OpEd: The 2017 Arts Season

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'There's no there like being there.'

 

Looking for something to do in South Florida in the evening?

The array of choices is staggering. This 'winter' issue of SFGN's Mirror Magazine captures the incredible dimensions and breadth of arts and entertainment coming our way this season. From the debut of 'Something Rotten' to revivals of 'The Phantom,' there is a ticket and tour for everyone.

Still, I noticed for all we covered, there is so much more to do. South Florida provides us with the luxury of the outdoors, from January to December. There are weekend cruises you can take, gambling junkets to the Bahamas, and evening or weekend fishing trips. There are tennis courts and softball diamonds, fishing tournaments and motor car races. 

If you are in Miami, down the road from the intimate Adrienne Arsht Center and a host of museums, you have got Marlins Park and the American Airlines Arena hosting pro basketball and the Heat. In Broward, hockey fans can enjoy the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center one evening, and Billy Joel the next. Heck, he spent the last two New Year's eves there.

We also have amazing community theater in our market, from the award winning Pembroke Pines Theater of the Arts to intimate venues in Palm Beach. The truth is our community has an embarrassment of riches, a wealth of diversity, and a fortune of outstanding choices. Staying home is not an option. Up yee thee arse now from that lounge chair of laziness, I say! I command you! 

Recently I enjoyed front row seats to the Roundabout national touring production of “Cabaret.” Randy Harrison, from Queer as Folk, young, strong and well-bodied, was powerful as the emcee, a far cry from the way Joel Grey played it on Broadway 25 years ago. But the energy of live theater, a stage presence, and a masterful musical being performed live right in front of you is compelling. There is nothing like it in the world. That's what my mom would say, and she was dancing with the 'Lime Bay Tappettes' well into her eighties. 

You know, there are lots of new channels on television. From the Space Channel to National Geographic, you can watch the Earth and our stars unfold before your eyes with millions of pixels 80 inches wide. But there is even a bigger view at an IMAX theater or touring the museum. Yes, you can watch an opera star on WPBT or you can go out with friends and see the Gay Men's Chorus at the Sunshine Cathedral. There's no there like being there. 

In the theater, as “Hair” showcased, you can 'let the sun shine in.' On stage, like Ben Vereen once did, you can find your 'little corner of the world.' At the opera, you become one with the four tenors, even if you spend most of your nights at home as part of a barbershop quartet. Take yourself to the “South Pacific,” and 'wash that rain right out of your hair.' Hold your breath as the Chandelier crashes in the Phantom. 

There is a magical moment waiting for you right here in a South Florida theater. But you have to do it. Get up and go, on a bike ride or to Zoo Miami. Even if you have no partner, there is always an animal that will play with you. But get out and do it, because if you do, I've got a wonderful feeling it's going to be a beautiful day. That's what my mom would say, and that's good enough for me. 


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