Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cirque Dreams Holidaze


On December 27th through January 1st CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE will light up the holiday season at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The stage will be transformed into a wonderland of fantasy and disbelief for 8 glorious holiday performances presented by Broadway Across America – Fort Lauderdale.

Renowned director Neil Goldberg, creator of the ground breaking Broadway hit CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY, re-imagines the holiday season with CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE. An international cast of over 30 multi-talented and brilliantly costumed artists come to life and perform astonishing feats of disbelief. Experience gingerbread men fl ipping mid air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen powerfully sculpting, penguins spinning, puppets dancing and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment. An original music score and some seasonal favorites accompany hundreds of astonishing costumes and holiday dreams in a setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering soldiers creating a wonderland of spectacle.

In a newly forged partnership with Armed Forces Entertainment, the Department of
Defense program chartered to bring free, live, quality entertainment to U.S. military members and their families overseas. Cirque Dreams will now share its creations with U.S. Troops at home and abroad. Military discounts will be available for all U.S. performances of Cirque Dreams Holidaze. In January 2012, sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, the creation of the fi rst ever Cirque Dreams World Tour will begin performing at military bases throughout 10 countries. Says U.S. Air Force Col. Kathleen Weatherspoon, Chief
of Armed Forces Entertainment, “I had the opportunity to experience fi rsthand the Cirque Dreams Holidaze performance at the Kennedy Center and see the tremendous impact … the pledge of support Cirque Dreams is making to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines as a way to say. ‘Thank you for your service.’ is awesome.”

Performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts will be held December 27, 2011 through January 1, 2012 with evening performances Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 7pm. Matinee performances on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are affordably priced starting at $29.50 and are available at the Broward Center Box Office, online at or via phone at 954.462.0222. Group discounts are available by calling 954.626.7814 or 954.462.0222. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located at 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale 33312.

SoBe Arts

For six extraordinary days, internationally acclaimed Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer John Corigliano (The Red Violin) will join fellow international classical music superstars, cellist Matt Haimovitz, violist Kim Kashkashian, violinists Anastasia Khitruk and Lara St. John in the inaugural SoBe Arts American Masterworks String Festival to be presented Monday, December 5 through Saturday, December 10 at SoBe Institute of the Arts in Miami Beach.

Most festival events will take place on the SoBe Arts campus, 2100 Washington Avenue. The irresistible combination of accessibility to outstanding performers and music, the perfect post-Art Basel Miami winter weather, the beautiful setting and excellent acoustics of this intimate venue all promise to make the festival a rare experience for contemporary and classical music lovers. Daily performances and demonstrations will be open to the general public for free or low-cost admission.

The Festival will conclude on Saturday evening, December 10th at the Colony Theater, Lincoln Road, with a pre-concert talk by Corigliano and a Festival Finale Concert with all the guest artists performing. The complete schedule, individual ticket and festival pass information for all events are available online here.

“To bring SoBe Arts into national prominence has been my vision since we opened
our doors six years ago,” says Dr. Carson Kievman, Executive Artistic Director. “The passion, artistry and distinctive sound of these truly exceptional musicians playing vibrant American repertoire will be a once-in a lifetime experience for our audiences. With Corigliano as composer-in-residence along with such brilliant performing artists as Haimovitz, Kashkashian, Khitruk and St. John on campus, rarely will our community be offered the opportunity to hear such incredible musicians in performance in addition to participating in one-on-one lecture demonstrations and master classes."

Sunfish Grill

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
2775 East Oakland Park Blvd.

Open 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Tues - Sat
(Closed Sunday and Monday)
“Lite Bites” Happy Hour menu
available from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Fort Lauderdale’s Sunfish Grill serves up creative cuisine that crisscrosses so many cultures it can only be labeled “contemporary American ” in style. Executive chef Bill Bruening and general manager/ pastry chef Erika DiBattista make a point to emphasize the use of indigenous and seasonal ingredients in their constantly-evolving menu featuring fresh fish, meats and pasta dishes, along with sophisticated salads and inspired desserts.   

The Sunfish atmosphere is perfect for romantic dates, family gatherings, or quick happy-hour noshes. Warm earthy hues, dark wood accents, and billowy white ceiling drapes set the tone in the dining room, which is further enhanced by candlelight and enticing scents of seafood emanating from the kitchen. A glass-encased wine room, housing a vast selection of domestic and imported varieties, is in full view of the dining area, adding elegance to the environment.

Sunfish offers exciting options for demanding diners in any kind of mood. Soups change daily, and I was fortunate to try the smooth and creamy shrimp bisque, marked by undertones of sweet sherry that elicited memories of New Orleans’ best. Asian pear salad is terrific in taste and spectacular in size, but there won’t be any left on your plate. Matched with arugula and endive, apples, grapes, spicy pecans, creamy Gorgonzola cheese, crunchy potato sticks and truffle oil vinaigrette, the pear is the shining star, augmented by a perfectly picked supporting cast of flavors and punctuated by a pristine plate presentation.

The tuna bolognaise was an unexpected surprise bringing comfort food to a higher plateau, and I’ve been craving more ever since my first bite. Chunks of tender tuna atop a bed of rustic spaghetti with red sauce permeated with the soul of toasted garlic works much better than traditional ground beef, for an oceanic improvement upon a rustic Italian classic. If you’re looking for something more modern, try the grilled swordfish and asparagus spears over red wine-and-cremini mushroom risotto and you’ll be one happy eater.

Save room for one of Erika’s “not the usual” key lime pies topped with with burnt meringue, or a seasonal pumpkin pie creme brulee with pie crust and fresh berry garnish to end your meal experience right.

Erik Mathes is a personal chef, in home cooking instructor, culinary mentor and food blogger. He has transformed countless rookie cooks into Kitchen All Stars and has cooked for South Florida’s elite. To learn more about Erik and his company, check out and read his blog, “Rantings of a Chef,” at

Meet the Artist: Jay Bellicchi

Jay Bellicchi, a Boston native, moved to Miami in 2000. Shortly thereafter he started “FIFTYTHREE”, a limited edition apparel line. Since then Jay has adopted the name “FIFTYTHREE” as his creative identity, painting and designing under that moniker”. “FIFTYTHREE” has been featured in local Miami publications such as the Miami Herald, New Times and 944 Magazine as well as a feature in the Erotic Signatures book “World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today” Volume 3. In 2007 Bellicchi founded and co-managed AltSpace Art Gallery in Coconut Grove. In the spring of 2009 Jay founded GRAFFTOYZ a graffiti toy company. GRAFFTOYZ creates interactive toys and art objects inspired by graffiti art.

Do you hold a formal degree in the arts?
I went to school three separate times for art and design. I first went to MASS ART in Boston right after high school, then dropped out after six months. After some years of traveling, painting and snowboarding I went back to school for graphic design in Tempe AZ at Collins School of Design. Lastly I went to school here in FL for web design and multimedia at The Art Institute. I learned the most about ART in design school; however, I feel my most valuable lessons and influences have come through my life experiences traveling and the people I met along the way.

What careers besides Art have you had?
In the past ten years I’ve founded and co-managed AltSpace Art Gallery in Coconut Grove. I then started GRAFFTOYZ, a graffiti toy company. GRAFFTOYZ creates interactive toys and art objects inspired by graffiti art ( ). All the while doing graphic and web design as well as mural painting for various clients.

Some of your paintings are “stream of consciousness” in their style….how do you achieve this?
My work is not planned out. The act of painting for me is an organic spontaneous process that is directly influenced by my mental and spiritual state at the time. I use many different mediums: latex and acrylic paint, all types of aerosol paint, paint markers, graffiti remover, goo gone, sand paper, razor blades – the list goes on. I mainly paint on wood panels. This allows me to fully manipulate the surface and achieve the desired effect.

When beginning a painting…what inspires you?
To me, each of my paintings represents a story within a dream or a meditative state of mind. The work is open to interpretation, of course. My goal, however, is to evoke positive dynamic emotions within my viewers.

In your own words…share with AT readers something unique about you personally?
“I create abstract reflections of urban decay. The process that graffiti goes through as time progresses involves things getting erased, gone over, crossed out, etc. This process creates an aesthetic that speaks to me, one that I find beautiful. I achieve this aesthetic one way or another in each of my paintings….

Zoo Lights

This holiday season Zoo Miami is hosting a myriad of exciting and fun activities for the entire family. Guests can enjoy beautiful animal-shaped lights as they stroll zoo walkways during the 8 nights of Zoo Lights, have Dinner with Santa, and watch the animals open their specially-prepared gifts during Holiday Gifts for the Animals.

The zoo’s glorious grounds come to light for 8 brilliant nights during Zoo Lights, December 16 – 23 from 7 – 10 p.m. (ticket booths close at 9:30 p.m.). Guests can enjoy dozens of bright animal-shaped lights along our walkways, listen to wonderful holiday music, sip hot chocolate, “ice-skate”, and take a ride on a camel, the wildlife carousel or the hippo slide (the world’s largest inflatable slide).  Included with admission is a pair of 3D glasses, which will make the Zoo Lights experience even more engaging and amusing. General admission is only $5 per personvplus tax. Food, beverages, “iceskating”, camel rides, carousel and hippo slide are all available at additional costs.

Dinner with Santa will take place on December 17, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Bring the kids to meet him before he has to rush back to the North Pole! Eat a delicious holiday dinner complete with roasted turkey and baked ham and enjoy Zoo Lights. Each child will receive a holiday plush and they’ll also get to make their own holiday ornaments!

Adults are $39.95 and children are $33.95. Zoo Members save $3 each. To make a reservation or for more details, please call 305-251-0400 and ask for Group Sales.

Another fun family activity is Holiday Gifts for the Animals! Every weekend in December, including Christmas Day, watch the animals joyfully open holiday gifts prepared by zookeepers and volunteers. The animals enjoy opening up their enriching gifts and you’ll be entertained watching them.

Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177. General zoo admission is $15.95/adult and $11.95/child (3 -12) plus tax. Children under three, Zoo members and parking are free. Zoo Lights and Dinner with Santa have separate admission prices. Save time – buy your tickets online at www.zoomiami. org. Zoo Miami’s regular hours are 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Art Basel 2011

Art Basel Miami Beach 2011:
Celebrating the 10th Edition
December 1-4
Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami Beach will host the 10th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, sister event of Switzerland’s Art Basel and the most prestigious are show in the Americas.  Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of over 260 top national and international galleries exhibiting 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists.  An exciting program of special exhibitions, parties, crossover EVENTS featuring music, film, architecture and design will provide a vital source for art lovers, allowing them to both discover new developments in contemporary art and experience rare museum-caliber artworks.  Exhibition sites are located in the city’s beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.

To mark its 10th edition, Art Basel Miami Beach will inaugurate a new collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art on the Art Public sector, transforming Collins Park with unique artworks and performances by renowned artists and emerging talents.  For the first time, Art Video will be presented on the large-scale outdoor projection wall of the New World Center designed by frank Gehry.  The free public viewings will be part of a number of special events and performances taking place across Miami Beach for the duration of the show.

Rembrandt's Erotic Secrets



In an extraordinary exhibit that will showcase what historians, curators and collectors have for centuries declared the iconic Dutch artist’s “dirty little secrets,” twenty etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn (1609-69) will be unveiled all together for the first time at a reception, Tuesday, November 29, at 8 P.M. at Naomi Wilzig’s World Erotic Art Museum.  Curated by The Baron of Fulwood & Dirleton and Naomi Wilzig, assisted by David Tamargo, the etchings will be on view at the museum’s new Rembrandt Gallery through Saturday, March 31, 2011. 

An Assemblage of the only existing erotic etchings illustrating Rembrandt’s masterful technique, the exhibit will offer a provocative new perspective on the artist deemed by many as “one of the greatest prophets of civilization.” Titles of the etching such as “Adam and Eve,” “A Man Making Water” (1631) and “Woman Sitting Half Dressed Besides a Stove” (1658), meld the earthly with the spiritual, and are among the nudes, biblical, and Greek mythological studies which will be on display in an exhibit anticipated to be among the most hard sought museum tickets of the season.

The World Erotic Art Museum is located at 1205 Washington Avenue and is open Monday through Thursday 11am-10pm.  Tickets are $15. No one under 18 admitted.  Further information is available by calling 305-532-9336, or

Charles' Corner: The Wolfsonian

Starting on November 25, 2011, the Wolfsonian/FIU at 1001 Washington Avenue on Miami Beach will offer an ‘opportunitè manifique’ to visit this venerable, local institution. This date kicks off ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,’ an exhibition exploring French cultural identity through design produced from the mid-twentieth century to the present.

Before continuing on to the subject of the exhibition, I would like to suggest that just about
any time of the year is a great time to visit the collection created by Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson, Jr. and the institution that houses it. 

Wolfson started collecting in childhood. Young Wolfson’s keen eye for visual imagery fueled his passion until he totally dedicated himself to the assembly of his collection. As his collection grew, he would send everything to an ornate and impressive fortress called the Washington Storage Company at 1001 Washington Avenue. The “fortress” was an institution of a slowly disappearing era in Miami Beach history, the era when wealthy families would pack up their entire houses at the end of the “season” (usually around Easter) and head back north. The Washington Storage Company would send crews to the departing family’s home and empty them of their contents bringing everything to the storage facility. There, furnishings would be cleaned, repaired, serviced and stored until the family’s return the following season. Mr. Wolfson took fair advantage of this convenient facility and sent a growing stream of his purchases there. As the demographics of Miami Beach changed and fewer and fewer families stored their furnishings, Micky Wolfson’s collection began to take over. By the 1980’s, Wolfson was being encouraged to buy the building. Thus the Wolfsonian/FIU was born. 

The ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ exhibition runs from November 25, 2011 through March 26, 2012 and is organized by Wolfsonian/FIU from the collection of France’s Centre National des Arts Plastiques (National Center for Visual Arts or CNAP). The opening of the exhibition will coincide with the celebration of Art Basel Miami Beach/Design Miami 2011. The Wolfsonian/FIU took an entirely new approach to curating the exhibition by engaging in a dynamic dialogue with French designers and design historians who collaborated with the museum on the project: matali crasset, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak of M/M (Paris), and Alexandra Midal. Together they shaped a unique presentation of French design objects from the collection of the Centre National des Arts Pplastiques that express ideas about French national identity.”

Approximately 150 objects will be exhibited, including furniture, industrial design, and craft, created by some of the most celebrated French designers of the past and present, including Pierre Paulin, Roger Tallon, Philippe Starck, and the Bouroullec Brothers, as well as others lesser known in the United States. Presented in nine narrative clusters, the exhibition is displayed within a network of related, yet unique, settings, and joined by viewing rooms for related films. The nine sections focus attention on individual designers, such as Roger Tallon and Philippe Starck; on important episodes in French industrial design history, for example, the seminal work of the research and development division of Thomson electronics in the 1990s; and on the influence of les villes nouvelles (new towns) built during the 1960s and 1970s.

Art Masterpieces from Italy make their American Debut

At the Museum of Art

South Florida is the first in the nation to be amazed by an extraordinary exhibition - Offering of the Angels: Old Master Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery, November 19, 2011-Apri 8, 2012, at The Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University. The Uffizi Gallery houses one of the world’s greatest Renaissance and Baroque art collections. Artists include Sandro Botticelli, Parmigianino, Alessandro Allori, Luca Giordano, and Lorenzo Monaco, among many others. The paintings and tapestries in the exhibition portray scenes from the Old Testament, including the Creation of Adam and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, as well as various events from the life of Christ.

The exhibition is coming to the U.S. through the efforts and encouragement of the Amici degli Uffizi, which was established in 1993 by a group of concerned Florentine citizens following a terrorist bombing which damaged the Gallery and some of its priceless artworks. Museum of Art Executive Director Irvin Lippman says, “Offering of the Angels brings to south Florida a wealth of old master paintings and tapestries that are rarely, if ever, seen in this region. We welcome the generosity of the Uffizi Gallery in allowing these treasures to travel here. The exhibition’s impressive works of art reflect, in their fullest expression, the high points of artistic achievement of Western civilization.”

Among the exhibition’s stellar paintings is the vivid Madonna and Child (ca. 1466-67) by Sandro Botticelli (circa 1445-1510) which reveals the graceful spirit and sensitive lyricism for which the artist is best known. One of the earliest works is Lorenzo Monaco’s The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John and Mary Magdalene (ca. 1395-1400), with its pious figures and stunning gilt background that are a hallmark of the Late Gothic style. Luca Giordano (1634-1705), a leading figure of the Late Baroque period in Italy, is represented by the moving Climb to Calvary (1685-1686), a large canvas that depicts an emotional encounter on Christ’s accent to his crucifixion. A featured work is the recently-restored Madonna with Child and Saint Catherine, a magnificent oil on canvas from the Workshop of Titian (ca. 1550).

For information and tickets, please call 954- 262.0221 or log on to Group rates are available. The Museum is home to AutoNation Academy of Art & Design, Books & Books and the Museum Café. Open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11am- 6 pm with extended hours Thursdays until 8 pm. Sundays 12-5pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and July 4th.

8th Annual AIWF BBQ Cook-Off at Flamingo Gardens

Sunday, November 6TH from 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Amid Flamingo Garden’s 60 acres of lush botanical gardens, six culinary schools from South Florida (Johnson & Wales University, Miami-Dade College Culinary Institute, Le Cordon Bleu, Florida International University, The Art Institute, and Lincoln Culinary Institute) will compete at this year’s Annual BBQ Cook-Off. At stake is the coveted Pig Trophy, awarded to the team that cooks up the “Best Ribs and Sides.” The schools will be judged by a professional panel of media, and local food & wine celebrities. Guests can also enjoy food samplings from area restaurants along with a variety of wine and beer amid the beautiful botanical setting of Flamingo Gardens. Sampling stations will be catered by Smitty’s Grille, Sparky’s Roadside BBQ, Chef George Catering, Susie’s Scrumptious Sweets and Whole Foods. A variety of wine and beer will be provided by International Wine Imports, Peachy Canyon Winery, Chronic Cellars, and Brown Distributing Co. for Fresh Beer and Renewal Water.

 If the food isn’t enough to keep you busy, live entertainment will be provided by The Charlie Steiner Trio and there will be a silent auction with a Big Green Egg BBQ donated by Culinary Concepts, along with several restaurant gift certificates, bottles of wine and more. See a touch of Old Florida in the historic Wray Home in Flamingo Gardens’ 60 acres of lush gardens showcasing rare, exotic and native plants. Tour the groves and the Wray Botanical Collection including 16 Champion Trees. The Wray House is the oldest residence in Broward west of University Drive. The Live Oaks surrounding the home are 150-200 years old and have an approximate life span of 500 years. Explore native wildlife in the Free-flight Aviary and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary exhibits.

Prices are $40.00 in advance for AIWF and Flamingo Gardens members and students; $50.00 for all others and on the day of the event. Proceeds from the event raise money to support the AIWF’s culinary scholarships and signature Days of Taste programs and help sustain Flamingo Gardens. For reservations email assnmgmt@bellsouth. net or call 305-663-9641 or 954-396-3875. Flamingo Gardens Botanical Collections & Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 3750 South Flamingo Road in Davie 33330 (Flamingo Rd between Griffin & I-595). For further event information visit www. Florida or

5th Annual Orchid, Exotic Plant Sale & Gourmet Food Festival at Bonnet House

This unique sale on the Bonnet House Grove has an exciting line up of over thirty orchid and exotic plant vendors. Flora fanatics have the opportunity to see and buy an exclusive selection of bamboo, butterfly garden plant and fruit trees, orchids, fruit and native vegetation seedlings, as well as plants directly from the Bonnet House property.

The two-day event will also feature plant accessories and supplies, garden art and a green market. There will be demonstrations and lectures for the whole family, a silent auction display, not to mention food and wine for guests. Newly added to the event this year are seven gourmet food trucks. Their offerings of edible bites for kids and adults alike are complemented by demonstrations from Whole Foods Market and Market 17. Chefs will give tips on caring for your garden and preparing healthy meals for the entire family. There is also a kids’ corner where Green Market owners will host children’s planting and gardening activities in the fruit grove.

The Bonnet House is located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale and is open for tours Tuesday- Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. Tickets for this event are $5 for members and $7 for non-members for the fair and grounds. There is an additional fee of $10 for the self-guided tour through the house. Parking is free. For more information, visit

Artist in the Spotlight: Joseph Adler

AroundTown is honored to be spotlighting Joseph Adler… one of the iconic contributors of South Florida’s great theater. Adler is now in his 13th season at GableStage at the Biltmore. He has been active in South Florida’s Theater and Film community for many years, directing at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, New Theater, Area Stage, Hollywood Boulevard Theater, Players Theater and more.

When asked about his earliest memories regarding passion for theater and the arts, he recalls his first love was ‘the movies’ and his determination to be an actor and a director. He followed his passion as a student of drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated from the New York University Film Department.

Adler strongly believes that in today’s world if one aspires for a career in performing arts, they must be relentless in their pursuit of their passion and that it must be their “plan A” and not an option.

In addition to his live theater accolades he has also directed hundreds of television commercials and industrial films. He was a recipient of the prestigious Clio Award. Other directorial credits include several independent feature films, a video version of the Broadway hit comedy “Doubles” and a cable TV series.

Since Adler became Producing Artistic Director of GableStage, his ‘home away from home’, his directorial talents have been recognized as the recipient of 43 Carbonell Awards and 159 Carbonell Nominations.

He has been nominated 22 times (15 at GableStage) and won the Carbonell Award for Best Director eight times: The Shadow Box (Coconut Grove Playhouse); The Killing of Sister George (Players Theatre); A Lesson Before Dying, Edward Albee’s The Goat, Frozen, The Pillowman, Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Speed-the-Plow, and twice for Best Director of a Musical: James Joyce’s The Dead and Adding Machine.

 Live theater is a vital part of the South Florida cultural community and Joseph Adler has been honored and recognized for his many contributions:

• As a recipient of the George Abbott Award for “significant contributions to the artistic life and cultural development of Greater Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches”
• The 2008 Arts and Entertainment Community Service Award presented by the South Florida International Press Club
• The Truth Award from the Human Services Coalition

Adler is woven into the fabric of theater and works closely with many theaters and local schools.  He has received many Best Director awards (CurtainUp, SunPost, NewTimes), a Remy Award from the Theatre League of South Florida, as well as The Heart of the Arts Award presented by the New World School of the Arts. Last year he received a Silver Palm Award for his “Outstanding Support of the South Florida Theatre Community, the Theatre League and the Theatre Festival, as well as his Consistent Outstanding Work at GableStage and his Commitment to an Educational Outreach Program in Miami-Dade County”.

Joseph Adler is DETERMINED to continue to bring provocative theater to South Florida. In our interview, he spoke of the need to have “works that make you think” and challenge the mind with depth into social issues. Entertainment for its own value in theatrical productions is important, but what is VITAL to the survival of ‘smaller’ theater productions is the thirst by audiences to be challenged mentally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually by live theater.

ARS Flores Symphony Orchestra


Ars Flores opening event features music from classic movies including Chicago, Indiana Jones, Dances with Wolves and Apollo 13 as well as music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bizet and Liszt. Audiences will be delighted and amazed to see and
hear classic pieces, in combination with a visual presentation from the movies, illustrating how important music is to film.

Enjoy this exciting performance at either the Miniaci Performing Arts Center, Fort Lauderdale, on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30pm, with a pre-concert lecture at 6:30pm, or at the Colony Theatre, Miami Beach on Sunday, November 13th 7:30pm. Tickets are $30, $20 and $10 (seniors/students).

Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra music series Music for Munchkins is geared to the young child and FREE to the public. Donuts, Children and Culture: what could be better? The series of 30-minute concerts are followed by a reception with juice and Munchkin donut holes. Conductor, Dr. Lynn Luce, affectionately known as “Dr. Mom,” interacts with the young audience during the performance and teaches basic principles of classical music in a light-hearted fashion. The friendly Maestro has some tricks up her sleeve to entertain this special audience. These child-friendly concerts are sure to endear and educate young listeners to orchestral music, cultivating the concert goers of tomorrow.

Music for Munchkins Concert season opens on Saturday, November 12th at 11:00am in Broward County at the Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, NSU and Sunday, November 13th at 4:00pm in Dade County at the Colony Theater, Miami Beach.

Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra is a unique South Florida orchestra of professional musicians who mentor, rehearse and perform side-by-side with gifted secondary and conservatory-level students. The orchestra is in residence at Nova Southeastern University. This season, they will perform a variety of challenging repertoire, offer public master classes, hold an Annual Concerto Competition for young artists, offer online music lessons in Broward public schools through Beacon, and collaborate with musical and non-musical entities.

For more information about these concerts or the upcoming
season, go to:

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Wth the completion of a $1.2 Million landscape renovation by acclaimed South Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden reopened this month with a dynamic season schedule of arts, culture and special events. Large live oak and silk floss trees frame a welcoming new entrance plaza on Convention Center Drive at 19th Street and creates a sense of progression into the 2.6 acre urban greenspace. Pathways gracefully curve around islands of trees and planting beds that showcase the Garden’s extensive collection of native species, flowering trees, palms, orchids and bromeliads. Executive Director Laura Jamieson says that among the most prominent aspects of the redesigned landscape are water features that include a wetland with red mangroves, a large water garden with floating lily pads and a cascading waterfall.

“Water is a vital element of my gardens, particularly in a botanical garden, where water plants aid in increased botanical diversity while creating open space,” says architect Raymond Jungles. “The new water garden at Miami Beach Botanical Garden brings the sky into the garden, animates the space, reflects the landscape, and cools the areas directly around the buildings. Water magnifies the Garden’s sense of scale.” The venue has been designed specifically for weddings, social and corporate events with expanded lawn areas, terraces and event plazas. Jungles says that what he values most in a public garden is space -- gathering space, space for contemplation, intimate space, public space, durability, and timelessness. “One of our primary goals was to activate and use every available part of the 2.6 acre Botanical Garden site,” he says, “to make it easy and enticing to circulate around the entire space.” The Garden remains free and open to the public daily from 9AM to 5PM. Originally opened as a park by the City of Miami Beach in 1962, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden has been operated by the Miami Beach Garden Conservancy since
1997. The recent renovation was funded by the City of Miami Beach General Obligation Bonds program and administered by the City’s Capital Improvements Project. The construction contract was awarded to Harbour Construction of Miami with Raymond Jungles, Inc. as landscape architect.

Contributing to the excitement of reopening the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is an active season program that includes the citywide Sleepless Night on November 5, the Great Table on the Great Lawn al fresco moonlight dinner on November 10 and Art Basel’s Garden Café from December 1 to 4. In 2012 Miami Beach Botanical Garden will present Taste of the Garden on January 26, the South Florida Wine and Food Festival’s Farm to Table Brunch on February 25 and the 11th annual Tour of Miami Beach Residential Gardens on March 17.  

Along with environmental education programs, lectures and workshops, the Garden presents year-round programming of music, dance, theatre and art classes for children. To learn about volunteer opportunities, garden event rentals and program updates, visit

Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011- 2012 Season Line-Up

For the complete 2011- 2012 Season Line-Up for the above venues, please see the October/November issue of AroundTown.  

Meet the Artist: Julian Acosta

What careers besides Art have you had?
Most of my professional career has been in marketing and product management. I am sure that attending photo shoots and my involvement with advertising and promotions, is what lead me to pursue an art education.

Some of your paintings are expressive representation of the human condition. Why this topic in particular? 
I can’t think of many things more fascinating than human beings! With all our complexities and sophistication, we really have not changed much in how we deal with our lives and each other. I really love to watch people be, no matter who, no matter where.   

Within this theme, you focus on spirituality….what inspires you?
Spirituality is one of the aspects of the human condition that I am interested in, along with Physicality, Intellectuality and Emotionality. For me, spirituality is fundamental to who and how you be; it means living in alignment with what matters to you, not just talking about it or acting like you are somehow closer to god than the rest of us.   

You have a unique and vivid color scheme and a certain depth. How do you create your style?
Color is a wonderful tool, but no more important than line or shape or tone, etc. My earlier work was not as colorful – perhaps there is some hidden reason for that. Although I am on the high scale for being analytical, but I don’t start out trying to execute a particular art style. Whatever the creative source, I’m comfortable having the piece evolve stylistically.

In your own words…share with AT readers something unique about you personally?
“I am blessed. I also have had a life full of rich experiences, international travel, etc – As a boy, I spent many long days at an airport, where my dad worked, reading all kinds of magazines and seeing thousands of people from all over. I met movie stars, athletes, politicians – I’ve been within reach of two U.S. Presidents and actually met one. But my favorite is a photo I have with my boyhood hero: Walt Disney.”