LGBT arts festival begins Thursday

Performance artist Taylor Mac. Photo by Tim Hailand

If LGBT is a brand, then its most colorful product just may be the Out in the Tropics performing-arts festival in Miami Beach.

The four days of concerts, performance-art shows, film screenings, receptions and panel discussions will take place Thursday through Sunday (June 13-16) at the Colony Theatre. The festival is produced by FUNDarte, a nonprofit that produces performing- and visual-arts events.

“This season our goal is to bring together our diverse South Florida communities by cross-pollinating our audiences,” says Ever Chavez, the founder and director of FUNDarte. “On the same night you can see cutting edge New York performance artists like Taylor Mac or Carmelita Tropicana on a double bill with Cubalandia, a raucous performance troupe direct from Havana making their US debut at the festival. We are creating a new performance experience by bringing together distinct audiences under the same roof under the umbrella of queer performance. Only in Miami.”

The events include:


Hollywood Doggie Beach Pictures

Taylor Mac debuting his newest work, “The 20th Century Show,” in which one song from each decade of the 20th century is performed. “I am presenting this to Miami Beach as a performance ritual to help the audience let go of the 20th century and move into the 21st,” Mac says in press materials.

Carmelita Tropicana presenting the Miami premiere of “Post-Plastica Miami 2013,” which is part live performance and part video installation by the Cuban-American diva of queer comedy and New York-based filmmaker Ela Troyano.

Well-Strung, the all-male and all-hunk string quartet also sings in a concert that puts a spin on everything from Mozart and Vivaldi to Adele and Lady Gaga. “These guys are amazing,” Chavez says.

Cubalandia by El Ciervo Encantado is an interactive and controversial lesbian feminist theater collective from Havana making their U.S. debut at the festival. The performance will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles. “The performances are very provocative,” Chavez says.

“Verde Verde,” a movie by Cuban director Enrique Pineda Barnet, takes on gay male identity and homophobia in contemporary Cuba, in Spanish with English subtitles. “They represent what is happening on the island [of Cuba] today,” Chavez says of “Verde Verde” and Cubalandia.

The Colony Theatre is located at 1040 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. The movie “Verde Verde” will be shown at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., in Miami Beach. Tickets cost $30 ($25 for students/seniors). A three-day festival pass costs $60 (plus fees). “Verde Verde” tickets cost $10 ($9 for students/seniors). Contact: 800-745-3000 and 305-674-1040 or Ticketmaster.com and FUNDarte.us