There’s much ado around town about off-broadway hit “The Donkey Show,” and the buzz is almost deafening. The critically acclaimed supersonic disco extravaganza, inspired by Studio 54 and Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” opens next week on July 13. The show will transform the Arsht Center into a 70s nightclub (mirrorball included) and pivot off the themes and characters that inhabit Shakespeare’s classic.
But what makes “The Donkey Show” worthy of Miami’s attention is that the production will feature 20 homegrown artists, including local dancers, actors, singers, acrobats and other creative geniuses. “The Arsht Center made a promise six years ago when it first opened its doors,” said Scott Shiller, executive vice president, “to bring internationally recognized artists to the city, to support our brilliant and innovative artistic community and to showcase local talent on our stage. With ‘The Donkey Show,’ we continue to honor that pledge as we prove that world-class and community-based artistry is not mutually exclusive.”
One of those creative geniuses is choreographer and dancer Rosie Herrera whose latest work, “Dining Alone,” premiered at the Arsht Center last year. The New World School of the Arts graduate has been tapped to choreograph “The Donkey Show,” and she is certain to infuse it with her Miami sensibility.
Rosie isn’t the only Miami favorite cast for the production. Rudi Goblen, another local wonder, will play Club Oberon DJ Rudolph “Rudy” Valentino. The name alone is enough to get me there. I can just imagine bell bottoms, a hairy chest and a gaudy-awful gold “V” bling of some kind dangling around his neck. Another graduate of New World and member of Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, Leah Verier-Dunn, will play Helen, whose naïve and nearly manic obsession for Dimitri almost shatters her disco ball dreams.
Studio 54 will never die if “The Donkey Show” co-creators Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner have anything to do with it. This mash up, which is part dance, part theater and a whole lot of audience participation, is probably the best night out this summer. And the summer doesn’t last forever, so get your tickets soon.
Dance floor tickets are priced at $45 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; $60 on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets in the VIP seating area are priced at $60 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; $75 on Fridays and Saturdays. A $10 discount will be given to those who purchase tickets to the first five preview performances (July 13-15). Tickets available at Arsht Center box office; 305-949-6722; www.arshtcenter.org.