Miami Motel Stories dives into Biscayne Boulevard’s history

You know the saying, “If these walls could talk?” Well, we found a place in the 305 where the walls do talk. It’s a theater experience unlike any other. Deco thespian Chris Van Vliet is here to explain.

Miami Motel Stories takes you back in time to find out more about the history of the area. But instead of sitting in a theater, watching the performers on stage — that sounds boring — you’re in a motel room, right in the middle of the action.

This motel’s got a story to tell.

Juan Sanchez, playwright: “Miami Motel Stories Mimo is a site-specific, immersive theater experience inside the Gold Dust Motel on Biscayne and Northeast 77th Street.”

Nine rooms throughout the motel all tell different stories about the Biscayne Boulevard area, through short performances.

Juan Sanchez: “We tell the story of the people who have worked or stayed in the hotel, and we follow the evolution of the neighborhood through the different characters.”

Characters like the bookie who looks after the gambling room.

Bookie: “If ya hit 21 between your two cards — boom, ya win.”

Or a young boxer at the end of his rope…

Boxer: “I broke my mom’s heart, my dad’s…”

And the actors portraying these different people really commit to their roles.

Denise Burrell, caught them in the act: “They’re pretty dramatic, pretty high stakes, and then toward the end, you really go through and meet some crazies.”

Once you check in, your room key determines which journey through history you’ll take.

Tanya Bravo, artistic director: “When you buy a ticket from Miami Motel Stories, you can pick a pink key, a yellow key and a blue key. Each key opens three different doors, and those three different doors represent three different decades.”

From the 1950s to the present day, whichever decade you’re in, you’ve got the best seat in the house because every seat is the best seat.

Actor: “You should divorce him.”

Actress: “What?!”

Actor: “I think you should divorce him.”

Juan Sanchez: “The audience is allowed to ask questions. As a matter of fact, they’re asked questions or invited to participate and to become part of the spectacle with the actors.”

Here’s a question — why showcase the history specifically of Biscayne Boulevard?

Juan Sanchez: “It was during the age of the automobile and the road trip. This was sort of the way to Miami. This is why these motels were built.”

Tanya Bravo: “We’re here to really celebrate it and really tell the truth of everything that’s happened. Tell the history of Miami — all the characters that have lived here. Whether they’re glamorous or not, they’re part of our story

Miami Motel Stories Mimo runs through Dec. 23.

They next plan on heading to North Miami Beach and Overtown.


Miami Motel Stories – Gold Dust Motel
7700 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33138
(877) 504-8499

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