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‘Chinatown’ coming to Miami Shores

Chinese tradition, various foods and a Dragon parade will be among the highlights of Chinatown Miami in Miami Shores this weekend.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to The Miami Herald
Traditional Chinese culture, including a dragon parade, will arrive in Miami Shores this Sunday.

The first ever Chinatown Miami festival presented by The PlayGround Theatre will celebrate the venue’s world premiere original production, The Red Thread, from noon to 6 p.m Sunday at 9806 NE Second Ave.

The play will continue through May 27 and is recommended for ages 8 and up. Saturday performances will be at 8 p.m.; Sunday performances are at 2 p.m. and weekday shows are at 10 a.m. Tickets are $20; group rates are available.

On festival day, there will be street closures on Second Avenue between 93rd St. and 100th St.

The PlayGround Theatre created the event as an effort to promote the venue along with neighboring businesses.

Sean Saladino, owner of Mooie’s sweets and treats, said the opportunity will raise awareness.

“This would make people come to our businesses,” he said. “It will provide visibility and it will attract a lot of people.”

Liz Roldan, spokeswoman for The PlayGround Theatre, said the event is important.

“We work really closely with the businesses in the neighborhood and thought it would be good for us all to host an event that would bring people from all over to Miami Shores,” she wrote in an e-mail.

A Chinese dragon parade will run through the streets at about 4 p.m. It will start at The PlayGround Theatre’s lobby doors.

Actors from the production along with audience members will participate, said Roldan.

The festival will also include lots of kids entertainment. There will be two kid’s zones with bounce houses, sidewalk chalk art contests, Chinese calligraphy name tables, Chinese paper cutting and art projects. Face painting and giveaways along with an appearance by Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants will interact with festival goers in front of the theatre from noon to 3 p.m.

On the main stage, Mulan will perform a sword fan dance along with Master Li Siu Hung and his group doing drumming, kung fu demonstrations, firecrackers and lion dances.

Aside from the entertainment, there will be over 50 vendors. A group of gourmet food truck vendors will participate, including SlowFoodTruck, CazaCrepes, MisoHungry, JefesOriginal, RollingStove and MsCheezious.

Also, local farmers will be selling their wares along with Orchids and local honey.

As for the play, The Red Thread is written by Artistic Director Stephanie Ansin and Artist-in-Residence Fernando Calzadilla and it tells the story of a young woman’s heroic efforts to rescue her father’s surprisingly miraculous masterpiece.

“The Red Thread will provide its audience with an incredibly visual experience that’s truly unlike any other,” said Roldan.

The play includes local and out-of-town actors.

The festival is family oriented said Roldan.

“People should attend Chinatown Miami because it’s something totally unique that you can do with your family, for free,” she wrote in an e-mail.

“There will be something for everybody to do at Chinatown Miami.”

For information visit the PlayGround Theatre’s website at www.theplaygroundtheatre.com.

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