South Florida Fall Arts Preview

Winter Sets the Stage

The Must See Performances in South Florida

With three world-class performing arts centers, several new smaller venues, nearly 50 professional theatre companies, internationally-recognized opera and ballet companies, the South Florida arts scene is incredibly rich —  with the end of summer, it’s also incredibly busy.

Tickets are selling quickly at venues from South Miami to Jupiter with a packed schedule of dramas and comedies, classical ballet and modern dance, masterworks and jazz.

It would be impossible to mention everything, but here is a quick look at some of the highlights local companies have planned for South Florida audiences:



The New World Symphony kicks off its 25th anniversary season, November 10-11, with Stephane Deneve, musical director of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducting a contemporary program including Arthur Honegger’s Symphony No. 3 and Prokofiev’s Suite from Cinderella. Finnish clarinetist Kari Kriikku will be featured December 15 – 16 on a program that includes contemporary Finnish music. The symphony’s swanky new Frank Gehry-designed concert hall in Miami Beach accentuates any musical program.

Puccini’s classic, La Boheme, is the first opera of the season for Florida Grand Opera, Nov. 17, 21, 24, 27, 30 and Dec. 2 at the Arsht Center. Known for its intoxicating melodies, this story of young bohemians living in Paris continues to inspire audiences. The opera will also be presented at the Broward Center, Dec. 6, 8.

The South Florida Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Sebrina Maria Alfonso, has programmed its first concert with major works by Bruckner and Tchaikovsky, opening Nov. 17 at the Aventura Cultural Arts Center, and repeating Nov. 19 at the Broward Center and Nov. 20 at the Old School Square in Delray Beach.


Once again, GableStage Artistic Director Joseph Adler has managed to land the rights to the hottest scripts coming right off Broadway. He recently announced the British hit C*ck will be added to the lineup early next year. It’s not too late to catch the last show of the current season, Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, playing through Oct. 7, but definitely mark your calendar for David Ives’ Venus in Fur, Nov. 10 – Dec. 9.

Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, I Am My Own Wife, is the first show, Oct. 4 – 21, of Zoetic Stage’s second full season as a company in residence at the Arsht Center. Under the guidance of director Stuart Meltzer and playwrights Michael McKeever and Christopher Demos-Brown, the company has quickly gained a reputation as one of the region’s best.


Arts Ballet Theatre of South Florida, under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, takes the stage at the Aventura Arts and Culture Center, Oct. 6 - 7, with a contemporary program featuring a new work by choreographer Yanis Pikieris set to the music of Arturo Marquez’s Danzon, a setting of The Four Seasons composed by Verdi and a 2008 work to music by Aldamaro Romero.

The Miami City Ballet makes it debut with new Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez at the Arsht Center, Oct. 19-21, with George Balanchine’s Apollo set to the ravishing music of Stravinsky and Paul Taylor’s tango-infused spectacular, Piazzolla Caldera. The program will be repeated at the Broward Center, Oct. 26-28, and Kravis Center, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2. The company presents a cherished holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, at the Arsht Center, Dec. 20-24, and the Broward Center, Dec. 14-16.



Symphony of the Americas, Broward County’s resident orchestra, opens its 25th anniversary season with a nod to Hispanic culture, Oct. 16, with a night of zarzuela, a unique form of operetta, featuring three internationally acclaimed Spanish soloists. The season continues on Dec. 11 with the traditional holiday concert with all the flourishes. Both performances are in the Amaturo Theatre at the Broward Center.

Hard Rock Live in Hollywood continues to draw some of the biggest names in the music biz and the fall line-up is no exception. Some of the highlights include Joe Cocker, Sept. 28-29; John Legend, Oct. 17; Michael Feinstein, Oct. 22; and Heart, Nov. 7.


Mosaic Theatre has front-loaded season, opening with The Diary of a Madman, Sept. 20 – Oct. 14. This Kafka-esque satire from Nicolai Gogol explores the hallucinations  and aspirations of a lowly civil servant in czarist St. Petersburg, Russia.  Producing Artistic Director Richard Jay Simon follows that up with The Birds, Conor McPherson’s award-winning thriller based on the horror novella of the same name.

Thinking Cap Theatre never shies away from the opportunity to shock and awe its audiences at the intimate Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale, where the action is literally in your face! Artistic Director Nicole Stoddard opens the company’s third season with Mariah MacCarthy’s new play, The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret, a comic and biting commentary on sexual stereotypes, Sept. 27 – Oct. 13, followed by Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy, Nov. 1 – 18.


Hard Rock Live in Hollywood is traditionally thought of as a concert venue, but the top young talents in the world of dance will be taking the stage when the So You Think You Can Dance Tour makes a stop in town, Dec. 5.

Palm Beach


ArtsGarage in Delray Beach has become a local hotspot, offering a wide variety of musical, cabaret and theatre performances. The intimate venue’s music lineup includes Cuban-infused rhythms from Orquestra Aragon, Oct. 18-19, and the 3rd Annual South Florida Boogie Woogie Piano Festival, Nov. 15-16, showcasing some of the biggest talents from across the country. Also, don’t miss the holiday program from Voices of Pride, the gay men’s chorus of the Palm Beaches, Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Idina Menzel is one of the biggest stars on Broadway and she’ll be singing all her favorite songs from stage and screen at the Kravis Center, Nov. 28.  The Tony Award-winning singer will demonstrate why she’s become one of the great divas of all time.

For the holidays, two popular musicians will offer their takes on the nostalgic melodies of the season at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach: American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, Nov. 23 – 24, and smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, Nov. 25.


Palm Beach Dramaworks, one of the most consistent companies in South Florida, begins its season with Lanford Wilson’s Tally’s Folly, Oct. 12 – Nov. 11. Set in real time, the 97 minute one-act play follows two characters in Missouri as they finally settle their differences in 1944.

Slow Burn Theatre is a scrappy, upstart company that really pulls off big musicals on modest budgets. Avenue Q, the adult-oriented show based on Sesame Street and full of life lessons (“It’s Okay to be Gay,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”), opens the season at West Boca High School, Oct. 26 – Nov. 4.


The Moscow Classical Ballet offers its beautiful production of Tchaikovsky’s most famous work, The Nutcracker, at the Kravis Center, Dec. 13 -15. Join Clara and the Prince as they journey through enchanted kingdoms in this timeless holiday tale.

The Best of Broadway Come to South Florida

The biggest stages in the region—the performing arts centers in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach Counties—provide the perfect setting for big touring Broadway musicals. And, when filled, thousands enjoy the best of the Great White Way at each performance. Here’s a quick look at some of the shows coming to South Florida this fall:

The greatest hits of the ‘80s come to the stage at Miami’s Arsht Center, October 9 – 14, when Broadway Across America presents Rock of Ages, the rock musical with a lot of heart thrown in. Rock the night away to the hit of Pat Benatar, Styx, Twisted Sister, Poison, REO Speedwagon and more. Stomp! is more than a concert or a theatre piece, it’s an experience of the senses as a troupe of performers make musical in the most unimaginable ways and with the most unlikely of instruments, They’ll be in Miami for a limited run, December 4-9.

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Kicking off its season in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center, Broadway Across America opens with Million Dollar Quartet, November 6–18.  The Tony Award-winning show was inspired by the true story of a one-night recording session that brought together musical legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. And, just in time for the holidays, audiences will get a little “religion” when Sister Act pulls in, December 18-30. This ridiculously fun religious romp will have you saying “Amen!”

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Up in West Palm Beach, the Kravis Center opens its Kravis on Broadway series, Nov. 13-18, with the new musical, Catch Me if You Can, based on the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a wily con man. Then brace yourselves for some classic doo-wop from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons a la Jersey Boys, opening Dec. 19.

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