The Capulets and Montagues revisited
To do the Bard or not to do the Bard: That is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ... criticism, or do a traditional interpretation of the famous playwright's works instead. The question is almost as old as William Shakespeare's lauded scribbling itself. In the case of Romeo and Juliet especially, the challenge of updating this classic tragedy has had surprising results that populate the entire spectrum -- from the sublime Broadway musical West Side Story to the vastly underrated Baz Luhrmann version with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. Premiering tonight, though, is the New Theatre's (4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables) reworking of the Veronese love story. Now set in 1810 and directed by Rafael de Acha, Romeo and Juliet is the first in a summer Shakespeare series that also includes The Merchant of Venice (July 7-31) and Macbeth (August 4-28). Showtimes are 8:00 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 1:00 p.m. Sundays, through July 3. Tickets cost $40, or avoid Shylock the moneylender by purchasing a three-play pass for only $90. Call 305-443-5909, or visit www.new-theatre.org. --Margaret Griffis
John Henton brings the jokes
Ah, the television sitcom neighbor. A character who can always be depended upon for laughs, plot diversion, and wacky antics. He bursts into his neighbor's place like Kramer on Seinfeld, appears over the back-yard fence like Wilson on Home Improvement, or wanders into the apartment across the hall like he owns the place, à la Jack on Will & Grace. Few sitcom neighbors were sweeter or more affable than Overton Wakefield Jones on Living Single. As part of the cast of the hit Nineties show, comedian John Henton provided a romantic subplot while holding his own beside Queen Latifah and Kim Fields. Henton also lent his goofy, observational humor to The Hughleys, softening D.L. Hughley's controversial edges. Tonight at 8:30 John Henton will bring his endearing comedy to the Miami Improv, 3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove. Tickets cost $16.05. Call 305-441-8200, or visit www.miamiimprov.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Salsa and Flow
Watch and learn at Baila USA
If you're living in Miami and you don't know how to salsa dance, you definitely have some catching up to do. Conga drums and maracas create a distinctive syncopated rhythm that makes for some serious tail-shaking fun. The sixth annual Baila USA Dance Festival, whose theme is The Roots of Salsa: The Rumba Institution, will feature more than 30 workshops, gala performances, and panel discussions at various venues around Miami. Choreographer and performer Neri Torres, the founder of dance ensemble IFE-ILE and Baila USA, will be leading the cast of instructors, which includes Aramis Pazos, José Vasallo, Zoraida Rodriguez, and Henry Herrea. Tickets begin at $15. Call 305-476-0388, or visit www.bailausa.com for a complete schedule. --Christina Kent
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The Great White Gay
Gay men's choruses and show tunes go together like gin and tonic. Members of the Miami Gay Men's Chorus will share the musicals that influenced their lives in the two-night-only revue, Blame It on Broadway. Catch it tonight at 8:00 at the Lincoln Theatre, 571 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Premium tickets cost $40; general admission is $25. Call 305-604-8787, or visit www.miamigaychorus.org. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik