The XVI International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicked off June 1 at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach with a production of José Assad's Cenizas Sobre el Mar. That's "Ashes on the Sea" for all you English-speaking types. But even if you need translation to understand theater from South America, you'll be in luck when Teatro Avante brings the festival to Broward County Wednesday, June 13, with a production of Melodrama, a new Brazilian play written by Filipe Miguez and directed by Enrique Diaz. Though the actors will be speaking Portuguese, English supertitles will be projected above the stage.
The play is the first of two to be performed at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) during the 17-day festival, most of which is being staged in Miami-Dade. This marks a milestone for the Broward Center: It's the first time a play will be performed there in a language other than English.
Melodrama is a contemporary take on the traditional melodrama. And, hoo boy, has it got all the things a melodrama needs: murder, incest, split personalities, and amnesia, to name just a few. Then there are some swinging tangos and boleros for those who like dances from other parts of the Latin world.
On Thursday, June 14, the Broward Center presents a Spanish-language play, Las Abarcas del Tiempo (The Sandals of Time). Written and directed by César Brie, the work focuses on a man's ethereal search to find a dead friend.
In all the festival features 17 concerts, plays, and other events at 10 venues. The closing performance will be held at the Colony, where Brazilian and Colombian dance productions are sure to wrap it with rhythm and reveal the diversity cum energy so prevalent in the theater of the Hispanic world.
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