Lazaro Godoy's performances pique interest and stir curiosity Sometimes, they are almost uncomfortable to watch.
In the past, audiences have seen Godoy shed multiple outer layers of emotions with his raw and powerful showing of “ArMOUR" and in “Bare Bones,” with his colleague (and now wife) Carlota Pradera. He made audiences squirm with the unfiltered truth of life, love and emotion.
Now, on Sunday, June 13, Godoy is playing Master of Ceremonies on a journey into a magical, mystical world with the creation of “MuseMe” to be held in the natural Oak Garden setting of the restaurant, Smart Bites.
With the creation of “MuseMe,” Godoy has returned to his Cuban roots of Pinar del Río and the beautiful natural setting where he grew up. He is creating a world imbued with rich colors, exotic flavors, and an array of physically extravagant surprises.
“For 'MuseMe,' I think of the muse inside all of us,” Godoy says. “We all have it. Each person is not necessarily an artist, but if you give time and space, they will eventually fly like a butterfly.”
Godoy explains that with lives so busy, we don’t give ourselves the time to appreciate and experience the color, the beauty, and the wonders that surround us.
“MuseMe” will tap into this "other world," he promises. Inspired by the Cuban-Chinese transvestite, and drag artist, Musmé (Julio Chang) who was a noted theater and cabaret soprano of the Cuban 1950s, “MuseMe” will evoke the '40s and '50s aesthetic of Cuba infused with a futuristic international vision.
“I love the idea of transforming,” Godoy says. “Musmé was a very unattractive Chinese man. But when he transformed into a female, she was this beautiful Madame, Madame Musmé. It was incredible.”
This will be the largest collaboration that Godoy has done in Miami, he says, blending theater and movement performance using female artists, live musicians, contortionists and spoken word to create the immersive experience. He chose female performing artists to celebrate the richness and beauty of the earth, the energy of the woman, and mother, he says.
Among the performers are the aforementioned Pradera, artist/dancer Jennifer Veltre, actress, writer and entertainer Catalina Arenas Tovar, multidisciplinary performer Flavie Audibert, dancer/creator Paunika Jones, artist/researcher Niurca Márquez, creator/healer Michelle Stone, and AfroBeta, Miami-based band female singer. To create the soundscape, Godoy is working with Miami based composer and guitarist Federico Bonacossa, who is one part of the live performance musicians.
Each performer is part of Godoy’s circle of friends and colleagues that he has interacted with throughout his years as a dancer and creator.
Referencing the performers, Godoy says, “It caught my attention that these artists have so much quality in them. Some of them have poetry, some have movement, creativity that goes beyond any sort of training. We are creating a kaleidoscope and putting all these pieces together. Each person brings something enchanting and together we uplift each other.”
Creating the characters that will infuse the magical ambiance of “MuseMe,” Godoy initially worked one-on-one with each individual because of COVID restrictions.
Now, Godoy is eagerly anticipating everyone coming together in the space to fully realize the evening.
“There is something that is shining,” he says. “It’s not about our name or background, there is something else magical happening. We are unleashing that inner child, and sometimes we have to go there without judgement in order to see it - and we have to play. It’s as pure as we can get.”
Godoy’s magic is that he takes the audience with him as the journey unfolds.
“MuseMe” takes place in an extensive garden behind an organic restaurant called Smart Bites. Godoy himself offered his services to create the enchanting garden that is there.
He recalls that two years ago, while walking, his curiosity was piqued when he saw plants and moringa trees. A continual student of nature, and knowing that moringa trees are very healthy, he inquired what was going on. He immediately became a part of building the garden.
“The restaurant called out to me,” he says. “I have never worked outside of my profession. I arrived there as if someone had sent me. The garden was a place that I put my heart and love into.”
Serendipity often comes into play. He laughed a hearty laugh. “There are no accidents.”
“MuseMe” is creating a playground that allows the audience to be part of the performance. Participants can sit, stand, or wander. The space is organic and allows for a natural flow of movement as each vignette unfolds.
“Hopefully we are creating something that will uplift and inspire everyone, that’s what will vibrate.”
“MuseMe” will be performed at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 13, 2021 at the Oak Garden at Smart Bites, 791 NW 20th St. Miami, FL. 33127.
“MuseMe” Post-Performance Party is from 9 to 10 p.m.
Tickets are $10 - $20 available at: www.eventbrite.com