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Florida Spotlight: July 2010

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A scene from Amarillo
Latin culture takes center stage -- several stages, actually -- as the International Hispanic Theatre Festival comes to Miami this month from July 7-August 1. "A Tribute to Mexico" is the special focus of this 25th annual edition, with shows spread across the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami Dade College's Teatro Prometeo, and other participating venues. Mexican company Teatro Linea De Sombra kicks off the festival with their production of Amarillo (July 7-9 at the Arsht Center), a haunting multimedia meditation on identity. Be sure to bring the kids to the free International Children's Day performances and workshops on July 18 at North Shore Park.

Over in Sarasota, Florida Studio Theatre hosts a weekend of off-the-cuff antics at the Sarasota Improv Festival (July 16-17), boasting over a dozen performing groups in its second year. Also at the Florida Studio Theatre, it's a war between man's best friend and his better half with their production of the canine comedy Sylvia (July 28-August 22). And at the Banyan Theater Company, a young actor shakes up the friendship between two aging veterans in Michael Healey's comic drama The Drawer Boy (July 15-August 1).

In Tampa, Stageworks Theatre brings its production of Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (July 8-25), where a con artist leads a writer down a hilarious path to ruin with fame as the bait. Further south, Venice Theatre stages Irving Berlin's brash musical Annie Get Your Gun (July 29-August 7), featuring classics like "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Orlando Shakespeare Theatre takes us over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house and beyond with Russell Davis' fairy-tale update The Little Red Riding Hood Show (July 15-August 8). Also in Orlando, see Ruth and Augustus Goetz's The Heiress, where the chase is on between a naïve young girl and a gold-digging Lothario at the Mad Cow Theatre (July 23-August 22).

The blues get their due in West Palm Beach with the southeastern premiere of Low Down Dirty Blues at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (July 17-September 5), a musical revue from Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman that showcases the gritty songs of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and many more. And at Palm Beach Dramaworks, the frustrations of a lifetime are traded over a nursing home card table in D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer-winning play The Gin Game (July 16-August 15).

In Boca Raton, a potential cure for cancer becomes the hot potato for a game of cat-and-mouse between two research scientists in the Caldwell Theatre Company's production of Bob Clyman's thriller Secret Order (July 7-August 1). Meanwhile, the Boca Raton Theatre Guild brings the stage adaptation of Joan Didion's tearful memoir The Year of Magical Thinking to the stage at the Willow Theatre (July 22-25).

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