It should have been a brilliant, ground-breaking event, and it almost was. All the right ingredients came together: a major company, Naya water (distributed by Coca-Cola, no less), sponsoring the first of a series of nine performance art evenings, kicked off last Friday at the Colony Theater, with a program of four original pieces, A South Beach Evening on the Edge, followed by a lavish party. Impressive representatives of national talent occupied the stage, such as Everett Quinton, artistic director of New York's famed Ridiculous Theatre Company, and filmmaker Tony Lover, winner of scores of prestigious awards. But Quinton's work-in-progress monologue, Dracula, needs a lot more progress before presentation; the way it now stands, the piece consists of pointless ramblings reflecting Quinton's reactions to the Bela Lugosi film version of Bram Stoker's novel. Likewise, Lover's initially clever send-up of Ingmar Bergman's intellectual pretensions, a film called The Dove (De Diva), plays one joke for about five minutes too long. Seeing as how the short runs about ten minutes, that's not saying much.
Still, the best stepped forward last in the stunning dance performances of Arthur Aviles and Eric Geiger in a romantic pas de deux called Soon and finally, the incomparable Bill T. Jones dancing his Last Night On Earth. Naya and the Colony Theater directors should be applauded for this first real effort to bring the cutting edge to Miami, where it definitely belongs. I hope the next eight shows will present sharper edges and deeper cuts.
The turn of the next century makes Beirut look like the Cayman Islands on a particularly fine snorkeling day.