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Arts Beat: The Girl from Maxim’s

By Kathleen Elise posted Oct 18, 2010 at 01:15 PM

Music isn’t the only thing this city has to offer. With this new WVUM feature, we bring you a look at the rest of the arts world in and around Miami. Today's topic: New World presents The Girl from Maxim's.

By: Cristian Andres Benavides

The 2010-2011 season of the New World School of the Arts theatre department has officially kicked off. The Girl from Maxim's, written by Georges Feydeau, is a British musical comedy from the 1930s that follows 33 characters in three acts.

New World is a conservatory that, in association with Miami Dade College and the University of Florida, awards talented students with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Music. Graduates from New World go on to be some of the best theatre, film, television, opera, music, and visual artists in the country. New World also has a high school division.

A former Cane theatre faculty member and England native, Andrew Noble, directs New World's production of Maxim's. Costume designer Estella Vrancovich provides the terrific outfits for the actors. The exquisite set was created by technical director Dorset Noble, and the great lighting is the work of lighting designer Jeff Quinn. All of the aforementioned people teach at the conservatory level at New World.

It all started Friday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. Opening night for these aspiring actors seemed to be a complete success. From beginning to end, the energy and emotional commitment of every actor onstage surged throughout the theatre. In other words, the rehearsals seem to have paid off.

The show starts with a simple night on the town, but from there it goes on a roller coaster of satirical events that are as unpredictable as Miami weather and as funny as a British musical comedy gets.


When asked about opening night, this is what some of the actors had to say: "We had a fun night," said O'niel Delaphena, a junior BFA acting major at the conservatory. "There was a lot of positive energy from the audience."

"I was really nervous," said Jose Elosegui, who is pursuing the same degree as Delaphena, "but overall, it went really well." Elosequi plays a minor, but oh so entertaining, role in Maxim's.

Carolina Ordoñez, playing Shrimp, stole the show. The other leads, performed by Terry Helin, Heather Velazquez, and Stephen Perrot, were also strong components in making the show so successful. Other notable actors include Edson Jean and Rayner Garrachan.

When speaking to some of the actors, they said the hardest part of this production is mastering Feydeau's style. "Trying to fully master the rhyme that [he writes] in and the pace, so we can fully enjoy and understand the comedy [is difficult]," said O'niel. "Trying to adapt to the style of the show was a real challenge," added Elosegui.

The show takes you on an emotional ride along with every actor onstage. It will make you laugh, but be warned: the show is long. It is also definitely worth seeing.

The New World School of the Arts is located in the heart of downtown Miami at 25 NE 2nd Street. The performance takes place on the 8th floor of the Louis O'Gerritis Black Box Theatre.

Additional performances will be on Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $12 and can be purchased online at (only $5 for students and seniors). You can also purchase tickets at the door - don't forget your student ID!

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