Florida Grand Opera (FGO) has been awarded an Opera America 2022 Opera Grant for Women Stage Directors and Conductors.

A part of Opera America's initiative to encourage the hiring of women in key artistic roles, the award will support conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson's FGO debut with Handel's “Agrippina” in May. 

A survey of recent opera seasons revealed that women make up fewer than 30% of the stage directors and fewer than 15% of the conductors working on American opera productions. 

Johnson is a barrier-breaking conductor, founder and director of Philadelphia's Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. She is the first Black woman to win an international conducting prize, the 2005 Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, and has frequently claimed a historic spot as the first Black woman to take the podium at many orchestras. She has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (U.K.), and Weimar Staatskapelle (Germany). 

Tickets to FGO’s production of Handel’s “Agrippina,” May 14-17 at the Scottish Rite Temple, are available at FGO.org.

Can I get an ‘Amen’?

The Broadway at LPAC season continues at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, 3800 N.W. 11th Pl., with MNM Theatre Co.’s production of the Broadway hit “Sister Act,” Feb. 18–March 6.

Based on the 1992 film and featuring original music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, this uplifting musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including best musical. 

When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put into witness protection at a convent. Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with the rigid lifestyle. Using her singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but also blows her cover. Soon the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.  

Tickets start at $45 at LPACFL.com.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Tickets are now on sale for the final performance of the Seth Rudetsky Broadway Concert Series at the Parker in Fort Lauderdale. On March 26, Laura Benanti, Tony Award-winner for “Gypsy” on Broadway and a five-time nominee, will join the SiriusXM On Broadway host for an evening of music and witty banter. 

Equally comfortable on stage or screen, she is currently in production for HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” reboot and recently reprised her role on the final season of the hit TV series “Younger,” starring opposite Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. 

Tickets start at $37 at ParkerPlayhouse.com.

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