On the South Florida theater horizon, new shows are opening at Delray Beach’s Theatre at Arts Garage as well as The Vanguard and Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale; and Miami’s Mad Cat turns the spotlight on once-banned material in its ongoing reading series. And in news from New York, Miami’s Spanish-language theater artists win big at the annual HOLA Awards.
The new week brings several theater openings, with one launching a new era at the Theatre at Arts Garage in Delray Beach.
▪ Sex With Strangers, a play by House of Cards writer Laura Eason, features Jacqueline Laggy as a talented but struggling novelist and Michael Uribe as a younger blogger who has turned his online stories of serial hookups into a New York Times best seller. Hot, provocative and funny, the play is the first offering from the new artistic team at Theatre at Arts Garage, Genie Croft and Keith Garsson. It begins previews at 2 p.m. Sunday, with additional previews at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28-29 and a gala opening Oct. 30. The play runs through Nov. 15, with regular performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday (additional matinees Oct. 31 and Nov. 14). Tickets are $30-$45. The Theatre at Arts Garage is at 180 NE First St., Delray Beach. Call 561-450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.org.
▪ Actor-playwright Casey Dressler turned her experiences working as a wedding coordinator in the Florida Keys into the rich, funny, touching solo show The Wedding Warrior. She’ll perform it at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at the 2015 United Solo Festival at New York’s Theatre Row, but first she’s doing a limited run at The Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Performances are 8 p.m. Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6. Tickets are $25. Visit vanguardarts.org.
▪ Shelley Fisher, a Jewish singer-songwriter from Memphis, has turned her quest for stardom into an unconventional solo show titled The Hebrew Hillbilly: Fifty Shades of Oy Vey! She narrates her eventful odyssey and delivers 15 Memphis-inspired songs she wrote with Ken Hirsch and Harold Payne. Fisher will be at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., from Oct. 29 to Nov. 22. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $30 ($20 for the Oct. 29 preview). Call 954-678-1496 or visit www.empirestage.com.
Artists from Miami were among the big winners when the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors — HOLA — held its 16th annual awards gala and benefit in New York on Oct. 12.
Playwright Julie De Grandy won an award for outstanding achievement in playwriting for Genios: Lorca y Dalí, her play about the early 1920s relationship of playwright-poet Federico García Lorca and artist Salvador Dalí. Havanafama director Juan Roca won an award for visiting production for Nicolas Dorr’s Las pericas.
ArtSpoken director Yoshvani Medina won two HOLA awards, one for the production and his direction of Albert Camus’ El malentendido. Alejandro Gil won the best actor HOLA for his performance in Las pericas, Alicita Lora won best actress for her work in El malentendido, and George Riverón won for his design of La reina virgen.
▪ Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre continues its readings of banned and controversial works with Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan. Pete Smith Rogan will direct Noah Levine, Troy Davidson, Jessica Farr, Alekzander Sayers and Dominic Smith in the reading, which is free and takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. Visit www.madcattheatre.org for information.