Originating in the Spanish community of Andalusia, the art of flamenco blends the rapid rhythms of Spanish guitar music with the equally energetic footwork of skilled dancers. Under the direction of flamenco devotee Pepe Canto, both legendary and budding flamenco dancers grace the stage at Cava Restaurant. Three nights a week, joyful strumming and stomping reverberates against the brick walls and vaulted brick ceiling of a dining room perfumed with the scent of chef Francisco Mateo's Spanish cuisine.
Another Andalusian original, Francisco relies on local ingredients to create Spanish dishes, such as filet mignon with Spanish blue cheese sauce. He meticulously assembles platters of Serrano ham, cheese, and chorizo, or prepares squid in its own ink, rather than tapping the ink reserves J.D. Sallinger kept on hand to write cease-and-desist letters instead of novels. Cava's bartenders complement Francisco's cuisine with wine from a list heavy on Spanish varietals, as well as other selections from around the world.
Visitors to Miami-Dade County Auditorium witness shows and concerts unfold on the same stage where U.S. presidents, Luciano Pavarotti, and stars of Broadway have respectively stood, sung, and danced. The 60-year old auditorium, known for its cultural contributions to the Miami community, has recently undergone renovations, upgrading its sound system and ensuring its lighting accentuates each actor’s shadow-puppet dream sequences.
At Open Stage Club, visual and auditory delights share the bill with gustation and olfaction to create an extrasensory dining experience. At first glance, it's a restaurant and bar, with a menu loaded with seafood and steak house-worthy entrees, and a wine selection that seems plucked from a sommelier's dreams. But the star attraction of the club is the talent that blossoms upon its performance stage. Equipped with a professional sound and lighting system and featuring a house band for backup, the open stage draws burgeoning singers, dancers, comedians, and mimes into the spotlight to chase their muses as audiences offer encouragement and friendly critiques.
Founded in 1999, Just The Funny Theater hosts a rotating roster of improv and sketch teams, and also opens its stage to standup comedians. The theater’s comedic cast members have numerous credits from local theater productions. Just The Funny also offers classes in the improvisational arts and sketch writing, during which instructors dispense the comedic skills they’ve learned from their own training with such groups as The Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Groundlings.
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.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.