By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, first performed in 1670, was about a man struggling to cope with wealth, obscure his piss-poor origins, and achieve classiness — and profoundly embarrassing himself at every turn. If that reminds you of a certain somebody, you're definitely on the wavelength of Mad Cat Theatre's artistic director, Paul Tei, who has adapted the classic to a modern setting and turned its lead character into... Elvis. It's a silly idea wrapped around an important insight, and it's eminently worth seeing, both for the novelty of the concept and for the sheer comic balls of Erik Fabregat, who crams his performance with every Elvis you could want: the teddy bear, the hick, the stud, and the charisma-monster who could slay a room with the thrust of a shoulder, the flutter of a finger, or a wink.
If you're looking for laughs in a summer show about matrimony, you could head to Palm Beach Dramaworks, where they're doing Noel Coward's Private Lives. Here in Miami, there's Married Alive: a silly, fun, slight little whisp of a revue, full of observations on married life that are piquant without being angsty. The best reason to go is probably the singing: Gary Marachek and Marcia McClain, playing husband and wife Ron and Diane, have perfectly complementary instruments that should be wedded more often.
Fuerza is a plotless little effusion of the avant-garde playing inside a loading bay at the Arsht Center. It doesn't contain enough good ideas, but the ideas it offers are brilliant. For its first hour, Fuerza is shocking, unpredictable, and weird — you spend the whole show standing up, and the action is constantly springing into existence all around you. You never feel entirely safe. At any moment, it seems the actors or the crowd might turn on you. Both are savage, both are tense — several times you will see rowdy young men in the audience grabbing and tearing at flying set pieces or grasping at the breasts of maidens writhing around in a transparent pool of water suspended just above your head. This is probably intended. Throughout Fuerza's two-hour duration — which includes flying ninja ladies running perpendicular to the ground, a man in a business suit smashing through walls before being shot to death, the aforementioned water nymphs, and a whole lot of spastic dancing — you get the sense the whole thing is a kind of psychic jujitsu.