Only in Miami probably a worse theater town than Wasilla, Alaska could a dramatic institution such as the Coconut Grove Playhouse find a way to amass millions in debt and close itself down. To put on a successful play in the Magic City, you need Lindsay Lohan to star, Kanye West to do the score, and a set design that features the severed head of Fidel Castro. The Cook, premiering Friday at 8 p.m. in the Wertheim Performing Arts Center Theatre on FIU's University Park Campus, doesn't quite deliver the infamous bearded cabeza, but it does do its best to fuel the bloodlust.
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Billed as "a controversial drama about the aftermath of the Cuban revolution" (is there a noncontroversial drama about the Cuban revolution?), The Cook tracks 40 years of Cuban history through the lens of one émigré family's homestead and the complicated property rights issues that inevitably arise. Though the actors are students, the director and the designers are faculty, and the playwright, Eduardo Machado, has serious Broadway chops he even worked with Al Pacino's portrayal of Tony Montana in Scarface. Expect a lively dialogue afterward at Versailles. Call 305-348-0496 for tickets.
Fri., Sept. 26, 8 p.m., 2008