Despite the inconveniences and continuing uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, South Florida arts organizations and presenters have lined up a varied and exciting schedule of theater, dance, concerts and comedy.
Here are 10 hot tickets to reserve today — in chronological order, because it was just too difficult to pick favorites.
“Varla Jean Merman’s Little Prick” – Sunshine Cathedral, Feb. 12
The Sunshine Cathedral has resurrected the Outlandish performing arts series following the pandemic and presents the drag sensation Varla Jean Merman with her new show, “Varla Jean Merman’s Little Prick.” Innuendo aside, Varla Jean is certain to provide her insights on COVID-19 and the disruptions that little virus imposed on her fabulous life. SunshineCathedral.org.
“Between Rio and Pampa” – Symphony of the Americas, Feb. 22
Dynamic new conductor Pablo Mielgo leads audiences at the Broward Center to the confluence of musical styles pioneered by Brazilian composer Hector Villa-Lobos (“Amazonas,” “Bachiana Brasileiras No. 5”) and his Argentinian contemporary Alberto Ginastera (“Variaciones Concertantes,” “Estancia”). Soprano Karen Slack is a guest soloist. SOTA.org.
Elton John – Hard Rock Live, Feb. 27
If you missed Elton John on his “farewell” tour in 2018-2019, well, he took a lesson from Cher and is hitting the road again. He’s back in South Florida at the sparkling Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and — believe it or not — tickets are still available. They’re pricey, ranging from $600 to $3,000, but will you have another chance to see the Rocket Man? Ticketmaster.com.
“Downtown Abbey: A New Era” – In theaters March 2022
The beloved Crawleys are back in theaters this spring in the latest installment of this British upstairs/downstairs period drama. The studio and stars have been unusually tight-lipped about the plot, but creator Julian Fellowes rarely disappoints. It’s not too early to get some tea brewing, Mrs. Patmore. Check local listings for theaters and showtimes.
“Driven by Jazz” – Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, March 25
Artistic Director Gabe Salazar and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida make their debut in the recently renovated and expanded Parker in Fort Lauderdale with a toe-tapping journey through great jazz tunes across the decades with a focus on the LGBT composers and performers that made them famous. GMCSF.org.
“Side by Side by Sondheim” – Zoetic Stage, March 17 – April 10
Multiple Carbonell Award-winning Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center in Miami has established itself as the region’s preeminent interpreter of late composer Stephen Sondheim’s sublime musicals. Simple and unpretentious, this Tony Award-winning musical is a perfect introduction to the work of a contemporary master and a must for die-hard fans. ZoeticStage.org.
“Fellow Travelers” – Florida Grand Opera, April 23 – 28
Against a backdrop of the 1950s “pink scare” in Washington, D.C., “Fellow Travelers” by Gregory Spears follows the lives of aspiring young journalist Timothy Laughlin and handsome State Department official Hawkins Fuller, who are swept into a passionate love affair, just as Senator McCarthy begins his hunt for “sexual subversives” in the government. FGO.org.
“Beethoven, Copland & Bach” – South Florida Symphony Orchestra, April 27 – 28
Maestra Sebrina María Alfonso leads the symphony in an exciting program including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica;” Copland’s colorful Clarinet Concerto featuring soloist David Shifrin; and J.S. Bach’s mammoth Triple Concerto in A Minor. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the orchestra shine in its new home at the Parker. SouthFloridaSymphony.org.
Prodigal Son – Miami City Ballet, April 29 – May 22
Miami City Ballet serves up a program of four energetic and beautiful ballets with something for everyone, including a classic story, Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son;” two fresh company premieres by Herman Schmerman and Christopher Wheeldon; and an innovative world premiere from Claudia Schreier that blends dance and technology. MiamiCityBallet.org.
Head Over Heels – Slow Burn Theatre Co., June 10 – 26
This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980’s all-girl rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.” Join the hilarious escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction. SlowBurnTheatre.org.