A Woman’s Reputation is Everything

Thanks to Georges Bizet’s opera, “Carmen,” the tale of a fiery gypsy who steals the heart of a handsome young soldier, is well known, or is it? In his new ballet opening this weekend in Aventura, choreographer Tomas Mazuch plans to tell the real story, restoring the many nuances of the original 1845 novella by Prosper Mérimée.

“For me, I love the drama on the stage and I especially like to bring new audiences and educate them,” says Mazuch, founder of Ballet Etoile. “There are lots of details that are not in the opera and the character of Carmen is different.”

For his ballet, Mazuch turned not to the music of Bizet, but to Russian composer Rodion Schedrin, who is also married to the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. He is also relying on a small, versatile company for his retelling.

“She was a beautiful woman, but very free,” Mazuch explains, “and she was made to look like a slut. We’re going to open their eyes to the real story.”

Ballet Etoiles presents Tomas Mazuch’s “Carmen” on Thursday, Jan. 5 and Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St. in Aventura. Tickets are $28 and $32 at AventuraCenter.org or by calling 877-311-7469.

Some Real Drama

GableStage Artistic Director Joe Adler landed the South Florida premiere of one of the hottest tickets on Broadway last year, “The Motherfu**ker with the Hat,” and he hasn’t been shy about sharing that news—at every opportunity. He really likes to say that word that we can’t print. Anyway, the show finally opens at the Biltmore in Coral Gables, Saturday, Jan. 7 for a month-long run. Tickets are $45-50 at GableStage.org.

Palm Beach Dramaworks has grand new digs, formerly the Cuillo Center on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, and the company opens the new year with Paul Zindel’s “The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” on Friday, Jan. 6. Mother and daughter Laura Turnbull and Arielle Hoffman are featured in this Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama. Tickets are $55 at PalmBeachDramaworks.org.

A Musical Model for Occupy Wall Street

The Tony-winning touring production of  “Hair,” returns to South Florida with a run at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center, Jan. 10-15. A tribe of young hippies bare their souls—and much, much more—in this rock anthem to anti-Vietnam protesters of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Tickets start at $25 at Kravis.org.