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Florida Spotlight: July 2009

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A publicity photo for Tony n' Tina's Wedding
The crowd-pleasing interactive theater event Tony n' Tina's Wedding begins a run at the Mansion in Miami Beach on July 10. This production is helmed by Larry Pellegrini, the original director of the Off-Broadway play, and features -- for the first time -- both Cuban and Italian influences including beats by bilingual DJs Donny and Dee Dee Dulce, and a full Cuban-Italian dinner. Take in the talents of performers from all corners of the Latin diaspora when Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center plays host to the 24th International Hispanic Theater Festival, kicking off July 8 with a performance of Manuel Orjuela Cortes' Carta de Una Desconocida (Letter From a Stranger). The festival runs through July 26, featuring performances in Spanish and English.

At the Miracle Theatre in nearby Coral Gables, the Actor's Playhouse presents the new musical Married Alive (July 8-August 16), where two couples find modern wedded bliss to be filled with groans and guffaws alike. North to Fort Lauderdale, see American Idol favorite Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel in the new Broadway touring production of Grease, coming to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for its first Florida visit (July 29-August 2).

In Boca Raton, the Caldwell Theatre presents the premiere of Vices: A Love Story (July 8-August 2), a comic and kinetic exploration of relationships featuring a variety of dance and musical styles. Another new comedy comes to Coral Springs as the Broward Stage Door Theater stages Tony Finstrom's Knish Alley! (July 10-August 30), following a group of Jewish thespians on their long and uncertain journey to New York City. In the West Palm area, Palm Beach Dramaworks raises the curtain on Noel Coward's classic comedy of manners, Private Lives (July 17-August 16). In Manalapan, it's the musical revue Some Kind of Wonderful at the Florida Stage (July 1-August 30), featuring memorable pop standards from The Beatles to Tony Bennett.

Continuing up the coast, Melbourne Civic Theatre has Ken Ludwig's outrageous Moon Over Buffalo (July 31-September 6), where the sparring of a pair of married actors spills over onto the stage. More serious fare can be found in Orlando, with Mad Cow Theatre's production of the Pulitzer-winning play I Am My Own Wife (July 17-August 9), Doug Wright's challenging portrait of life as a transvestite during the Nazi regime. Heading west, we find Jonathan Larson's rock remix of Puccini's La Boheme -- otherwise known as the modern classic musical Rent -- coming to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (July 7-12), and featuring original stars Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp.

In Sarasota, see yet another Pulitzer drama at the Players Theater with their production of Margaret Edson's bittersweet Wit (July 9-12), where a teacher finds her humanity during a battle with cancer. Elsewhere in Sarasota, the Banyan Theatre Company stages Jon Marans' Old Wicked Songs (July 16-August 2), where an American piano prodigy finds new inspiration with an older music teacher. Meanwhile, the Florida Studio Theatre has an especially busy month, hosting the 2009 Sarasota Improv Festival (July 10-11) before giving a raucous and irreverent literary lesson with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (July 29-August 21). Finally, we round out July back in South Florida, where the Venice Theatre presents the area's leading songbirds interpreting soundtrack favorites in Hollywood Divas Cabaret (July 9-19).

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