Best Theater for Drama Miami 2014 - South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211th St.
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
Once viewed as a construction-delayed, $51 million albatross, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) has already done plenty since it's 2011 grand opening to prove its worth to taxpayers. It has delivered a winning combination of jazz, classical, and dance shows with a heavy emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean troupes. But no one could have predicted that one of its greatest contributions to Miami's arts scenes would be providing an itinerant theater a permanent home. That's just what happened, though, after the rightly acclaimed New Theatre lost its longtime space in Coral Gables and then bounced around a few other locations before landing at SMDCAC. Their combination has been the Jay Z/Beyoncé hookup of the South Florida arts world — a powerhouse arts marriage made in heaven. New Theatre's premiere in-house production, Visiting Hours, told the story of an older lesbian couple and their estranged son, who barges back into their lives following charges of aggravated assault. Written by frequent New Theatre collaborator and Miami native David Caudle, the work gave the company a refreshing and memorable new start. Weaving innovative pieces from New Theatre into a season filled with crowd-pleasing events — the Miami Symphony Orchestra, jazz singer René Marie, and flamenco star Jesse Cook, to name a few — has solidified the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center as an exciting and worthy enhancement to Miami's theatrical stage.