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O, Miami Poetry Festival knows 'Why the Nick Cage Screams'

The castles. The obsession with Elvis and dinosaur skulls. The over-the-top acting. The unexpected joys of actor Nicolas Cage and his reputation for excess will be celebrated during “I Know Why the Nick Cage Screams,” a free theater event this Wednesday, April 18, at Miami’s Olympia Theater.

The Nicolas Cage tribute is part of the O, Miami Poetry Festival, a monthlong literary bash that carries the ambitious mission of exposing everyone in Miami-Dade County to poetry. The Knight Foundation-funded festival, which began April 1, will conclude this year’s edition on April 30.

But what does saluting a wild-at-heart actor have to do with poetry, exactly? Not much, says P. Scott Cunningham, founder of O Miami.

“The way that Nicolas Cage speaks, his pacing, his phrasing — he can manage to squeeze poetry out of really bad scripts,” Cunningham says. “He makes bad movies watchable by how he performs in them.”

“I Know Why the Nick Cage Screams” will feature an evening of cocktails and video clips, sketch comedy and haiku competitions, and burlesque and boylesque tributes to the 54-year-old actor’s career. The event is the brainchild of Gaby Fernandez, director of Miami-based company Front Yard Theatre Collective, and her producer, Melissa Gomez.

Fernandez says the event will take place inside the Olympia Theater’s lobby, where Front Yard performs improv comedy every third Wednesday of the month. A Nicolas Cage-inspired shrine, containing candles, photos and video clips, will also be erected in the Olympia’s lobby, she says.

“Nicolas Cage’s acting is poetry,” Fernandez says. “He has all this debt and needs to make crappy movies to keep up with his lifestyle, but Nick Cage has never pretended to be anyone other than Nick Cage. And that’s why we celebrate him.”

“I Know Why the Nick Cage Screams” will take place 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at the Olympia Theater, 174 E. Flagler St., in Miami. Admission is free. Call 305-374-2444 or go to OMiami.org and OlympiaTheater.org.

pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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