Pride Month is traditionally observed with parades and street fairs, but in South Florida, June is also a time to celebrate the performing arts.
In its fourth year, Out in the Tropics is a week-long LGBT performing arts festival, June 13 to 20, spotlighting music, dance, theatre and performance arts. The festival is presented by FundArte, a local non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the diverse cultures of South Florida with an emphasis on the Latino community.
Ever Chavez, president and founder of FundArte, feels Out in the Tropics is an important program for his organization, reflecting the diversity of Miami-Dade:
“This is where we live, we have two languages,” he said. “This program allows us to explore our individual identities and bring everybody together — Latinos, Gays and Anglos.”
Chavez credits Robert Rosenberg, founder of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and current director of the Coral Gables Art Cinema, with proposing the concept.
“It fit our mission and attracted larger crowds each year,” Chavez said. “This is the most diverse festival yet. Our artists are provocative and intelligent. It’s not just going to be about entertainment.”
Out in the Tropics opens Thursday, June 13 with an artists’ reception at the Miami Beach LGBT Visitor’s Center, 1130 Washington Ave.
On Friday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., the festival will feature performances by the daring Cuban lesbian feminist theatre company El Ciervo Encantado. They will present Cubalandia, a hilarious interactive commentary on current conditions in present-day Cuba.Musician Taylor Mac will follow with his latest work, A 20th Century History of Popular Music Abridged, a visual and musical concert consisting of one song from each decade of the 20th century (plus two encores) presented as “a performance ritual to help the audience let go of the 20th century and move into the 21st.”
The hilarious Cuban-American diva of queer comedy, Carmelita Tropicana, presents Post Plastica, on Saturday at the Colony, in collaboration with New York-based Cuban-American filmmaker Ela Troyano. Part live performance, part video installation, Post Plastica offers “a glimpse into a future in which celebrity culture has pitched a battle between the primacy of virtual and artistic lives; in which revolutionaries keep bees in a secret underground; and in which a half-woman, half-bear scientist has gained the upper hand.”
On Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., will host a screening of Enrique Pineda Barnet’s controversial film, Verde Verde, exploring issues of gay male identity and homophobia in modern day Cuba.
Later that evening, Well Strung, the all-gay male singing string quartet, will put their unique spin on the classics, as well as music by Rihanna, Adele and Lady Gaga at the Colony Theatre at 8 p.m. The concert will also raise funds for the local 2017 OutGames organizing committee.
For tickets and more information about individual Out in the Tropics events, go to FundArte.us or call 305-316-6165. JW Arnold