Theater Cues & News: Matilda Jr., New City Reading, A New Patsy, Moving Measure, Theatre Lab Experiments, Traffic Woes

A quick compendium of short scenes, news items and glimpses events coming up quickly this week.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is collaborating with the Music Theatre International licensing company on a new musical for young audiences, Matilda Jr.  Local students will perform the work in progress in the Amaturo Theater on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The Broward Center is one a handful of theaters collaborating on the creation of this version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards on Broadway.

This production will feature a cast of 41 advanced musical theater students from the tri-county area in grades 4-12. These students, who were selected by audition, have been in workshop rehearsing this production for the past four months.

Matilda Jr. has also offered a mentoring for students from J.P. Taravella High School. Designed by a professional scenic designer Jodi Dellaventura, the set for the show has been created by Taravella’s Advanced Stagecraft Classes, and Taravella tech students will shadow professional theater technicians during run of the show.

Tammy Holder, Broward Center’s artist-in-residence, is directing the show. She said, “It is a unique window into how a musical is constructed and they will have a chance to leave their creative imprint on this new show.”

Tickets are $12 with free lap seats available for children 24 months and under. Buy tickets online at BrowardCenter.org or Ticketmaster.com; by phone at 954.462.0222 or the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office.

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New City Players, the Fort Lauderdale-based company that has been expanding its events to include frequent interactive events, is sponsoring the first staged reading of a new play in development on May 18 designed to solicit audience reaction.
The work, Maura Campbell’s The Greatest of These follows two friends through the second half of their high school years, into their late teens. It explores the nuances of faith, love, friendship, and growing up.

The audience will have the chance to talk to the playwright, director and cast immediately following the performance and fill out a brief survey. Everyone who fills out the survey will be entered into a raffle to win a 2020 season pass.

The event is slated for 7 to 9:30 p.m. May 18 at ArtServe, 1350 Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $10.

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The Wick Theatre production of Always…Patsy Cline has been extended to May 24. The legendary singer, who was portrayed in the beginning of the run by Terri Dixon, will now be performed by Kellye Cash, former Miss America 1987, niece of Johnny Cash and musical theater star who has done the role nine times before. For more information please visit www.thewick.org or call 561-995-2333.

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Measure For Measure Theatre, which has performed at several theaters in the region with acclaimed productions of Next To Normal and Murder Ballad, has found a home for the entire next season at the Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard, where it plans to mount  In The Heights, Island Song and Pippin.

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Theatre Communications Group, the leading professional association of non-profit theaters, is holding its 29th annual conference June 4-7 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, attracting about 1,000 theater professionals from across the country and every artistic discipline. Among the many speakers will be Miami’s Pulitzer-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, artistic director of  working regularly with Arca Images.

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Theatre Lab, the professional resident company at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton which specializes in developing new works, plans to expand the runs to four weekends next season.’

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It’s summer and the snow birds have gone home – that means that street, highway and parking lot construction is underway. Travellers are advised to use 55 or Waze to check on traffic flow, detours and closures especially coming home at night after the curtain comes down when much of the work actually begins. For instance, currently, I-195 coming out of east from Miami often runs into closure for southbound traffic on I-95.  Palm Beach Dramworks patrons should know that the Clematis Streetscape Phase II will continue until the winter holidays – but does not affect parking in the Banyan garage, the Narcissus valet, or entering the theater.

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