Broadway plays, great concerts, operas, ballet and exhibits, as well as various festivals, are as much a part of the south Florida scene as the sun, sand and sea.
South Florida is a good place to meet people, in a relaxed atmosphere. There are several Jewish community centres along the coast and numerous kosher restaurants.
The following is only a small sample of the many exciting arts happenings in south Florida this winter.
Theatre can be enjoyed all along the coast from Jupiter’s Maltz Theatre to the GableStage, at the Biltmore Hotel, in Coral Gables. Avi Hoffman’s New Vista Theatre Company, Boca Raton, is bringing Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, Feb. l4 to March 2.
The Florida Stage, in Manalapan, has the world première of The Count, until March 2. The world prèmiere of Jessica Goldberg’s Ward 57, plays March 21, to the end of April. Among the performers at the Sinatra Theatre are Jackie Mason, Jan. 26; Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Feb. 2; and Engelbert Humperdinck, Feb.24.
The Maltz Theatre in Jupiter is presenting Smokey Joe’s Café (the longest running musical revue in the history of Broadway) until Feb. l0; The Full Monty, Feb. 26-March l6; and Master Class, April l-l3.
The comedy Suite Surrender is having its prèmiere at the Caldwell Theatre, Boca Raton, until Feb. l7. The drama, Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, will be at the Caldwell Feb. 24 to March 30.
The romantic comedy Modern Orthodox will be at the Lake Worth Playhouse, Feb. 29-March l6. The comedy My Sister’s An Only Child with Steve Solomon is at the Broward Center, March 13-16.
The drama Moby Dick Rehearsed will be at the Kravis Center, March 27-28. The Coral Springs Center for the Arts presents the comedy Catskills on Broadway on March 30.
The West Boca Theatre Company, at the Levis Jewish Community Centre, hosts a Jewish Short Play Competition, April 3, 5 and 6. Neil Berg’s musical review, l00 Years of Broadway, will be shown at the Broward Center, April l2. The concert musical Charlie Chaplin: A Life in Concert, with David Pomeranz, is at the Kravis Center, April l6-l7.
I Love a Piano, a musical review of Irving Berlin songs, runs at the Parker Playhouse until Feb. 3. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels continues at the same theatre to Feb. l0. The musical Wicked will be at this theatre March l2-April 6, followed by Twelve Angry Men, April 22-May 4.
Lauren Feldman’s Fill Our Mouths will be at the New Theatre, Coral Gables, until Feb. l2.
Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel, Dudu Fisher gives two performances, with renditions of Broadway, traditional, chassidic, Yiddish and cantorial music, titled Jerusalem of Gold, at the Parker Playhouse, Feb. l6 and l7.
Mattan Klein, Israeli Jazz Ensemble, will be at the Levis JCC on Feb. 9. Mandy Patinkin performs at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Feb. l5, and Anne Murray performs there Feb. 28.
Michael Feinstein and Diahann Carroll will be at the Kravis Center March l7, and Debbie Reynolds is there April l. Klezmer East plays at Lynn University, Boca Raton, March 21 and 22.
The New World Symphony, with pianist Peter Serkin, plays Webern, Stravinsky and Benjamin, Feb. 2, at the Lincoln Theatre, Miami Beach. Violinist Ilana Setapen appears at the Kravis Center, Feb. 4.
The Israel Chamber Orchestra, with pianist and conductor, Philippe Entremont, plays Mendelssohn, Debussy and Schuman, on Feb. ll, at the Kravis Center. Also at the Kravis Center, on Feb. l2, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, with Gil Shohat as pianist and conductor, plays Mozart, Saint-Saens, Poulenc and Shohat.
On Feb. l3 the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra presents A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein, with Jamie Bernstein, at the Kravis Center. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel plays at the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, on Feb. 24.
The Symphony of the Americas will present operatic highlights at the Broward Center, Feb. 28. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plays Rachmaninoff, Berlioz and Bizet, Feb. 27 and 28, at the Carnival and Kravis centers, respectively.
On March 6, the Russian National Orchestra plays Dvorak and Tchaikovsky at the Carnival Center, where the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia performs Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, March l7.
Among the operas to be presented this winter in south Florida are Puccini’s Tosca, Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles, Verdi’s La Traviata, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Handel’s Julius Caesar.
The New World Symphony, with pianist Yefim Bronfman and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, play Smetana, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev at the Carnival Center, on April l2. A free U.S. Army Band Concert will be held March 12, also at the Carnival Center.
On the dance scene, the Kravis Center hosts the Martha Graham Dance Company on Feb. l0. The Miami City Ballet is at the Kravis Center Feb. l5-l7, and the Moiseyev Dance Company performs there Feb. 29, and at the Carnival Center March 2. Ballet Florida presents Cleopatra, at the Kravis Center, March 7 and 8.
On March 1, Miami City Ballet’s program for young people presents Cinderella, at the Carnival Center, where The Sleeping Beauty, by the American Ballet Theatre, will be performed March l3.
A multimedia group show, featuring contemporary Israeli artists, continues at the Rosen Museum Gallery, in the Levis JCC, Boca Raton, until Feb. l7. The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, has the exhibit “A Show of Hands,” which features photography and sculpture from more than l00 artists, until March 25. “Alexander Calder Jewelry,” also at the Norton, runs from Feb. 23 into June.
The Society of the Four Arts presents “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero.” The paintings are on exhibit until Feb. 24. From March 8 to April l3, the Society presents “Raoul Dufy: A Celebration of Beauty.”
“PsalmSong” is at the Jewish Museum of Florida, 301-311 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, through April 6. It is an art installation inspired by three elements: l0 Psalms from the Book of Psalms, which are recited to promote healing; Kabbalah, a mode of mysticism attempting to illuminate the connection between the divine and human worlds; and healing traditions from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages.
“Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures,” features Degas’ complete sculptures, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, until April 27.
An abundance of festivals keeps visitors on the go as much as they wish. The 34th annual Miami Beach Festival of the Arts takes place Feb. 9-10. One of the most prestigious cultural festivals on the east coast, the event showcases the juried artwork of more than l50 artists from across the nation.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival runs Feb. 21-24. Some kosher products are sure to be part of the scene.
The fantastic arts scene, which now is so much a part of south Florida, is due in large part to Judy Drucker who, 40 years ago, formed the Great Artists Series, and the Concert Association of Florida, working tirelessly to bring great music to the region.
On Feb. l3, Drucker will be honored by the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) at its annual gala dinner, in the Westin Diplomat Resort, with the Light of Philanthropy Award. Renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman performs, and among those attending will be Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel.