By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Exits and Entrances: Athol Fugard has the well-earned ability to suck the air out of any other plays competing against him on any given night. This snapshot of the mid-twentieth-century crossroads of change in South Africa is no exception. Although the playwright-icon isn't here in body, his spirit shines through in this grand autobiographical hark back to his rising to fame. Five different plays reside in the unwrapping onion of Exits and Entrances: the comic romp of opposites with exquisite timing; a dialogue about the fundamental role of theater in society; an exploration of the kind of mentoring relationships we all recognize in our own memories of talented teachers; a meditation on what a life is worth; a fretful exploration of South Africa's evolution into a deep, dark place; and a joyful insight into Fugard's own backstory. Okay, so that's actually six different plays an entire season of theater crammed into one two-hour show. Through January 15. Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-585-3433.
A Night of Dances for the Nations: Join former teenage mother turned Miami schoolteacher Wanda Mack as she leads a crew of fifteen girls through an evening of dance. Showcasing the remarkable talents of inner-city youngsters who range from ten to nineteen years old all of whom were hand-picked from churches and community centers throughout impoverished areas of Miami-Dade and Broward counties the two-hour production features a slew of solo and group performances using different genres, including urban hip-hop, ballet, liturgical worship, and modern dance. Drawing on her own experience as a young mother who used the arts as a means of escaping the clutches of poverty, Mack heralds the show's debut as a way for other struggling young ladies to not only realize their abilities but also thrive on them. Through January 7. Joseph Caleb Auditorium, 5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami; 305-345-0416.
Poor Lenny: Written and directed by Philip Marraccini, this amateur production examines the basic notion that friendship is one of life's most treasured possessions. The four lead characters Lenny, Ron, Ed, and Richard were childhood pals whose friendship has blossomed into adulthood. Although the men have evolved into four distinct personalities, they have always remained close. But that changes when Lenny's business begins to fail and he's faced with financial ruin. What ensues is a humorous yet tragic tale as one man, seduced by the lure of material possessions, tries to defraud his buddies out of a small fortune, unaware he's forsaking something far more precious friendship. Through January 14. Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater, 17011 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach; 305-571-7678.
For a complete listing of current stage shows, click on Culture in the navigation bar to the left, scroll down to the “Listings Search” Category pulldown, and select Stage.