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Florida Spotlight: April 2008

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Carey Brown, Gordana Rashovich,
Wilson Southerland in Master Class
(© Duane Long)
The third annual South Florida Theatre Festival continues this month with more shows opening in Miami, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Fort Lauderdale. The sunshine state also has a few other quality offerings on the calendar.

Starting in West Palm Beach, explore the contrasting nature of those who help, and those who are helped; those who create and those who destroy in Benefactors (April 25-June 15) at the Palm Beach Dramaworks. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre will present Master Class (April 1-13), Terrence McNally's dramatization of a master class taught by opera diva Maria Callas at Juilliard. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (April 10-11) will bring its brand of musical comedy to the Lake Worth Playhouse, and for some maritime fun, Carl Rosa Opera will present Gilbert and Sullivan's classic, HMS Pinafore (April 2) to the Raymond F. Kravis Center. Also at the Kravis Center, Angel of Memory (April 3) will follow the exile and return of three generations of Jewish women who fled the Holocaust, and Lauren Weedman: Bust (April 4-5) is a semi-autobiographical work built around the writer/performer's experiences. If you don't get a chance to see her in West Palm Beach, Weedman will also perform at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (April 6) in Fort Lauderdale.

Around the corner in Boca Raton, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (April 4-13) at Florida Atlantic University follows a group of women, members of a James Dean fan club, who meet in a small town where Giant was filmed. You could also take a trip with David Novak through his life story mixed with Florida history in Smoke from the Everglades (April 14) at the Caldwell Theatre Company.

Further south in Miami, 4.48 Psychosis (April 17-May 11) at the Naked Stage, follows the path of a mind spiraling out of control. For a more historical evening, The Accomplices (April 26-May 25) at the Gable Stage examines the failure of the American government, media, and American Jewish officials to stop the WW II massacre of European Jews. Stories from the Civil Rights Movement find their place at M Ensemble in From the Mississippi Delta (April 17-May 11). For more light hearted entertainment, the University of Miami production of Guys and Dolls (April 16-26) at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre will satisfy a need for screwball romantic comedy. Or take a trip into Denial (April 26-May 25) and listen in on the trial of a professor who is dedicated to convincing the world that the Holocaust was a hoax.

In Fort Lauderdale, Rising Action Theatre Company's Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (April 3-May 25) details the revelations found between the recent widow of a Baptist Minister and her gay dance instructor. Self Help, the Comedy (April 17-19) at the Broward Center is an energetic parody about self help workshops and shows. The laughs continue as three brides-to-be search for the perfect dress and end up with so much more in Three Fittings (April 25-May 18), presented by The Women's Theatre Project at Sixth Star Studios. With a more serious tone, the Broward Center will present Twelve Angry Men (April 22-May 4), a courtroom drama about 12 jurors, as they try to make a unified decision in a murder case. The musical offerings in the Fort Lauderdale area start with a taste of teenage dreams of stardom in Fame (April 11-12) at Ronald Reagan Senior High in Davie. Also, run the gamut of contemporary relationships in Starting Here, Starting Now (April 18-June 9) at the Broward Stage Door Theater in Margat.

In Sarasota, Lucie Blue Tremblay in Concert (April 12) will play at the Church of the Trinity to benefit The Breast Exam Project. Tremblay has been traveling for over 2 1/2 years for the cause. Near Sarasota, The Manatee Players in Bradenton are bringing Elvis back to life with All Shook Up (April 3-April 20). If you ever wondered what happens to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern after they leave Hamlet, then try Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (April 3-April 20) at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center for an eye-opening take on these missing events. Finally, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater will present Macbeth (April 2-27).

If you're looking for something to do with your little ones, the Sunshine state has a few options this month. PAINT! Marc Chagall's Colorful Musical Adventure will fill the Actors' Playhouse in Miami with the larger-than-life mystical style of Marc Chagall's paintings. If your kids want to learn about the environment, Fantasy Theatre Factory's Never Everglades (April 22-April 25) is a fairytale of environmental proportions which will fill theatres in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. You can also laugh along with your kids to the misadventures of Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (April 19) at the Duncan Theatre in Lake Worth.


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