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Florida Spotlight: April 2007

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Gugwana Dlamini in The Lion King
(© Joan Marcus)
From Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals to insightful looks at some of history's leading ladies, April's theatrical offerings should have something for everybody.

Julie Taymor's Tony Award-winning production of Disney's The Lion King comes to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (April 19-June 3). As millions of viewers around the world can attest, the combination of Elton John and Tim Rice's score (which includes the Oscar-winning "Can You Feel the Love Tonight") and Taymor's imaginative imagery, creates an experience worth remembering.

Other family fare can be found at the Broward Center this month. There's The Frog Prince (April 13-14), which musically presents timeless lessons of compassion, keeping promises, and true beauty, and A Kid's Life (April 20-21), a musical that follows Zack, a 5-year-old boy, and his golden retriever-best friend Starsky.

At the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life (April 17-22), stops by on its national tour. Written by four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally and directed by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele, The Dancer's Life charts Rivera's journey from aspiring ballerina to Broadway legend, with knockout numbers from some her biggest hits. Even better, the star relives the years she spent working with some of Broadway's best.

If it's theatrical extravaganzas you're after, The Aerial Performance Company's AntiGravity tours the tip of the Sunshine State during the first week of the month; it makes its final stop in Florida at the Kravis Center on April 6, after playing Miami's Carnival Center for the Arts on April 2. With a roster of national and international champion athletes, urban dancers, and underground specialty artists, AntiGravity fuses sport with spectacle into an art form all its own.

If you're interested in finding out more about two of the 20th Century's most interesting women, Florida Stage continues its sold-out run of the world premiere musical Backwards in High Heels, which offers a backstage look at the private life of Ginger Rogers. Meanwhile Gable Stage offers William Gibson's Golda's Balcony (at the Biltmore, April 21-May 20), set during the time when Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel, was confronted with her most difficult decision ever: Whether to use nuclear weapons against Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur war of 1973.

At the Mosaic Theatre, the focus is on more ordinary women as Pilar Uribe performs the award-winning solo piece 9 Parts of Desire (April 18-May 13). After having spent 11 years conducting interviews with Iraqi women living over four continents, Heather Raffo penned 9 Parts to reflect the realities for these women under the regime of Saddam Hussein and since his removal.

Palm Beach Dramaworks offers a revival Harold Pinter's Betrayal (through April 15), which moves in reverse chronological order to illustrate an affair between a woman and her husband's best friend. Meanwhile, the Caldwell Theatre Company will offer Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House (previews begin April 8), which looks at another contemporary family dealing with disloyalty. Added to the mix, however, is a Portuguese maid who not only hates to clean but has made it her mission to create the perfect joke.

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