Beginning on Saturday, April 17, the Symphony of the Americas will once again take the stage at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, their first live concerts since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered performance venues more than a year ago.

The performances, April 17 – 18 and 22 – 23, will feature a smaller chamber orchestra and will take place outdoors on the center’s Backlot Live stage.

Performing without a conductor — new Artistic Director Pablo Mielgo is stuck in Spain due to travel restrictions — the orchestra’s principal violinist will lead an opening program including Ravel’s “Mother Goose” Suite and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” Suite, along with colorful works by Humperdinck, Dvořák and Johann Strauss II, titled a “Trip Through Europe” in promotional materials.

The second program, “Classical Soundtracks,” celebrates the music of the cinema, including Mozart’s often-used “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” and selections from “Cinema Paradiso,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “West Side Story” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

All performances begin at 7 p.m. Masks are required and all seating is socially distanced. Tickets start at $10 at BrowardCenter.org.

Lips Announces Reopening, New Performers

Lips, the long-running Oakland Park drag dining restaurant, will be reopening on Thursday, April 22 with dinner shows Thursdays – Saturdays and the popular Gospel Brunch every Sunday, as well as new cast members Tiffany Fantasia, Asheeria Pryce, Aaliyah Jae, Crystal Famouz and Karma Sutra.

Fantasia, the club’s new Thursday night hostess, enjoys a loyal following with a long list of titles, including Miss Ultimate Miami 2018, Ms. South Florida Illusions Plus 2015 and Ms. Miami Beach Pride 2012. Pryce is a former Mz. Nationz, Miss Duval Plus, Carolinas Continental, Illusions Plus, Miss Imperial and Florida Showstopper. And Aaliyah Jae, Crystal Famouz and Karma Sutra are rising stars known for their show-stopping performances at local venues.

Guests will continue to be entertained by their favorite ladies of Lips, including Amanda Austin, Nicolette, Franchesque Richards, Selena, Velvet Lenore, April Chanel, Daisy Deadpetals, Nicole T. Phillips, Mirkala Crystal and Trinity Beat.

For more information and reservations, call (954) 567-0987 or visit www.lipsusa.com.

New Arts Venue Opening in Dania Beach

Gasper Arts Center in Dania Beach will celebrate its grand opening on April 21. Founder Laura Gasper said it is the first multi-purpose art facility of its kind in the greater Fort Lauderdale area to serve as an art studio, gallery, teaching center, and professional creative office space.

“Gasper Arts Center is an investment in the thriving Dania Beach art scene,” she said. “It will offer local artists — professional and amateur — one central hub to teach, learn, create, display, and sell their work,” while providing artists “creative camaraderie and the support system of a community.” 

For more information, go to GasperArts.com.