This year's SoBe Comedy Fest is less than a week away, and the lineup looks like yet another Miami Beach invasion from all parts of America without much that's South Floridian. Previous Fest line-ups included some local talent among headliners, but this year, the torch is carried proudly and solely by one group of weirdos: the Mad Cat Theater Company.
The group will perform their original play, Gerald Ford Superfreak, Wednesday, April 2, at Backstage at the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave). Mad Cat Theater founder Paul Tei, and playwrights Jessica Farr and Theo Reyna have envisioned a world in which President Ford is a "Superfreak" - which would be almost as spectacular as imagining Thomas Jefferson as a space alien, or Zachery Taylor as a President that anyone remembered anything about.
The premise of the performance is a little cryptic, which makes perfect sense coming from a theater company that self-identifies itself one part "progressive, one part "avant-garde." That's another way of saying some audience members may be confused, but will be over-all entertained along the way.
According to their press release:
Gerald Ford Superfreak explores the ripples of history, more specifically, how the effects of Gerald Ford's presidency carried over to our country's leadership in the year 2112 - as told by a surprise narrator from the future.
See what we mean? A bunch of weirdos.
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Most importantly, the Mad Cat Theater Company is Miami's sole representation at the SoBe Comedy Fest. Meaning that in bright lines beside names like Chelsea Handler, Nick Swarsden, and J. Kamau Bell, proudly shines a small theater company born and raised in our backyard.
Still, there's something oddly sad about that, because shouldn't there be more? Do organizers see a lack of homegrown talent? We're hoping that with the return of the Miami Improv, and the addition of new and creative special events like Casa de HaHa Tonight, this off-year for local comedy is exactly that; just an off year.
For now, anyone making their way to the SoBe Comedy Fest should make a stop to support Mad Cat. Nobody wants to see yet another festival in Miami that does it's best to have nothing to do with the city hosting it.