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Florida Spotlight: June 2009

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A scene from Stomp
Florida is the primary stomping grounds for Stomp when the raucous percussion showcase makes its noisy way through Orlando at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center (June 9-14), the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (June 19-21) and Fort Lauderdale's Broward Center for the Performing Arts (June 23-28). Kinetic theatrical fare is particularly heavy on the menu on the east coast, with the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami playing host to the surreal multimedia spectacle of Fuerza Bruta (June 9-July 5). Dress casual -- this show by the creators of the Argentine hit De La Guarda involves a suspended swimming pool and a generous splash zone.

Also at the Arsht Center is Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (June 2-21), a musical that draws on the huge catalogue of songs from the late salsa icon. Elsewhere in Miami, the Alliance Theatre Lab pays tribute to an outspoken and thoughtful activist felled during her work in the Gaza Strip with My Name is Rachel Corrie (June 18-July 5).

Nearby, check out Coral Gables' Gable Stage at the Biltmore for a production of Paul Rudnick's The New Century (June 20-July 19), a comical clash of lifestyles featuring a Jewish matron from Long Island, a flamboyant resident from Palm Beach, and a Midwest craftswoman visiting New York for the first time. In Fort Lauderdale, the Rising Action Theatre Company presents Bent (June 5-July 19), Martin Sherman's harrowing tale of courage and tragedy at a Nazi concentration camp.

Up the coast, the Delray Beach Playhouse stages To Life! The Musicals of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (June 1-9), an affectionate toast to the creators of Fiddler on the Roof. Further north, a scriptwriter gets a second chance at fatherhood in Neil Simon's I Ought To Be in Pictures at the Melbourne Civic Theatre (June 12-28). For some saucy and stormy fun, take in The Great American Trailer Park Musical at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville (June 5-July 12) and see what happens when a wayward stripper adds to the drama at an all-too close-knit community.

In Tampa, Jobsite Theatre presents David Lindsay Abaire's searing drama Rabbit Hole at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (June 4-21), a Pulitzer Prize winning tale of a family coping with the loss of a child. Moving south to Sarasota, we find more edgy family struggles in the Banyan Theatre Company production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane (June 25-July 12), Martin McDonagh's play about a lonely Irish caregiver given a last chance to break free from spinsterhood.

Also in Sarasota, see Judy Kaye and Donald Corren reprise their Broadway roles in Souvenir at the Asolo Theatre (June 5-28), a musical tribute to the infamous and eternally hopeful singer Florence Foster Jenkins. And at the Florida Studio Theatre, enjoy an evening of wit with A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration (June 3-26), featuring songs and dialogue drawn from the writings of the theater icon.


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