Doggy Style

Caravan Stage Barge

What gets you banned in Boston surely will get you embraced in Miami. Wait a second: These days what gets banned in Boston? Or anywhere else for that matter? A naughty little theater production courtesy of the Canada-based Caravan Stage theater company. This past summer, when they pulled their 90-foot Caravan Stage Barge into the waters off Beantown and performed their version of Leon Rooke's rather raunchy novel Shakespeare's Dog (which recounts the playwright's life through the eyes of Elizabethan hounds), bureaucrats howled. Not quite the loveable battery-operated Poo-Chi currently popular with kiddies, the comedy's bawdy bow wows are directed at mature audiences. Who let the dogs out, indeed! Asked to abridge its play or have its multiperformance contract yanked, the theater troupe refused, crying censorship. Soon the production mysteriously was shut down owing to structural concerns on the boardwalk that lead to the seats.

It's common knowledge that in our fair city, events favoring pro-communist Cuba are what get banned (and even that's no more), so the Caravan folks should have no worries. On Thursday the barge known as the Amara Zee will beach itself outside Shake-A-Leg Miami's Coconut Grove headquarters for two shows. Shake-A-Leg is a local nonprofit organization devoted to helping disadvantaged youth and the disabled learn to sail and enjoy watersports. The maritime mavens discovered the Caravaners at a sailing symposium in St. Petersburg and decided that their brand of manic intensity would be perfect for a fundraiser in Miami. “They're totally wild; they have got energy up the kazoo!” notes Shake-A-Leg jack-of-all-trades Meredith Bass.

Details

7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 9, and Saturday, November 11. Tickets range between $10 and $15. Call 305-858-5550 to reserve.
On the water behind the Miami Watersports Park and Recreation Center, 2600 S Bayshore Dr, Coconut Grove

All systems are sturdy in South Florida, so the thespians are safe to don elaborate costumes, swing off the rigging, and use every inch of the large barge. No dogs will be harmed in the production; actors play the canine parts. And if a little more sniffing and leg-raising than usual goes on, it shouldn't faze the sailors. They're a group with a reputation for being a bit bawdy themselves.

 
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