By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue: Quiara Alegria Hudes's play about three generations of an American military family is picking up steam across the nation. Ricky J. Martinez's current production for New Theatre comes on the heels of a successful off-Broadway run, and it will be followed by different stagings in prestigious regional venues including Steppenwolf in Chicago and Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C. The play's theme is war, but Elliot is not obviously political. That makes it at once timely and safe: Without criticizing or examining the reasons why we go to war, Hudes offers glimpses of three veterans and their heartbreaking stories of Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. "Politics," laughs young Elliot in the play, "nobody cares about that." Octavio Roca Through November 19. GableStage, Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; www.gablestage.org.
Astrid Hadad: Ludica Mujer Impudica: She's lude, she's crude, she's a bawdy one-woman show, and she's hitting Miami straight from Mexico City. Astrid Hadad delivers rumba, rock, jazz, and cabaret through the voice of a Mexican diva with a soulful ranchera voice. Her show, Ludica Mujer Impudica meaning joy-loving, shameless woman is the work of a swift social and political satirist. Hadad's mujer impudica sings out in a vernacular representative of what she calls "the Mexican soul and the universal soul." Picture Frida Kahlo wielding a shotgun and spitting out a social message you can't help but laugh at replete with over-the-top costumery. It's like camp camping out on the side of an urban road, lighting a candle for the Virgin, and downing a bottle of tequila. Vanessa Garcia October 20 and 21 at 8:30 p.m. Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. General admission is $25; students/seniors $20. Purchase tickets online at www.tigertail.org or by phone at 305-545-8546.
Red Light Winter: Amsterdam ... a city of excess. Marijuana, spacecakes, magic mushrooms and did I mention a plethora of prostitutes? The city is a veritable smorgasbord of sex and drugs, so, of course, what young guy in his right mind wouldn't want to travel to this uninhibited vacation destination? In Adam Rapp's 2005 drama, a nerdy playwright suffering from writer's block is first seen trying to hang himself with his belt. Not the best way to spend a holiday. His suicide attempt is averted, however, by an unexpected friend and a romantic connection. Playwright Rapp is not content to end his plays on a hopeful note, and delivers a finale that is sexually explosive and completely unforeseen. Elias Stimac Through October 22. Mosaic Theatre, American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation, 954-577-8243; www.mosaictheatre.com.