The Maven and The
Invade Las Vegas—An Invasion this Town
Never Seen Before!
by The Maven
and The Blonde
recently took an 11-day tour of Las Vegas to review the
shows for our readers. We based ourselves at the Mirage,
as it is central to most of the Starbucks around town—a
total necessity for The Blonde. Each day, we visited the
malls in the hotels as well as shopping malls for the
benefit of our readers. Okay, okay, that was for our own
benefit, too. Our nights were spent at shows and
restaurants. Late night events we keep to ourselves! But
for an extra fee, The Blonde might talk.
you should know about some of the shows so that you can
better plan your trip to Las Vegas. Stay tuned
throughout the next couple of weeks for more of our
exciting Las Vegas reviews, advice and tips.
How They Do it All Remains an
Mystery to Us!
Mystère is the show that changed the face of Las
Vegas entertainment. It is Vegas’ longest running Cirque
du Soleil show. The Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
commemorated its 5,000th performance on June 27th, 2004.
Mystère has had over seven million visitors from around
the world. This wonderful show is from Cirque du Soleil,
the company that has become synonymous with completely
unique theatrical productions. It is interesting to know
that Cirque du Soleil was formed in 1984 by a troupe of
street performers known as “Le Club des talons
Mystère is a celebration of life; a
voyage to the very heart of life where past, present and
future merge, and all our emotions converge. Mystère is
the enigma of time, the bearer of hopes and dreams, but
also of tragedy. It is above all the remembrance of time
past, memories of life unfolding following its course
and ultimately surviving against all odds.
Las Vegas production is directed by the brilliant Franco
Dragone. Mystère begins with a wake-up call provided by
pounding drums. A pair of babies making their way in a
world filled with strange creatures and brilliant
colors. There is a misguided clown who can bring
this smooth-running production to a grinding halt. Add
acrobats, contortionists, dancers, comedy, and musicians
who serve as guides on a journey to the edge of human
potential, and it can only mean one
Blonde: Go, Go, Go! See this amazing production.
All ages will have a wonderful and moving experience. It
is a lovely, abstract journey into the unusual. A fun,
clean, wholesome, great time and, most important of all,
you can buy popcorn and bring it into the
Maven: I have seen four other Cirque du Soleil shows and
this one was as unique and special as all of the others.
From the clowns to the acrobats, I was captivated,
enthralled, and I think a bit jealous.
Blonde: I know! Getting their bodies to do all those
amazing feats… I can’t even get myself up after bending
down to pick up jewelry that I drop occasionally on the
floor without complaining….
Maven: Amazing feats aside, I was actually referring to
the make-up and costumes.
Blonde: Oh that stuff! I already have that in my
Maven: Even though you know a funny character will
infiltrate the audience prior to the show, you will
still enjoy the thrill of it. Clown Brian LePetit looks
like a mad scientist posing as an usher who misdirects
audience members around the theater. If you don’t have
popcorn, he will take it from another and give it to
you—as I found out the hard way. Don’t worry, though.
Your popcorn will be replaced by a real usher waiting in
Blonde: So if you knew that Maven, why did you smack him
with your purse? But knowing you with your popcorn, it
was actually understandable. Moving on! It was
mind-boggling how these people contort their bodies the
way they do. It is at times even hard to believe your
own eyes. I wish I could do that with my
The Maven: I’m sure you
The Blonde: It doesn’t seem possible to
physically do what these performers do. They demonstrate
such unbelievable body control and strength. It made me
stop and think of what a chiropractor or orthopedic
surgeon thinks of this kind of manipulation to the human
body. One thing for sure, you really have to like the
person a lot that you have contorting on your back. This
gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Get off
The Maven: Anyway…all the
acts—too many to name—are accompanied by a live
orchestra that was conducted by Jean-Fransous Brissette.
I loved this music!
Blonde: I totally agree. The musicians, sound effects,
and singers were all a feast to ones ears.
Maven: When you go to Las Vegas, put Mystère at the top
of your list. A++. Not to be missed...
Blonde: No matter if you’re 1 or 101, you will enjoy
Mystère. This is among just one of the great shows we
will be telling you about. I rate this show an A. Maven,
get off my back! We tried this already in the hotel
after the show and we can’t do it! Don’t you
remember the room next door complaining about the noise
when we fell?! Ten times...
Maven: Practice makes perfect.
Blonde: You practice! I’m going to
Readers: Whatever you do, don’t miss O in Las
Vegas, either! Oh what a truly amazing show O is. There
are no words glorious enough to even describe it. An
absolute “must must” see. We both agree that this is the
finest show in Vegas, or anywhere for that matter. An
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s
To Play South Florida for Three Weeks
Tickets are now on sale for the National
Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s landmark musical,
Oklahoma! for the two-week Fort. Lauderdale engagement,
October 5-17 at the Broward Center for the Performing
Arts; and on Sunday, August 29, for the one-week run at
Palm Beach’s Raymond F. Kravis Center, October 19 – 24.
This newly conceived national tour, with
direction by Fred Hanson and choreography by Ginger
Thatcher, is adapted from the Cameron Mackintosh
presentation of the Royal National Theatre production
directed by Trevor Nunn with choreography by Susan
Stroman recently seen in London and on Broadway. The
original designs of Anthony Ward (sets and costumes) and
David Hersey (lighting) will be recreated for the
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs,
Oklahoma! was Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first
collaboration and remains, in many ways their most
innovative, having set the standards for modern musical
theatre featuring such classic musical numbers as “Oh,
What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “People Will Say We’re In
Love,” “The Surrey with the Fringe On Top” and the title
song. Set in the territory of Oklahoma at the turn of
the century, against a background of the rivalry between
cattlemen and farmers, Oklahoma! is the story of the
farm girl Laurey and the two rivals for her affection:
the cowboy Curly and Jud, the brooding
Written in 1943, Oklahoma! became an
instant hit and classic for Rodgers & Hammerstein,
launching a remarkable career that went on to include
Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of
Music. The longest-running musical of its time—a record
held for 15 years—Oklahoma! also generated a decade-long
US National Tour: a record-setting original West End run
at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and over 30,000
productions to date in more than one dozen languages.
The 1955 film version directed by Fred Zimmerman and
produced by Rodgers & Hammerstein, starred Shirley
Jones, Gordon MacRae and Rod Steiger.
has been honored with numerous awards including a
special Pulitzer Prize, two Academy Awards, and honorary
Grammy and a special Tony® Award. In 1993, it became the
first Broadway musical commemorated in a US postage
stamp and a recent survey by New York’s Drama League
deemed Oklahoma! “the Best Musical of the
Performances run Tuesday through
Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Saturday and
Sunday at 2pm and additional performances Sunday,
October 10 at 7:30pm, Wednesday, October 13 at 2pm, and
Wednesday, October 20 at 2pm.
Tickets for the
Broward Center engagement ranging from $21 - $64 can be
purchased in person, by phone and Internet through the
Broward Center AutoNation Box Office at 954-462-0222 or
www.browardcenter.org. Tickets for the Kravis Center
engagement ranging $20 - $71 can be purchased in person
at the Kravis Center Box Office and by phone at
561-832-7469 or 800-572-8471. Tickets are also available
through TicketMaster outlets, TicketMaster online at
www.ticketmaster.com or by calling TicketMaster at
954-523-3309 in Broward, 305-358-5885 in Dade and
561-966-3309 in Palm Beach. Groups of 20 or more please
call 1-800-6-GROUPS. For more information, visit
1. Brandon Andrus as Curly and Amanda
Rose as Laurey in Oklahoma!
Photo courtesy of
Joan Marcus, 2004
GableStage at The Biltmore
its 25th Anniversary
Having opened as Florida Shakespeare Theatre
in 1979, the GableStage at The Biltmore is pleased to
announce its 25th anniversary season, with six
award-winning plays, six Florida premieres and six
exciting theatrical experiences. In honor of the
celebration, season membership is only $160, now through
September 12, which is a savings of $50 over single
ticket prices; after September 12, season membership is
$175 (one show free).
The season is as
October 9 - November 7—Frozen by Bryony
Lavery—A drama that explores the moral and emotional
effect of serial killings on both the relatives of
victims and the murderer—when three people are drawn
together by horrific circumstances.
December 4 -
January 2—Bug by Tracy Letts—A thriller about a Gulf War
veteran who is convinced that the government is
implanting real live bugs inside our bodies to control
us—from the author of Killer Joe.
January 29 -
February 27—The Retreat from Moscow by William
Nicholson—The powerful story of a husband who decides to
be truthful in his marriage and of the wife and son
whose lives will never be the same again.
26 - May 1—The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien—One actress
plays 24 characters—in a deeply evocative story about
two families, one black, one white, in early 1960’s
May 28 - June 26—A Bad Friend by
Jules Feiffer—Set in the 1950’s during the McCarthy era,
a Brooklyn family is in the red glare of the anxiety
engendered by the paranoia of the times.
- August 21—Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman—The author of
Boy Gets Girl gives us an intimate look at the class
struggle in America today—with cops and hookers chasing
GableStage is located at 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral
Gables. For more information, call 305-445-1119 or visit
Eric Jerome Dickey’s
Friends and Lovers, Comes to the
revolutionary production company, I’m Ready Productions,
adapts the widely popular best-selling novel Friends and
Lovers for the stage and ventures out on tour. The Fall
leg of the tour begins September 7 in Jacksonville,
Florida, and will sweep the country with an all-star
cast, ending November 23 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Friends and Lovers arrives at the James L. Knight Center
in Miami on September 9 and continues there through the
Friends and Lovers tells a story of two sets
of best friends: Leonard and Tyrel, and Debra and
Shelby. Leonard meets Shelby and Tyrel meets Debra. The
two couples fall in love and the challenges abound. When
Debra meets Leonard, a successful comedian with
complications of his own, she has just gotten off the
sex-before-marriage merry-go-round. If he wants to ride,
he will have to produce the gold ring.
Tyrel, a sexy computer software designer, has
troubles finding a good woman and certainly doesn’t
think he’s capable of loving one. This changes when he
meets the cynical, yet good-natured woman Shelby. Both
are in for a life change when they have to face their
fears, challenge jealousy and test friendships.
The stage is set for an uncensored, hilarious,
and outrageously entertaining adventure in seduction,
betrayal, heartbreak, revenge and true love. Friends and
Lovers teaches one to appreciate and recognize true
friendship and love when they grace our
I’m Ready Productions was co-founded in
Houston, Texas in 1998 by the visionary team of
Je’Caryous Johnson and Gary Guidry. The pair has created
a professional touring production company devoted to
personal and community awareness through cultural
theater arts enrichment. Their mission is to entertain,
teach and enlighten through storytelling and music. In
just a few short years, I’m Ready has transformed the
urban theater genre through the quality of their
productions, which appeal to a broad cross-section of
The star-studded cast of
Friends and Lovers includes Leon (Waiting to Exhale, The
Five Heartbeats), Monica Calhoun (The Best Man, The
Players Club), Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. (Juwanna Man), Mel
Jackson (Soul Food, Deliver Us From Eva), Maia Campbell
(In The House, Trippin’) and Lavell Crawford
The company gained attention when they
broke box office records in several cities with the
national tours of their stage musicals, Men Cry in the
Dark (2002) and Maintenance Man (2003), both based on
best-selling novels by Michael Baisden.
Jerome Dickey is a New York Times best-selling author
and two-time NAACP Image Award nominee. In addition to
Friends and Lovers, his novels include Sister, Sister,
Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters, Liar’s Game, Between Lovers
and Thieves’ Paradise. His books have held steady
positions on regional bestseller lists and have been
featured in many publications, including Essence, USA
Today, Detroit Free Press, the Washington Post and the
Los Angeles Times.
Tickets are available through
TicketMaster, www.ticketmaster.com, or, for more
information and updates, visit
Returns to Miami
Creative Arts Enterprises proudly announces
the Second Annual Lavender Footlights Festival of New
Plays to be presented September 9-12 in the Miami Design
District. Always on the lookout for new and alternative
spaces for theatre, CAE has decided to present four
nights of theatre at the Newton Building at 3901 NE
Second Avenue in Miami.
This year’s festival is
jammed with play readings, parties, an open forum with
playwrights and directors, and a late night musical
cabaret. “We are slowly building this event to showcase
the wonderful artists living in South Florida who are
interested in presenting new works based upon gay themes
for the theatre audience,” remarked Producer Ellen
Wedner. “We are so thrilled to welcome our special
guest, Artistic Director David Zak of the Bailiwick
Repertory Theatre in Chicago. They have been producing
award-winning Gay & Lesbian Theater for 22 years, so
we know David will bring some wonderful insights to this
Working with award-winning South
Florida directors Barry Steinman and Rich Simone, along
with City Theatre’s Gail Garrisan and local actor and
writer Ricky J. Martinez, the team has come up with some
insightful and exhilarating work by legendary gay
theatre authors such as Edmund De Santis, Doric Wilson
and Julie Jensen. “We are proud to present a short work
by local journalist and writer, Mary Damiano, of Ft.
Lauderdale this year as we seek to encourage playwrights
in our midst to tackle the GLBT themes in our lives,”
cited Barry Steinman.
CAE will be keeping the
ticket costs at a minimum again this year but offering
the musical cabaret as a fundraiser for future events
this coming season. Look for announcements of musical
entertainment during the year that will hopefully
transform the ideas of what gay theater is really
“There’s more to the GLBT lifestyle
than dance music, as encountered in this year’s Festival
selections,” says Doug Williford, Artistic Director of
CAE, “We are beginning the transformation of theatre so
that Miami will have its own pride showcase for
The Second Annual Lavender Footlights
Festival will take place from September 9 – 12 in the
Newton Building, 3901 NE 2 Ave., Miami Design District.
Tickets are $10 for single shows; $30 for musical
cabaret (Friday or Saturday); and $35 for the show with
cabaret (Friday or Saturday).
For more information
about the Festival, call 305-573-2753 or visit
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