Local playwright Mario Diament might enjoy the production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure just a little too much. So, too, might the directors of Boca Raton's Caldwell Theatre Company and Miami's EDGE Theatre. The reason for their salivation? This production of the Elizabethan dark comedy is directed by New Times theater critic Ron Mangravite, who at one time panned the aforementioned artists. Mangravite, however, is not worried that he may get an audience full of bitter drama queens hell-bent on revenge. He is approaching this, his 46th Shakespearean venture, as an experiment. "I'm as vulnerable to criticism as anybody," Mangravite says. "I'm interested in what people might say about my stuff."
He is quick to remind readers that he doesn't try to be mean when he throws down his opinion. But for some stage folk, anything less than glowing reviews is blasphemy. Acting in the play are members of Dania Beach's On The Boards Theatre Company, a new troupe dedicated to performing the classics. And Mangravite brings in a multimedia edge to this slimy tale of political corruption, sexual blackmail, and manipulation.
The play opens at 8:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday, July 27, at the On The Boards Theatre, 56 N. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-924-6278. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Saturday July 19
Contestants combat verbally
First you learn yourself a few rhyming words. Then you put them together in a way that makes sense, and write them down. Now you're prepared to enter the Free Style Fights/Battle of the Mic, a new monthly event, taking off at 9:00 p.m. at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium (5400 NW 22nd Ave.). Freestyle rappers get two, 30-second rounds to compete, with the all-important back-up beat provided. In the R&B category, folks get 90 seconds to show their stuff. Entrance fee is $25. The prize is $500. Entertainment will include Iconz featuring Luc Duc, Raine, and Freddie P. The comedian Sky Dog will host. Tickets cost $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Call 305-681-8680 for details. -- By John Anderson
Friday July 18
Progeny shines at the mike
Being the sexy son of a popular Latin pop star has worked for Enrique Iglesias, Luis Miguel, and many others. Now yet another fledgling Latin heartthrob, Alejandro Montaner, can joyously shake his bon bon since Dad is romantic singer-songwriter Ricardo Montaner. But the 25-year-old Venezuelan with a sunny, surfer-boy face and a soothing voice to match doesn't want to rely on his surname for success. In an interview with New Times last year, he admitted: "It was my father who sweated off his name and made it famous, not I." Well, the singer didn't have to sweat for long before scoring a hit with "Voy A Volverte Loca" ("I'll Drive You Crazy") in 2003, the first single from his debut album Todo lo Que Tengo (Everything I Have). Montaner returns to his second home, where he graduated from the University of Miami, to plug his album. -- By Humberto Guida
Alejandro Montaner performs at 10:00 p.m. at Oxygen Lounge, 2911 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-476-0202.
Thursday July 17
Odes to Joy
Hailed as one of the greatest percussionists in the world for his ability to adapt to almost any genre, Sammy Figueroa is one of the most popular session cats in the music industry, slapping his instruments on 10 platinum-selling albums. He's lived in Miami for the last 2 years and is convinced this is a great place to play jazz, so he formed the Latin Jazz Explosion to perform what he calls "happy Latin jazz." Just back from appearing in big festivals and doing studio work with the Austrian electronic duo DZihan & Kamien in Europe, Figueroa and cohorts will perform an unusual 3-evening stint tonight through Saturday, July 19, at the Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Showtimes tonight are 9:00, 10:00, and 12:30 a.m.; and 10:00, 11:30 p.m., and 1:00 a.m. tomorrow. Call 305-534-3600 for cover. --By Javier Andrade
Saturday July 19
Sounds Good - Band Aids
Hillbilly flamenco? Sounds like a world-music experiment gone horribly awry. But before imagining Jethro Garcia chugging sangria on a hay bale, know that the sound made by guitarist David Feder with his band Sal-Agua Azul is a wild combination of folk, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, and, yes, flamenco. The group will perform at 8:00 p.m. at the Main Street Cafe (128 N. Krome Ave., Homestead) to benefit a memorial fund in the name of horticulturist Bradford Rodriguez, who died recently of complications from a spider bite. Proceeds will go to a park bench in Rodriguez's honor at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Tickets cost $12. Call 305-245-7575. -- By John Anderson