Thursday, August 5, 2010

ArtsBuzz: 'Spring Awakening' set for Kravis; Classical South Florida chief mum on WXEL changes

Sarah Stevens and Trey Gerrald in ‬Spring Awakening.
(Photo by Joan Marcus)

‭The Kravis Center‭’‬s‭ ‬19th season of theater,‭ ‬film,‭ ‬music,‭ ‬dance and comedy will include a performance in March of‭ ‬Spring Awakening,‭ ‬the Duncan Sheik adaptation of Franz Wedekind‭’‬s play that won the Tony for best musical in‭ ‬2007.

In its initial run,‭ ‬the musical starred Lea Michele,‭ ‬the current star of Fox‭’‬s TV show-choir comedy,‭ ‬Glee.‭ ‬The rock musical of young adult self-discovery will be presented March‭ ‬2.‭

In addition,‭ ‬the performing arts center will mount another season‭ ‬of its Kravis on Broadway series,‭ ‬which features trunk shows of‭ ‬Dreamgirls‭ (‬Nov.‭ ‬23-28‭)‬,‭ ‬Beauty and the Beast‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬4-9‭)‬,‭ ‬Young Frankenstein‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬1-6‭)‬,‭ ‬West Side Story‭ (‬March‭ ‬8-13‭)‬,‭ ‬and‭ ‬The Color Purple‭ (‬May‭ ‬10-15‭)‬.

Also,‭ ‬Idina Menzel,‭ ‬famed for her work‭ ‬in‭ ‬Rent‭ ‬and‭ ‬Wicked and now a recurring character on‭ ‬Glee,‭ ‬arrives Dec.‭ ‬17‭ ‬with an orchestra in tow,‭ ‬and Mandy Patinkin,‭ ‬lately of CBS‭’‬ Criminal Minds,‭ ‬returns to the Kravis on Dec.‭ ‬31‭ ‬with his Dress Casual concert.‭ ‬Another Broadway standout,‭ ‬Bernadette Peters,‭ ‬is back for a show April‭ ‬9.

Other theater-related shows coming to the Kravis include two productions by the New York-based Aquila Theatre Company:‭ ‬Pirandello‭’‬s‭ ‬Six Characters in Search of an Author‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬20-21‭)‬,‭ ‬and Shakespeare‭’‬s‭ ‬A Midsummer Night‭’‬s Dream‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬22-23‭)‬.‭ ‬The Monty Python musical‭ ‬Spamalot arrives Dec.‭ ‬26‭ ‬for one evening,‭ ‬and on Jan.‭ ‬12,‭ ‬the Barter Theatre presents two performances of‭ ‬Forever Plaid,‭ ‬inspired by the vocal group music of the‭ ‬1950s.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬veteran actress Shirley MacLaine hosts a one-night retrospective of her career Feb.‭ ‬8.

Other notable acts in the coming season:

Comedy:‭ ‬Whoopi Goldberg‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬14‭)‬,‭ ‬Don Rickles and Joan Rivers‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬26‭)‬,‭ ‬Tim Conway‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬16‭) ‬and Jackie Mason‭ (‬March‭ ‬6‭)‬,‭ ‬all of whom are preceded Dec.‭ ‬27‭ ‬by a segment of the‭ ‬Last Comic Standing tour,‭ ‬based on the popular NBC show.

Boomer pop,‭ ‬mostly:‭ ‬The Doobie Brothers‭ (‬Nov.‭ ‬13‭)‬,‭ ‬Paula Cole‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬1‭)‬,‭ ‬Judy Collins‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬16‭)‬,‭ ‬John Tesh with a Christmas program‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬18‭)‬,‭ ‬Michael Bolton‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬13‭)‬,‭ ‬Roberta Flack‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬19‭)‬,‭ ‬Kenny Loggins‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬24‭)‬,‭ ‬Aztec Two-Step in a Simon and Garfunkel tribute‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬28-29‭)‬,‭ ‬Frankie Valli‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬11‭)‬,‭ ‬the Temptations and the Four Tops‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬17‭)‬,‭ ‬Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks‭ (‬April‭ ‬7‭)‬,‭ ‬Boz Scaggs‭ (‬April‭ ‬13‭)‬,‭ ‬Smokey Robinson‭ (‬April‭ ‬14‭)‬,‭ ‬Yanni‭ (‬April‭ ‬15‭)‬,‭ ‬the Beach Boys‭ (‬April‭ ‬17‭)‬,‭ ‬and the Beatles tribute band Rain‭ (‬June‭ ‬3-4‭)‬.

Crooners:‭ ‬Paul Anka‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬29‭)‬,‭ ‬Vic Damone‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬22‭)‬,‭ ‬Michael Feinstein in a Frank Sinatra tribute‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬19‭)‬,‭ ‬Engelbert Humperdinck‭ (‬March‭ ‬30‭)‬,‭ ‬Billy Stritch in a Mel Tormé tribute‭ (‬April‭ ‬1-2‭)‬,‭ ‬Steve Lippia,‭ ‬in a Sinatra tribute‭ (‬April‭ ‬6‭)‬,‭ ‬and Frankie Avalon,‭ ‬Fabian and Bobby Rydell‭ (‬April‭ ‬8‭)‬.Dance:‭ ‬Hubbard Street Dance Chicago‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬14‭)‬,‭ ‬Moscow Classic Ballet,‭ ‬with‭ ‬The Nutcracker‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬22-24‭)‬,‭ ‬State Ballet Theatre of Russia,‭ ‬with‭ ‬Swan Lake‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬2‭)‬,‭ ‬Pilobolus‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬15‭)‬,‭ ‬the National Dance Company of Ireland‭ (‬March‭ ‬16‭)‬,‭ ‬Koresh Dance Company‭ (‬April‭ ‬14-16‭)‬.

In addition to the previously announced classical music Regional Arts series,‭ ‬the Kravis‭ ‬will‭ ‬presents four performances in its Young Artists series in the Rinker Playhouse.‭ ‬The Morgenstern Trio,‭ ‬a piano trio based in Germany,‭ ‬appears Nov.‭ ‬30,‭ ‬followed Jan.‭ ‬17‭ ‬by the Sixth Floor Trio,‭ ‬a threesome of piano,‭ ‬clarinet and bassoon whose pianist,‭ ‬Teddy Abrams,‭ ‬is a conducting fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami.‭ ‬Cellist Dmitri Kouzov takes the stage Feb.‭ ‬14,‭ ‬accompanied by pianist Tao Lin,‭ ‬a Lynn University faculty member,‭ ‬and pianist Michael Mizrahi closes the series April‭ ‬14.

Also,‭ ‬the Boston Pops,‭ ‬directed by Keith Lockhart,‭ ‬comes to the Kravis for two performances March‭ ‬20‭ ‬of a tribute to Cole Porter in the‭ ‬120th anniversary year of the songwriter‭’‬s birth in Indiana‭; ‬Broadway veterans Kelli O‭’‬Hara and Brian D‭’‬Arcy James guest.‭ ‬In addition,‭ ‬jazz trumpeter and crossover artist Chris Botti returns to South Florida with a March‭ ‬17‭ ‬performance,‭ ‬and South Florida Latin jazz icon Arturo Sandoval performs with singer Connie James on Dec.‭ ‬30.‭

For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬832-7469‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬www.kravis.org.

Douglas Evans of Classical South Florida.

Classical South Florida undecided on WXEL programming

The president of Classical South Florida said Tuesday night his company has not yet made any programming decisions about WXEL radio,‭ ‬which it bought earlier this year.

Classical South Florida has a‭ “‬deep commitment to the cultural well-being of South Florida,‭” ‬Douglas Evans told the Boynton Beach City Commission.‭ ‬But he declined to be specific about what would be heard on the Boynton Beach-based radio station if its sale,‭ ‬which faces regulatory hearings,‭ ‬is formally approved.

“‬We believe in quality radio,‭” ‬he said.‭ “‬We have not made any determinations as to what the programming will be yet.‭”

Commissioner William Orlove told Evans that‭ “‬you keep talking about cultural,‭” ‬but have said nothing about‭ “‬financial,‭ ‬lifestyle‭” ‬or other kinds of programming.

‭“‬We believe in quality radio,‭” ‬Evans repeated,‭ ‬adding that Classical South Florida would respond to‭ “‬community feedback.‭”

The makeup of WXEL’s broadcasts is a point of concern for groups that oppose the sale of WXEL to Classical South Florida,‭ ‬a Fort Lauderdale-based station owned by American Public Media of St.‭ ‬Paul,‭ ‬Minn.‭ ‬WXEL‭ (‬90.7‭ ‬FM‭) ‬and its sister television station‭ (‬Channel‭ ‬42‭) ‬have been owned since‭ ‬1997‭ ‬by Barry University,‭ ‬a private Catholic institution in Miami Shores.

Strategic Broadcast Media,‭ ‬the Community Broadcast Foundation,‭ ‬the WXEL Community Advisory Board,‭ ‬and the Boynton Beach city attorney have all expressed concern that the sale will deprive the community of regular public affairs programming.‭

Barry put the radio station on the market in‭ ‬2004,‭ ‬and after numerous failed purchasing attempts by a variety of entities,‭ ‬Classical South Florida and Barry reached a‭ ‬$3.85‭ ‬million cash sales agreement in April.

However,‭ ‬what Classical South Florida is buying is only the radio station’s operating license.‭ ‬Barry will retain ownership of the radio station itself,‭ ‬and all of its equipment‭ –‬the lease of which by Classical South Florida has been‭ “‬guaranteed‭” ‬for one year in the deal with Barry,‭ ‬Evans told commissioners. ‭ ‬Evans also said his company has‭ “‬no interest‭” ‬in also buying WXEL television.

The question of WXEL’s license transfer to Classical South Florida must be heard and approved by the State Board of Education,‭ ‬and then given final approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

The State Board of Education meets again in September,‭ ‬but does not yet have the WXEL question on its agenda.


Dolora Zajick as Azucena in Verdi’s‭ ‬Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera.

Palm Beach Opera adds Verdi Requiem in concert

The Palm Beach Opera will present a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi‭’‬s Requiem‭ ‬in January,‭ ‬the company‭ ‬announced Monday.

The concert,‭ ‬set for Jan.‭ ‬16,‭ ‬will feature mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick,‭ ‬renowned for her Verdi roles,‭ ‬rising young soprano Angela Meade and bass Morris Robinson.‭ ‬An announcement about the tenor in the solo quartet is expected this week.

Palm Beach Opera artistic director Bruno Aprea‭ ‬will lead the company‭’‬s orchestra in the concert,‭ ‬which will take place at‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬at the Kravis Center.‭

The chorus will be augmented by guest choruses to create a‭ ‬150-voice ensemble,‭ ‬Palm Beach Opera officials said.‭ ‬The performance will be followed by a gala dinner with the artists and the concert‭’‬s sponsor,‭ ‬noted philanthropist Helen K.‭ ‬Persson.‭

Tickets for the concert will go on sale Oct.‭ ‬2,‭ ‬and range from‭ ‬$20-$125.‭ ‬Tickets for the dinner are‭ ‬$375‭ ‬and come with premium seats for the Requiem.

The Verdi Requiem,‭ ‬written in‭ ‬1873,‭ ‬is widely considered one of the composer‭’‬s finest works.‭ ‬The late British scholar Julian Budden,‭ ‬in his‭ ‬1985‭ ‬monograph on the composer,‭ ‬wrote‭ ‬:‭ ‬“The question,‭ ‬‘which is Verdi‭’‬s supreme masterpiece‭?‬’ is as difficult to answer as in the case of any great artist.‭ ‬But if it be changed to‭ ‬‘which work shows his genius at‭ ‬its most concentrated‭?‬’ then the answer must surely be the Requiem.‭”

The opera company,‭ ‬which will marks its‭ ‬50th anniversary next year,‭ ‬is presenting three full productions and one semi-staged production for the upcoming season.‭ ‬Verdi‭’‬s‭ ‬Nabucco opens the season on Dec.‭ ‬10-13,‭ ‬followed by two concert mountings of Gluck‭’‬s‭ ‬Orfeo ed Euridice on Jan.‭ ‬21‭ ‬and‭ ‬23.‭ ‬The third of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas,‭ ‬Così fan Tutte,‭ ‬takes the stage Feb.‭ ‬25-28,‭ ‬and the season concludes with Puccini‭’‬s‭ ‬Tosca from March‭ ‬25-28.‭

For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬833-7888‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬www.pbopera.org.


The Flagler Museum.

Flagler gets grant‭ ‬to translate audio tours into three languages

The Flagler Museum on Palm Beach has received a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services‭ ‬that will allow the Whitehall mansion‭’‬s audio tour to be translated into Spanish,‭ ‬French and German.

The three-year,‭ ‬$95,198‭ ‬grant will also enable the translations to be used in virtual tours on the Flagler Museum’s website‭.

“This grant will provide the funding to dramatically improve the visitors‭' ‬experience among international visitors to the Flagler Museum,‭” ‬Executive Director John Blades said in a prepared statement.

The grant was announced July‭ ‬26.‭ ‬The Flagler Museum is located in the opulent‭ ‬1902‭ ‬Beaux Arts residence of Henry Flagler,‭ ‬founder of the Florida East Coast Railway as well as Palm Beach,‭ ‬and often considered the father of Miami and of modern Florida.‭

Norton Museum lays off‭ ‬11

Citing budget constraints,‭ ‬the Norton Museum of Art laid off‭ ‬11‭ ‬staff members at the end of June.

The‭ ‬11‭ ‬Norton employees,‭ ‬who were laid off June‭ ‬28,‭ ‬worked in all the museum departments except for education,‭ ‬officials said.‭ ‬The employees were given severance packages and outplacement help,‭ ‬the museum said.

‭“‬This is something we did not want to do,‭ ‬but the economy over the past two years has given us no choice,‭” ‬Hope Alswang,‭ ‬who took over as director of the West Palm Beach museum in April,‭ ‬said in a news release.‭ “‬Endowment income,‭ ‬government support,‭ ‬and corporate giving are all down.‭ ‬The arts community across the country has been impacted and we are no exception.‭”

Alswang also said in the statement that she was‭ “‬optimistic‭” ‬the economy will begin improving,‭ ‬but that current conditions required the museum to be‭ “‬responsible‭” ‬and make the cuts.‭

-- Compiled by Jan Engoren,‭ ‬John Johnson and Greg Stepanich‭

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