theParklander

The New Season - Highlights of Concerts, Stage Performances, Museums and More
By David Volz / November, December, 2011

South Florida is thriving when it comes to arts and culture. We have a vibrant community filled with ballet, other forms of dance, symphonic concerts, opera, visual arts, performances of singing and musical groups and theater. Savvy culture vultures know that it is important to identify shows of interest and buy their tickets early, in case of sell-outs.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach features international artists and attractions from every discipline. Its twentieth anniversary is being celebrated with smash Broadway hits, comedy giants, and superstars from rock, pop and classical music.

Linda Birdsey, marketing manager of the Kravis, says, "Highlights of the upcoming season will include two different Pattis (LaBelle and LuPone), two daytime legends on one stage (Regis Philbin and Susan Lucci), the Munich Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Moscow Classical Ballet, as well as musical tributes ranging from Tommy Dorsey to the fully staged rock concerts of Elvis Presley and Pink Floyd, along with stage sensations Hair, Stomp, and Blast."

She also mentions another popular show on the schedule, Mamma Mia. "The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship to a trip down the aisle the audience will never forget," says Birdsey.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale is also celebrating its twentieth anniversary. "The XVI International Ballet Festival of Miami proudly presents Italian Night on September 16 in the Amaturo Theater as part of the Arts Access program," says Savannah Whaley, a public relations official with the center.

This includes two of the most famous contemporary ballet companies from Europe performing for the first time in Broward County with cutting-edge and innovative choreography. Broward Center also presents Sesame Street Live: Elmo's Healthy Heroes from September 24 to 26. "When Super Grover loses his superness, Elmo and his team of healthy heroes use song and dance to teach him healthy habits such as exercise, nutrition, sleep/energy and hygiene," says Whaley.

Boca Ballet Theatre blends the talents of local dance students with professional ballet dancers from all over the world. The season opens with The Nutcracker on November 26 and 27 and closes on August 4, 2012 with a repertory concert, Summer Heat, presented at FAU University Theater. Cindy Surman, assistant to the directors, says, "Boca Ballet Theatre Guild will be presenting its annual fall fundraising luncheon, 'A Princely Affair,' on November 6 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, with an elegant afternoon including delicious fare, exciting raffle prizes and a dance performance of excerpts from the upcoming exciting season of dance."

A special event occurs in winter at the Palm Beach Opera in West Palm Beach in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary gala on January 20 and 22. "We will look back on fifty years of grand opera in Palm Beach with scenes from La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, Pagliacci, Carmen, Aida and more," says Anne Baskin, donor relations coordinator.

The most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet, is coming to the Palm Beach Opera in late February.

The Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale currently presents The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography now through September 25. The exhibition is organized in thematic sections -- children and family, love, wellness, caregiving and healing, disaster, aging and remembering. "It examines how key events are celebrated and honored and how pivotal decisions are made by different cultures throughout the world," says Emily McCrater, communications and visitor services manager. "The two hundred photographs in the exhibition have been lent by artists, museums, private collectors and from the holdings of the Time/LIFE Picture Collection."

The National Art Festival on January 28 and 29 is another fabulous visual opportunity. "It brings scores of artists and crafts people to Fort Lauderdale to exhibit their wares and offer works for sale," says McCrater. "It is a wonderful tradition on the museum's new plaza and across Las Olas Boulevard in Huizenga Park," said McCrater.

Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale offers family entertainment through

concerts, comedy and theater. Other theatrical highlights of the season suitable for children include Mother Goose: A Pocket Full of Rhymes, on Saturday, October 29 at Rose and Alfred Miniaci Theater on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble on November 6 at the

Broward Center, and Ramona Quimby
on January 28 at Miramar Cultural Center/ArtsPark.

Arts, culture and entertainment aficionados are sure to make all of these wonderful South Florida venues home during the upcoming season.




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