Point of View

April 26, 2010, 2:43 am
Filed under: Out in the Community

Hot off the heels of being nominated for several Carbonell awards, the cast of BroadSword came out this past Saturday to kickoff the 13th Annual BeerFest event and announce the BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition.   The Adrienne Arsht Center street team greeted fans from its very own BeerFest’s BroadSword Booth.  Thousands of South Floridians attended the event to hear great live bands and sample more than 120 beers from around the world.

In a special promotion to support BroadSword, the heavy metal play soon to open in its Carnival Studio Theater, the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Miami New Times have partnered with area clubs to hold air guitar competitions through May 1st. Will the Center find that special person who embodies the spirit of BroadSword and has the skills to represent the United States in the World Air Guitar Competition in Oulu, Finland, this summer?

In the upcoming weeks, look out for mini pre-qualifying competitions in some of the area’s hottest rock clubs leading up to the BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition on May 1st. The winner of that event will be flown to the next U.S. Regional Competition in Las Vegas on May 28th to compete against others from around the country for their shot at the title, cash and prizes.

Anyone can enter the competition but only one will win.  Interested air guitarists can compete in any of the five pre-qualifying South Florida events before the official competition on May 1st at Brew @ the Zoo:

  • Pre-Qualifier:   America’s Backyard (Ft. Lauderdale) – Saturday, April 24
  • Pre-Qualifier:   Hard Rock Café (Bayside, Miami) – Wednesday, April 28
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Churchill’s  (Miami) – Friday, April 30
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Vagabond (Downtown Miami) – Friday, April 30
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Tobacco Road (Brickell) – Friday, April 30
  • BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition: Brew @ the Zoo (Miami Zoo) – Saturday, May 1st

Students are part of the show in TPO’s Butterfly Garden
April 26, 2010, 2:35 am
Filed under: Family Fun

Theater magic combined with computer technology transformed the Carnival Studio Theater into an interactive botanical playground for Miami-Dade County students and community groups.  The Italian group Compagnia TPO presented The Butterfly Garden, a work that uses dancers’ movement and gestures to influence and manipulate a larger-than-life environment filled with images and sounds of nature. 



An accessible, non-verbal performance art piece, this visually stunning work presented contemporary dance in a fun and open format that engaged audiences in a 360 degree environment.  When dancers invited audience members on the stage to be part of the performance, the computer generated images and projection technology encouraged interaction with the lighting, props and sound. 



Over the course of nine shows in just four days, more than 200 people from local community groups and 657 students and teachers from area schools came to experience The Butterfly Garden.  One group of students was able to experience a special interactive session with the TPO dancers in the performance space. TPO week of performances was rounded out with ticketed public performances.

April 26, 2010, 2:26 am
Filed under: Jazz Roots

Cuban-born piano dynamo Alfredo Rodriguez has been in this country for less than a year but his professional trajectory already reflects a touching example of the great American dream.  The son of a famous Cuban vocalist, Rodriguez has an astonishing, undeniable virtuosic talent at the piano, and came to the attention of über producer Quincy Jones at the Montreux Festival in 2000.  Just under a year ago, Rodriguez decided to follow his dream in the United States, and last Friday the piano protégé made his Miami debut at the Adrienne Arsht Center as part of Jazz Roots: Piano Latino

As recounted by Quincy Jones, Rodriguez’s phenomenal talent and artistic vision led him on a quest to leave Cuba and pursue his musical dreams stateside.  In a storybook twist of fate, Rodriguez was stopped at the Mexican border while trying to defect.  Rather than lie to the authorities, 24-year-old Rodriguez moved the authorities with his story – so much so that they called a car and gave him taxi fare to cross the border and follow his dreams!  After a week of local press appearances here in Miami, Rodriguez took to the stage for a warm South Florida welcome for this incredibly promising young talent and near native son. 

In a triple threat bill, the evening also featured Multiple Grammy Award-winner Eddie Palmieri, and the brilliant and legendary Michel Camilo.  In a rousing finale, all three artists filled the stage with salsa, son, and superb artistry, even playing at the same piano as the audience cheered in delight.  “Otra, otra, otra,” the crowd chanted, hoping for just one more tune… so the pianists played on, the audience danced in the aisles, and another American dream took flight.

April 26, 2010, 2:10 am
Filed under: Rock Odyssey

Joshua Dobarganes, one of the cast members in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s production of Rock Odyssey, has spent his entire life in Miami-Dade County as a student and an actor.  His family moved around so much that by the age of 14, he had been a student at E.W.F.  Stirrup Elementary, Jack D. Gordon Elementary, Richmond Heights Middle, and Herbert A. Ammons Middle.  One consistent part of Joshua’s life was theater.  

Fifth grade presentations and school pageants were the starting point.  Middle school brought elective theater classes, school awards and being a part of the theater group from his school that won first place at Junior Thespian competitions at both the District and State level.   By the 8th grade, theater was much more than a hobby and his interest prompted Joshua to audition for the newly-formed magnet program at South Miami Senior High.  Once he got into the Fine Arts magnet, he never looked back.

After high school, Joshua spent a year working in theater for young audiences at Actor’s Playhouse before being admitted into the BFA theater program at Florida International University.  His local credits include work with Actor’s Playhouse, Fantasy Theater Factory, and now the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Learning Through the Arts production of Rock Odyssey.  In partnership with Miami-Dade County Public School system, the Learning Through the Arts program will bring more than 26,000 Miami-Dade County fifth graders to the Center, free of cost, to experience a live, fully staged theatrical show over the course of two weeks, beginning April 27th.

Joshua will be playing Ajax and Melanthius in Rock Odyssey and understudies the roles of Zeus, Aeolus, and Telemachus.  He says the experience has taught him so much, has given him the opportunity to become an Equity actor, and will help him transition into the next phase of his acting career in New York.  When asked how this experience of working with a world class production and creative team will contribute to his career he said, “being a part of this production has given me all the tools I need to move on to the next step.”

April 26, 2010, 2:03 am
Filed under: At the Center

A little over a year ago, the Adrienne Arsht Center hosted more than 4,000 Miami residents for a live telecast of the historic presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. Little did we know that one day, the Adrienne Arsht Center would be hosting the 44th President himself! 


Photo by Aaron Gordon.


On Thursday, April 15, 2010, the Adrienne Arsht Center welcomed President Barack Obama in a charged up fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee that took place at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.  More than 800 political heavyweights, local community organizers and DNC supporters came to hear DNC Vice Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, along with DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine, as they re-energized the Democratic base for the upcoming election year. 

While Governor Kaine finished up his invoking speech, the crowd was on its feet as he introduced President Obama.  The electrified crowd filled the Knight Concert Hall with boisterous applause as President Obama gave a powerful 30-minute speech on the state of the country and what he has in store for the future of this nation.

It was a proud moment for the Center to provide this community with the opportunity to witness President Obama take the stage and to bring Miami together, once again, for a unified cause.  Moments like these solidify the Adrienne Arsht Center’s role as the town square of Miami, where public discourse and creative innovation come together.

Adrienne Arsht Center Street Team at Miami Beach Gay Pride
April 21, 2010, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

The Adrienne Arsht Center Street Team was out in full force on Saturday at the Miami Beach Gay Pride and Expo along South Beach’s Ocean Drive. For the second year in a row, the enthusiastic street team of great volunteers and dedicated staff donated their time to help support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  More than 30,000 people attended the Pride festivities this year – almost 10,000 more than last year.  The street team greeted fans and got the word out on the upcoming show Spring Awakening and the 2010/2011 Broadway in Miami Season.

April 8, 2010, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Education

The Adrienne Arsht Center’s new Learning Through the Arts program, a partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, exposes Miami-Dade County students to live high-quality, age-appropriate professional productions of music, theater, and dance, supplemented by curriculum materials and lesson plans—at no cost to them or their schools. This new initiative kicks off this month by bringing more than 26,000 fifth graders to the Adrienne Arsht Center to experience a live musical. For many of them, it will be their first time going to the theater to see a live show.

Running from April 27 – May 8, 2010 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, Rock Odyssey is being created by a team of award-winning theater professionals. Educational entertainment pioneer Douglas Love, who is directing the production, is the idea man behind this musical theater piece. He enlisted Emmy Award-winning songwriter/composer Billy Straus and Kleban Award-winning book writer Stephen Cole, to create a new musical, charting the mythical 16-year-journey chronicled in Homer’s The Odyssey.  The result is a dynamic rock musical, tailor-made for young people, featuring a tremendous stage set, dramatic puppetry, and inspired musical ballads.


Costume Sketches


Mounting a show of this magnitude requires experienced theater professionals and designers to take the work from page to stage.  The creative team producing the work is a dynamic mix of artists from around the country as well as local theater professionals.  Miami-based costume designer Ellis Tillman’s costume sketches and work samples give us a preview of how he will transform the actors into Greek heroes on a set designed by New York-based Laura Brock.   And the cast is entirely local.

Audiences will step back in time when they step into the Knight Concert Hall and experience the theater magic conjured up by this award-winning team. 

Learning Through the Arts is made possible by the support of Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, as well as the private support of Funding Arts Network.

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