The silent church seems to lean in with anticipation as Dr. Karen Kennedy raises her arm into the air. With a graceful flick of her baton, the artistic director of Master Chorale of South Florida—an accomplished conductor and teacher—coaxes forth the opening strains of Bach’s Magnificat from the flock of singers and musicians in front of her, weaving their voices into a tapestry of crescendos and soaring notes. Since its creation in 2002, Master Chorale of South Florida has performed their awe-inspiring concerts in churches, cathedrals, and high schools across South Florida, delighting audiences with a diverse choral repertoire. Audiences can expect to hear many musical periods represented in each performance, from the baroque stylings of Handel to Debussy’s impressionistic melodies and Aaron Copland’s epic pieces that blend traditional American folk songs with traditional Bruce Springsteen hits.
From the outside, Cinema Paradiso looks more like a church than a movie theater. But inside, there is no mistaking that the auditorium crowded with 230 plush, royal blue velvet seats—each imported from Paris—is a luxurious haven for movie-goers. Now in its 29th year, the theater screens art-house independent films and the annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. With the ability to project 35mm, 16mm, HDCam, Digi-Beta, BetaSP, and DVD, the venue's possibilities are many, and frequent events showcase Hollywood classics and cult horror flicks. To help guests calm their jitters during the scary parts, three bars serve beer and wine, and snacks and concession fare satiate cravings, so that no growling bellies drown out tenderly whispered love scenes.
The Florida Cajun Zydeco festival's seven musical acts fill the air with traditional tunes on two outdoor stages. Wooden dance floors and guided dance lessons (held in between sets) encourage rug-cuttery as the C’est Bon Cajun Dance Band wails away on fiddle and guitar, and the multi-instrumentalist Magnolia Sisters reinvigorate forgotten standards more effectively than auto-tuned re-mixes of Glen Miller's catalogue. Each band also gives a 20- to 30-minute lesson about the history of their music. Visitors can suppress unruly appetites with spicy Cajun and Creole fare while perusing the offerings of craft vendors. Pintsize patrons can revel in games and rides, while larger patrons can revel in the festival's free parking.
• For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Thursday, August 11, at 8 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee). • For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Saturday, August 13, at 2 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee). • For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Sunday, August 14, at 2 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee).
Benefiting Covenant House Florida, A Night of Broadway Stars raises money to help homeless youth during an elegant evening of cuisine, drinks, and music. Festivities kick off with a reception that immerses guests in luxury, replete with gourmet dinner stations and premium cocktails served in top hats. Live and silent auctions give attendees the opportunity to bid on autographed celebrity pictures, glitzy jewelry, and a seven-night voyage with Azamara Club Cruises. After taking seats in the Amaturo Theater, audiences scramble to put out sparks from the vocal fireworks of such Broadway celebrities as Jesus Christ Superstar leading man Danny Zolli and longtime Jekyll & Hyde star Rob Evan.
The Women's International Film & Arts Festival is a nonprofit organization that features the work of talented females each year during women's history month. With women representing only 7% of film directors, this creative collaboration exposes unheard artists by showing 50 films over the course of five days. Pull at your heartstrings by attaching a puppeteer to your body or by catching Forget Me Not, a modern-day love story about a free-spirited woman and a passionate musician with a tragic secret. The gripping tale of In The Name of Freedom, by Isabel Cueva, chronicles the tale of an American soldier in captivity who's life changes forever after meeting another prisoner. This women-centric film festival is sure to send visitors on an artistic rollycoaster that's infinitely preferable to the abstract rollycoasters featured at avant-garde amusement parks, which are mostly just picnic tables.