Downtown Miami Gets a Dose of 'Caraboom'

Michelle F. Solomon

It takes place in the heart of downtown Miami at the MDC Wolfson Campus parking Lot 1 from March 31 through April 10.

"Caraboom" is a Knight New Work created by Miami-based multimedia artist and show maker Natasha Tsakos. spoke with Tsakos about her creation.

Natasha Tsakos is the creator of


Natasha Tsakos is the creator of "Caraboom," which tells the story of the Caraboom family who opens a car wash in the heart of Downtown Miami at the downtown Miami at MDC Parking Lot 1 through April 10, 2022. (Photos: Caraboom/Jorge Parra) Can you explain what "Caraboom" is? This is what I read about it, but it makes me want to really know what is at the heart of it. I read this: an unexpected spectacle of silliness and physical poetry following the trials and triumphs of the Caraboom Family.

Natasha Tsakos: Imagine a car wash where no cars are washed! At least not literally. "Caraboom" tells the story of the Caraboom family who opens a car wash in the heart of Downtown Miami. They are clueless, genius, and idiotic. As a result, everything goes unexpectedly! Foam blows out of proportion, water spurts inadvertently, and family impromptus happen all around you. "Caraboom" fuses physical comedy with dance choreography and uses atmospheric car wash mechanics as dynamics for drama, to immerse participants in a splash-filled adventure while the Family tries its very best to keep it together.

There are honking concertos, microfiber dancing, and catharsis for everybody. But a carwash, you ask? You'll have to come and see.

maz: So take me through it. What can audiences expect? And it's a Car Wash – can you explain that concept? Will I get wet?

NT: Audiences are invited to experience "Caraboom" from our Boom Zones (for a global view of the show) Splash Zone (if you are feeling daring!) or within the comfort of their car as the Caraboom family of sixteen characters take you through their delightfully delirious car-washing adventure.

BOOM ZONE Ticket: Walk in, take a seat, and enjoy the show from our BOOM ZONES surrounding the Runway Ring! Expect jubilant participation.

SPLASH ZONE Ticket: Feeling adventurous? Book individual seats or pairs of seats along the Runway Ring and get ready for splash-filled action! Very experiential. Very Instagrammable. Sustainable Ponchos provided.

VIP CAR Ticket: Drive in the Runway Ring and enjoy the show from the comfort of your car with others! Interactive and more personal. Bring your friends, lovers, family members, alligators.

Live Arts Miami presents the World Premiere of


Live Arts Miami presents the World Premiere of "Caraboom," an unexpected spectacle. (Photo by Caraboom/Jorge Parra)

maz: What was your inspiration for the show?

NT: The pandemic and nationwide shutdown forced me to rethink the format of live Theater altogether. As Performing Arts Centers were closing down and artists zigging on to virtual platforms, I began to zag and think of ways to bring live immersive entertainment back in the physical world, in the most sensational ways, and had a crazy idea. What if we used the premise of a car wash to take the audience on an emotional ride that cleanses your spirits more than your cars? And what would happen if we blew up the atmospheric elements of a car wash completely?

"Caraboom" was born with a mission to scale joy by making a high caliber, COVID-proof, purpose driven, locally spirited production that empowers artists, invigorates communities and brings wonder to pedestrian life.

maz: Do you have mentors or people whose work you look at to inspire you to create?

NT: I am blessed to be working with them! The entire process has been extraordinary. I am working with the best of the best, whose credits range from Cirque du Soleil, Pina Bausch to Fuerza Bruta. Please meet my mighty collaborators:

Choreographer and Composition Crafter Octavio Campos: Miami born Cuban-American award-winning Transdisciplinary Artist who has collaborated on the works of Robert Wilson, Birgitta Trommler, and Philip Glass.

Choreography and Performer Luis Alberto Cuevas:  Miami based choreographer for the television series "David Makes Man" on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Comedy and Character Crafter John Gilkey:  Los Angeles based. Former Lead Performer and "Comedy Concepteur" for Cirque du Soleil for twenty years. John also consults Pixar Studios on physical comedy routines.

maz: Is there a message you hope audiences take away from "Caraboom"?

NT: "Caraboom" is a show about love, connection and celebration. It will make your heart soar, your spirit lift and your paradigm shift. Our goal is for everyone to leave feeling more joyful and hopeful than when they came in. We are on a mission to scale joy. $1 of every ticket supports Rotary International for their Relief Efforts in Ukraine.

maz: Can you talk about Live Arts Miami and what it means to be working with them?

NT: Live Arts Miami has been an incredible partner and foundational supporter in this two-year journey. They are bold, mighty, visionary and not afraid of taking risks. They dove in headfirst and said "We love this, let's do it!" and here we are. I would like to give a ginormous shoutout to Kathryn Garcia, Live Arts Miami Executive Director, Edward Davis, their Managing Producer and Maria Montoya their Marketing Wizard who have been working tirelessly and passionately on this project.

Natasha Tsakos's


Natasha Tsakos's "Carabaoom" was selected as a winning project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's 2020 Knight New Work program

maz: Also, tell me a bit about the Knight Foundation and the grant that help you get Caraboom off the ground. The year you got it was a pandemic year and they said that they provided funding to "radically reimagine the performing arts in times of pandemic."

Knight Foundation is an extraordinary and forward-thinking organization. They are always a step ahead looking for solutions. When the pandemic hit, they quickly put out a call to Artists challenging us to reimagine how the performing arts could be created and experienced during the pandemic and beyond.

The timing was perfect, as I too was reimagining news ways of Theater Making. I pitched "Caraboom" in 2020, was awarded a Knight Foundation New Work Award to further develop the concept, and awarded a second time to bring this vision to life.

Knight Foundation is the springboard of "Caraboom" and the reason we are here in the first place. I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Rogers, Adam Ganuza and the Knight Foundation Arts Team.

maz: Did the pandemic change how you do your work? How you present it perhaps?

NT: The pandemic changed everything, while reinforcing what is most important to me: People, Potential and the power of Theater as a Service. "Caraboom" is 180 degree turn from the high-tech shows I have been creating and producing, and yet….

While my body of work is technology-driven, it is deeply influenced by club culture and the freedom of the streets. I was a street performer for 12 years and a club performer for 14. In fact, it is my interactive practice that has given me the greatest joy. From working as Doctor Clown for two years at Miami Children's Hospital, bringing laughter to displaced families in Haiti, to serving elderlies in collaboration with ILS Meals. I love the magic of ephemeral encounters, the connection with complete strangers, and collaborating with brilliant artists. With CARABOOM, I am going back to my roots and bringing my two decades of producing experience with me. My vision is to bridge the rawness and authenticity of the streets with sophisticated aesthetics and poetic compositions.

maz: How does Miami inspire your art?

NT: It's impossible not to be inspired by Miami. I live in one of the most diverse, eccentric, colorful and tropical theater on the planet!

Natasha Tsakos "Caraboom: The Greatest Carwash Show on Earth" is Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 10 at 7 and 9 p.m. at the MDC Wolfson Campus, Parking Lot 1, 233 NE 5th St., Miami, Fla. To register, visit

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