Point of View

November 24, 2010, 8:55 pm
Filed under: At the Center

As Art Basel approaches, the Adrienne Arsht Center celebrates the internationally renowned event with Miami’s newest professional theater company, Zoetic Stage, as they co-present the world premiere of Michael McKeever’s South Beach Babylon.  This wickedly funny, sexy new play takes a razor-sharp satirical look at the world of art movers and shakers, as five South Beach artists prepare to shine during the weeks leading up to Basel.   

Clockwise from top left: Erik Fabregat, Stephen G. Anthony, Octavio Campos, Amy McKenna, Rosie Herrera, Andrew Rosenberg, Michael McKeever, Elena Maria Garcia; Photo by George Schiavone.

“We are delighted to host the very first performance for Zoetic Stage, a new local theater company sure to become a driving force in Miami’s vibrant, evolving arts scene,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  “This season of performances in our Carnival Studio Theater provides a unique performing arts experience for South Florida audiences to get a taste of the very best theater, dance, and music — close-up.” 

“I am thrilled to open the doors of Zoetic Stage at Miami’s quintessential home for the performing arts, the Adrienne Arsht Center,” said Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer, who commissioned the play.   “South Beach Babylon is the perfect play for us to premiere as it represents our commitment to produce and develop daring and exciting new work, bring together the best of South Florida theater artists, and produce a great evening of theater. 

We also wanted to present something truly special for our inaugural production,” added Meltzer, “something South Florida audiences haven’t seen before.”  As a result, McKeever has created a piece unlike any of his previous plays. Breaking the conventions of traditional storytelling, McKeever and Meltzer play with time and space, seamlessly combining various scenes at the same time.  The play itself becomes a sort of canvas, with each different storyline adding its own vivid color.  “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had creating a play,” Mckeever beams about his 20th work, “Of all the plays I’ve written, this is easily one of the most personal.  I completely relate to these characters.  I’ve been there.  I know how hard it is to create art and present it to an audience.  It takes a lot of courage.”  It also takes a sense of humor.  The play is full of the quirky humor McKeever has become famous for. 

The 90-minute comedy, presented without intermission, is cast with some of the regions brightest talents: Multiple-award winning actors Stephen G. Anthony, Elena Maria Garcia, Erik Fabregat, Amy McKenna and playwright McKeever are joined by New York actor and comedian Andrew Rosenberg.  “The perfect cast,” says Meltzer, “This type of comedy is so hard, and yet they make it look easy.”  

Adding even more prestige to the production is the addition of South Florida’s premier performance artists Rosie Herrera and Octavio Campos.  Not only will the two serve as actors in the show, they will also perform a piece created specifically for South Beach Babylon.  Together, they have created an irreverent, edgy, comic mini-masterpiece directly tied to the plot of the play.

Add to this mix three of the region’s top designers, a touch of artful nudity, some adult themes and a pinch of human drama, and you have what promises to be a must-see event!


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