Michelle F. Solomon, ATCA, FFCC
Playwright Carmen Pelaez moved back home to Miami three years ago after being in New York for 22. "New York got boring," she says. "People don't believe me when I say that. It's not the New York I moved to."
She speaks like the dialogue you might hear in one of her plays.
"I feel like where New York is going down, Miami is coming up. New York thinks it has all the answers, so it doesn’t' bother asking all the questions. Miami knows it doesn't have any answers, so it will kind of accept to it whatever you bring."
What she's brought is a new play and what Miami has brought to her is Michel Hausmann, co-founder and artistic director of Miami New Drama inside the Colony Theater on Lincoln Road.
Friday night, Jan. 25, Miami New Drama presents the world premiere of "Fake," the second in Pelaez's Amelia trilogy. The first was her solo play "Rum & Coke," which played the Coconut Grove Playhouse and sold out in venues across the country.
"The same character from 'Rum & Coke' is now working at an art auction house," she says about her newest play. Inspired by many stories that Pelaez has met while managing her great-aunt Amelia Palaez's foundation. (Amelia Pelaez is considered one of the most prominent global modern women artists. A Cuban modernist who studied in Paris in the 1930s and one of the only women in the Cubist Avant Garde movement.)
"In the play, a dealer tries to put into sale a painting that she believes to be fake. It's really a thriller set in an auction house," she says. The painting in question is by, you guessed it, Cuban avant-garde artists AmeilaPelaez. Carmen Pelaez stars in the show along with five other actors.
"I've had to deal with people on eBay selling fakes of my aunt's work," she says.
Still, Pelaez is fascinated by the art world. She says she's taken by how "art moves people, the millions upon millions of dollars that it generates, when it just starts off as an idea. I'm fascinated by the ability and possibility of art and the world that it circulates in."
As far as her new play, she said there is a fascination for her of how her play "Fake" went from page to stage as quickly as it did.
There was no reading or workshop. "Michel had called me to asked if I wanted to do 'Rum & Coke' again, and I said, 'heck, no. I love that piece, but I've moved on.' But I told him I had another play and I told him I thought it was pretty good."
After he received it, she said Hausmann called her and said, 'This is a pretty good play." And, while she thought he was going to offer her the chance to do a reading, he told her he was putting it in his season.
She believes the play will resonate on many levels, but mostly in today's confusing climate.
"I think we're in a moment where people are trying to figure out which end isup, what's true, and what's not true, and I think this play speaks to the moment. And that is: What do you stand up for? Where is your red line?"
"Fake" runs through Sunday, February 17, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 800-211-1414; colonymb.org. Tickets cost $35 to $65.