79th Street to the North, 27th Avenue to the West, 41st Street to the South, and I-95 to the East. In between is the core of North Miami that everyone knows as Liberty City. On a map you might see it referred to as Model City, but only historians call it by that name. Liberty City is where urban and island cultures mix, where the residents know about hard work and struggle, and tough times help to build character. Its where April Yvette Thompson grew up in the rough-and-tumble 1970s and 80s, an era when this part of Miami went through intense social and cultural upheaval. And now her life story, Liberty City, is coming home.
In her tour-de-force one-woman show, she reveals a patchwork of gritty reality and inventive detail, fleshing out greater issues of race, class, family, and politics with grace, pathos, and humor. Liberty City is a distinctly Miami story, but its already won acclaim in New York, where it was nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance.
See it at the Arsht Center at 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami as a special limited run from February 18 to March 1. Tickets range from $40 to $45. Visit arshtcenter.org for showtimes, or visit libertycityplay.com for more info.
Feb. 18-March 1, 2009