Lauded by The Miami Herald’s Christine Dolen for their “high artistic standards,” Area Stage Company’s founder, John Rodaz, and its producer, Maria Rodaz, have been providing a spotlight for South Florida’s rising talent since 1989. In addition to staging Broadway hits, the group seeks out compelling scripts by Hispanic playwrights, presenting them in both Spanish and English. Now settled into the Riviera Theater, the company has expanded to include music and dance series, a professional theatre program, and an invisible supporting cast for one-man plays.
At GableStage, audiences can open their eyes, ears, and noses to experience the creative adventures brought to life by talented contemporary playwrights. Superior Donuts is a new dramedy by Tracy Letts, a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (August: Osage County) and ensemble member of Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theater. Set against the backdrop of an old Chicago neighborhood, Superior Donuts examines friendships, new beginnings, and old secrets as they converge on a local donut shop like a whole bunch of homeless donuts. After a run on Broadway, this production is now making its southeastern premiere.
Founded as a sanctuary for flowers, birds, and their admirers, Pinecrest Gardens has flourished into a family-friendly retreat that entertains visitors with horticultural exhibits and artistic events in a scenic setting. Spanning 4.3 acres of forested wetland, the gardens harbor more than 1,000 rare and exotic plants, including a 100-year-old coco plum tree, orchids, and a banyan tree that spreads across three-fourths of an acre. Waterways full of fish snake through these plants, their inhabitants impatiently pursing their lips at visitors for handfuls of food.
Pinecrest Gardens offers other entertainment opportunities for youngsters, who can splash around in the water playground, spot wildlife at Swan Lake, or play with potbellied pigs at the petting zoo. In addition, the 500-seat outdoor Banyan Bowl offers concertgoers pristine acoustics and cool evening breezes along with complimentary views of the stars.
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.