South Florida Arts Scene

Miami playwrights preview new works Monday


The From Scratch festival presents staged readings of short new works by four playwrights participating in the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Playwright Development Program.

Susan Westfall, Andie Arthur, Vanessa Garcia and Edward G. Excaliber have been working with master playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer in a two-year program to create short and full-length plays.

The free readings are from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami. For information, contact Adriana Perez at 305-375-5019.

Christine Dolen

Actress returns

Alana Arenas, a New World School of the Arts high school alumna, returns to Miami Tuesday to launch the school’s fourth annual Make Art Work lecture series. She’ll speak with students and community members from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Louise O.Gerrits Theater, 25 NE Second St., about the business of art. Admission is free; 305-237-3541,

Arenas is a busy regional theater actress who created the role of Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eye at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and Off-Broadway’s New Victory Theater. She will play Gertrude in Tarell Alvin McCraney and Bijan Sheibani’s adaptation of Hamlet, which will be at GableStage Jan. 12-Feb. 10.

Christine Dolen

St. Martha’s series

Pianist and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom and his wife, mezzo soprano Joan Morris, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Martha Catholic Church, 9221 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores, as part of the St. Martha-Yamaha Concert Series.

Their program will include songs by Berlin, Gershwin and Porter, holiday melodies and Bolcom’s own works. Tickets are $10 and $20 at or the parish office; 305-751-0005.

‘Wonderful’ musical

More than 35 New World School of the Arts high school seniors and junior are tackling Wonderful Town, a Broadway classic with a score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Stuart Meltzer directs the set-in-1935 Manhattan show about two Ohio sisters trying to make it in the big city, with Alfred Gershfeld leading a student orchestra.

Performances are 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Louise O. Gerrits Theater, 25 NE Second St., eighth floor, Miami. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors;

Christine Dolen

MOCA leadership

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s board of trustees has chosen Kira Flanzraich as chairwoman, Sheldon Anderson as vice chairman and Hal Phillips as treasurer, with Ray Ellen Yarkin continuing as president. Outgoing officers Michael Collins and Irma Braman will remain on the board of the North Miami museum as emeritus chairs;

Galena Mosovich

Playwright series

Palm Beach Dramaworks’ sixth annual Master Playwrights Series kicks off at 7 p.m. Monday and 2 and 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, with an overview of the life and work of Pulitzer Prize winner Lanford Wilson, whose Talley’s Folly was produced there this season. A staged reading of Wilson’s Fifth of July, also part of his “Talley trilogy,” will follow Dec. 17-18.

The series will spotlight Jean Genet Feb. 4-5, with a staged reading of his The Maids Feb. 11-12, and Wendy Wasserstein April 1-2, with a reading of her The Heidi Chronicles April 8-9. Tickets are $18 for one event, $90 for all six; 561-514-4042,

Christine Dolen

Grammy nod

Miami writer Fernando Gonzalez, who covers jazz for The Miami Herald, received a Grammy nomination for Best Album Notes on Wednesday for Piazzolla in Brooklyn (Soundbrush), an album by Argentine-born bassist Pablo Aslan that Gonzalez also co-produced. Award winners will be announced Feb. 10.

Music notes

•  Next@19th hosts a fundraising dinner and show, Catskills Cabaret Redux: All Lit Up, at 7 p.m. Saturday at 137 NE 19th St., Miami. Tickets are $100, $150 VIP; 800-383-3006,

•  Florida Youth Orchestra will present free concerts at 7 p.m. Monday at the University School of NSU, 3301 College Ave., Davie, and 4 p.m. Saturday at Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie (park admission $10-$18); 954-962-5666,

• The Greater Miami Symphonic Band presents a family concert of Christmas and Hanukkah music at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest, and 8 p.m. Dec. 18 at Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students and children 5 and older;, 305-273-7687.

Compiled by Miami Herald staff. Send news about theater to; dance, pop and Latin music to; visual arts to and classical music and jazz to Add events to our calendar at

Christine Dolen

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