Point of View

September 10, 2010, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Education

Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho shared his vision for the upcoming school year with school and community leaders at the Adrienne Arsht Center on August 17 during his annual Opening of Schools Address.

Carvalho repeated his promise not to cut art, music or physical education opportunities for students.  “The arts are more than just important in the classroom, they are what binds us together as a human race, what enriches our existence on this planet , what gives meaning to our lives, and we will not cheat our children of their right to everything a high-quality education should encompass,” he said.

The Opening of Schools program featured a world-premiere musical performance by the Miami Wind Symphony, and greetings from Ricky Arriola, Chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors, and School Board Chair Dr. Solomon Stinson. “In many ways, the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade Public Schools share a campus. From our earliest days, we have been looking for ways to collaborate with our schools with the goal of exposing our community’s youth to the power of the performing arts,” stated Arriola.

In what may be the best example of how the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade Public Schools can partner together to enrich the lives of our students, this past May every fifth grade class in the County was invited to free performances of ROCK ODYSSEY. More than 1,000 classrooms from 112 schools attended the performances, making it the most exciting and ambitious arts education program in Adrienne Arsht Center history.

The Opening of Schools Address was made possible in part by the generous support of the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union.

September 10, 2010, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Rock Odyssey

Last May 26,000 Miami-Dade County Public School fifth grade students were invited to see Rock Odyssey, the rock and roll musical presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center last spring completely free of charge to the students and their schools. And the good news is that it returns this September to enrich the lives of all the new fifth graders who have just gone back to school.  Through the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Learning Through the Arts program, fifth grade students of Miami-Dade County will enjoy the opportunity to experience live musical theater, free of charge, over the course of two weeks.

A  collaboration between Emmy Award-winning composer Billy Straus and Kleban Award-winning writer Stephen Cole, Rock Odyssey relates the epic tale of Homer’s The Odyssey in an age-appropriate musical theater context, complete with sword fighting, dancing, period costumes, and a nine-foot Cyclops puppet.  Students will be transported back to Ancient Greece thanks to the set designed by New York-based Laura Brock and the costumes of Miami-based designer Ellis Tillman.  Douglas Love, celebrated television producer, author, and playwright, returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center to remount the production. 

Performed by a local cast of musical theater professionals, Rock Odyssey runs from September 21 – October 1 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.

September 10, 2010, 4:33 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Burger Beast, Miami’s pre-eminent foodie blogger, has stepped up to the plate – or the curb, we could say – as curator of the gourmet food truck bonanza poised to take over 13th Street during the September 12 FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL.  Forget New York’s hot dogs and Philly’s cheesesteaks, this is street food par excellence!  More than 20 gourmet street food trucks will dish up a scrumptious epicurean adventure, from sushi to ice cream, Mexican tacos to Asian stir fry, sinful baked goods and down-home soul food.

The free, all-day festival features local star street gourmands: Latin Burger, gastropod, La Camaronera, Nacho Mama’s Mexican Grill, Michael’s Genuine Food Cart, Sakaya Kitchen, Swanky’s Low ‘n Slow BBQ, and many more.  As the Adrienne Arsht Center and FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL celebrate Miami’s RICH cultural landscape, the Beast and friends are set to make history with this fantastic food truck park ‘n eat parade.

The trucks roll in at 12 noon, so bring your appetite!

For a full list of participating food trucks, plus event details including over 150 local arts organizations exhibiting, free performances, and children’s activities throughout the day, visit: http://www.arshtcenter.org/fall.

September 10, 2010, 4:32 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Ready to get up close and personal with your favorite dancers, actors, and musicians?  The Adrienne Arsht Center recently unveiled plans for this coming season’s programming in the Carnival Studio Theater, and the plan is this: the performing arts, CLOSE UP!  Partnering with established and emerging local Miami artists and arts organizations, the Center will offer a unique experience all season long in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater where patrons will have the opportunity to see world-class performances unfold literally inches from their seats. 

Brazz Dance Amazonia, Photo by Mitchell Zachs

This up-close-and-personal performance experience includes brand new work from Miami’s most innovative arts organizations, including Zoetic Stage’s first large-scale production, South Beach Babylon; Mad Cat Theatre Company’s hilarious new work by performance artist/comic Kristina Wong, Going Green the Wong Way; M Ensemble’s moving rendition of Crowns; and Brazz Dance Theater’s stirring evening of Afro-Brazilian and contemporary dance, Mistura Fina.  

Kristina Wong "Going Green"; Photo courtesy of Artist Management

Carnival programming also includes a major theatrical programming initiative during Black History Month; the Miami premiere of REPLICA by Miami artist/architect Daniel Arsham in collaboration with dancer/choreographers Jonah Bokaer and Judith Sanchez Ruiz; and local dance darling Rosie Herrera’s company.  Beloved Carnival Studio Theater traditions including City Theatre’s Summer Shorts, the Miami Made Weekend featuring Here & Now with Miami Light Project, and the International Hispanic Theatre Festival will all continue this season, alongside many new and exciting programs.  This season’s “close-up” initiative aims to inspire and entertain South Florida by supporting and showcasing the tremendous talent within our local community and bringing the very best performances from around the world to the Magic City.

Replica; Photo by Michael Hart

For a complete list of performances in the Carnival Studio Theater please visit www.arshtcenter.org.

September 10, 2010, 4:30 pm
Filed under: At the Center

As if tapping your pen on your notebook wasn’t enough entertainment for your colleagues, imagine an entire orchestra of office-supply noise-makers!  That’s what happened at the Adrienne Arsht Center when staff members were challenged to assemble their own “WORK-estra” by using regular, day-to-day items like staplers, scissors and, of course, the multipurpose rubber band (makes for great guitar sounds!)—all in celebration of the U. S. premiere of Pandemonium, the long-awaited new show that will be taking over the Ziff Ballet Opera House September 16 – 26.

After a two-week competition, the winner came from the Center’s Production Department.  Ross Labrie created his very own score entitled “Prelude to a Load-Out for Miscellaneous Workshop Percussion.”  Well, perhaps the fact that he is a Sound Technician gave him an edge! Check out his stellar performance here http://www.vimeo.com/14186085 and be dazzled by the everyday objects that made such beautiful music.

And to continue this pandemonium beyond the Center’s offices, the Adrienne Arsht Center has joined local radio station LITE FM to find South Florida’s best WORK-estra!  The challenge, similar to our very own internal competition, is to find the office that most creatively makes music using simple office items.  To find out more on how you can enter, visit http://www.litemiami.com/contests/osb-a.aspx and let the orchestrated chaos begin!

September 10, 2010, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Gala

Following his triumphant Center debut this summer in BABALU, Raúl Esparza returns! The Tony Award nominee—and Miami native—will entertain more than 500 of Miami’s most influential arts patrons, philanthropists, and business and civic leaders on Thursday, October 28, 2010, at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s 5th Anniversary Season Gala.  The gala event will take place just prior to Esparza’s opening in Leap of Faith, a new musical in Los Angeles co-starring Brooke Shields. 

The black-and-white-themed 5th Anniversary Season Gala will honor the Center’s legacy, the evolution of its mission as a ‘world-class, community-based’ performing arts center, and its future direction as the Miami community continues to invest in the organization. A highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of the Grand Donor Walls, which honor the Center’s founding supporters.

Gala proceeds will benefit the Adrienne Arsht Center’s mission-driven education and community outreach programs. For more information about this momentous event, corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities, or to RSVP for the 5th Anniversary Season Gala, please call (786) 468-2020 or email gala@arshtcenter.org.

September 10, 2010, 4:23 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Downtown Miami’s budding social scene is welcoming a new nightlife destination as the Adrienne Arsht Center and Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. introduce the new BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge. The Lounge, which is located at street level in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s iconic Carnival Tower, joins PRELUDE by Barton G. as the second food and beverage destination to debut at the Adrienne Arsht Center in less than a year.

Photo by Manny Hernandez

The nation’s first stand-alone venue themed after the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin brand in the world, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge will be open to the general public Tuesday-Sunday starting at 5 pm beginning October 19 during the Broadway in Miami run of DREAMGIRLS. Prior to that day, the Lounge will be operational on performance dates.

“Much more than an amenity for our patrons, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge is an important step forward in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s role as both a full-service entertainment destination and a catalyst for economic growth in our neighborhood,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “The Lounge is certain to become a favorite for our patrons and local residents alongside PRELUDE, our widely-acclaimed restaurant. These two properties are signature elements of the Adrienne Arsht Center experience in Miami’s new town square.”

The Adrienne Arsht Center teamed up with Bacardi executives on September 1 to host a ‘sneak preview’ event that showcased the Lounge to members of the media and special guests. The hundreds who turned out enjoyed specialty BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® cocktails and food by Performing Arts Catering. John Richard and Bacardi USA CEO John Esposito delivered brief welcome remarks and led guests in a toast to Miami’s newest hotspot.

Whether plans call for a pre- or post-show drink, an after-work cocktail, or drinks before a night out on the town, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge is sure to emerge as a gathering place for Downtown Miami’s growing residential and commercial population, as well as theater patrons. Menu offerings include a selection of specialty cocktails crafted by award-winning BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® master mixologist Milo Rodriguez, plus a selection of light bites by Performing Arts Catering.

The Lounge is located at the corner of 13th Street and Biscayne Blvd., adjacent to the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for more details.

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