Monday, February 28, 2011

Opera review: Second 'Cosi' cast shows off voices of great promise

Patricia Risley and Joel Prieto in Così fan Tutte.

By Rex Hearn

This refined,‭ ‬delicate,‭ ‬good-looking production of Mozart’s‭ ‬Così fan Tutte,‭ ‬with swaths of brilliantly lit open spaces,‭ ‬marble statues and lovely costumes,‭ ‬harks back to productions at the Salzburg Festival in‭ ‬1982‭ ‬--‭ ‬even down to the same sunshade beach umbrella.

There’s nothing wrong with that:‭ ‬Imitation is the finest form of flattery,‭ ‬after all.‭ ‬It shows the careful planning that went into this staging,‭ ‬because this opera,‭ ‬a bit of puffery really,‭ ‬demands focus on the music.‭ ‬And what brilliant tunes Mozart writes for Lorenzo Da‭ ‬Ponte’s crazy libretto about faithfulness,‭ ‬trust and constancy,‭ ‬especially in this opera,‭ ‬where one man bets his two young friends their sweethearts will not be true to them.‭

Così fan Tutte came‭ ‬from nowhere.‭ ‬There’s not a‭ ‬line of scholarship to suggest it was ‭ ‬commissioned.‭ ‬My guess is that having worked together on‭ ‬The Marriage of Figaro and‭ ‬Don Giovanni,‭ ‬Mozart and Da Ponte decided to have some fun and write about what they knew best:‭ ‬romantic adventures.‭ ‬Mozart’s many love affairs with his lead sopranos are legion.‭ ‬And Lorenzo Da‭ ‬Ponte had been kicked out of Rome and Venice for his womanizing before arriving in Vienna.

It’s not that he was out of ideas.‭ ‬He wrote‭ ‬50‭ ‬libretti in his‭ ‬90-year span.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬I bet they split the profits.‭ ‬Mozart,‭ ‬hard up as usual,‭ ‬asked his friend Michael Puchberg for a loan in December‭ ‬1789‭ ‬on certain repayment‭ ‬from the management of the producing‭ ‬theatre the following January.

‭“‬Come to the theatre on‭ ‬20‭ ‬January at‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.,‭” ‬he wrote Puchberg,‭ “‬and only you and Joseph Haydn will be allowed to see a rehearsal of my opera.‭” ‬This is all that’s known of the origins of‭ ‬Così fan Tutte.‭

Andrew Schroeder and Caitlin Lynch in Così fan Tutte.

I saw Palm Beach Opera’s production of the opera Saturday.‭ ‬Stage Director Stephen Lawless‭’‬ handling of the cast in movement and set situations is almost flawless,‭ ‬but there’s too much plopping down,‭ ‬using steps for seats.‭ ‬Give them benches,‭ ‬please‭!

Also missing was the huge Mesmer magnet Despina uses to revive the‭ “‬sick‭” ‬men.‭ ‬Instead,‭ ‬a Benjamin Franklin kite charged with electricity in a storm,‭ ‬replaces the magnet.‭ ‬It fits the time frame of this opera perfectly.

Conductor Gianluca Martinenghi conducted beautifully,‭ ‬letting the orchestra accompany the singers in softer tones than is usual,‭ ‬which highlighted their singing.‭ ‬The refinement began with‭ ‬Martinenghi’s subtle baton in a remarkably exquisite reading of the overture.‭

Caitlin Lynch as Fiordiligi‭ ‬was superb,‭ ‬especially her‭ ‬Come scoglio in Act I.‭ ‬Her acting and singing mark her as a young soprano on the cusp of a great opera career.‭ ‬Dorabella,‭ ‬sung by Patricia Risley,‭ ‬has a distinct mezzo soprano voice that blended well with Lynch’s,‭ ‬her every acting gesture just right,‭ ‬never overdone.‭

Abigail Nims,‭ ‬a lovely mezzo,‭ ‬had little to do in this‭ “‬refined‭”‬ production.‭ ‬I’ve seen productions of‭ ‬Così‭ ‬where this small role steals the show in vulgar‭ ‬ways.‭ ‬Not so here.

Baritone Andrew Schroeder gave a magnificent account of his role as Guglielmo.‭ ‬He has a finely tuned instrument that flows along like golden honey.‭ ‬And Joel Pietro,‭ ‬the lovesick tenor Ferrando, ‭ ‬gave a very fine reading of Un’aura amorosa,‭ ‬the Mozart tune that ‭ ‬is most remembered for its phrasing and absolute beauty.‭

The Don Alfonso of bass Matteo Peirone moved about the stage well but was vocally tired that night‭;‬ he sings in all performances.

In the Vienna of‭ ‬1790,‭ ‬this opera had one month’s run in January and a three-month summer run,‭ ‬so if the two authors got their fair share of the receipts,‭ ‬they did well.

Rex Hearn founded the Berkshire Opera Company in Massachusetts.‭ ‬He has reviewed opera in South Florida since‭ ‬1995.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Opera review: PB Opera's 'Cosi' well-sung, craftily staged

Sabina Cvilak and Jurgita Adamonyte in Così fan Tutte.

By Greg Stepanich

The Palm Beach Opera is closing its three-year survey of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas with a somewhat minimalist but well-staged and ably sung production of‭ ‬Così fan Tutte.

Friday night found a cast of young,‭ ‬handsome singers working inside a Stephen Lawless reading of the opera that was easy to understand,‭ ‬almost plausible,‭ ‬and full of smart,‭ ‬interesting stage business that added depth to the action without overwhelming it or detracting from the elegance of the late-Mozart score.

If there wasn‭’‬t much exceptional singing Friday night,‭ ‬there nevertheless‭ ‬was plenty of good vocal work from each of the characters,‭ ‬particularly in the second act,‭ ‬which was noticeably more confident and lively than the first.

The Slovenian soprano Sabina Cvilak,‭ ‬making a return appearance to the house after her turn as Desdemona‭ ‬last season‭ ‬in Verdi‭’‬s‭ ‬Otello,‭ ‬made a‭ ‬good Fiordiligi,‭ ‬especially in her moments of peak emotional crisis in the second act.‭ ‬She has a strong,‭ ‬round voice with a nice darkness in the lower registers,‭ ‬and a highly polished finish throughout its compass.‭

Her work in the big second-act aria‭ ‬Per pietà‭ ‬ben mio was very impressive,‭ ‬with clean shifts in the jumps from top to bottom,‭ ‬and a persuasive interpretive sense of psychological turmoil.‭ ‬Her voice blended beautifully‭ ‬with that of her operatic sister,‭ ‬Lithuanian mezzo Jurgita Adamonyte‭ (‬beginning with the‭ ‬Soave‭ ‬sia il vento in Act I‭)‬,‭ ‬and she managed to make the most of a rather cool stage temperature.

Adamonyte,‭ ‬as Dorabella,‭ ‬was considerably warmer,‭ ‬in part because the character calls for it,‭ ‬but she also is an appealing actress who made her second-act duet with Guglielmo‭ ‬(Il core vi dono‭) ‬delightful to watch.‭ ‬Like Cvilak she‭ ‬has a strong,‭ ‬well-rounded voice,‭ ‬and one with a little more presence.

Her‭ ‬E amore un ladroncello‭ ‬was charmingly sung,‭ ‬and her flirty,‭ ‬happy interpretation‭ ‬of it‭ ‬an excellent match for Dorabella,‭ ‬who too often is asked to present this aria through a sadder-but-wiser scrim of hard-won knowledge.

David Adam Moore and Norman Shankle in Cosi fan Tutte.

The men were equally solid.‭ ‬Tenor Norman Shankle,‭ ‬last season‭’‬s Cassio in‭ ‬Otello,‭ ‬has a lightly colored but forceful and flexible voice that‭’‬s ideal for Mozart.‭ ‬The added‭ ‬heat he brought to his singing in the crucial duet with Fiordiligi added a fresh,‭ ‬nervous color to the voice that was quite attractive.‭

Baritone David Adam Moore was a fine Guglielmo whose voice also has the right kind of weight and suppleness for Mozart.‭ ‬His acting was good,‭ ‬both solo and with Shankle,‭ ‬and his‭ ‬Donne mie,‭ ‬la fate a tanti had a definitive quality to it that made it memorable.

As Don Alfonso,‭ ‬the Italian bass Matteo Peirone was absolutely on point.‭ ‬He had just the right kind of smirky knowingness as the moral philosopher who sets this comedy in motion,‭ ‬and the conversational style of his firm,‭ ‬warm voice embodied the character every bit as much as his acting.

The role of Despina is a gift for a comic singer,‭ ‬and mezzo Abigail Nims was marvelous at it.‭ ‬She has a big voice with a sharp,‭ ‬cutting sound when she needs it,‭ ‬and she got the second act off to a wonderful start with her‭ ‬Una donna a quindici anni.‭ ‬The quality of her singing was apparent early in the first act,‭ ‬and‭ ‬not just with‭ ‬In uomini,‭ ‬in soldati:‭ ‬In the sextet before Fiordiligi‭’‬s‭ ‬Come scoglio,‭ ‬you could‭ ‬hear Nims tossing off those fast leaps‭ ‬at‭ ‬Io non so,‭ ‬se son Vallachi‭ ‬with pinpoint accuracy.‭

It‭’‬s worth pointing out here that this company has benefited in its last couple productions from‭ ‬the casting choices made by David Blackburn,‭ ‬the director of artistic operations.‭ ‬This‭ ‬Così cast was shrewdly assembled using‭ ‬voices of different colors,‭ ‬but with a broad unity of weight and agility‭; ‬Nims‭’‬s voice,‭ ‬which had the tightest focus,‭ ‬added the perfect standout spice to the mix.

Italian conductor Gianluca Martinenghi led the fine Palm Beach Opera Orchestra very carefully,‭ ‬and in the first act kept the volume level way down beneath his singers.‭ ‬It struck me as something too cautious,‭ ‬with the result that‭ ‬some of Mozart‭’‬s wit and vigor were drained out of the music.‭ ‬One missed the usual fire of principal conductor Bruno Aprea,‭ ‬though Martinenghi did an expert job of keeping things moving,‭ ‬and the orchestra played quite well for him.

Stage director Lawless,‭ ‬a veteran of the Glyndebourne touring company,‭ ‬working with a simple,‭ ‬almost severe set from Peter Dean Beck and scenery from the Altanta Opera,‭ ‬fills the space with intelligent choices.‭ ‬When Dorabella and Despina hear out Fiordiligi‭’‬s anguish in Act II,‭ ‬they do so lying on a bed next to each other,‭ ‬heads to the audience and feet toward on the headboard,‭ ‬as Fiordiligi stalks the room.‭ ‬It adds a whimsical‭ ‬Tiger Beat feel to the scene that beautifully sums up‭ ‬the two points of view on the fidelity issue,‭ ‬and makes the situation believable for a modern audience.

‭ ‬Other clever bits include Benjamin Franklin‭’‬s key-and-kite lightning deliverer as a substitute for Dr.‭ ‬Mesmer‭’‬s magnet,‭ ‬and a continuing bit with two colored sashes worn by the women,‭ ‬which for‭ ‬Fiordiligi becomes something of a set of worry beads,‭ ‬and for Dorabella becomes an object of playful seduction in her duet with Guglielmo,‭ ‬which Friday night actually raised some sexual heat.

Greg Ritchey‭’‬s chorus was solid and effective,‭ ‬and Kathy Waszkelewicz‭’‬s costumes were excellent‭ ‬– elegant and lovely at all times for the women‭ (‬even their undergarments at the opening of Act II‭)‬,‭ ‬and getups for the‭ “‬Albanians‭”‬ that almost made them convincing.‭

Così fan Tutte‬will be performed at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬today at the Kravis Center,‭ ‬with Caitlyn Lynch as Fiordiligi,‭ ‬Patricia Risley as Dorabella,‭ ‬Andrew Schroeder as Guglielmo and Joel Prieto as Ferrando.‭ ‬Friday night‭’‬s cast will return at‭ ‬2‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday,‭ ‬and tonight‭’‬s cast will return at‭ ‬2‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday.‭ ‬Tickets start at‭ ‬$23.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬833-7888‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬,‭ ‬or call‭ ‬832-7469‭ ‬or visit‭

Jurgita Adamonyte,‭ ‬Matteo Peirone
and Sabina Cvilak in Cosi fan Tutte.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekend arts picks: Feb. 25-27

Sabina Cvilak,‭ ‬David Adam Moore,‭ ‬Matteo Peirone,‭ ‬
Norman Shankle and Jurgita Adamonyte
in Cosi fan Tutte.

Music:‭ ‬Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote three operas with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,‭ ‬and Palm Beach Opera has presented the first two‭ – ‬Le Nozze di Figaro and‭ ‬Don Giovanni‭ – ‬over the past two seasons.‭ ‬Tonight,‭ ‬the company presents the last of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas,‭ ‬Cosi fan Tutte.‭ ‬In some ways the most important and radical of the three,‭ ‬it’s written to an original libretto and deals with questions of fidelity in a comic,‭ ‬but ultimately adult,‭ ‬way.‭ ‬Glyndebourne Festival veteran Stephen Lawless helms the production,‭ ‬which features Sabina Cvilak and Jurgita Adamonyte as Fiordiligi and Dorabella,‭ ‬and Norman Shankle and David Adam Moore as Ferrando and Guglielmo.‭ ‬That cast will appear tonight and Sunday afternoon‭; ‬the alternate cast features Caitlin Lynch and Patricia Risley in the two female leads,‭ ‬and Joel Prieto and Andrew Schroeder as their male foils.‭ ‬Curtain is‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬at the Kravis Center,‭ ‬with tickets starting at‭ ‬$23.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬833-7888‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬,‭ ‬or reach out to the Kravis at‭ ‬832-7469‭ ‬or‭ ‬

Hilary Hahn.

One of the finest violinists in the nation is Hilary Hahn,‭ ‬a prodigy whose first recording at‭ ‬17‭ ‬was a daring survey of the Bach solo literature,‭ ‬a choice that is most unusual but reflects the considerable intelligence of a woman who moonlights as a journalist for the great contemporary music Web portal Sequenza21.‭ ‬She appears in recital tonight at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart with the fine Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa.‭ ‬The two have been touring with the Beethoven‭ ‬Spring Sonata as well as sonatas by two American mavericks:‭ ‬Charles Ives‭ (‬Sonata No.‭ ‬4‭) ‬and George Antheil.‭ ‬Hahn has been a good advocate for American music since she recorded Edgar Meyer’s concerto on a disc with the Barber concerto,‭ ‬and her newest disc features the concerto of Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon,‭ ‬so expect musical empathy and impressive mastery of difficult material.‭ ‬Tickets for the‭ ‬8‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Ovation Concerts show are‭ ‬$75.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬772-286-7827‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

A scene from Outside the Law.

Film:‭ ‬Just in time for you to fill out your Oscar ballot is the local opening of‭ ‬Outside the Law,‭ ‬a nominee for Best Foreign‭ ‬Language Film from Algeria.‭ ‬It is a look at that nation’s struggle for independence from France,‭ ‬as seen through the personal battles of three brothers.‭ ‬One is a soldier,‭ ‬another an imprisoned revolutionary and the third a money-grubbing hustler.‭ ‬In this epic film‭ ‬--‭ ‬one of the most expensive ever made in Algeria‭ ‬--‭ ‬they seek bitter revenge for the way they were thrown off their land as youngsters,‭ ‬with family and country as the priorities.‭ ‬Within that context,‭ ‬the well-acted,‭ ‬involving film takes the shape of a gangster picture.‭ ‬Opening today. -- H. Erstein

Erin Joy Schmidt,‭ ‬Jim Ballard and Sarah Grace Wilson in Dinner with Friends.

Theater:‭ ‬Palm Beach Dramaworks usually trafficks in heavyweight classics from writers like Shaw,‭ ‬O’Neill or Ibsen,‭ ‬but they now turn to a contemporary master,‭ ‬Donald Margulies,‭ ‬and his Pulitzer Prize winner from‭ ‬2000,‭ ‬Dinner with Friends.‭ ‬Dramatic,‭ ‬but with plenty of painful humor,‭ ‬it is the tale of two couples,‭ ‬longtime friends whose lives are deeply affected in unexpected ways when one couple splits up over an act of infidelity.‭ ‬Resident director J.‭ ‬Barry Lewis helms a production that features Erin Joy Schmidt and Jim Ballard as nurturing food writers and Sarah Grace Wilson and Eric Martin Brown‭ ‬--‭ ‬married in real life‭ ‬--‭ ‬as the divorcing couple.‭ ‬Opening today and running through April‭ ‬17.‭ ‬Call‭ (‬561‭) ‬514-4042‭ ‬for tickets. -- H. Erstein

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Theater feature: 'Next Fall' marks Hall's return to Caldwell director's chair

Tom Wahl and Josh Canfield in Next Fall.‭
(‬Photo by Dustin Hamilton‭)

By Hap Erstein

More than a year and a half ago,‭ ‬Caldwell Theatre co-founder Michael Hall handed off the artistic reins of the Boca Raton stage company he had run for‭ ‬36‭ ‬years.‭ ‬But he suspected it was just a matter of time before we would be back directing a production there,‭ ‬and that time is now.

Opening Friday evening is Hall‭’‬s staging of‭ ‬Next Fall,‭ ‬the Tony Award-nominated play from last season that he has been itching to direct since he happened upon it off-Broadway in‭ ‬2009.

As he often did on scouting trips to New York,‭ ‬he called up two of his favorite actresses‭ ‬--‭ ‬Pat Nesbit and Vicki Boyle‭ ‬--‭ ‬who had appeared often on the Caldwell stage over the years,‭ ‬and asked them what they should see.‭

“Nesbit said,‭ ‬‘Well,‭ ‬a friend of mine has written a play.‭ ‬I was on tour with him in‭ ‬‘Biloxi Blues.‭’’‬ So they bought tickets and we went,‭ ‬not knowing anything about it.‭ ‬At intermission,‭ ‬we just kind of looked at each other,‭ ‬saying,‭ ‬‘Wow,‭ ‬this is‭ ‬wonderful,‭’‬ ” and Hall began working on getting the performance rights to‭ ‬Next Fall for the Caldwell.

Nesbit‭’‬s friend is Geoffrey Nauffts,‭ ‬artistic director of the Naked Angels theater troupe,‭ ‬and his play concerns an unlikely gay couple‭ ‬--‭ ‬15‭ ‬years apart in age,‭ ‬one a devout Christian fundamentalist,‭ ‬the other a staunch atheist.‭ ‬As the play begins,‭ ‬the younger partner,‭ ‬Luke,‭ ‬has just been in a car accident that lands him in an intensive care unit,‭ ‬as relatives and friends hold vigil in the hospital waiting room.‭

Over the course of‭ ‬15‭ ‬scenes that flash back and forth cinematically over a five-year span,‭ ‬we get to know Luke,‭ ‬his lover Adam,‭ ‬Luke‭’‬s homophobic father Butch,‭ ‬his divorced mother and Adam‭’‬s boss at a candle shop,‭ ‬where he is underemployed.‭

The Caldwell seems a natural fit for the play,‭ ‬since Hall has long championed gay-themed works there,‭ ‬from‭ ‬Bent‭ ‬to‭ ‬The Boys in the Band to‭ ‬Gross Indecency:‭ ‬The Trials of Oscar Wilde to‭ ‬Take Me Out.‭ ‬As Hall recalls,‭ “‬The first time we did‭ ‬‘Bent‭’‬ we were terrified,‭ ‬but that was a long‭ ‬time ago.‭ ‬And it was a standing-ovations screaming success.‭ ‬So we knew then that subject matter would not be a problem here.‭”

Besides,‭ ‬Hall does not consider‭ ‬Next Fall to be a gay play.‭ “‬I think it‭’‬s a play about religion or lack of it.‭ ‬I think this play really is about someone who totally and truly believes in a faith and someone who really does not,‭”‬ he says.‭ “‬While,‭ ‬yes,‭ ‬two of the characters are obviously gay,‭ ‬but it could be two genders.‭ ‬There are other major issues in the play and it‭’‬s very today.‭ ‬Times have changed.‭ ‬I think the majority of people think,‭ ‬‘We‭’‬re not going to be shocked anymore.‭ ‬That‭’‬s just a part of life.‭’‬ And‭ ‬‘Next Fall‭’‬ isn‭’‬t trying to shock anyone.‭”‬

If anything,‭ ‬the play wants the audience to consider its own view on religion and faith.‭ “‬You‭’‬re not going to change your feelings,‭ ‬but I think you will question what is possible,‭”‬ says Hall.‭ “‬And who doesn‭’‬t wonder,‭ ‬regardless of whether you were brought up religious,‭ ‬or agnostic or atheist,‭ ‬who doesn‭’‬t think‭ ‬about what happens and why are we here‭? ‬Nobody‭’‬s going to preach to you,‭ ‬but there are some very big questions being asked.‭”

Michael Hall.‭
(‬Illustration by Pat Crowley‭)

Ask Hall which side of the religion issue he personally comes down on and he will launch into a memory that he shared with the‭ ‬Next Fall cast.‭

“When I was a teenager,‭ ‬I was chosen to be one of thousands of Presbyterians from around the world to go to Grinnell,‭ ‬Iowa,‭ ‬to attend an international conference of Presbyterian youth.‭ ‬We were housed in Grinnell College,‭ ‬a religious school.‭ ‬And after the first day of all this singing and such,‭ ‬there was a little movie theater across the campus.‭ ‬I wandered over and on the marquee it said,‭ ‬‘Grinnell Native Jean Seberg in Saint Joan.‭’‬ Well,‭ ‬guess who went AWOL‭ (‬from the conference‭)‬.

“That was a pivotal moment in my life,‭ ‬because of Shaw,‭ ‬Saint Joan,‭ ‬the movies,‭ ‬Jean Seberg‭ ‬--‭ ‬even though I didn‭’‬t know who she was at the time.‭ ‬I guess the theater is my church.‭ ‬And so,‭ ‬where am I coming from‭? ‬Lots of‭ ‬questions,‭ ‬no certainty at all,‭ ‬but with a great regard for people who believe.‭ ‬I wish I could be that.‭”

As to what speaks most forcefully to him in‭ ‬Next Fall,‭ ‬Hall ponders for a minute and says,‭ “‬I think I find it very intriguing how people who come from totally different beliefs,‭ ‬ages and places,‭ ‬if they allow themselves to listen to each other,‭ ‬there will be hope for growth and peace in the world.‭ ‬I think it happens to Butch in the play,‭ ‬because finally he is willing to realize that certain things are‭ ‬true that he didn‭’‬t think should be or could be.‭”

If there is one thing that Hall is certain of,‭ ‬it is that he has enjoyed getting back into the director‭’‬s chair.‭ “‬It‭’‬s sort of like old times,‭ ‬because I never really left.‭ ‬I‭’‬m usually here once or twice a week,‭”‬ he says of the Caldwell.‭ “‬(New artistic director‭) ‬Clive‭ (‬Cholerton‭) ‬and I find ourselves e-mailing at‭ ‬3‭ ‬o‭’‬clock in the morning.‭ ‬It‭’‬s been really good to be able to do the things that I have wanted to do,‭ ‬and then be able to step back and direct a play.‭”

And if he could direct one production a season,‭ ‬that would be ideal,‭ ‬says Hall.‭ “‬We‭’‬re talking about next season.‭ ‬One a year would be really great.‭ ‬That would give me the time to really prepare it and cast it,‭ ‬which usually takes more time that you have.‭”

He is enjoying retirement,‭ ‬which has included travels to Russia,‭ ‬France and Germany,‭ ‬as well as writing a family history.‭ “‬I work as much,‭ ‬if not more,‭ ‬but I don‭’‬t have any deadlines,‭”‬ Hall says with a satisfied smile.‭ “‬I can write all day and don‭’‬t‭ ‬have to be somewhere for a meeting to raise money.‭”

NEXT FALL,‭ ‬Caldwell Theatre Co.,‭ ‬7901‭ ‬N.‭ ‬Federal‭ ‬Highway,‭ ‬Boca Raton.‭ ‬Sunday,‭ ‬Feb.‭ ‬20‭ ‬-‭ ‬Sunday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬27.‭ ‬Tickets:‭ ‬$27-$75.‭ ‬Call:‭ (‬561‭) ‬241-7432‭ ‬or‭ (‬877‭) ‬245-7432.‭

Irene Adjan,‭ ‬Tom Wahl and Josh Canfield in Next Fall.
(‬Photo by Dustin Hamilton‭)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Film feature: Documentary chronicles life in dance, photography

Steven Caras sets up a shot.

By Hap Erstein

The old saying,‭ ‬attributed to F.‭ ‬Scott Fitzgerald,‭ ‬declares that there are no second acts in American life.‭

But West Palm Beach’s Steve Caras has had a second,‭ ‬third and fourth life,‭ ‬re-inventing himself at regular intervals or at least tackling and mastering new careers.

He began as a classical dancer in the New York City Ballet,‭ ‬mentored by the great George Balanchine as what Caras calls‭ “‬his youngest male,‭ ‬least-trained dancer.‭” ‬Then Balanchine had a hunch about Caras’s talent with a camera,‭ ‬so he encouraged him to become the company’s photographer.‭

When he moved to South Florida,‭ ‬he taught classes and became the ballet master for the Miami City Ballet.‭ ‬Eventually,‭ ‬he specialized in fund-raising for Edward Villella’s troupe,‭ ‬a skill he later employed for Palm Beach Dramaworks.

But he has had to put that job on hold for yet another one,‭ ‬assisting filmmakers Deborah Novak and John Wittig in the creation of a documentary about himself,‭ ‬Steven Caras:‭ ‬See Them Dance.‭ ‬It receives its first public viewing Thursday at the Kravis Center’s Persson Hall,‭ ‬before airing at various public television stations around the country.‭ ‬Caras estimates he will be busy appearing with the film on pledge breaks for the next three years.

This cinematic journey began nearly two and a half years ago,‭ ‬when Caras got a phone call from Novak asking to meet with him.‭ ‬He assumed they wanted to use some of his photos for a project,‭ ‬a frequent request.

‭“‬Deborah did most of the talking and she started to tell me in detail about my life,‭ ‬since my starting dancing at‭ ‬15,‭ ‬the bullying that accompanied it,‭ ‬the issues with my father about it,‭ ‬then my getting into the New York City Ballet just three years later,‭” ‬Caras recalls.‭ “‬And she went on and on.‭ ‬It was puzzling that she knew so many personal things about me.

‭ “‬She had been fascinated quietly with my career and has watched me reinvent myself over and over again,‭ ‬in order to remain in reach of my beloved ballet world,‭” ‬he says.‭ “‬I was kind of stunned when they said they would like to profile my life,‭ ‬saying it’s an interesting story,‭ ‬very Billy Elliot-esque in my beginnings.‭ ‬Against all odds at a time and at a place when ballet was not what boys dove into without consequences.‭”

Caras’s reaction to the idea‭? “‬At first I thought it was my friend Sean fooling around.‭ ‬And then I recognized it was for real and I was stunned.‭ ‬But thrilled.‭”

He liked the filmmaking husband-and-wife team from the start,‭ ‬and simply went with his initial positive impression.‭ ‬He is glad he did,‭ ‬saying,‭ “‬Very much so,‭ ‬which is not to say that there haven’t been tense moments.‭ ‬Because unlike a major motion picture,‭ ‬there is a very lean team and the budget coincides with the leanness of the team.‭”

Caras estimates he was interviewed and filmed in action‭ ‬--‭ ‬on a photo shoot and conducting a dance class‭ ‬--‭ ‬for about‭ ‬12‭ ‬hours,‭ ‬most of which wound up on the cutting room floor.‭ ‬In addition,‭ ‬the film features dancers and choreographers Peter Martins,‭ ‬Jacques D’Amboise,‭ ‬Virginia Johnson,‭ ‬Kay Mazzo,‭ ‬Allegra Kent and Sean Lavery,‭ ‬as well as fine art and photography expert appraiser Sarah Morthland,‭ ‬the executive director of the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center,‭ ‬Jacqueline Z.‭ ‬Davis and Mia Michaels from TV’s‭ ‬So You Think You Can Dance,‭ ‬all talking about Caras.‭

Steven Caras today.

The Kravis premiere screening came about because of a special request by Caras.‭ “‬I had asked early on if it was possible,‭ ‬before it airs on television,‭ ‬to do a screening in my hometown,‭ ‬because I have really embraced South Florida as my home,‭” ‬he explains.‭ “‬And they said yes and the Kravis Center said they would love to put it on their calendar.‭”

Following the screening,‭ ‬Caras and Novak will be interviewed live by‭ ‬Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout.

And Caras made one more request that was granted‭ ‬--‭ ‬each couple in attendance will receive a DVD of‭ ‬See Them Dance,‭ ‬unavailable in stores,‭ ‬but destined to be a coveted public television pledge thank-you gift.

‭“‬On the DVD is a bonus feature called,‭ ‘‬All About Steve.‭’ ‬It’s me speaking at an informal lecture about my life,‭’ ‬he says.‭ “‬Can you believe it‭?”

STEVEN CARAS:‭ ‬SEE THEM DANCE,‭Kravis Center,‭ ‬Persson Hall,‭ ‬701‭ ‬Okeechobee‭ ‬Blvd.,‭ ‬West Palm Beach.‭ ‬Thursday,‭ ‬Feb.‭ ‬24,‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Tickets:‭ ‬$20.‭ ‬Call:‭ (‬561‭) ‬832-7469.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Art review: 'Extraordinary' apt word for Flagler's Urban retrospective

The Ziegfeld Theatre‭ (‬1926-27‭)‬,‭ ‬designed by Joseph Urban.
‭ ‬Demolished in‭ ‬1966.

By Gretel Sarmiento

Certain media,‭ ‬subjects and sizes benefit an artist more than others.‭ ‬And something in the creation process usually gets lost,‭ ‬while going from one to another.‭ ‬Some highlight skill while others harm it.‭ ‬Some encourage innovation while others enforce limits.‭

It is hard to be consistently extraordinary.‭ ‬But the Flagler Museum’s current show focuses on a man who was.

Named‭ ‬appropriately‭ ‬The‭ ‬Extraordinary Joseph Urban,‭ ‬running through April‭ ‬17,‭ ‬the show‭ ‬gently introduces us to the world created by an architect,‭ ‬illustrator,‭ ‬set designer and artist who went on to design sets‭ ‬for the opera stages of Boston and New York and for the‭ ‬Ziegfeld Follies,‭ ‬as well as buildings throughout the world.

Joseph Urban‭ (‬1872-1933‭)‬.

The exhibit is housed in three gallery rooms and consists of watercolor design drawings,‭ ‬illustrations,‭ ‬sculptures,‭ ‬set models and some furniture pieces designed for hotels and restaurants.‭ ‬We find the occasional photographs of the artist and the only surviving rendering of the demolished Oasis Club,‭ ‬in Palm Beach‭ (‬here in the second room‭)‬.‭ ‬It is a‭ ‬1926‭ ‬piece done in watercolor over pencil on board.‭ ‬There are also the only surviving vintage copies of Urban's elevations of the Mar-a-Lago estate.‭

All in all,‭ ‬the show is a tiny drop of a brilliant career that officially began at age‭ ‬19‭ ‬with a commission to design a new wing for the Abdin Palace in Cairo.‭ ‬Consider that by the time he died,‭ ‬in‭ ‬1933,‭ ‬Urban had designed more than‭ ‬500‭ ‬stage sets for more than‭ ‬168‭ ‬productions.‭

Urban‭ (‬1872-1933‭)‬ could not have been born in a better place at a better time.‭ ‬The Vienna of those years saw an artistic explosion that included,‭ ‬but was not limited,‭ ‬to artists,‭ ‬composers,‭ ‬poets and philosophers.‭ ‬Inner exploration,‭ ‬the search for the true self and the true mind were no strange practices either.‭ ‬It has been suggested that Urban was influenced by some radical theories that were starting to circulate then,‭ ‬courtesy of Dr.‭ ‬Sigmund Freud.

He trained as an architect and admired personalities such as Gustav Klimt and architect Adolf Loos. In fact,‭ ‬hints of Klimt are found in numerous small pieces here but are most undeniable in the figural wooden sculpture from‭ ‬1904‭ ‬standing in the second room.‭ ‬It is not just the touch of gold here and there on this piece that makes us think of the painter,‭ ‬but the shape of the hair and the posture of the half-naked woman.‭ ‬This reminds us of Klimt’s Salomes or Judiths.

The connection is there again,‭ ‬on the hairpiece of the female dressed in black in Urban’s‭ ‬1909‭ ‬drawing titled:‭ ‬Costume Designs for Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin at Stuttgart’s Hofoper.‭ ‬ Take a close look at the golden,‭ ‬circular patterns.‭ ‬Look familiar‭?

The Nightingale‭ (‬1911‭)‬,‭ ‬from the Andersen Kalender,‭ ‬by Joseph Urban.

Adorable illustrations‭ ‬that Urban created for the Grimm brothers‭’ ‬fairy tale books and calendars as well as for Hans Christian Andersen books,‭ ‬figure in the first room.‭ ‬They are soft and no doubt intended for a young audience,‭ ‬but in them no detail is forgotten and no expression is faked.‭

In his drawing titled‭ ‬Snow White,‭ ‬the loving prince dressed more as a knight,‭ ‬places his right hand on the glass capsule containing his beloved dead princess.‭ ‬Rather than muscular,‭ ‬dressed in golden armor,‭ ‬he is slim,‭ ‬consumed by grief or love.‭ ‬You can see the resignation taking over him while he stares at her.‭ ‬The gloomy scene is framed by a leaf motif that adds to the sense of death that is already present in the image.

Even if the main subject is a thing of legends‭ (‬a mermaid‭) ‬as in‭ ‬The Little Mermaid,‭ ‬why should Urban surrender the towering thick structure or the wooden medieval bridge to a fantastic world,‭ ‬too‭? ‬No.‭ ‬He paints them old,‭ ‬humid,‭ ‬showing the effects of a real world:‭ ‬cracks and erosion.‭ ‬Meanwhile,‭ ‬the mermaid is a fragile little being with flowers over her long blonde hair looking toward the distance and away from us.‭ ‬She could not be more magical.‭ ‬Realistic spaces can house imaginary things.‭

Elevation of The New School
for Social Research
Facade (1929‭)‬,‭

‬by Joseph Urban.

Coming from the first room of fairy tales,‭ ‬the second room appears,‭ ‬at first,‭ ‬too serious.‭
In a watercolor drawing from‭ ‬1929‭ ‬titled‭ ‬Elevation of the New School for Social Research Façade,‭ ‬everything is gray and calculated.‭ ‬No decorations or color here.‭ ‬Just the right number of windows and the right number of doors gives it a sleek/modern look.‭ ‬Nothing about it surprises.‭ ‬Not even the fonts chosen for‭ ‬The New School.

But as your eyes travel to the bottom of the building,‭ ‬there you see what Urban imagined would greet visitors and students at the entrance:‭ ‬books inside glass cases.‭ ‬Some of them are shown opened while others show off their colorful covers.‭ ‬A lamp,‭ ‬a curtain,‭ ‬chairs or a fruit basket are elements he uses even when he does not have to.‭ ‬Throughout the evolution of his buildings,‭ ‬he is keeping everything in mind.‭ ‬Buildings,‭ ‬after all,‭ ‬also have an audience,‭ ‬their own language and can evoke feelings,‭ ‬reactions.‭ ‬They are not created simply to store people or stuff.‭

In‭ ‬1912,‭ ‬Urban moved to the United States to become the art director of the Boston Opera.‭ ‬Two years later we find him in New York,‭ ‬where his refreshing use of color and line quickly made him‭ ‬many stage directors‭’ ‬dream in the flesh.‭ ‬He was the perfect combination:‭ ‬a wild dreamer,‭ ‬studied and disciplined.‭

The third gallery room focuses on this period of his career and includes about‭ ‬34‭ ‬works,‭ ‬excluding set models and a fragment of the‭ ‬1923‭ ‬film‭ ‬Little Old New York,‭ ‬whose sets carry the Urban touch.‭ ‬At the time,‭ ‬it was‭ ‬the highest-grossing film,‭ ‬selling more than‭ ‬200,000‭ ‬tickets‭ (‬to complement the exhibit,‭ ‬the museum has organized a special screening of it,‭ ‬at‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬on March‭ ‬3‭ ‬in The Grand Ballroom‭)‬.

Klingsor’s Garden‭ (‬1920‭)‬,‭ ‬design for Metropolitan Opera’s
production of Parsifal,‭ ‬by Joseph Urban.

One design drawing in particular is of ‬Klingsor’s Garden and was done in‭ ‬1920‭ ‬for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal.‭ ‬An explosion of flowers of colors takes over the stone structures,‭ ‬advancing over and between them,‭ ‬spreading like a good disease.‭ ‬To the right,‭ ‬a plant of lavender tones drops down like a delicate rain.

A less dramatic piece is‭ ‬Design Drawing of the Black Elephant Scene‭ (‬done for the Cohan Theatre’s production of‭ ‬Pom-Pom the Pickpocket‭)‬.‭ ‬The scene is set by arches and two elephant heads made of stone that appear facing one another‭; ‬their trunks rest on the ground,‭ ‬near treasure chests.‭ ‬The symmetry is broken down with colorful fabrics,‭ ‬banners and ribbons hanging from balconies and lamps.‭ ‬The steps in the middle,‭ ‬illuminated by what appears to be‭ ‬daylight,‭ ‬seem to be the way out.‭ ‬One can imagine an actor will enter the picture anytime now,‭ ‬running,‭ ‬jumping up and down.

That is pretty much how we leave the show:‭ ‬up and down.‭ ‬That is,‭ ‬we are overwhelmed by his superior skill‭ (‬which we could never match in quality or magnitude‭) ‬and yet we feel enchanted.‭ ‬Once the three gallery rooms are consumed,‭ ‬it is still very hard to distinguish exactly what was Urban’s weakness.‭ ‬What size‭? ‬Medium‭? ‬Subject‭? ‬At what point do we see a slight decrease in quality‭?

Another distinction that this show makes impossible to make is the moment in which the artist stops and enters the architect.‭ ‬The two never seem to separate.‭ ‬There is‭ ‬a‭ ‬dramatic effect to his architectural drawings,‭ ‬which from time to time contain little playful details that perhaps would not have been considered by a more serious,‭ ‬less dreamy,‭ ‬architect.‭

At the same time,‭ ‬Urban’s stage designs,‭ ‬which are based on fictional places and fictional characters,‭ ‬have a touch of reality.‭ ‬As dreamy and fictional as they appear,‭ ‬there is also the suggested possibility that they exist.‭

This is an intimidating show,‭ ‬the kind that leaves one speechless because the best thing one could say would still do a lame job of describing the works.‭ ‬As you walk the show,‭ ‬keep in mind that before you is not just an artist who took on every project that came his way but one who delivered,‭ ‬extraordinarily,‭ ‬again and again and again.‭

THE EXTRAORDINARY JOSEPH URBAN runs through April‭ ‬17‭ ‬at the Flagler Museum on Palm Beach.‭ ‬Admission is free with a ticket to the museum.‭ ‬Adults:‭ ‬$18‭; ‬$10‭ ‬for youth ages‭ ‬13-18‭; ‬$3‭ ‬for children ages‭ ‬6-12‭; ‬and children under‭ ‬6‭ ‬admitted free.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬561-655-2833‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dance review: Trey McIntyre Project spectacular at Duncan

The Trey McIntyre Project in Ma Maison.

By Tara Mitton Catao

The Trey McIntyre Project reinvented itself‭ ‬Friday night with an evening of fabulous dancing to the‭ ‬music of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Roy Orbison.

What made the high-speed and energetic dancing in Friday‭’‬s performance at‭ ‬the Duncan Theatre in Lake Worth so engaging is something subtle and quiet.‭ ‬Perhaps it‭’‬s all captured in the word‭ ‬“project‭”‬:‭ ‬This‭ ‬company does not call itself a company,‭ ‬but a project.‭ ‬It‭’‬s‭ ‬a long-term,‭ ‬dedicated undertaking to developing the artistry of the performers and choreographer Trey McIntyre.

The breeding ground for this artistic project for the last two years has been in Boise,‭ ‬Idaho,‭ ‬where the team works long and hard to perfect the dances that will tour.‭ ‬But‭ ‬when they are onstage,‭ ‬things really synthesize.‭ ‬You can feel the project‭’‬s collective freshness as they hit every movement nuance with verve and passion,‭ ‬and you can appreciate‭ ‬McIntyre‭’‬s outstanding talent as a choreographer.‭

The‭ ‬music of New Orleans is the source and inspiration for‭ ‬the first and last works on the program.‭ ‬McIntyre choreographed Ma Maison‭ ‬in‭ ‬2008‭ ‬and last week premiered his second commission for the New Orleans Ballet Association,‭ ‬The Sweeter End,‭ ‬at the Mahalia Jackson Theater with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performing live.‭

Ma Maison is a ghoulish but lighthearted celebration of death and life in Mardi Gras‭ ‬style and with a quirky flair.‭ ‬With a deceivingly unstructured look that is highly choreographed,‭ ‬the expertly executed,‭ ‬fast-paced movement literally danced around the sparse notes of the music in the funeral marches.‭ ‬The wonderfully zany costumes were worn with a full skeleton mask that completely hid the face so that the body and movement quality of the dancers were accentuated.

Chanel DaSilva gave a‭ ‬strong performance‭ ‬of clarity and sheer energy.‭ ‬An upbeat ensemble section included a polished duet with DaSilva and her pirate harlequinade partner Brett Perry,‭ ‬as well as a striking moving tableau of street‭ ‬-fair revelry.‭ ‬Ilana Goldman and Annali Rose also gave strong performances.‭ ‬The tall John Michael Schert had amazingly fluidity in his movement and has beautiful legs and feet.

The second work was a premiere by the Project that originally‭ ‬was‭ ‬choreographed by McIntyre for Ballet Memphis in‭ ‬2007.‭ ‬In Dreams is an outstanding work set to a collection‭ ‬of Roy Orbison songs and it‭ ‬nicely balanced the program.‭ ‬A quintet,‭ ‬performed on pointe by the ladies,‭ ‬was a never-ending combination of unusual gliding steps and grounded skips.‭ ‬In one beautiful section,‭ ‬surprise lifts evolved out of a string of five dancers working their way across the stage.‭

Lauren Edson was spectacular in her solo,‭ ‬and in‭ ‬the stop-and-start duet with Dylan G-Bowley,‭ ‬a terrific partner.‭

The last work,‭ ‬The Sweeter End,‭ ‬took another look at New Orleans but this time in a more urban post-Katrina view though it still pulled from the city‭’‬s heyday,‭ ‬interspersing some period costumes and movement motifs from the Charleston.‭ ‬It began with DaSilva as a graffiti artist throwing herself into athletic lifts with three men.‭

Perry was simply amazing,‭ ‬Rose was beautiful,‭ ‬and Jason Hartley‭’‬s solo was striking.‭ ‬Schert looked like he didn‭’‬t have a bone in his body,‭ ‬and Ashley Werhun‭’‬s duet with Perry was excellent.‭ ‬Every dancer had his or her‭ ‬moment to move and each one moved so differently,‭ ‬like‭ ‬one musician after another highlighting their instruments by improvising during a jazz performance.‭ ‬It looked totally spontaneous,‭ ‬but was precise and technical.‭

Like Ma Maison,‭ ‬The Sweeter End finished with a series of choreographed bows that delighted the audience.‭ ‬McIntyre then surprised them with an ensemble encore before the curtain closed on the party,‭ ‬where by now we all wished we‭ ‬were.

The Trey McIntyre Project‭repeats this program tonight at the Duncan Theatre on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth.‭ ‬Tickets for the‭ ‬8‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬concert are‭ ‬$37.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬868-3309‭ ‬or visit

ArtsBuzz: FAU concert, exhibit spotlight Russian music publisher's legacy

The front page of the score for Rimsky-Korsakov‭’‬s
opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan,‭ ‬as published by V.‭ ‬Bessel‭ & ‬Co.

BOCA RATON‭ ‬--‭ ‬The‭ ‬Bessel publishing house,‭ ‬founded in St.‭ ‬Petersburg in‭ ‬1869,‭ ‬grew from a music shop into a concern that was at‭ ‬the‭ ‬center of Russian musical life,‭ ‬printing works by the nation‭’‬s leading composers from Tchaikovsky to the‭ ‬members‭ ‬of the‭ ‬“mighty‭ ‬handful.‭”‬

Many of the first-edition‭ ‬scores published by Bessel can be seen‭ ‬in the Richard Beattie Davis Collection at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.‭ ‬Davis knew‭ ‬the granddaughters of firm founders Vasily Bessel‭ (‬1843-1907‭)‬ and his brother Ivan.‭ ‬The Bessel Archives contain first editions of operas by Rimsky-Korsakov,‭ ‬Anton Rubinstein and Alexander Serov,‭ ‬among‭ ‬others,‭ ‬and the FAU Wimberley Library is hosting a special‭ ‬exhibit through March‭ ‬25‭ ‬featuring the collection.

This Sunday,‭ ‬the FAU Chamber Players will put the collection‭ ‬in the‭ ‬spotlight with a program of pieces from the collection,‭ ‬including works by Adolf Henselt,‭ ‬Hummel,‭ ‬Tchaikovsky,‭ ‬Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.‭ ‬Pianist Leonid Treer will be joined by‭ ‬violinist‭ ‬Mei-Mei Luo,‭ ‬cellist Claudio Jaffe,‭ ‬pianists‭ ‬Judith Burganger and Heather Coltman,‭ ‬soprano Birgit Fioravante and bass Dean Peterson.

The‭ ‬concert begins at‭ ‬3‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday in the University Theatre on the Boca Raton campus.‭ ‬Suggested donation is‭ ‬$10.‭ ‬For more information about the concert,‭ ‬call‭ ‬297-3820.‭ ‬The Davis Collection is open from‭ ‬1‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday through Thursday,‭ ‬or by appointment.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬the library‭’‬s Special Collections and Archives department at‭ ‬297-3787‭ ‬or e-mail‭ ‬

Bruce Helander, in his trademark orange bowler.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

New art magazine debuts in Palm Beach

PALM BEACH‭ ‬– The Art Economist,‭ ‬a new‭ ‬arts publication‭ ‬and‭ ‬website based in Palm Beach,‭ ‬launched last month.

The publication celebrates and documents the major creative and financial achievements of the world‭’‬s leading artists and examines the economics of contemporary art as a commodity and investment opportunity.‭ ‬The top‭ ‬300‭ ‬earning living artists will be listed regularly,‭ ‬as well as new artists to watch for predicted success.

Editorial components in the first issue included an article by‭ ‬David W.‭ ‬Galenson,‭ ‬professor of economics at the University of Chicago,‭ ‬on the birth of the art market from Picasso to‭ ‬Damien‭ ‬Hirst.‭ ‬Beijing‭ ‬correspondent Drew Hammond wrote about how the Chinese artist Tang Son,‭ ‬went from rages to riches in‭ ‬less than a decade,‭ ‬and included analyses of young,‭ ‬promising‭ ‬ Chinese artists.‭ ‬Elisabeth Sobiewski interviewed James Rosenquist‭ ‬on his life and autobiography,‭ ‬Painting for Zero,‭ ‬and Julie L.‭ ‬Belcove,‭ ‬who edits‭ ‬W‭’‬s annual art issue,‭ ‬explored‭ ‬the current financial state of the art world.

Each issue will feature‭ ‬30‭ ‬detailed profiles‭ ‬from the list of‭ ‬300.‭ ‬The magazine accepts no paid advertising.‭ ‬A yearly subscription‭ (‬10‭ ‬issues‭) ‬and access to the‭ ‬website is‭ ‬$400.‭ ‬The magazine is the brainchild of Fred Alger,‭ ‬art collector,‭ ‬investor and former board member of the‭ ‬Museum of‭ ‬Modern Art.‭ ‬Editor-in-chief is‭ ‬Palm Beach artist and critic Bruce Helander.‭ ‬Associate editor is Marisa J.‭ ‬Pascucci,‭ ‬former curator of modern art at Norton Museum of Art.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬877-890-7618‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Seymour Hersh.

Reporter Hersh to be featured at Boca arts fest

BOCA RATON‭ ‬--‭ ‬The Festival of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Arts Boca has added leading American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh to its literary schedule.‭

Hersh will speak at‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬7‭ ‬at the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts at‭ ‬Mizner‭ ‬Park.‭ ‬The festival runs March‭ ‬4-12‭ ‬at‭ ‬Mizner‭ ‬Park.

Hersh has worked on some of the most important news stories of our time and has published eight books,‭ ‬most recently‭ ‬Chain of Command:‭ ‬The Road from‭ ‬9/11‭ ‬to Abu Ghraib.‭ ‬Hersh‭’‬s awards include the‭ ‬Pulitzer Prize,‭ ‬four George K.‭ ‬Polk Awards,‭ ‬and more than a dozen other prizes,‭ ‬including‭ ‬the‭ ‬1983‭ ‬National Book Critics Circle Award,‭ ‬the‭ ‬Los Angeles Times award for biography,‭ ‬and a Sidney Hillman Award for‭ ‬The Price of‭ ‬Power:‭ ‬Kissinger in the Nixon White‭ ‬House.‭

Hersh has also won two Investigative Reporters‭ & ‬Editors Prizes,‭ ‬for the‭ ‬Kissinger book and‭ ‬his‭ ‬1992‭ ‬study of the Israeli nuclear bomb program,‭ ‬The Samson Option.

Hersh is scheduled to‭ ‬speak about current American‭ ‬foreign policy.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$35‭ ‬and‭ ‬$55‭ ‬and are available by calling‭ ‬866-571-ARTS or by visiting‭ ‬

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend arts picks: Feb. 18-20

Daniela Mack.‭ (‬Photo by Dario Acosta‭)

Music:‭ ‬The music of Spain has long been a favorite of the conductor Philippe Entremont,‭ ‬and for this weekend‭’‬s concert by the Boca Symphonia,‭ ‬he‭’‬s commissioned new arrangements of familiar and not-so-familiar masterworks from the land of Cervantes.‭ ‬The Argentine-born mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack is the guest soloist for Manuel de Falla‭’‬s‭ ‬El Amor Brujo on a program that also includes Albeniz‭’‬s‭ ‬Triana,‭ ‬a newly reorchestrated version of Granados‭’‬ Goyescas,‭ ‬and the‭ ‬Sortileges of the Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge.‭ ‬Technically speaking,‭ ‬everything except the de Falla is a world premiere,‭ ‬given that the arrangements are new,‭ ‬and that alone makes it more than worthwhile for lovers of Spanish music to stop by.‭ ‬The concert‭ ‬is set for‭ ‬3‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday at the Roberts Theater,‭ ‬St.‭ ‬Andrew‭’‬s School,‭ ‬Boca Raton.‭ ‬Tickets:‭ ‬$28.50-$50‭; ‬call‭ ‬376-3848‭ ‬for more information.‭

Meanwhile,‭ ‬the fifth annual International Piano Festival at Palm Beach Atlantic University continues apace this weekend and into Tuesday,‭ ‬with concerts at the Persson Recital Hall on the campus of the West Palm Beach Christian college.‭ ‬Some‭ ‬15‭ ‬pianists from around the world are taking part in the International Certificate of Piano Artists festival.‭ ‬There are concerts tonight,‭ ‬Saturday night‭ (‬a high school event‭)‬,‭ ‬and Monday and Tuesday nights‭; ‬all events start at‭ ‬7:30,‭ ‬and tickets are‭ ‬$15‭ ‬apiece,‭ ‬except for Saturday,‭ ‬when they are‭ ‬$10.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬803-2970.

Also this weekend,‭ ‬a very busy one on the classical scene:‭ ‬Canadian violinist Corey Cerovsek comes to the Four Arts on Sunday afternoon with the‭ ‬Brahms Second Sonata‭ (‬in A,‭ ‬Op.‭ ‬100‭)‬,‭ ‬the solitary,‭ ‬beautiful sonata of Debussy,‭ ‬and Beethoven‭’‬s‭ ‬Kreutzer Sonata‭ (‬No.‭ ‬9‭ ‬in A,‭ ‬Op.‭ ‬47‭)‬.‭ ‬3‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday,‭ ‬Society of the Four Arts.‭ ‬Tickets:‭ ‬$15.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬655-7227‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬‭

Uzbek pianist Valeriya Polunina,‭ ‬who offered a strong reading of the Rachmaninov Second Concerto last December at a Lynn Philharmonia concert,‭ ‬joins the Piano Lovers series at the Boca Steinway Gallery with Schumann‭’‬s Carnaval and the Op.‭ ‬33‭ ‬set of Rachmaninov‭’‬s Etudes-Tableaux.‭ ‬5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Tickets:‭ ‬$20‭ ‬in advance,‭ ‬$25‭ ‬at the door.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬929-6633‭ ‬for more information.

A sculpture by James La Cosse,‭ ‬from last year‭’‬s ArtiGras.

Art:‭ ‬This weekend is the‭ ‬26th annual ArtiGras celebration in downtown Jupiter,‭ ‬which runs for three days and welcomes about‭ ‬150,000‭ ‬people.‭ ‬It‭’‬s more of a large street fair than a curated museum show,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬but there is art from creators around the country available for sale in one of the many booths that will line Abacoa Town Center starting tomorrow.‭ ‬Among the local artists this year are Alex Marksz,‭ ‬Marilyn Murphy,‭ ‬Mike Bacon,‭ ‬Laurie Snow Hein,‭ ‬Nancy Tilles,‭ ‬Philippe Laine‭ ‬and Sue Archer.‭ ‬The festival runs from‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬6‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday and Sunday,‭ ‬and‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$6‭ ‬in advance,‭ ‬and‭ ‬$10‭ ‬at the gate.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬748-3946‭ ‬for more information,‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Jonathan Winters in Certifiably Jonathan.

Film:‭ ‬At‭ ‬85,‭ ‬Jonathan Winters is a show biz icon,‭ ‬a comedian’s comedian,‭ ‬an inventive funnyman who has earned the description‭ “‬deliciously demented.‭” ‬To have a sense of his comic spin,‭ ‬head this week to Lake Park’s Mos’Art Theatre to see‭ ‬Certifiably Jonathan,‭ ‬a documentary that revolves around his perhaps illusory yearning to be taken seriously as a visual artist.‭ ‬More than anything,‭ ‬he wants a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art,‭ ‬but standing in the way is a newly developed humorist’s and artist’s block.‭

Helping him get his funny back are some of his comedy disciples‭ ‬--‭ ‬Robin Williams,‭ ‬Jim Carrey,‭ ‬Sarah Silverman and Howie Mandel.‭ ‬Not everything in the movie works,‭ ‬but there is no denying that there is an exceptional mind at work here.‭ ‬Opening Friday. -- H. Erstein

Irene Adjan,‭ ‬Josh Canfield and Tom Wahl in Next Fall.

Theater:‭ ‬Beginning Sunday,‭ ‬Boca Raton’s Caldwell Theatre previews Geoffrey Naufft’s‭ ‬Next Fall,‭ ‬a Tony Award Best Play nominee from last season on Broadway,‭ ‬the dramatic tale of how an auto accident leaves a young gay would-be actor close to death in a New York hospital intensive care unit,‭ ‬bringing together his diverse friends and relatives in the waiting room.‭ ‬The production,‭ ‬a Florida premiere,‭ ‬is directed by Caldwell co-founder Michael Hall,‭ ‬in his first return to the company since retiring as artistic director in‭ ‬2009.‭

He molds a cast of Caldwell favorites,‭ ‬including Pat Nesbit,‭ ‬Tom Wahl and Irene Adjan.‭ ‬Opening next Friday,‭ ‬Feb.‭ ‬25.‭ ‬Call‭ (‬561‭) ‬241-7432‭ ‬for tickets.‭ -- H. Erstein

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Film review: Too late, 'Unknown' leaves thriller re-treads in search for meaning

Liam Neeson and January Jones in Unknown.

By John Thomason

As far as studio actioners go,‭ ‬Unknown has its share of well-crafted set-pieces and steely suspense,‭ ‬but well-versed viewers of modern thrillers won’t help but feel an almost immediate sense of‭ ‬déjà vu.‭

The most obvious reference point is‭ ‬Taken,‭ ‬whose star,‭ ‬Liam Neeson,‭ ‬Unknown shares,‭ ‬and whose color palette of dark blues and antiseptic off-whites are mimicked here by director Jaume Collet-Serra‭ (‬Orphan‭)‬.‭ ‬Even the narratives are similar‭; ‬instead of a bad-ass in search of his daughter,‭ ‬Neeson’s Dr.‭ ‬Martin Harris is a bad-ass in search of his identity.

Arriving in Berlin for a biotech conference,‭ ‬with his lovely wife‭ (‬January Jones‭) ‬in tow,‭ ‬Harris conspicuously leaves his briefcase,‭ ‬full of important scientific documents,‭ ‬on an airport baggage cart.‭ ‬He hops in a taxi and speeds back to get it,‭ ‬only to find the cab plummeting off a bridge after a series of traffic‭ “‬accidents‭” ‬propel it off the road.‭

Harris wakes up in a hospital four days later,‭ ‬only to find that another man‭ (‬Aidan Quinn‭) ‬has assumed his identity,‭ ‬his life and his wife,‭ ‬who seems all too happy playing along.‭ ‬He is the invisible man,‭ ‬the wrong man and the unknown man,‭ ‬alone in a foreign country without identification.‭ ‬Danger darkens every corner,‭ ‬and Martin spends as much time beating off stalking baddies with uncharacteristic skill as he does decoding the mystery of his identity theft.

The more‭ ‬Unknown plunges into a netherworld of spies,‭ ‬espionage and assassination plots,‭ ‬the more it wears its myriad influences on its overlong sleeves.‭ ‬Echoes of countless mistaken-identity and wrong-man thrillers from‭ ‬North by Northwest to‭ ‬A History of Violence to‭ ‬The Ghost Writer to‭ ‬Salt inform,‭ ‬if not completely subsume,‭ ‬Unknown’s serpentine plot.‭ ‬At one point,‭ ‬you half-expect a helpless Harris to be strapped to a dentist’s chair,‭ ‬waiting for Laurence Olivier to ask him if it’s safe.

Unknown has some tricks up its sleeve,‭ ‬but they’re tricks we’ve seen performed before,‭ ‬by better directors.‭ ‬The film’s familiar mechanics unconsciously tell us that Harris‭’ ‬problem is part of a more elaborate,‭ ‬conspiratorial plot,‭ ‬so when said plot is revealed,‭ ‬the sense of surprise is nil.‭ ‬Inconceivable paranoia is the new expectation.

And‭ ‬Unknown takes a long,‭ ‬long time to complete its predictably labyrinthine narrative,‭ ‬stuffing itself with an obligatory love story between Harris and his taxi driver‭ (‬Diane Kruger‭)‬,‭ ‬a Bosnian refugee working illegally in Germany.‭ ‬The film’s‭ ‬113‭ ‬minutes begin to feel like a never-ending epic,‭ ‬what with all the false climaxes written into the film’s supposedly thrill-a-minute final act.‭ ‬And,‭ ‬as is often the case with films of this type,‭ ‬the dot-connected conclusion is never as exciting as the existential premise.

But the movie’s biggest disappointment is that it could have been a politically aware,‭ ‬big-business-attacking thriller along the lines of‭ ‬Michael Clayton,‭ ‬already one of the film’s many points of reference.‭ ‬Some of the drama of‭ ‬Unknown involves an Arabian prince targeted by extremists for his‭ “‬progressive‭” ‬energy policies and a scientist who is developing a groundbreaking strain of corn that will render avaricious agribusinesses obsolete.

To say that such information is delivered in passing is an overstatement.‭ ‬It’s barely there at all,‭ ‬and it should have formed the movie’s intellectual backbone.‭ ‬Instead,‭ ‬the film’s creative team has crafted a benignly apolitical thriller that decides,‭ ‬in its final few minutes,‭ ‬to be About Something.

UNKNOWN.‭ ‬Director:‭ ‬Jaume Collet-Serra‭; ‬Cast:‭ ‬Liam Neeson,‭ ‬Diane Kruger,‭ ‬January Jones,‭ ‬Aidan Quinn,‭ ‬Bruno Ganz,‭ ‬Frank Langella‭; ‬Distributor:‭ ‬Warner Bros.‭; ‬Rating:‭ ‬PG-13‭; ‬Opens:‭ ‬Friday,‭ ‬most area theaters

Art review: God of 'Cassadaga' is in photographer's details

Spiritual Piano‭ (‬2008‭)‬,‭ ‬by Christiaan Lopez-Miro.

By Emma Trelles

The interstate is really the one road that leads to Cassadaga,‭ ‬I-4‭ ‬to be exact,‭ ‬and it takes travelers from both the east and west coasts of central Florida to this small hamlet of spiritualists,‭ ‬mediums,‭ ‬psychics,‭ ‬and healers.‭

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places,‭ ‬this‭ ‬116-year-old Volusia County community draws both believers and naysayers,‭ ‬those seeking answers or escape,‭ ‬and recently,‭ ‬a gifted artist whose own infatuation with magic and otherworldly realms inspired him to document Cassadaga with two vintage film cameras and an eye that lingers on what is often overlooked.

Now showing at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood,‭ ‬All Roads Lead to Cassadaga presents‭ ‬21‭ ‬chromogenic prints made by Christiaan Lopez-Miro between‭ ‬2007‭ ‬and‭ ‬2009,‭ ‬when he decided to drive from Miami to cold-call Cassadaga’s residents as subjects.‭ ‬The results are as unlikely as the origins of the town itself‭ ‬--‭ ‬which was founded after a New Yorker was guided to its hilly acreage by a spirit named‭ “‬Seneca.‭”

Yes,‭ ‬I know what it sounds like,‭ ‬but here is what’s remarkable about Lopez-Miro’s photographs.‭ ‬They are not imbued with carnival hokey-ness or snark,‭ ‬or pre-ordained eeriness,‭ ‬or any of the approaches one might expect from such outrageous fodder.‭ ‬Instead,‭ ‬Lopez-Miro offers restraint,‭ ‬which is,‭ ‬in itself,‭ ‬wildly unusual for a young artist exhibiting only his second show‭ (‬The first,‭ ‬Smoke and Mirrors,‭ ‬displayed portraits of L.A.‭ ‬magicians and was also held at the Center‭)‬.

The images,‭ ‬then,‭ ‬are allowed to unfold as what they are‭ ‬--‭ ‬the mundane objects and landscapes of a people entrenched in the mystery of the unseen.‭ ‬And Lopez-Miro understands that what is interesting about Cassadaga is not tied to any purported evidence of the spirit world,‭ ‬but is,‭ ‬rather,‭ ‬rooted in the patient faith of the men and women who live there.

Healing Hands‭ (‬2008‭)‬,‭ ‬by Christiaan Lopez-Miro.

Aptly,‭ ‬the show opens with‭ ‬We Are One,‭ ‬an adage inscribed on a marble bench one might find at a gravesite,‭ ‬but here it rests in the yard of a clapboard house.‭ ‬The image was made at night,‭ ‬and a screen porch glows with the blue and green bulbs so often used to illuminate Florida’s hibiscus hedges and glossy shrubs.‭ ‬The familiarity of the setting is inclusive,‭ ‬as is the message carved on the front of the bench‭ ‬--‭ ‬we are experiencing a quiet,‭ ‬bucolic sort of evening,‭ ‬but we are also bound together by our mortality.‭ ‬All of our roads will eventually lead to the same destination,‭ ‬and there is ordinary beauty found along the way.

Lopez-Miro is also taken with darkness and its many gradations.‭ ‬His negative spaces can appear fathomless,‭ ‬such as in‭ ‬Fountain,‭ ‬in which a slim geyser of water rises into the air and descends on the surface of a basin.‭ ‬Each ripple is precisely delineated,‭ ‬and then dissolves into an impenetrable black.‭ ‬By placing the tangible alongside the unknowable,‭ ‬the artist threads the shadows that surround some of his portraits and still-lifes with a complexity that is at once secretive and forthcoming.

Colby Temple Healing,‭ ‬for example,‭ ‬depicts a tight circle of healers and seekers,‭ ‬with hands raised or laid on the afflicted‭; ‬light illuminates faces and fingers but not much else of the room.‭ ‬All appear in a trance,‭ ‬yet the photograph welcomes the viewer as part of the proceedings.‭ ‬The image was made from the perspective of someone standing at the edge of this tightly formed gathering,‭ ‬where no one is looking at the camera and all are seemingly unaware of its presence.

Colby Temple Healing I‭ (‬2009‭)‬,‭ ‬by Christiaan Lopez-Miro.

This eyes-drifting-elsewhere trait appears in several of the artist’s subjects,‭ ‬and it suits their work and rituals.‭ ‬They are revealed as regular folk,‭ ‬with preferences for velour recliners,‭ ‬wood paneling,‭ ‬or plastic flowers stuffed into a nightstand vase,‭ ‬but Cassadagans are also listening to some off-set music the rest of us do not hear.‭ ‬And the distraction that appears on their faces while they are photographed,‭ ‬whether staged or not,‭ ‬perfectly depicts this.

Lopez-Miro’s aesthetics have widened.‭ ‬His prior show featured traditionally posed subjects,‭ ‬most staring directly at the camera while inhabiting the ornate sets magicians might use in their acts.‭ ‬This current show departs from this people-centric premise and focuses equally on the objects and interiors that charge a place with atmosphere.‭ ‬And there is plenty of it tucked into the modest corners of this place.‭ ‬Daylight films the windows on either side of a church piano,‭ ‬a common green vine is strung with tiny mirrors.‭ ‬In these photographs,‭ ‬a devout attention to detail transforms the quotidian into the wondrous.

Christiaan Lopez-Miro:‭ ‬All Roads Lead to Cassadaga‭ ‬runs through Feb.‭ ‬20‭ ‬at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.‭ ‬Also showing:‭Lea Nickless:‭ ‬Water and Oil‭(through Feb.‭ ‬20‭) ‬and‬Abracadabra‭ ‬(through Feb.‭ ‬18‭)‬.‭ ‬Hours:‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.-5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Tuesday-Friday‭; ‬noon-4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday.‭ ‬Admission is‭ ‬$7‭ ‬for adults‭; ‬$4‭ ‬for students,‭ ‬seniors,‭ ‬and ages‭ ‬4-17.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬954-921-3274‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ArtsBuzz: Maltz, Actors' Playhouse lead Carbonell nods with 18 apiece

Carbonell nominees Bret Shuford,‭ ‬Tari Kelly
and Tom Beckett in Anything‭ ‬Goes.

By Hap Erstein

That helicopter musical,‭ ‬Miss Saigon,‭ ‬at Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse,‭ ‬received‭ ‬11‭ ‬Carbonell Award nominations,‭ ‬the most of any professional production in South Florida,‭ ‬according to an announcement made today.‭

Sarah Kane’s sordid drama‭ ‬Blasted pulled in seven nominations for GableStage,‭ ‬the most for any play.‭ ‬The Carbonells,‭ ‬now in their‭ ‬35th year,‭ ‬celebrate excellence in production and performance in Miami-Dade,‭ ‬Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Although the two most nominated shows both came from Coral Gables companies,‭ ‬Palm Beach theaters tied Miami-Dade with a total of‭ ‬36‭ ‬nods.‭ ‬Broward,‭ ‬which perennially trails the other bordering counties,‭ ‬earned‭ ‬27‭ ‬nominations.‭ ‬In all,‭ ‬13‭ ‬companies were recognized,‭ ‬spanning‭ ‬33‭ ‬of the‭ ‬69‭ ‬eligible shows that opened in‭ ‬2010.‭

Among those Palm Beach theaters,‭ ‬the Maltz Jupiter scored half of those nominations‭ ‬--‭ ‬seven for‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ (‬though curiously not for Best Musical production‭)‬,‭ ‬six for‭ ‬La Cage aux Folles,‭ ‬three for‭ ‬12‭ ‬Angry Men and‭ ‬two for‭ ‬Academy.

The Maltz ties the top total of Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse,‭ ‬including the‭ ‬11‭ ‬for‭ ‬Miss Saigon,‭ ‬six for‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬ and‭ ‬one for‭ ‬Unreasonable Doubt,‭ ‬Michael McKeever’s hostage drama that will be vying for the Carbonell for Best New Work.

It will be up against two plays from Florida Stage‭ ‬--‭ ‬Christopher Demos-Brown’s‭ ‬When the Sun Shone Brighter and Karen Hartman’s‭ ‬Goldie,‭ ‬Max‭ & ‬Milk‭ ‬--‭ ‬as well as‭ ‬Motherhood:‭ ‬The Musical,‭ ‬produced independently by GFour Productions.

Miss Saigon will go head-to-head for the year’s best musical against the Maltz’s‭ ‬La Cage and‭ ‬Academy,‭ ‬as well as two by Broward Stage Door‭ ‬--‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone and‭ ‬Mack and Mabel.‭ ‬GableStage’s‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬will be competing against the company’s‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words,‭ ‬and the Maltz’s‭ ‬12‭ ‬Angry Men,‭ ‬Palm Beach Dramaworks‭’ ‬American Buffalo and Mosaic Theatre’s‭ ‬Collected Stories.

Chrissi Ardito earned three nominations by herself,‭ ‬for her choreography of Broward Stage’s‭ ‬Drowsy Chaperone and‭ ‬Mack and Mabel,‭ ‬along with‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬ at Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse.‭ ‬There were an unusually large number of double nominees as well.‭ ‬They were:‭ ‬Joseph Adler‭ (‬Best Director,‭ ‬Play,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words and‭ ‬Blasted‭)‬; Matt Corey‭ (‬Sound Design,‭ ‬Blasted and‭ ‬Groundswell at Mosaic Theatre‭)‬; Erik Fabregat‭ (‬Best Supporting Actor,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬and‭ ‬A Behanding in Spokane‭); ‬Dan Kelley‭ (‬Best Director and Best Actor,‭ ‬Musical,‭ ‬for‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭)‬; Matt Kelly‭ (‬Sound Design,‭ ‬Cane and‭ ‬Dr.‭ ‬Radio,‭ ‬both at Florida Stage‭)‬; Michael McKeever‭ (‬Best New Work,‭ ‬Unreasonable Doubt,‭ ‬and Best Supporting Actor,‭ ‬Distracted at the Caldwell‭ Theatre)‬;

Marcia Milgrom Dodge‭ (‬Best Director and Choreographer,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭)‬; Amy Miller Brennan‭ (‬Best Supporting Actress,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬and‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬); Jeff Quinn‭ (‬Lighting Design,‭ ‬Blasted and‭ ‬The Quarrel,‭ ‬both GableStage‭)‬; Erin Joy Schmidt‭ (‬Best Actress,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words at GableStage and‭ ‬Dying City at Mosaic Theatre‭)‬; Deborah L.‭ ‬Sherman‭ (‬Best Supporting Actress,‭ ‬Goldie,‭ ‬Max‭ & ‬Milk and‭ ‬No Exit at Naked Stage‭)‬; and‭ ‬Shane R.‭ ‬Tanner‭ (‬Best Actor,‭ ‬Mack and Mabel,‭ ‬and Best Supporting Actor,‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬).

Winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on Monday,‭ ‬April‭ ‬4,‭ ‬in the Amaturo Theater of the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.‭

Carbonell nominees E.J.‭ ‬Zimmerman
and Herman Sebek in Miss Saigon.

This year's ‬Carbonell nominations include:

COMBINED‭ (‬Plays and Musicals‭)

Best New Work‭ (‬Play or Musical,‭ ‬award to author‭)

Christopher Demos-Brown,‭ ‬When the Sun Shone Brighter‭ (‬Florida Stage‭)

Sue Fabisch,‭ ‬Motherhood:‭ ‬The Musical‭ ‬(GFour Productions‭)‬

Karen Hartman,‭ ‬Goldie,‭ ‬Max‭ & ‬Milk‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Michael McKeever,‭ ‬Unreasonable Doubt‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Ensemble,‭ ‬Play or Musical‭ (‬citations to cast and director‭)

12‭ ‬Angry Men,‭ ‬Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭

Completely Hollywood,‭ ‬Mosaic Theatre‭

The Dumb Waiter,‭ ‬The Promethean Theatre‭

Motherhood:‭ ‬The Musical,‭ ‬GFour Productions‭

Speech and Debate,‭ ‬GableStage‭


Best Production of a Play‭ (‬award to producing organization‭)

12‭ ‬Angry Men,‭ ‬Maltz Jupiter Theatre

50‭ ‬Words,‭ ‬GableStage

American Buffalo,‭ ‬Palm Beach Dramaworks

Blasted,‭ ‬GableStage

Collected Stories,‭ ‬Mosaic Theatre

Best Director,‭ ‬Play

Joseph Adler,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Joseph Adler,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Frank Galati,‭ ‬12‭ ‬Angry Men‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

William Hayes,‭ ‬American Buffalo‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Margaret M.‭ ‬Ledford,‭ ‬Collected Stories‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Best Actor,‭ ‬Play

Dennis Creaghan,‭ ‬Freud’s Last Session‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Todd Allen Durkin,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

David Hemphill,‭ ‬Equus‭ ‬(New Theatre‭)

Ricky Waugh,‭ ‬Dying City‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Gregg Weiner,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Best Actress,‭ ‬Play

Barbara Bradshaw,‭ ‬Collected Stories‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Beth Dixon,‭ ‬Three Tall Women‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Erin Joy Schmidt,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Erin Joy Schmidt,‭ ‬Dying City‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Karen Stephens,‭ ‬Bridge and Tunnel‭ ‬(The Women’s Theatre Project‭)

Best Supporting Actor,‭ ‬Play

Marckenson Charles,‭ ‬Groundswell‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Will Connolly,‭ ‬Candida‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Erik Fabregat,‭ ‬A Behanding in Spokane‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Erik Fabregat,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Michael McKeever,‭ ‬Distracted‭ ‬(Caldwell Theatre Company‭)

Best Supporting Actress/Play

Kim Morgan Dean,‭ ‬Collected Stories‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Angie Radosh,‭ ‬Three Tall Women‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Jackie Rivera,‭ ‬Speech and Debate‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Deborah L.‭ ‬Sherman,‭ ‬Goldie,‭ ‬Max‭ & ‬Milk‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Deborah L.‭ ‬Sherman,‭ ‬No Exit‭ ‬(Naked Stage‭)


Best Production of a Musical‭ (‬award to producing organization‭)

Academy,‭ ‬Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭

The Drowsy Chaperone,‭ ‬Broward Stage Door Theatre‭

La Cage Aux Folles,‭ ‬Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭

Mack and Mabel,‭ ‬Broward Stage Door Theatre‭

Miss Saigon,‭ ‬Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭

Best Director,‭ ‬Musical

David Arisco.‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Dan Kelley,‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Michael Leeds,‭ ‬Mack and Mabel‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Mark Martino,‭ ‬La Cage Aux Folles‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Marcia Milgrom Dodge,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Best Actor,‭ ‬Musical

Mark Jacoby,‭ ‬La Cage Aux Folles‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Dan Kelley,‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Herman Sebek,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Bret Shuford,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Shane R.‭ ‬Tanner,‭ ‬Mack and Mabel‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Best Actress,‭ ‬Musical

Irene Adjan,‭ ‬Dr.‭ ‬Radio‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Mara Gabrielle,‭ ‬Mack and Mabel‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Tari Kelly,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Laura Oldham,‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

E.J.‭ ‬Zimmerman,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Supporting Actor,‭ ‬Musical‭

Tom Beckett,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Ken Clement,‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬ (Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Nick Duckart,‭ ‬Dr.‭ ‬Radio‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Chris-Ian Sanchez,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Shane R.‭ ‬Tanner,‭ ‬Oliver‭! ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Supporting Actress,‭ ‬Musical

Eileen Faxas,‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Elizabeth Dimon,‭ ‬Oliver‭! ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Lisa Manuli,‭ ‬Motherhood:‭ ‬The Musical‭ ‬(GFour Productions‭)

Amy Miller Brennan,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Amy Miller Brennan,‭ ‬Oliver‭! ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Musical Direction

Eric Alsford,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)‬

Helen Gregory,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Phil Reno,‭ ‬La Cage Aux Folles‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Johnny Rodgers,‭ ‬Motherhood:‭ ‬The Musical‭ ‬(GFour Productions‭)

Alexander Rovang,‭ ‬Academy‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Best Choreography

Chrissi Ardito,‭ ‬The Drowsy Chaperone‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Chrissi Ardito,‭ ‬Mack and Mabel‭ ‬(Broward Stage Door Theatre‭)

Chrissi Ardito,‭ ‬Oliver‭! ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Denis Jones,‭ ‬La Cage Aux Folles‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Marcia Milgrom Dodge,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

DESIGN‭ (‬Plays and Musicals‭)

Best Scenic Design,‭ ‬Play or Musical

Michael Amico,‭ ‬American Buffalo‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Lyle Baskin,‭ ‬50‭ ‬Words‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Tim Connolly,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Douglas Grinn,‭ ‬Collected Stories‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Sean McClelland,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Lighting,‭ ‬Play or Musical

Ron Burns,‭ ‬The Gin Game‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Suzanne Jones,‭ ‬Cane‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Jeff Quinn,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Jeff Quinn,‭ ‬The Quarrel‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Patrick Tennent,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Costume Design,‭ ‬Play or Musical

Gail Baldoni,‭ ‬Anything Goes‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Brian O’Keefe,‭ ‬Candida‭ ‬(Palm Beach Dramaworks‭)

Jose M.‭ ‬Rivera,‭ ‬La Cage Aux Folles‭ ‬(Maltz Jupiter Theatre‭)

Ellis Tillman,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Ellis Tillman,‭ ‬Oliver‭!‬ (Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Best Sound Design

Matt Corey,‭ ‬Blasted‭ ‬(GableStage‭)

Matt Corey,‭ ‬Groundswell‭ ‬(Mosaic Theatre‭)

Alexander Herrin,‭ ‬Miss Saigon‭ ‬(Actors‭’ ‬Playhouse‭)

Matt Kelly,‭ ‬Dr.‭ ‬Radio‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)

Matt Kelly,‭ ‬Cane‭ ‬(Florida Stage‭)