Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway
Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway: Showman Neil Berg's salute to the Great White Way's top-drawer musicals takes the stage for a performance that has been dedicated to the memory of local educator Zelda Glazer. The rip-roaring revue features veteran Broadway actors belting out memorable numbers from Showboat, Chicago, Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, Jersey Boys, Kiss Me Kate, Phantom of the Opera, and other smash shows. Musical director and pianist Berg (who also composed the hit off-Broadway tuner The Prince and the Pauper) will lead the cast and head up an all-star New York band. Many of the performers have starred in long-running shows like Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde, Evita, Little Shop of Horrors, and Fiddler on the Roof. The show's producer, Adam Friedson, who's a lifelong family friend of the recently deceased Glazer, says the gala event has grown into a tribute to her spirit and life. Glazer was a language arts teacher at Miami-Dade schools for more than 30 years. She died in a car accident last December. "Zelda had a zest for life. She was passionate about her family, literature, the arts, and civil rights," Friedson recalls. Contributions to the Zelda Glazer Writing Institute at the University of Miami will be accepted at the performance. Carlos Suarez de Jesus March 11 at the Knight Concert Hall, Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets range from $15 to $60. Call 305-949-6722 or visit www.carnivalcenter.org.
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda: This story of a frustrated writer-turned-teacher named Simon (John van Dalen), and the friendship he develops with a young lady named Juliette (Tara Vodihn), a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, is told largely through the two main characters' inner monologues. Juliette has written a history of the genocide, tracing its roots to colonialism and old tribal antipathies. Simon suggests she put more of herself into it, make it more of a memoir and less of a study. When the young lady from Rwanda tries to do so, the attempt turns into a painful exorcism of her inner demons. Catharsis! Resolution! Peace! This story about the redeeming power of art could have been interesting, but the idea undergoes no transformation, no rigorous investigation. Instead we view scene after scene of Juliette, wondering over the oddities of Western life; Juliette haunted again and again by the horror she's witnessed; Juliette writing; Juliette failing to write; Juliette scared of writing; Juliette writing again; Juliette failing again; Juliette getting scared again. John van Dalen is utterly wasted in this play. His take on Simon is simultaneously genteel, befuddled, and righteous. Watching Remarkable Document limp across the stage, one looks forward to his monologues. Despite the shoddy plot, the indifferent writing, the absence of ideas, and Vodihn's bizarrely Asiatic notion of Rwanda, there are a handful of scenes that almost achieve liftoff, moments when you begin to get a sense of the story that could have been told here. Brandon K. Thorp Through March 18 at New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables. Call 305-443-5909 or visit www.new-theatre.org.
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