Local stages expand, from cabaret in Manalapan to performance art in Pompano

There’s plenty of newness locally when it comes to theater and the performing arts.

Where in other cities throughout the country the scene is shrinking, here stages are expanding.

Here are three new spaces and a new amateur theater troupe performing in a new locale for South Floridians to enjoy.

New City Players in Fort Lauderdale

Photos: 5K on the Runway at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

What it is: City Church — with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors and Pompano Beach — is pooling its resources and talent for a Holy Week production of “Godspell” at C&I Studios in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village. “C&I is a unique canvas,” says Phil Letizia, pastor of the Wilton Manors City Church. “It’s a studio setting, and we are making the show uniquely tailored to the space. We like that. City Church from the beginning has tried to think outside the box." CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON CITY CHURCH.

What it means to you: There is a possibility for more shows in improvised spaces. “It’s been an experiment for us,” Letizia says. “There seems to be a desire or need in the community for something like this. It’s perfect for us. We had always talked about doing something creative around Easter time, during Holy Week. With ticket sales, we could be close to selling out both nights. We’re always on the hunt for a venue that works for us. We did our Christmas service at FAT Village. We built the whole thing in an empty warehouse.”

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday April 18-19

Where: C&I Studios, 541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: $15 in advance; $20 at the door (all seats are general admission)

Contact: 954-531-4687 or Godspell2014.com


Bailey Contemporary Arts in Pompano Beach

What it is: The old Hotel Bailey in Pompano Beach has been re-imagined as a work and exhibit space for artists. On Wednesday night, it was re-christened Bailey Contemporary Arts (BaCA). The brains and creative force behind the project is Creative City Collaborative (CCC), the same team responsible for Delray Beach’s Arts Garage. “The CCC is the organization that will manage both venues,” explains Alyona Aleksandra Ushe, executive director of CCC. “But [BaCA] is drastically different from what we do in Delray Beach. It’s two levels. On the ground level, there are three gallery spaces. Upstairs, there are studio spaces, and the only way I can describe it is an inviting area where people can gather. There’s something about that space that asks folks to come and be a part of it.”

What it means to you: In addition to art exhibitions, music performances, film screenings, art lessons and summer camps for children at BaCA, the project will also include the Ali Building, a former rooming house (Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway were guests during segregation) that Ushe says will be “more of a performing arts center. It’s less than a mile away ... and it’s still under construction. It will probably open in the fall of this year.” There are plans for the Rock Road Historical Society and the Ashanti Cultural Arts dance company to stage events there.

When: There are two immediate events at BaCA. First up is a Poetry Lab at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. Next is a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. May 14.

Where: BaCA, 41 NE First St., Pompano Beach

Cost: $10 for the Poetry Lab. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is free and open to the public.

Contact: 561-450-6457 or BaCAPompano.org


Club Plaza in Manalapan