It’s that time of year, when arts groups and producers start rolling out news of their 2015-2016 seasons, and Broadway Across America has a doozy for its Broadway in Fort Lauderdale lineup at the Browarad Center for the Performing Arts. The headline is that Kinky Boots and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, both Tony Award-winning shows, will make their South Florida debuts as part of the season.
The lineup begins Oct. 6-18 with Once, the intimate musical about a heartbroken Irish guitarist whose musical dreams are reawakened by a Czech pianist. Then Disney’s high-flying Newsies, which just wound up its regional debut run at Miami’s Arsht Center, plays Broward Nov. 17-29. For the holidays, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical plays Dec. 15-27. Kinky Boots, about a failing British shoe factory that finds new life making hot shoes for drag performers, runs March 1-13 and features a Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper. Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage translates the film smash into a stage musical, running April 12-24. And Beautiful, the story of singer-songwriter Carole King, winds up the season May 10-22.
Subscriptions range from $199 to $597. The Broward Center is at 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. For information, call 800-764-0700 or visit www.broadwayinfortlauderdale.com.
Henry Fonte, who joined the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts as its chair, director of conservatory programs and producing artistic director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre in 2010, has stepped down from his UM duties and will retire at the end of the spring semester to pursue independent projects.
During his tenure, Fonte brought such theater artists as Tommy Tune, Nilo Cruz and Moisés Kaufman to campus to work with students on projects; collaborated on a high-profile festival devoted to the works of Cuban playwright Virgilio Piñera; and directed several productions at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts featuring professionals and UM students, most recently Peter and the Starcatcher.
“I was working way too hard and ended up in the hospital a couple of times. … I hope to continue to work on new plays, which are my passion, the research of our discipline,” Fonte said, adding of his time at UM, “I put this department out in the world, so it was active in the university, in the metro area, and collaborating with national and international companies. I think I’ve engaged it in the whole world of theater in a way it wasn’t before.”
As for the future of the Arsht’s collaboration with UM, executive vice president Scott Shiller said, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Henry over the last four years. … We felt like we were just hitting our stride with the university. I’ve had creative conversations with people in the department and talked about lots of ideas. We’ll see how that manifests itself over the next several months. Students working alongside professionals is core of the Arsht’s mission.”
Is There Room at the Inn? Muslims, Jews and the Holy Land, a documentary about the Arab-Israeli conflict, will have its world premiere at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The film, presented by Florida International University's School of International and Public Affairs, features interviews with scholars and historians on the future of the two religions. Admission is free. For more information, email email@example.com or call 786-972-3175.
▪ Emilio Solé-Sempere, director of the Amazonia Vocal Ensemble, will explore the choral music of South America in a lecture at 7 p.m. Monday at Florida International University’s Green Library, Room 220, on the campus at 11200 SW Eighth St., Miami. Singers from the ensemble will demonstrate points from the lecture, which is free. For information, call 305-348-3394 or visit www.humanities.fiu.edu.
▪ Classical guitarist Jason Vieux will perform works by Bach, Duke Ellington, Pat Metheny, Antonio Carlos Jobím and more during a Florida Guitar Foundation concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the University of Miami’s Clarke Recital Hall, 5501 San Amaro Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is $30 ($15 for students). For information, visit www.floridaguitarfoundation.org.
▪ Miami’s New World School of the Arts will present two free music events this week. First is a concert by pianist Philippe Entremont and soprano Julie Cherrier at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Miami, 609 Brickell Ave. On Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., New World will launch ViolaFest!, a day of study, master classes and music for viola students from seventh grade through college age. New World associate professor and violist Richard Fleischman hosts the event, which takes place at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, 401 NE Second Ave., Bldg. 4, Miami. Participants should bring their violas, music and lunch. Preregister by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For New World music informaiton, call 305-237-7855 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu.
▪ Alan Thicke (yes, Robin’s dad) hosts Dancing Pros: Live!, a dance competition in which guest judges and the audience decide the winners of a competition among professional dancers. Karina Smirnoff of Dancing With the Stars is head judge, along with dancer Oscar Orosco and former Dancing With the Stars champ (and Indy 500 winner) Helio Castroneves. The show’s dancers include pros Edyta Sliwinska, Ryan Di Lello and Chelsie Hightower. The show happens at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $39.50 to $69.50. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.browardcenter.org for information.
▪ New Theatre will host a community conversation after this Sunday’s 5:30 p.m. performance of Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose. Mark Raymond will moderate a conversation on the legal drama’s issues among public defender Carlos J. Martinez, Florida International University Law School Dean Alex Acosta and assistant state attorney Don Horn. The performance and conversation are at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay. Tickets to the show are $26 in advance, $31 at the door. Call 786-573-5300 or visit www.new-theatre.org for information.
▪ A Little Night Music, the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Sumemr Night, will play Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre from Friday through Feb. 22 in a production featuring college juniors and seniors from Miami’s New World School of the Arts. Dean Patrice Bailey directs the show, which will have performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Colony, 1040 Lincoln Rd. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors). Call 305-674-1040 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu.
▪ Dancers from New World’s college program will perform 20 Hues of 15, a program combining dance and film, at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at the New World Dance Theater, 25 NE Second St., Miami. Under the direction of Dean Mary Lisa Burns, choreographers Angela Fegers, Angie Lu, Jovahnie Funderburk and Monica Sharon have created pieces for the dance concert. Admission is $5. Call 305-237-3341 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu for information.
▪ Stanton South Beach is hosting a Beachside Graffiti Bash from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday on its oceanfront terrace with a live art exhibition by local artists including Atomiko, Komik, Naps and Quake. A DJ, complimentary beer and rum, and a spread of for-sale barbecue bites will be offered to guests. Valet parking at the hotel is $15 for attendees. The event is free and open to the public. The Stanton is at 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Call 305-536-7700 or visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/miamb-marriott-stanton-south-beach.
▪ Xu Bing: Writing Between Heaven and Earth, an exhibition encompassing 5,000 square feet of massive hand-carved installations that took the acclaimed Chinese artist four years to complete, opens Saturday at Florida International University’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum. Xu Bing will lecture from 4 to 5 p.m., with a special reception following from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. The Frost is at 10975 SW 17th St., Miami. Call 305-348-2890 or visit www.thefrost.fiu.edu.
▪ Arts Encounters is conducting a tour of The Wolfsonian-FIU and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU on Thursday starting at 11 a.m. The tour begins at the corner of 10th Street and Washington Avenue, where Miami-based artist Michelle Weinberg will discuss her mural covering the Wolfsonian’s 1927 façade. At the Jewish Museum, also in South Beach, the group will tour The Chosen, an exhibit offering a rare glimpse into the collections of prominent Jewish art collectors in Florida. The tour will end around 3 p.m. and costs $50 per person. To reserve, call Marjory Gordon at 305-989-0027 or email email@example.com by Tuesday.
▪ Art Bastion Miami presents Boris Chetkov: Portraits, an exhibition of the largest collection of many never-before-seen paintings by the Russian artist owned by collector Peter Hoffman Jr., founder of the Hoffman Art Institute. A VIP wine reception is Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Guests must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Chetkov’s show is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through March 21. See it at 2085 NW Second Ave., No. 104, Miami. Call 305-509-8338 or visit www.artbastion.com.
▪ Life Is Art kicks off the 2015 Art/Work Connections Seminar Series with an opportunity for artists to meet grant makers, including representatives from the Knight Foundation, Miami Foundation and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. The event is Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Miami Center for Architecture & Design, 100 NE First Ave., Miami. Seating is limited and preregistration at a cost of $10 is recommended. For information, visit http://lifeisartfest.org/artwork-connections-seminar-25-grants-for-artists-2-0-meet-the-grantmakers-february-17-2015/.
Christine Dolen, Rene Rodriguez and Galena Mosovich contributed to this report. Send news to cdolen@MiamiHerald.com (theater), jlevin@MiamiHerald.com (dance, pop and Latin music), jwooldridge@MiamiHerald.com (visual arts) or khamersly@MiamiHerald.com (jazz, classical music).