Press Release American Rhapsody - World Premiere by Michael McKeever - January 12-29, 2023
Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of
Miami-Dade County Present
By Michael McKeever
Directed by Stuart Meltzer
An epic drama following the evolution of one family over 60 years –
from the moon landing in 1969 to America in 2032 – and how optimism
and hope rise to the surface despite obstacles
January 12, 2023 – Preview
January 13, 2023 – Opening Night
through January 29, 2023
Tickets: $55, $60*
Carnival Studio Theater – Ziff Ballet Opera House
Miami, FL – December 15, 2022 – Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) are proud to present the world premiere of AMERICAN RHAPSODY, an epic yet intimate exploration of the evolution of one family throughout the last half of the 20th century into the turbulence of today and well beyond. Written by five-time Carbonell Award winner and Miami-based playwright Michael McKeever, the play continues the Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close series for the 2022-2023 season.
Tickets to AMERICAN RHAPSODY are $55 and $60*. Tickets may be purchased at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.
PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor of the 2022-2023 THEATER UP CLOSE series. WLRN is the media sponsor. The Arsht Center’s THEATER UP CLOSE series gratefully acknowledges the founding support of Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen. Zoetic Stage would like to acknowledge Robin Ellen Meyers and her generous support for American Rhapsody.
“American Rhapsody is a wonderful homecoming for Michael McKeever, and I can't think of a better play for that to happen other than this one,” said Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer. “American Rhapsody is complex, effortless, funny, inspirational but mostly, hopeful. Its structure and themes are what Michael enjoys writing about most- family, the American landscape, history, and hope. I expect audiences to walk away reflective and reminded of the power of theatrical storytelling…and maybe even eager to hug someone.”
Over the course of some 60 years — starting in 1969 and ending in 2032 — the Cabot family tries to keep up with the world as it evolves around them. Epic in scope yet intimate by nature, American Rhapsody weaves the lives of its main characters through the ever-changing landscape of the American zeitgeist as it speeds through the last half of the 20th century into the turbulence of today and well beyond: civil unrest, the feminist movement, the greed of the ’80s, the horrors of 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, same-sex marriage, the COVID-19 pandemic. As the family evolves into a new America, so does its cultural identity as members of other races and sexual orientations marry into and redefine what the family thought it was.
AMERICAN RHAPSODY is the sixth full-length play written by Miami native Michael McKeever for Zoetic Stage and the Theater Up Close series. McKeever has written 35 full-length plays throughout his career, many of which have been produced off-Broadway and internationally. He is the recipient of the prestigious George Abbott Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and has won numerous Carbonell and Silver Palm Awards, in addition to three Florida Individual Artist Fellowships. McKeever and his husband, Stuart Meltzer, are co-founders of Zoetic Stage. Since its inception in 2010, the company has won numerous honors and citations and has become a leading force in the region’s artistic landscape. Several plays developed at Zoetic Stage have gone on to receive celebrated productions around the world.
AMERICAN RHAPSODY features a local and nationally recognized cast, including Alex Weisman, a Ft. Lauderdale native who recently starred on Broadway in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and currently stars as Frank, the first LGBTQ+ character on Sesame Street; Miami native and two-time Carbonell Award winner Lela Elam who has appeared in Zoetic Stage’s productions of Moscow and Clark Gable Slept Here; Lindsey Corey, a Carbonell Award winner who was recently in Million Dollar Quartet Christmas at Actor’s Playhouse; Aloysius Gigl, whose previous Zoetic Stage credits include Sweeney Todd and Side by Side by Sondheim; Stephen Trovillion, who was recently in the Actor’s Playhouse production of Now and Then, as well as part of City Theatre’s Summer Shorts festival; and Miami natives Laura Turnbull, Carlos Alayeto and Stephanie Vazquez.
The creative team for AMERICAN RHAPSODY is led by Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer and includes scenic design by Robert Wolin; lighting design by Rebecca Montero; sound design by Matt Corey; costume design by Marina Pareja; video direction by Delavega; and projection mapping by Steve Covey.
*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.
Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.
Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.
Each year, we serve more than 60,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.
The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit arshtcenter.org.
About Zoetic Stage
Zoetic Stage was founded in 2010 to create fresh, bold interpretations of contemporary plays and musicals, and is dedicated to enhancing South Florida’s national artistic profile by producing regional premieres and developing new works to become part of the American stage repertoire.
In 2020, Zoetic Stage was named the Best Theater Company by the Miami New Times. The theater has been nominated for an impressive 120 Carbonell Awards (of which 15 were for Best Production of the Year) and won 42, including six for Best New Work and four for Best Production of a Play or Musical. Zoetic Stage productions have received over 30 Silver Palm Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
Zoetic Stage is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network, a member of Theatre Communications Group and the South Florida Theater League.
Visit www.zoeticstage.org for more information.