Zany Brazilian theatrical company Pia Fraus has a name that derives from Latin and translates roughly to a white lie. Aptly enough the notion that Pia Fraus would perform in Miami five months ago as part of Tigertail Productions' seventh annual Florida/Brazil Festival (FLA/BRA) seemed like a white lie as well. The events of September 11 had already forced the cancellation of the opening show Dan Dau, which was to showcase Cape Verdean musicians and Portuguese choreographer Clara Andermatt. Problems getting the featured players into the United States meant the nouveau cirque stylings of Pia Fraus got the boot too, resulting in a decimated festival. Make no mistake, assured the folks at FLA/BRA, sounding slightly presidential, Pia Fraus would return in the spring.
Well, it's not officially spring, but making good on last year's promise is the FLA/BRA Mini-Festival, bringing back the elusive Brazilians and adding writer/actor Jose Torres Tama's one-man show, $Casinoamerica$. Wacky and provocative, Tama's visual and verbal extravaganza explores our greed-driven culture and, in a move sure to make Donald Trump shudder, offers gambling as a metaphor for life in our so-very-abundant country. Pia Fraus will aim its work at kiddie and adult audiences. This Sunday giant inflatable air puppets, men covered in clown makeup and colorful costumes, and action, action, action fill the amphitheater at José Martí Park during the children's puppet show dubbed Air Giants. Next weekend the performance piece Navigators transforms the park's pool into a surreal ocean rife with sea creatures, mermaids, trapeze artists, and acrobats, providing a few precious moments of make-believe in a sometimes-unbelievable world.