Taking the Sting Out of WASPS

Stage Notes
With the help of a recent $5000 grant from American Express, New Theatre now offers drama students an unbeatable deal. On Thursday nights throughout the coming season, free tickets will be available for up to twenty theater students from Dade County public schools or local college theater programs. In addition, full-time students (under age 25 and with an ID) can purchase tickets for shows at half-price on any night. The grant also helps sponsor internships for South Florida students at the theater.

Students are not the only ones who'll benefit from grants recently awarded to New Theatre. As a result of a $20,000 allotment from the John and James L. Knight Foundation to support the company's New Plays Project, all theatergoers will enjoy the works of emerging playwrights. Scheduled from May 30 through July 21 next year, the project will feature four original works by Florida dramatists. The lineup currently includes Richard Janaro's Youth and Asia and Susan Westfall's As Pirates Sail, with the hunt on for two more new plays to round out the festival.

Area Stage Company has served up contemporary drama in its cozy space on Miami Beach for the last six years, including 1994-95 Carbonnell winner Neil's Garden. Meanwhile production company C.R. Theatricals migrated to South Florida last year from Chicago to wow audiences with the Carbonell-winning musical Ruthless. Now Area and C.R. Theatricals have joined forces to present Concentrated, comedian Jeff Garlin's one-man show.

A Florida homeboy, born and raised in Plantation, Garlin honed his comedic skills at the renowned Second City in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles and appearing in films (Hero, Robocop 3) and television shows (Baywatch, Roseanne, Late Night with Conan O'Brien). Through a synthesis of storytelling, stand-up comedy, and elements of performance art, Concentrated tracks Garlin's evolution as a comedian. The Chicago Tribune described the show as a "historical, hysterical look at the stand-up world." With any luck, it will cast a caustic eye on an overexposed art form, one whose practitioners seem stupider and more boorish each time a new cable comedy hour airs. Catch Garlin in previews on Thursday, November 30, through Sunday, December 3; the show opens on Monday, December 4, for a limited four-week run at Area. Call 673-8002 for details.

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