The Broward Stage Door Theatre company etched a name for itself on stages in Coral Springs and Wilton Manors by tackling some of Broadway's bigger, more lavish productions and winning a 2011 Carbonell for best musical (Mack & Mabel).
Now Stage Door is taking its talents to North Beach with the announcement of a Miami location opening at the Byron Carlyle Theater. And it's kicking off the new Miami Stage Door Theatre with its popular, crowd-pleasing Suds, a rocking '60s musical. Artistic director Dee Bunn thinks Suds is the perfect production to announce Stage Door's presence in Miami. "We decided to open with Suds because it is a fun, light musical perfect for the summer," she says. "It's such an audience pleaser."
Suds is a bubbly comedy about three teenage girls trying to find romance through song and dance, all set in a Wash-O-Rama. Stage Door performed the musical last year at its Coral Springs area stage and quickly found a growing audience for it. "It was supposed to play for six weeks," Bunn says. "And it stayed for almost six months, playing to sold-out houses and standing ovations."
Suds -- an all-around good-time musical -- is drenched in toe-tapping oldies hits, colorful '60s costumes, and hilarious moments. And Stage Door wants to introduce Miami theater audiences not only to an entertaining show with talented actors, but also to their production values, which sometimes get neglected down here.
"The right sets and the right costumes are important to us," Bunn says. "It's how we have pleased audiences for 18 years in Broward and become one of the largest regional theaters in the area. I hope [Miami audiences] see the care with which we put up a production."
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Along with a carefully built set and painstakingly made costumes, Stage Door has nixed the idea of prerecorded music blared over loudspeakers and has employed a live band to perform the oldies that make Suds such a campy good time. The musical features erstwhile Top 40 hits such as "Johnny Angel," "Don't Make Me Over," and "Chapel of Love," among others.
Suds is American Bandstand meets Hairspray in a Laundromat. And it's a hell of a way to introduce theater to Miami.
Catch Suds this Friday at the Byron Carlyle Theater (500 71st St., Miami Beach). Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $38 to $42. Call 305-397-8977 or visit stagedoortheatre.com.