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Florida Spotlight: August 2007

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Annemaria Rajala in Saint Joan
Following the spate of festivals that highlighted Florida theater during July, August seems a bit sparser. There are, however, a few productions that are worth investigating, the majority of which can be found in the southern part of the state.

Currently wrapping up its production of Julius Caesar (through August 5), the New Theatre will next turn its focus to George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan (August 16-September 9); the show is part of the Shakespeare & Friends festival, which began with Cymbeline in June.

In Boca Raton, Avi Hoffman sets up shop at the West Boca Performing Arts Theater with Too Jewish? and Too Jewish, Too! (August 24-September 9). Hoffman, who was nominated for a Carbonell Award last year in the Best Actor category, relives the days of the Yiddish Theatre with these musicals.

Miami's GableStage, which presented last year's Carbonell-winning production of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, now turns its attention to McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, a black comedy about a ruthless Irish Liberation Army enforcer and the one thing he loves more than anything else in the world: his little black cat, Wee Thomas.

At the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, Ground Up & Rising presents David Rabe's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (August 3-26). Set during the Vietnam era, the play follows a naïve recruit's path through the war abroad and the war back home.

In the Shimberg Playhouse at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Jobsite Theater presents another seminal Rabe work, Hurlyburly (August 9-26), a scathing examination of a drug-and-sex-filled culture where the almost-rich and not-yet famous live on cheap thrills and heady ambition.

Finally, if you're in need of something lighter, SHOUT! The Mod Musical makes its transfer from the Kravis Center, where it performed last month, to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. This tuneful revue features some of the greatest hits of the 1960s, including "Downtown" and "Son of a Preacher Man."

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