music festival

Florida Music Festival Guide

To see Scott Piccoli’s full story on the history of music in SoFla, subscribe to Boca Magazine and see the March 2017 issue. 


One sign that South Florida is no longer the sonic wilderness of yore is its proliferation of big-ticket music festivals for lovers of all genres. Here is a handy rundown of the area’s best fests, plus the venues we miss, and artists to listen to before anyone else.

by Scott Piccoli

Okeechobee Music Festival. Photo provided by Cynthia Putnam.

Okeechobee Music Festival. Photo provided by Cyndi Putnam.

Fest Ahead

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

Based out of the tiny town of Okeechobee, this festival, going into its second year in March, is the spawn of flower child dreams. Camp out on the grounds, listen to tunes ranging from rock, rap, hip hop, house, dubstep, electronic and a lot more, and explore the venue for endless entertainment.

SunFest

The city-sponsored block party on the Intracoastal of West Palm Beach is a family-friendly and eclectic affair that has programmed punk bands, rap stars and American Idol winners alike across its sprawling live-music schedule. See this year’s lineup here.

Jazz in the Gardens

In the decade since its debut, Jazz in the Gardens in Miami Gardens has cultivated its audience by emphasizing R&B, funk, soul, a little bit of hip-hop and, yes, jazz. The March festival has also grown big enough to claim Hard Rock/Sun Life/ Dolphins Stadium as its main stage.

Ultra

A monster of a music festival, Ultra draws tens of thousands of event-goers to Miami in March in an annual gathering of the electronic tribes. It’s a thumping show of sound and light featuring the DJs and bands that make the world’s dance floors throb.

III Points

This event premiered in October in Miami’s thriving arts district in Wynwood with a smart lineup of electronic ensembles, DJs and indie-pop bands, and looks poised to keep coming back.

99.9 Kiss Country Chili Cookoff

The biggest country music stars play this radio bash every winter at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines. At 30 years and counting, the Cookoff is the biggest and most durable of South Florida radio festivals, outlasting its long-gone rock counterparts, the Buzz Bake Sale and Zetafest. Not even Y-100’s popular “Jingle Ball” comes close for sheer longevity and attendance numbers.

Tortuga

A newcomer to the South Florida festival circuit, Tortuga brings big-name country acts to the Fort Lauderdale Beach shore every April, and splits the bill with rock, roots and jam-band music, finding common ground between cowboy Kenny Chesney and socially conscious Michael Franti.

The Hukilau

This smaller-scale shindig does an outsized job celebrating all things Polynesian. For 15 years, every June, The Hukilau has made Fort Lauderdale’s Mai-Kai restaurant its base, enticing fans of tiki culture from near and far with a bounty of surf bands, pop art, hula dancing, fruity drinks and more.

Venues We Miss

These favorite clubs and theaters are gone but not forgotten.

Hollywood Sportatorium, Pembroke Pines (1970-1988)

Big, unpretty and acoustically rough, the old Sportatorium was the quintessential ‘70s concert venue, where South Florida’s young, dazed and confused got to see their favorite arena rock bands and brag afterward about surviving the night.

Sunrise Musical Theater, Sunrise (1976 – 2002)

A medium-sized, multi-purpose auditorium with a touch of swank, Sunrise hosted everyone from Frank Sinatra to Hole before it was sold to a local church.

Carefree Theatre, West Palm Beach (1947 – 2005)

This deco-style movie theater and concert space was the intimate setting for close encounters with performers who don’t sell millions of records but do attract devoted, music-geek fans. Memorable shows by Wilco, Ben Folds, Lucinda Williams and more made the Carefree’s sudden, code-induced shutdown cause for mourning.

Woody’s (1987-1989), The Stephen Talkhouse (1992-1997), Miami Beach

Talk to veteran South Florida music publicist Woody Graber, and he’ll tell you these were legendary local clubs—he worked at both, so of course he would. But Woody’s (named for owner Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones) and the Talkhouse did have an undeniable star power that made both feel like the center of the universe whenever rock ‘n’ roll royalty dropped in to play, which happened pretty often.

Peaches Records & Tapes, Fort Lauderdale (1976-2001)

Though not a concert hall per se, the boxy Peaches building on East Sunrise Boulevard put on memorable in-store gigs, including live local radio broadcasts of South Florida bands on the brink of national stardom—from the almost-famous punk quartet The Cichlids in 1979 to the completely infamous Marilyn Manson more than a decade later.

Tomorrow’s stars

Hear them here first before radio and iTunes catch on.

Pouya

This emerging, fleet-of-tongue Miami rapper was already turning heads when he landed on one of rap’s most unexpected viral hits: “Dat $tick,” a self-produced track and video by a teenager from Jakarta who calls himself Rich Chigga. After his cameo on a “$tick” remix alongside hip-hop luminary Ghostface Killah, Pouya might soon be courting stardom himself.

Brika

With her dusky voice, Miami’s Brika sounds dreamy and unhurried even when she’s turning jazzy rhythmic somersaults over deep beats. A chanteuse for the electronic age, Brika has a strikingly accomplished debut album, 2014’s “Voice Memos,” to her credit, and a growing fan-base eager to hear more.

Bluejay

This trio blends synth and cello, among other sounds, into an artful and personable whole that somehow feels very Miami but isn’t at all casting-call tropicalia. Bluejay has played for ravers at the III Points electronica festival in Wynwood and for Miami’s donor class at the Adrienne Arsht Center, and been well received everywhere.

Chaucer

Springing mainly from the mind of West Palm Beach resident Josh Simkowitz, Chaucer makes inventive, eccentric rock that has music fiends, local tastemakers and fellow-musicians taking notice. Chris Carrabba, the Boca Ratonian who rose to fame as Dashboard Confessional, says of Simkowitz’s work, “I would describe it as like Violent Femmes meets Flaming Lips meets Built to Spill.”

pork chops

Deconstructing the Dish: Kurobuta Pork Chops from 50 Ocean

To see the full story and chef Joe Bonavita Jr.’s tips, subscribe to the magazine and check out the March 2017 issue. 


Double Bone-in Kurobuta Pork Chops

with winter salad of apples, chestnuts, and pomegranate, and roasted cauliflower puree and blueberry jus

BM_Deconstruct_50_Ocean-169

Created by Chef Joe Bonavita Jr. of 50 Ocean in Delray Beach.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

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  • 4 double bone-in Kurobuta pork chops (14 ounces each)
  • 4 green apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup chestnuts, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 12 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 1 ounce salt
  • 1/2 ounce extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion cut into large dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 leek – white part only
  • 4 ounces port wine
  • 20 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 16 ounces fresh, whole blueberries

Pork Chops

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Season with salt and pepper, and grill until cooked to medium. About 6 minutes each side.

Winter Salad

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Roast the sliced apples in butter until tender. While warm, add to mixing bowl with arugula, pomegranate seeds, and chestnuts. Mix together until arugula is slightly wilted.

Cauliflower Puree

BM_Deconstruct_50_Ocean-129

Roast cauliflower until golden brown. While roasting, warm heavy cream. Once cauliflower is cooked, add to blender with cream. Blend on high while slowly adding 4 ounces butter. Season with salt.

Blueberry Jus

BM_Deconstruct_50_Ocean-63

In heavy, 1 1/2-quart saucepan over moderate heat, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add onion, carrot and leek, and sauté until softened and lightly golden (about 10 minutes).

Add port wine and blueberries, raise heat to high and bring to boil. Lower heat to moderately high and simmer vigorously uncovered, until liquid has been reduced by two-thirds (4 to 5 minutes).

Add chicken stock and cinnamon stick, raise heat to high, and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to moderately high and simmer until mixture is thick enough to lightly coat back of spoon (30 to 45 minutes). Pour through fine mesh strainer into small, clean saucepan. Cover and keep warm.

Plating

pork chops

For plating, spoon some of the cauliflower puree onto the middle of the plate. Lay pork chop on angle over puree with t-bones pointing to edge of plate, or cut chop in half so you can stand one chop up with bone in the air and the other pork slice laying down. Spoon warm winter salad next to chop and over some of meat. To finish, drizzle blueberry jus around plate.

Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Week Ahead in A&E: Meet a Mummy, Stroll Stinkiest Festival Ever

Here’s your week ahead for February 7-12

Tuesday

Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Meet Annie, a 2,300- year-old mummy at the recently-opened exhibit “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science” at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Enter a lost world of 200 B.C. as you’re transported first to a modern Egyptian street scene, through a field site exploring tools and technologies used at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders on the Giza Plateau and, finally, plunge into ancient Egyptian culture with a mummy, funerary artifacts, art and culture of ancient Egypt. The laboratory X-rays animal mummies and does CT scans of human mummies.

Where: Lost Egypt, 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale

When: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Cost: $16 adults, $15 seniors 65-plus, $13 military and children age 2 to 12.

Contact: 954/467-6637 or www.mods.org

 

Wednesday

Craving a little cabaret to soothe the soul? Maybe a crooner is just what you need. Two-time Tony nominee Vivian Reed, known for her work in “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “High Rollers,” presents a cabaret set of “Standards and More,” focusing on the classics but with a smattering of less-familiar surprises at Lynn University.

Where: Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 561/237-9000, lynn.edu

 

Thursday

Anthony Jeselnik

Fan of the sharp-tongued savant of the zinger? Catch the caustic Anthony Jeselnik (the former Mr. Amy Schumer, whose voice is sharper than his no-holds-barred ex-girlfriend), specializing in darkly comic standup that explores amoral, politically incorrect topics through deviant left-turns and hilarious non-sequiturs.

Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 250, West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com

 

Friday 

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Head out to the stinkiest street festival ever, the Delray Beach Garlic Festival — in Lake Worth of course. The longtime Delray Beach festival celebrates its first year in this 726-acre park in Lake Worth. Catch headlining acts Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Kongos, and Andy Childs. Savor the food court with more than 80 garlic-tinged items, a children’s amusement area and more than 180 craft and artist vendors. Shuttle service free from Palm Beach State College and Tri-Rail.

Where: John Prince Park, 2700 Sixth Ave. S., Lake Worth

When: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday

Cost: $10-20 for headliners; children under 12 free.

Contact: 561/279-0907, dbgarlicfest.com.

 

Saturday

The worst dinner party ever, "Disgraced."

The worst dinner party ever, “Disgraced.”

Ever had a dinner party just die on you? Well, if you think you’ve thrown some bad ones, check out the political, personal and religious tensions colliding in “Disgraced.” A gathering heads South in an epically disastrous multicultural dinner party in this award-winning, button-pushing drama by Ayad Akhtar, which exposes prejudice, injustice and tribalism in equal measure.

Where: Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter

When: 8 p.m. curtain

Cost: $70 to 91

Contact: 561/575-2223, jupitertheatre.org.

 

Sunday

Willie Cole lectures at the Norton.

The work of Willie Cole.

The work of Willie Cole.

Artist Willie Cole will discuss his work during a public presentation at the Norton Museum of Art in conjunction with the Norton Museum of Art’s Black History Month exhibition Spotlight: Recent Acquisitions.

Where: 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: Museum admission and Cole’s presentation are free.

Contact: 561/832-5196, Norton.org

 

 


For more arts and entertainment, visit the Arts/Entertainment tab on our site, and subscribe to the magazine for the best of Boca and beyond. 

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
buffett

Parrothead: Tickets go on Sale Friday for Buffett Concert at Fairgrounds

buffett

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will perform at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre at the South Florida Fairgrounds May 16 at 8 p.m., as part of Jimmy Buffett’s “I Don’t Know’” Tour 2017. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 10 at TicketMaster (limit 8 tickets per sale). 800/745-3000 charge by phone.

 

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
miami broward valentine's day

13 Broward and Miami-Dade Valentine’s Day Deals

Broward County

Steak 954

Steak 954 (55)

This oceanfront restaurant (pictured) offers great views, a raw bar and dry-aged beef. Try a special holiday cocktail called Tuesday I’m In Love, for $14.

401 N. Lauderdale., Fort Lauderdale

3030 Ocean

Try a five-course dinner paired with a rose Champagne for each course, for $140 per person, excluding tax/gratuity. Starts at 8 p.m.

Harbor Beach Marriott, 3030 Holiday Dr., Fort Lauderdale; 954/765-3030

III Forks

Offering a Sweetheart Menu for $160 per couple, that includes salad or bisque, filet mignon, lobster tails, plus sides and dessert.

501 Silks Run, Hallandale; 954/457-3920

Cantina Laredo

A prix-fixe menu is available from Feb. 11-14 for a three-course meal. Cost is $35 per person, excluding tax/gratuity. Optional cocktail pairing for $15 per person.

501 Silks Run, Hallandale; 954/457-7662

Miami-Dade County

DOA Miami Beach  

DOA sashimi

This LatAsian restaurant is offering three prix-fixe menus. One is $95 per person, with three courses, including the sashimi platter (pictured); another is $125 per person, with three courses and a surprise dessert chosen by Executive Chef Carlos Estarita, and the third is a vegetarian menu.

2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305/587-2000

Beaker & Gray

Offering a prix-fixe menu for $85 per person, or the meal with cocktail pairings for $110 per person.

2637 N. Miami Ave., Wynwood; 305/699-2637

StripSteak by Michael Mina at Fontainebleau 

A four-course, prix-fixe menu for $200 per couple includes an oyster/shrimp cocktail, salad, Chateaubriand for Two and dessert. Reservations required.

4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 877/326-7412

Level 1 Bar & Lounge 

This new restaurant offers a prix-fixe menu for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $60 per person, excluding tax/gratuity and includes live music, plus a three-course menu.

2410 NW 20th St., Miami; 786/536-5188

BLT Prime  

A prix-fixe menu for $65 per person, excluding tax/gratuity, for a three-course menu. Also a special holiday menu with a la carte items.

4400 NW 87th Ave., Miami; 305/591-6066

Bird & Bone at The Confidante  

The prix-fixe menu is $85 per person and is a family-style, Southern-inspired menu.

4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

The Continental
TheContinentalExterior

A three-course prix-fixe menu, including two glasses of Champagne, for $65 a couple. And that includes a chocolate fondue dessert.

2360 Collins Ave., Miami Beach (pictured)

Jaya at The Setai  

Try a six-course prix-fixe meal for Valentine’s Day, with choices including salmon tartar (sprinkled with gold leaf!), Maine lobster, Wagyu ribeye and a dessert of Black Forest chocolate and cherry mousse. For $125 per person, excluding tax/gratuity, but including a glass of rose Champagne.

2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

La Moderna

Offering a three-course prix-fixe meal with a cocktail pairing for $80 per person. Special menu starts at 9 p.m

1874 Bay Road, Miami


Hungry for more food news? Visit our food page, and subscribe to the magazine for the best food coverage of Boca and beyond.

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
valentine's

10 Valentine’s Specials to Fall in Love With

Whether you’re a sappy romantic when it comes to Valentine’s Day, or you like your heart shapes in the form of a filet, we’ve got you covered. Here’s to amore!

Vic & Angelo’s

Vic Angelos fruiti di mare

Vic & Angelo’s fruitti di mare. Photo by LibbyVision.com

Cupid can strike a bull’s-eye with this $55 prix-fixe menu that includes choices of lobster Francese or linguini frutti di mare (pictured), plus dessert and more.

4520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 844/842-2632

The Addison

A four-course dinner on Feb. 14 for $149 per person, excluding tax/gratuity. Champagne, wine and a live band with dancing, along with a photo and special sweetheart gift means a great night. Reservations required.

2 E. Camino Real; 561/372-0568

Angle, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Angle's butter poached lobster. Photo courtesy Eau Palm Beach.

Two choices of serious special treatment is available at this oceanfront resort. There’s a private oceanfront cabana dining special, for $450 per couple, that includes a four-course meal with dishes such as the butter poached lobster (pictured), dessert, wine pairings and Champagne toast. The cabana special is offered Feb. 10, Feb. 11 and Feb. 14. Or have a special Valentine’s menu on Feb. 14 for $95 per person (and four-course menus on Feb. 10-11).

100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561/540-4924

Pistache French Bistro

Here’s a three-course prix-fixe dinner with French delights, such as Burgundy escargots, tartare de saumon, beef Bourguignon, filet au poivre, crème brulee… need I go on? For $75 per person; reservations recommended.

101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561/833-5090

Chez l’Epicier

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 9.52.44 AM

A special sharing menu includes aphrodisiac foods and drinks, along with candlelight for a romantic atmosphere. Specialty cocktails are $25 per glass, an amuse bouche of a heart-shaped beet and thyme macaron (pictured), then a lobster/Cognac spaghetti dish inside a Parmiagiano Reggiano cheese wheel, at $120 per couple, and Grand Marnier pot de crème, $20 for two. The regular menu is available, too.

288 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561/508-7030

Leila

Leila-WPB-combination-grill-valentines

The Grill for Two includes a bottle of wine, Shish Tawook (chicken), Shish Kebab (beef tips), Lamb Kebab and Kraidis (shrimp), plus dessert for $100 per couple. The regular menu will also be available.

120 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561/659-7373

Jardin

You can sit in a beautiful courtyard fountain setting and order Chef Jordan Lerman’s six-course tasting that includes a glass of sparkling wine. Cost is $75 per person, excluding tax/gratuity. Dishes include black truffle gnudi and a dessert of strawberry panna cotta from pastry chef Stephanie Cohen.

330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561/440-5273

Tanzy Restaurant

With dishes like “First Course ‘Kiss,'” “Feed Me a Fete,” “Seduction,” “Invigoration” and more, get into a six-course prix fixe aphrodisiac dinner by Chef Sherry Yard. The price is $75 per person from Feb. 10 to Feb. 14.

301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561/922-6699

For the “We’re Staying In” crowd

The Fresh Market

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Here’s a great idea to make life easy for those who want to cook — order the Valentine’s Day Meal for Two (pictured) that includes two filet mignons or two lobster tails, or one each of the filet and lobster, plus Yukon Gold whipped potatoes, asparagus, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a dozen roses for $49.99. Separately, also available are heart-shaped steaks. Yep. Orders needed by Feb. 11. Order online or call your local location.

Various locations

Hoffman’s Chocolates

Hoffmans Dipped Decorated Oreos

For the “awww” factor, you can’t beat chocolate dipped and decorated Oreo cookies (pictured), or any of the other gourmet chocolates from this shop.

14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach; also in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood


Hungry for more food news? Visit our food page, and subscribe to the magazine for the best food coverage of Boca and Delray. 

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
broadway

Broadway in Ft. Lauderdale Announces 26th Season to Score 2018-19 ‘Hamilton’ Tickets

Waitress

Subscribe to the 2017-18 Broadway in Fort Lauderdale season to score tickets next season to “Hamilton,” which runs in the 2018-19 season. The 26th season at Broward Center for the Performing Arts showcases  Broadway’s greatest hits with a six-show subscription package that is power-packed with musical blockbusters. The season will commence with the new production of “the Sound of Music” Oct. 10 to 22; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies, The Phantom Returns” opens Nov. 7 through 19; “School of Rock” runs Dec. 12 to 24; “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” plays Jan. 9 through 21, 2018; “Waitress” runs April 11 to 22, 2018;”Jersey Boys” closes the season May 8 to 20, 2018.

Subscribers who renew for the 2018/19 season will be able to guarantee their tickets for the premier Fort Lauderdale engagement of “Hamilton” before tickets become available to the general public.

“Hamilton” ticket dates and how to purchase groups and single tickets will be announced at a later time.

School Of Rock-27-10-16-New London-5450_RT_CROP

Season tickets for the 2017/2018 Bank of America Broadway in Fort Lauderdale six-show package range from $209 – $791. For faster service, visit BroadwayInFortLauderdale.com or call the season ticket hotline at 800/764-0700,  Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When renewing over the phone or online, season ticket Holders must have their account number and credit card. Visit www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com for the most up-to-date information about touring Broadway.

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in "Neverland".

Kravis Center Announces 10th Anniversary Broadway Hits Season

Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in "Neverland".

Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in “Neverland.”

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts announced its 10th anniversary season of Kravis On Broadway for 2017/2018.

“The King and I” opens Nov. 7 through 12; “The Book of Mormon” runs Nov. 21 through 26; “Finding Neverland” runs Jan. 2 to 7, 2018; “Cabaret” opens Feb. 6 through 11, 2018;  “The Illusionists Live from Broadway” opens March  through 11, 2018; “The Bodyguard runs April 10 to 15, 2018; “Something Rotten” runs May 1 to 6, and Disney’s “The Lion King” runs Feb. 1, 2017.

Book of Mormon RYAN BONDY (ELDER PRICE) CODY JAMISON STRAND (ELDER CUNNINGHAM) CANDACE QUARRELS (NABULUNGI)

Book of Mormon

 

For information about purchasing a subscription to Kravis On Broadway 2017/2018, contact the Kravis Center box office at (561) 832-7469 or (800) 572-8471, or log on to www.Kravis.org/broadwayseason.

 "The Illusionists Live from Broadway."

“The Illusionists Live from Broadway.”

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Kelly DiLorenzo commands the crowd in 'Evita', courtesy of Amanda Roy, Bad Hair Day Photography.

Lake Worth Playhouse Delivers Memorable ‘Evita’

Kelly DiLorenzo commands the crowd in 'Evita'.

Kelly DiLorenzo commands the crowd in ‘Evita’. Courtesy of  Amanda Roy, Bad Hair Day Photography.

As a newbie to Florida’s walkable coastal towns, I was charmed last weekend visiting the Lake Worth Playhouse in downtown Lake Worth, just north of Delray Beach in the South Palm Beach area for ‘Evita’. We popped into a happy hour featuring small plates at the brand new “street food” restaurant, Lilo’s, and passed a happy hour indeed on the patio sipping $3 sangria and nibbling on $2 tacos before curtain. It’s community cultural institutions like these weave the fabric of our communities and make friends of new neighbors.

The classic Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber score is hypnotic with sinuous Argentine tango, rousing anthems and operatic drama relating the story of an iconic woman who rose from the slums of Buenos Aires to capture the heart of a nation as a figurehead for revolution.

The company numbers sizzle in 'Evita' at Lake Worth Playhouse.

The company numbers sizzle in ‘Evita’ at Lake Worth Playhouse. Courtesy of  Amanda Roy, Bad Hair Day Photography.

‘Evita’ larger-than-life on intimate stage

The quaint downtown theater is diminutive with just 200 or so seats, a respectable stage, trompe l’oeil balconies and Jacobean faux finished beams and trusses—which puts us up  close to the action.

The 64-year-old community theater draws players from our region’s seasoned pool of stage veterans, which ups the ante in terms of principal performances. You get the pipes and command of the stage of touring pros, but it can make for an uneven cast: old salts chewing up the scenery alongside ingénues.

A commanding ‘Evita’

Kelly DiLorenzo, cast in the title role of Eva, played her first equity production in Los Angeles in “Evita” as the mistress, the dewy-eyed ingénue. Opening week she delivered a commanding performance, firmly establishing the brash, seize-the-moment ethos of the era in “Buenos Aires,” although the ensemble’s split second timing was a bit off. The distinctly plaintive ballad of “Another Suitcase,” delivered with waifish sincerity by Alexandra Garcia—a turn that was one of the most authentic moments of the night’s performance, nuanced and moving. This recent FAU grad is sure to make her mark.

Chris Teixeira as Che brings a Puckish pugnacity to the role, commandeering the stage with predatory elan. He hits his stride on “Night of a Thousand Stars,” providing sly counterpoint and commentary throughout as the Greek chorus voice of the people.

'Evita' captures the mood of a nation on the brink of revolution.

‘Evita’ captures the mood of a nation on the brink of revolution. Courtesy of Amanda Roy, Bad Hair Day Photography.

 

Eva and Juan

The off note is the casting of Richard Forbes as Juan Peron. While he’s a polished actor of five decades, he presents as grandfatherly, sapping the role of chemistry with Eva, undermining the dramatic tension in the narrative arc.

Although “Oh What a Circus” got off to a wobbly start, the ensemble really delivered on “A New Argentina.” Although I’ve never seen the show without an orchestra, and so it felt a bit thin and tinny-sounding, the company nailed the tricky number with solid harmonies and crisp phrasing.

In all, it’s a rousing evening of community theater and director Erin Pittleman gives us an evening out that is worth the price of admission.

Chris Teixeira, UCF grad reveals his solid opera chops in 'Evita'.

Chris Teixeira, UCF grad reveals his solid opera chops in ‘Evita’. Courtesy of Amanda Roy, Bad Hair Day Photography.

“Evita” runs through Feb. 5. Next up is “The Sugar Bean Sisters,” a Southern comedy opening March 2, tickets $23-$38 at 561/586-6410, lakeworthplayhouse.org.

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.