announced 2014-2015 season.

“All of these plays except one were produced in New York this past season,” says Joseph Adler, the company’s Carbonell Award-winning artistic director.

Kicking off after the current run of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale (through Aug. 17) and the fall run of Terrence McNally‘s recent Tony Award-nominated Broadway play Mothers and Sons (Sept. 20-Oct. 19), the new season begins with Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon. The Off-Broadway comedy about the grandchildren of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor arguing over his religious heirlooms runs Nov. 22-Dec. 21. Next is McCraney’s Choir Boy, a play about a gay student who becomes the leader of his prep school’s celebrated gospel choir. That music-infused play, the fourth GableStage production of a play written or adapted by McCraney (and the first to be directed by Adler), runs Jan. 24-Feb. 22.

Next is New Jerusalem, a play by Venus in Fur author David Ives. Running March 28-April 26 and sporting the hefty subtitle The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, the play examines the philosopher’s radical thinking as he defends himself after being accused of atheism. The Tony-nominated Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein follows, running May 30-June 28. Inspired by real events, the play focuses on a group of straight men who gathered in the Catskills in 1962 for a summertime pleasure: dressing and acting like women.

Satchmo at the Waldorf, an Off-Broadway hit by Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, centers on a reflective Armstrong in his dressing room after a 1971 performance. Featuring a single actor playing the musician, his manager and jazz great Miles Davis, the play runs Aug. 1-30, 2015. The new season winds up Oct. 3-Nov. 1, 2015, with a production of The Night Alive by Irish playwright Conor McPherson.

Current subscribers can renew for $225, with new subscribers paying $260. GableStage performs at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. For information, call 305-445-1119 or visit www.gablestage.org.

Christine Dolen

SUMMER OPERA

Miami Lyric Opera has mounted a production of Giacomo Puccini’s ever-popular La Bohème, with Nathalie Avila singing the role of Mimi, Rodolfo Cuevas as Rodolfo, Beverly Coulter as Musetta, Oscar Martinez as Marcello, Daniel Snodgrass as Shaunard, Diego Baner as Colline, Ismael Gonzalez as Benoit and Alcindoro, and Lee Vargas as Parpignol.

The opera gets two performances next weekend, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Aug. 17, at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. Tickets are $25-$45. Call 305-374-2444 or visit www.gusmancenter.org or www.miamilyricopera.org for information.

Christine Dolen

CELEBRATING WOMEN

Artistic director Louis Tyrrell has picked his 2014-2015 Theatre at Arts Garage season, and it’s a three-show celebration of the work of women playwrights.

The How and the Why by Sarah Treem, whose producing and writing work for television includes House of Cards and In Treatment, starts the season Nov. 7-30. The play focuses on a pair of brilliant evolutionary biologists who meet on the eve of a national conference and find themselves clashing over their different scientific views, feminism and generational differences.

Next is I and You by Lauren Gunderson, running Jan. 16-Feb. 8. Winner of the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the play focuses on a chronically ill high school girl and a star basketball player who pair up to deconstruct Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, only to make a connection themselves.

The third play in the series is a world premiere, Uncertain Terms by Allison Gregory. Running March 6-29, the comedy is about a woman whose former husband moves in with her mother, then refuses to depart once mom dies and the house is on the market.

The Theatre at Arts Garage is at 180 NE First St., Delray Beach. Single tickets and subscriptions are on sale. Call 561-450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.org.

Christine Dolen

‘NOMADIS’ BEGINS

A collaborative, multimedia piece by a group of artists calling themselves the Antiheroes Project sets off on a three-month performance journey this weekend with Nomadis. Inspired by the experiences of Beat Generation authors and fragments of the performers’ memories, the piece features dialogue in English and Spanish with supertitles in both languages, film elements and original live music performed by Carlos Ochoa and Marizelda Eggertsson.

José Manuel Domínguez directs a cast that includes Claudio Marcotulli, Fernando Goichochea, Ivette Kellems, Paola Escobar, Sergio Mora and himself. This weekend’s show is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the World and Eye Arts Center, 109 NW Fifth St., Fort Lauderdale. Next weekend, the show plays the North Miami Arts Collective, 845 NE 125th St., North Miami, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17.

Future performances will take the company to the Miami Theater Center, the 6th Street Dance Studio, the Cavas Flamenco Studio, Escuela Flamenca Gabriela Fonseca Miami, Excello Dance Space, Artefactus Black Box and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s Lab Theater. For more information and a complete performance schedule, call 786-975-4891, email info@antiheroesproject.org or visit www.antiheroesproject.org.

Christine Dolen

FOUNDATION LAUNCHED

Lawrence A. Johnson, a Chicago music critic, got tired of complaining that musical organizations were not performing enough American music and decided to do something about it. Johnson, the founder of The Classical Review, a group of websites with Chicago, Boston, New York and South Florida editions, has spent the last few months putting together plans and raising support for a new venture, the American Music Project. The nonprofit foundation hopes to put a brighter spotlight on the American repertory, old and new, and to commission new works.

“The goal of the foundation,” Johnson said in a statement, “is to facilitate more performances of our great musical legacy, as well as to raise awareness and, ultimately, help increase the amount of American music that is performed regularly in our concert halls and opera houses.”

In announcing the project, Johnson also announced its first commission, a piano quintet by the Chicago pianist and composer Amy Wurtz. The plan is for every work commissioned by the project to have performances in three cities, as well as a recording. Wurtz’s work will be given its premiere by the Q Ensemble in Chicago on Oct. 5, with performances in New York and Boston planned for the spring. A second commission will be announced in December.

Besides offering commissions, Johnson said, the project will offer grants to ensembles and presenters who plan to include American works during their 2015-16 seasons. Guidelines for grant proposals are available at the project’s website, www.americanmusicproject.net.

Allan Kozinn/New York Times

VISUAL ARTS

• Life Is Art presents August’s Art/Work Connections for artists interested in learning about contract negotiations from three attorneys at the RKE Law Group. The session is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kroma Gallery, 3670 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove. Admission is $10 at the door (scholarships are available). Pre-register at www.awc.lifeisartfest.org. Call 305-576-6278 or visit www.lifeisartfest.org for more information.
• Locust Projects is hosting a new artist development workshop by ArtCenter/South Florida’s artistic director Susan Caraballo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Demystifying the Art of Proposal Writing is limited to 20 people and costs $50 for nonmembers, $45 for ArtCenter or Locust Projects members. Attendees should bring writing materials or a laptop and lunch. Register by calling 305-674-8278 or visiting www.artcentersf.org.
• The Seaside Institute in Seaside is launching a new series of architectural photography workshops Oct. 22-26 with renowned Miami photographer Steven Brooke, an adjunct professor at the University of Miami’s School of Architecture. Brooke has documented the 80-acre Florida town since its inception in 1981. Class space is limited to 15 students of all skill levels, and tuition starts at $500. For information and registration, visit www.seasideacademicvillage.com or email Diane Dorney at ddorney@seasideinstitute.org.
• Curiator is a new mobile app designed to help art enthusiasts and professionals discover, collect and share art online. Users explore an ever-expanding inventory of art works (more than 40,000 pieces by 13,000 artists at this point) contributed by people from more than 180 countries, along with special guest-curated exhibitions. To learn more, visit www.curiator.com or download the iOS app from the App Store.

Galena Mosovich

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).

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