Performing Arts

Miami’s Zoetic Stage sets a world premiere, a Sondheim musical and a hot comedy for 2015-2016

Kay Kron plays July in ‘The Excelsior King,’ part three of a House Theatre of Chicago trilogy playing the Arsht Center next season.
Kay Kron plays July in ‘The Excelsior King,’ part three of a House Theatre of Chicago trilogy playing the Arsht Center next season. Michael Brosilow

A world premiere play by award winner Christopher Demos-Brown, a new production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion and a Pulitzer-finalist comedy by Gina Gionfriddo will make up Zoetic Stage’s portion of the fifth annual Theater Up Close series at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

The trio of shows joins the already-announced The Hammer Trinity, a trilogy of fantasy plays by Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews of the House Theatre of Chicago. Those plays — The Iron Stag King, The Crownless King and The Excelsior King — were commissioned by the Arsht as part of its 10th anniversary 10@10 celebration next season and recently wrapped up a run at the House’s home theater in Chicago.

Zoetic will begin its next season Nov. 5-22 with the world premiere of Demos-Brown’s Stripped. The Fear Up Harsh playwright turns his attention to the story of an exotic dancer named Masha, an immigrant who loses custody of her daughter and battles the legal system to get the girl back. Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, about 21st century women and the choices they face, runs Jan. 14-31. Passion, about an ailing woman in love with a handsome soldier in 19th century Italy, runs Feb. 18-March 13. Jeni Hacker, Nicholas Richberg and Amy Miller Brennan will star in the musical.

The plays of The Hammer Trinity, which run April 2-May 8, can be seen as individual works but were written to be experienced as a trilogy. Performances on Saturdays and Sundays will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 10 p.m., with 61/2 hours of performance and 21/2 hours of breaks. BRAVA! and the Café at Books & Books, the center’s on-site restaurants, will tailor food and drink packages to get marathoners fed on time.

Six-show subscription packages to the Zoetic and House lineups are $190 through June 19. Single tickets will go on sale during the summer. The Theater Up Close series takes place in the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht’s Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. For information, call 305-949-6722 or visit


Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Dennis Scholl, who just stepped down as the foundation’s vice-president for arts, will be honored at the 18th annual Cuisine for Art fundraiser from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.

The men are being recognized for their work with the Knight Arts Challenge, which has helped fund arts organizations and ideas nationwide. More than 300 are expected at the event, which is presented by the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

The evening features a number of celebrity “waiters” this year including Hollywood commissioners Patricia Asseff, Kevin Biederman, Richard Blattner, Peter Hernandez, Linda Sherwood and Traci Callari; Mayor Peter Bober; Sheriff Scott Israel; Broward commissioner Quentin Furr; state representatives Joseph Geller, Shevrin Jones and Evan Jenne; state senator Eleanor Sobel; and business or legal leaders Milan Espino, Michael Fucheck, Michael Goodman, Alan Koslow, Gerard Llorente Nadeau, Lois Marino, Martin J. Schuham and Andrew Zullo.

Admission to the event, which includes dinner, entertainment and a live auction, is $135. For information, call 954-921-3274 or visit


The St. Hugh-Steinway season finale concert happens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach. Soprano Eglise Gutiérrez will perform arias including Casta Diva from Norma, accompanied by pianist Roberto Berrocal. Berrocal will be the piano soloist on Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, and the St. Hugh Orchestra will be conducted by Zoe Zeniodi.

Tickets are $50 for the concert, $300 for the concert and a gala post-performance rooftop dinner from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. For information, call 305-673-3331 or visit