The fate of the night depends on the key you're holding at Miami Motel Stories: North Beach! The Juggerknot Theatre Company allows it's spectators to buy a key to the city and a specific journey all February long.
We took a private tour with Natasha Bravo, the Producing Partner and Community Impact Director, and her passion for Miami Motel Stories is refreshing. "It's an immersive experience in which you're guided, but it's all built within the show. You're traveling through different decades and times and experiencing different conflicts," she added, while basking in the glory of the set that was being put in place.
The award-winning show has taken the stage out of theatre and impelled their audiences to step into the story-line with the actors. By breaking the "fourth wall" between the viewer and the actors, you're able to submerge yourself in the setting, allowing you to truly feel like you're in the decade you're learning about.
The Bravo sisters are a force to be reckoned with! Tanya was a traditional actor and started a theatre company, which allowed her to dabble in producing. That's when Natasha jumped on board with her, and after collaborating, Miami Motel Stories was created.
This intimate experience they've created allows you to be on high guard, as you feel the energy of the actors while being in a room with just six other people. "You feel this form of empathy as well as the actor's vibe. It's hard to not get immersed into it, have an opinion of what's going on, or have a different perspective by the time you leave. It's different because you're not passively taking something in." Natasha says the show is enough to make an impact for all viewers.
What's special about this year is that it's the first time they're breaking each story down with a theme. The levels of the motel have been designed to give a different timeline, depending on spectators choice.
Yellow Track: Home
Pink Track: Glamour
Orange Track: Outsiders
Blue Track: Crime
We experienced the Yellow track first, and it opened our eyes to the trials and tribulations that North Beach residents may have went through.
As soon as it's time to start the show, you're immediately emotionally involved with the story. Your small group is lead by Axel, the delightfully outspoken PA that'll make you smile from ear to ear right from the start. You know no one in the beginning of this adventure, but by the end, you all share a connection with not only the actors and the stories, but each other as well. Juan C. Sanchez put an impressive amount of thought into every detail, as there wasn't a moment the story lines didn't intertwine with one another.
Our first stop was magnificent! We don't often think of how it could feel when you have to figure out where to sleep day after day, but this series compels it's audience to see what it may have been like for squatters in 2018.
Patrick and Jorge, played by the lovely Roderick Randle and Laurie Tanner, take you on an emotional roller coaster as they're trying to connect with each other's point-of-view. Both living in the same situation, with different emotions attached to the area and time.
It's an introduction that leaves you in suspense, but not for long. Every moment, every word, every request connects to the next story, and the emotion you feel once you step into Deb's world will leave you with a world of empathy. You resonate with the 1980 Hasidic Woman who is battling her own demons, and the storm you witness firsthand is electrifying. Whether you have been in this particular situation or not, we've all been in a circumstance where we've had to make a decision that felt like one of the toughest you'd ever have to make. You're in Deb's shoes, whether you expected to be or not.
With just one scenario left in the Yellow track, you're already immersed in North Beach's story. You're in an age you hadn't been before, in the room of a person who you may not have spoken to before you entered Miami's Motel Story.
After stepping into 1980, we're lead into 1972, where the actual process of school desegregation continued into the early 1970s in North Beach. Two teens have become friends, but the difference of background hits harder for one than the other. You're right in the middle of the 70s, engaged in one of the most emotional conversations of the yellow track. We were almost brought to tears, as the feelings both teens are experiencing are often still felt today.
The Juggerknot Theatre Company easily puts on one of the most inventive shows of 2020. In an effort to showcase how everyone is connected, Miami Motel Stories shines bright with it's intention to highlight North Beach's history. Riddled with contrasting backgrounds, you see the growth of the city in ways you couldn't envision before. What's more, is the feeling you have when you're walking out the back doors into the lush courtyard.
You're serenaded by the DJ, but there's something more. The air feels different. The smell of the ocean breeze feels historic, now. The noise of the street cars brings a smile to your face, as you realize this is North Beach. This is land full of culture and monumental history. The lives that have been here before us shaped the city, and who we are now is a reflection of them.
This show was a theatric love letter to a city that is often overlooked. Lasting through March 2020, you'll want to go time after time! Get a different key to unlock another story and experience North Beach in it's purest form.
Enjoy a new immersive experience:
Start Times: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m
When: February through March | Thursday - Sunday
Where: The Broadmoor Hotel, 7450 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach
Tickets: Separate orange, yellow, pink and blue story tracks cost $69.99 each (orange track is accessible to theatergoers with disabilities). Visit miamimotelstories.com or call 866-441-9962.