News Roundup: PPTOPA, Caldwell, Actors Playhouse, Mosaic, Maltz, Raul Esparza, Florida Follies, NSAL, Arsht, Kravis &Top Gun The Musical

‘Tis the Season

Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts has roughed out its 2012-2013 season, although exact dates are still being finalized. The company will present the musical Annie around September-October, West Side Story (the recent version with some song lyrics in Spanish) in March-April and their fourth Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, HMS Pinafore, in July 2013.

Art Isn’t Easy But You Can Auction It

Caldwell Theatre Company and the Boca Raton Museum of Arts’ The Artist Guild will benefit from the proceeds from 40 pieces of art being sold at the Art! For Arts’ Sake! auction on Monday evening at the theater. For tickets and details, call 561-241-7432 or visit

Last Call for New Plays and Musicals

Feb. 1 is the postmark deadline for Actors Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre’s Page To Stage Competition for new plays and small musicals by Florida-based playwrights; winners will be considered for a weekend of staged reading presentations in June. The four-year-old program is partly sponsored by Funding Arts Network.

Winners will be selected by a panel of industry professionals from the South Florida theatre community including Playhouse Artistic Director David Arisco.

Complete rules, guidelines and submission forms are available online at

NSAL 2012 Musical Theatre Competition for Young Adults

The Feb. 14 application deadline is approaching to enter the National Society of Arts and Letters Musical Theatre Competition which will award more than $10,000 to aspiring talent in South Florida and throughout the nation.

The South Florida/Boca Raton Chapter of the NSAL will hold its regional contest on March 3 at the AG Concert Hall of Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for registration. The competition is open to non-professional artists who are U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 29.

A complete listing of eligibility guidelines, performance requirements and the South Florida/Boca Raton competition application are available online at NSAL Boca Chapter Competition or by emailing the Regional Chapter Producer Shari Upbin at

In the Wings (and not in mainstream theaters)

— A reading of a new play, A Person Of Interest, by Donald A. Webster, will be presented 7:30 p.m. Monday as part of Jan McArt’s Theatre Arts Guild Play Reading Series in the Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University. Tickets are $10 and are available at or call 561-237-9000. The drama is the story of Palestinian parents who travel to America in search for an attorney. Their son, a third year university student, has been accused of bombing a Synagogue. The conflict between Palestine and Israel is personalized when the parents decide they want a Jewish attorney to represent their son. The cast include Jeffrey Bruce, Kevin Reilly, Shari Upbin, Christopher Michaels, Rob Davis, Bryan Ortega, Bianca Bariolli. The reading is directed by Wayne Rudisill, with Tony Finstrom, company manager, and Dennis Pitasi, accompanist.

–The Sandbox Series will present LOVE STORIES:  An Evening of Short Plays About Flirtation, Romance and Love on Feb. 12-14 14. Directed by Marjorie O’Neill-Butler, Stephen Elliot Kaiser and David Michael Sirois, the plays have been selected from over 300 submissions from all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, India and Italy.  The cast includes Natasha Waisfeld, Troy Davidson, Jeremiah Musgrove and Nikki Lowe.  The evening also includes cello music performed live by Joseph Valbrun and love songs sung by Jeremy Greenbaum. The Sandbox, a small black box theatre, is located at 9808 NE 2nd Avenue (adjacent to The Playground Theatre) Miami Shores. For reservations, call (305) 458-0604.

–The winter tour has begun for the venerable Original Florida Follies, the Ziegfeld-style variety show with 45 volunteer performers and 15 backstage staffers to raise money for children in need. This edition entitled, Dancing Down Memory Lane, will play Feb.  5 & 12, Mar. 11 & 18 at the Olympic Heights Theater, Boca Raton; Feb. 26 at Miramar Cultural Center, and on Mar. 25 at the Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale. For tickets and information call (954) 956-2626 or visit

–Who knows about this one? Top Gun!  The Musical? The South Florida premiere of this spoof about the making of mega-musicals is written by Denis McGrath with music by Scott White and directed by Jack Gardner. Reportedly, it was a hit at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The publicity describes it as “For anyone who’s ever cringed through Cats, scratched their heads at Legally Blonde the Musical, felt the need for speed or wondered, “who thought that would be a good idea,” comes this satirical musical. Writer Billy Palmer is about to crash and burn. His musical adaptation of Top Gun is going off the rails and Billy really needs a hit after the debacle of Apocalypse Wow! Instead he’s saddled with a quarreling cast, a shady ex-Navy Seal producer and a bit of bad luck. Now if only everyone would stop singing!”  It plays Feb. 3-March 4 at Empire Stage. More information is at or (954)871-0168.

–Miami favorite son and Broadway star Raul Esparza will perform a concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Arsht Center.

Bit Parts and Sides

–So much for the staid Palm Beach audience staying away from anything edgy: the Maltz Jupiter theatre’s production of Cabaret is sold out.

— The cast’s post-curtain call appeals at the Caldwell Theatre Company’s After the Revolution earlier this season collected $3,480 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

–The Maltz Jupiter Theatre has signed up its 7,000th subscriber, breaking a record for the theater,

–The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts welcomed its two millionth visitor this season.

–The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts has received a $5,000 National Education Grant from The Broadway League to encourage students to develop their own musical during March, April and May. Thirty local students will create an original showcase, Lift Up Your Voice, to be performed at Santaluces High School and the Kravis Center. The project is meant to explore the themes of poverty and oppression to mirror that of the national tour of Les Miserables coming to the Kravis from May 16-26 that the students will see.

–Andrew Kato, Artistic Director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, received one of the 2012 Palm Beach County Cultural Council’s Muse Awards celebrating excellence in local arts and culture.

–We don’t know how this fits with South Florida figures but Sarasota’s Florida Studio Theatre amassed 11,000 mainstage subscriptions in 2011 and now claims to be the largest subscribed regional theatre  in the southeast United States

— The Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s ninth annual gala, “We’ve Got Elegance,” raised nearly $430,000 with more than 330 people attending.

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