Asked how long it took to build a theater for Miami Dade College's drama program, Prometeo, actress/artistic director Teresa Maria Rojas unabashedly replies, "Thirty-three years!" On the telephone, Rojas's eloquent and effusive Spanish is suddenly cut short by the dry pronouncement in English that Prometeo's permanent home was "long overdue." Over the past 3 decades Prometeo's students have studied, rehearsed, and performed in a number of unlikely and inadequate sites from a multipurpose auditorium to the fountain at the Wolfson Campus's entrance, yet despite the lack of acoustics, space, and sometimes even air conditioning, the program has thrived. Prometeo offers classes in theater to approximately 900 students a year. It is also a bilingual theater troupe that has presented more than 100 plays during its 33 years. So why is this group of actors and students getting a home now? It's probably no coincidence that the program drew national attention in 2003 when recent Tony Award nominee Nilo Cruz won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for writing the play Anna in the Tropics. The first Hispanic recipient of the prize, Cruz got his start with Prometeo. Whatever the reason, the troupe finally has its own theatrical abode fully equipped with 148 "real" seats and the latest in lighting and sound technology.
Since Prometeo's fire is really fueled by a steady flow of energetic and talented students, it's not surprising that the new space will feature an original work, co-written by Prometeo alumni Frank Quintana and Javier Siut. Josephine's Bakery, an unconventional adaptation of French playwright Jean Anouilh's The Orchestra, is a dark comedy, which Siut describes as "the kind of play where you find yourself laughing at things you would usually find appalling." Prometeo may have ditched the fold-up chairs and makeshift stage, but the theater still promises to be as risky and original as ever. -- By Mia Leonin
Josephine's Bakery can be seen at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2nd Ave, bldg 1. The show runs through Sunday, July 25. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-237-3262.
Teo Castellanos's one-man show NE 2nd Avenue assured the Miami boricua international exposure. On Saturday, June 19, Castellanos performs the show, in which he transforms himself into 9 diverse Miami characters, for the last time. Today, though, he will lead a performance workshop, in which he'll share the inner workings of his mercurial mind. From the planning stage to the stage, Castellanos will give performing tips and critiques to budding character actors. Inspired by the commonalties among seemingly disparate factions, Castellanos points out that fans from Finland to Hialeah to Japan are drawn to hip-hop in the same way people are drawn to religions worldwide. "I enjoy work that transports me to other places and somehow mirrors who I am," he explains in his artist's statement. "This is the type of art I strive to bring to the stage." And so will you. NE 2nd Avenue begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and the workshop starts at 11:00 a.m. today at the Shores Performing Arts Theater, 9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores. Tickets are $35 for the play and reception, $50 with the workshop; the workshop alone costs $25. Call 305-751-0562. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
New dance company debuts
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Tonight 2 generations of Star Search winners do what Star Search winners do best: Put on a show! Veteran dancer Angel Fraser-Logan, owner of the Dance Empire school, won top honors on the TV talent contest in 1988. Brandon Bryant and Candace Rodriguez, 2 members of her Angel Fraser-Logan Dance Company, recently were victorious on the newly revived competition thanks to a piece Fraser-Logan choreographed for them. Guest performers this evening will include Jamar Roberts of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (who, in this case, doubles as a costume designer); Tatiana Cardenas, who just toured with the road company of the musical 42nd Street; and modern rocker Kathy Fisher, of Fisher the Band, who will provide live vocals. Showtime is 8:00 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $27 to $100 (which includes a postperformance reception at Barton G the Restaurant). Call 305-232-5573. -- By Nina Korman
Ah, what a father and son can accomplish! There are the two George Bushes, Fred Sandford and son Lamont, and now renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and his boy, acclaimed pianist Peter Stoltzman. The latter pair will perform Debussy, Bernstein, Poulenc, and Gershwin together for the Coral Gables Congregational Church's Summer Concert Series. The senior Stoltzman is well known to both classical and jazz audiences as one of the premier clarinetists in the land, working with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the London Symphony Orchestra on the one hand and with jazz greats Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea on the other. Besides breaking down barriers between the two genres, he managed to give the first clarinet recitals ever at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. His son is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and has been a faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop for the past 8 years. The music begins at 8:00 p.m. at the church, 3010 De Soto Blvd. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-448-7421. -- By John Anderson