1300 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Fl 33122
Performing at Arsht Center Ziff Ballet Opera House (Mar 29 - Apr 15)
Runtime: 2 Hours
‘Moscow’ is a Miami-made
As with its terrific earlier production of Christopher Demos-Brown’s Carbonell Award-nominated Captiva, Zoetic is keeping it all in the family with Moscow, a must-see play in the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
McKeever, like Demos-Brown, is one of the company’s two founding South Florida-based playwrights. Artistic director Stuart Meltzer has beautifully staged Moscow, as he did Captiva. And once again, Zoetic’s acting company and designers have collaborated to bring a wonderful new Florida story to life.
Moscow, McKeever’s 22nd full-length play, gets its title from two sources: the early ‘60s segment of the Cold War that made all things Soviet seem evil and ominous, and Anton Chekhov’s classic Three Sisters, in which privileged but dissatisfied women long for the elusive happiness that Moscow represents.
That one-word title is, however, a little misleading. Yes, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War figure into the plot. And there are three “sisters,” two actual siblings and a third who is – and isn’t – part of the family.
McKeever’s play, loaded with laughs up front growing deeper as it progresses, is theater of and about Miami. Its period, from October 1962 to the dawn of 1964, is well-researched and artfully integrated into a story that always feels like a captivating tale, not a history lesson. That the cast is so uniformly strong is no surprise: They are some of the region’s finest actors, and McKeever wrote these roles for them.
Fear, restlessness and unease in the face of a rapidly changing world are at the heart of Moscow, and those timeless emotions make the play utterly resonant to a contemporary audience.
Sisters Lorelei Montefiore Porter (Irene Adjan) and Lucy Montefiore (Margery Lowe) both still live in their family’s grand Coral Gables home (a place handsomely realized by set designer Sean McClelland).
Lorelei, the mother of three (soon to be four) kids, lives there with her husband Clayton (Tom Wahl), a man who is about to alter Miami’s landscape with his role in the building of I-95. Lucy is a flighty single gal who is forever trying to find her purpose in “art” (dance, visual arts, theater), her way of trying to become a modern woman.
Clearly, neither is really happy. Lorelei passes her time with smoking and cocktails (pregnancy be damned), doling out acid-tinged pronouncements that Adjan somehow manages to make intriguing. Lucy is sleeping with the eccentric Cuban exile who runs her theater company, getting nowhere in romance or life, though Lowe’s luminously played chance encounter with another young exile (Luis Restrepo) will at last jolt Lucy into self-awareness.
That third “sister?” Olivia (an exquisitely moving Lela Elam), the Montefiores’ maid for 24 years, though Lucy and Lorelei never seem to get that number right. With her father dying in Overtown, Olivia is preparing to leave women who rely on her, grew up with her but will always think of her as the help. So much for sisterhood.
Enter a new maid, Inez (Elena Maria Garcia), newly arrived from Cuba and the sister of Lucy’s director-beau. Despite assurances to the contrary, the formerly wealthy Inez can neither speak English nor clean a house. Oh, she tries, hilariously so. And if the other actors weren’t also so strong, Garcia (here channeling both Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett) would make off with yet another show.
Costume designer Alberto Arroyo’s work is lovely, and especially period-delicious as he clothes the Montefiore sisters in everything from citrus-toned day dresses to a glowing green peignoir set to a drop-dead gorgeous cocktail gown. Luke Klingberg’s lighting palette enhances the beauty of Moscow, capturing the particular quality of a Miami sky.
All in all, Moscow is a made-in-South Florida treasure.
Zoetic Stage and The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County proudly present MOSCOW, a world premiere comedy by award-winning playwright and Zoetic Stage co-founder Michael McKeever, March 29 - April 15, staged in the intimate Carnival Studio Theatre (Ziff Ballet Opera House).
Miami, the early 1960's. A prominent South Florida family finds its world challenged by the life-changing events of the era. The Kennedy assassination, the Cold War, and the sudden influx of Cuban immigration into Miami set the stage for an all-out showdown as past and present, east and west all collide in this comic and insightful look at how we got to where we are today.
From award-winning South Florida playwright Michael McKeever, author of South Beach Babylon andMelt.
The Adrienne Arsht Center embraces excellence, celebrates differences, renews the spirit and engages diverse communities through the power of the performing arts.
As a focal point of Greater Miami-Dade’s diverse cultural life, the Adrienne Arsht Center enlightens,
educates and entertains our community through transformational arts and cultural experiences.
The Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is located on Biscayne Boulevard between N.E. 13th and 14th streets, in Downtown Miami, just north of the I-395 interchange.