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Adrienne Arsht Center Downtown Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Antonio Tur

The best Miami theater and shows to see this spring and summer 2024

Ready for a dose of culture? Explore our picks for the best theater and shows around Miami this season.

John Thomason
Written by
John Thomason
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In the theater world, summer used to be a creatively fallow period, with most playhouses shuttered as the snowbirds prepared their northern migration. And in some pockets of South Florida—Palm Beach comes to mind—it still is. But in Miami and Broward, there’s no end to the “season.” That’s evidenced by a robust calendar of plays, music and dance recitals all the way through August, from the major regional players like Zoetic Stage, GableStage and Actors’ Playhouse; to the touring companies dropping some of their most blockbuster shows, like Peter Pan and Les Misérables, during Miami’s sweltering dog days. Maybe this flurry of activity has something to do with the new, culture-craving residents still moving to Florida in unprecedented numbers. Whatever the reason, we like it—and we think you will too. Here’s a taste of what’s on tap.

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Best shows to see in Miami this summer

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Chameleonic comedic actor Elena Maria Garcia co-wrote and stars in this world-premiere solo play developed with co-writer and director Stuart Meltzer. As in their celebrated previous collaboration, ¡Fuacata! A Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe, Garcia will play a multitude of characters inspired by her life as she embarks on an unexpected crisis-turned-adventure. Zoetic Stage at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd (305-949-6722, arshtcenter.org). May 2–19: 7:30pm Thu–Sat, 2:30pm Sun; $55–60

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Larissa FastHorse, the first Native American playwright in American theatre history to make the list of the top 10 most-produced plays in the country this season (for The Thanksgiving Play) scripted this novel interpretation of the timeless J.M. Barrie fairytale. Expect aerial theatrics, magical special effects and spectacular Broadway showmanship to accompany familiar hits such as “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Neverland.” Broadway in Miami at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd (305-949-6722, arshtcenter.org). May 7–12: various show times; $25–$130

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Founded in 2006, this native dance company has been performing the great works in the international ballet canon in the demanding style of the Cuban tradition. This performance will feature “Aurora’s Wedding,” whose excerpts from the original 1890 choreography of Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” follow the title character’s journey from a deep slumber to the most glorious of nuptials. The Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (305-673-7300, fillmoremb.com). May 11: 8pm; $48–$82.

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A prizewinning professional flamenco dancer born in northern Spain, Paula Rodriguez Lázaro will perform in the Miami premiere of her multimedia production El Latir del Mantón (The Beating of the Shawl), an hour-long sensory journey combining her sensual choreography with guitar and percussion, and with accompaniment from fellow award-winning flamenco singer José del Calli. Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach (305-674-1040, miaminewdrama.org). May 11: 8pm; $36.50–$56.50

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This timely dramedy from playwright Sean Grennan enjoyed its world premiere in 2023. Dr. Lynn Cummings, an astrophysicist with little patience for magical thinking, finds her beliefs challenged when a UFO is spotted hurtling toward Earth. When a journalist misquotes her reaction to the phenomenon, she invites him to witness the fly-by together, with both of their credibilities at stake. Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile (305-444-9293, actorsplayhouse.org). May 15–June 9: 8pm Wed–Sat, 3pm Sun; $40–$100

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This recently premiered, quintessentially Miami story from playwright Alexis Scheer has already been praised as “a new American classic.” It’s set during Art Basel, and charts the personal and professional fallout when Wynwood gallery owner Mariana finds her inventory stolen. Arriving at this inopportune time is Mariana’s estranged movie star mother Estella and her assistant Jenny, who may have shared a past with Mariana. GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave (305-445-1119, gablestage.org). May 17–June 9; various show times; $40–$65

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Premiering almost concurrently with the Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling on marriage equality, this high-water mark for South Florida playwright Michael McKeever explores the issue through the microcosm of a gay couple, one of whom rejects the heteronormative traditions of marriage and the other who vehemently wants to wed “because we can now.” When a tragedy bisects the play, it shifts the skeptic’s perspective. The Foundry, 2306 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors (954-826-8790, ronnielarsen.com). May 23–June 16; various show times; $37.50

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Playwright Joshua Harmon, who captured neurotic family dynamics so memorably in his hit “Bad Jews,” returns with another scorched-earth comedy centered on a middle-aged mother Jodi as she deals with twin relationship grievances: Her ex-husband is courting a 24-year-old woman, and her father has taken up with a glistening himbo named Trey, who may be an adult film star. Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors (954-928-9800, islandcitystage.org). May 30–June 23; various show times; $40–$45

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This Massachusetts native and improv veteran has been spinning his personal travails, anxieties and quirks into comedy gold since the breakthrough of his first solo show, Sleepwalk With Me. Few are better at Birbiglia’s forte of melding standup comedy with the cohesive rigor of a one-person play, a style he’ll revisit with his latest production, Please Stop the Ride. May 31 at The Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (305-673-7300, fillmoremb.com). May 31; 7pm; $44–$135.10

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The 27th iteration of this seasonal staple from City Theatre features eight new short plays heavy on comedy and satire, all performed by a crack cast of South Florida’s most diverse and industrious actors. Potential highlights include Swordfish Grilled, set in a West Kendall bistro, and This Week in the Land of Democracy, about how algorithms filter our information. City Theatre at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd (305-949-6722, arshtcenter.org). June 6–23: various show times; $50–$75

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Every spectator is their own Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot in this spirited and cheeky musical adaptation of the 1985 movie of the same name, which is itself, of course, inspired by the Hasbro board game. When the Lord of a manor winds up dead at the end of Act I, any of the six colorful guests could be the murderer. Armed with randomly selected cards unknown to the actors, the audience ends up deciding the killer, their weapon and where the homicide took place. Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave, Fort Lauderdale (954-462-0222). June 11–16: various show times; $35–$131

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Eight Tony wins upon its 1987 Broadway premiere would only mark the beginning of this theatrical warhorse, which would finally close its run on the Great White Way some 16 years later. Buttressed by glorious melodies, elaborate sets and costumes, and enough pomp and circumstance for two or three musicals, the story, about an imprisoned peasant seeking redemption and the police inspector hunting him down, remains as timeless as ever. Broadway in Miami at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. (305-949-6722, arshtcenter.org). June 18–23: various show times; $45–$155

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Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece about a fading southern belle who moves into a shabby New Orleans tenement with her younger sister, Stella, and Stella’s hot-headed boyfriend Stanley elevated the career of Marlon Brando in 1947 and remains one of the canonical plays in history of American theatre. Experience the show anew in a rare, intimate production from one of Broward County’s homegrown theatre companies. New City Players at Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors (954-376-6114, newcityplayers.org). July 11–Aug 4: 8pm Thu–Sat, 3pm Sun; $25–$40

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Specializing in classical ballet rigor with a modern edge, this company founded by former Miami City Ballet principal couple Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg continues its residency in South Miami with a program featuring the main stage premiere of “Arcadia,” a new work by artist-in-residence Yanis Eric Pikieris; as well as Jorge García’s “Majisimo.” South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 S.W. 211th St. (786-573-5300, smdcac.org). July 13: 8pm; $25–$45

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  • Coral Gables

Real-life couple Shaun and Abigail Bengson, a fixture in the New York theatre world, created this critically acclaimed musical that is at once inspired their tumultuous love and haunted by the inevitably of death; hence the show’s motto, to live and love as if you only had 100 days left on Earth. The Bengsons’ rousing folk-punk score helps propel the minimalist plot and design. Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables (305-444-9293, actorsplayhouse.org). July 17–Aug 4: 8pm Wed–Sat, 3pm Sun; $40–$100

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