Monday, December 13, 2010

Festival Boca Returns

Festival of Arts Boca Raton Back for Fifth season

By Skip Sheffield

Festival of the Arts Boca Raton will return for a fifth season March 4-12 though with a somewhat scaled-down schedule and younger, less famous artists.
“A city must have a cultural arts component in order to be a world-class community,” stated Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel at a press conference at the Mizner Cultural Arts building. “A cultural component is vital to the success of any community. It is fun to see Festival Boca is younger this year.”
At the youthful end of the spectrum, the phenomenal 10-year-old operatic soprano Jackie Evancho will perform with the Young Stars of the Metropolitan Opera at the Festival finale on Saturday, March 12.
Instead of the costly Russian National Orchestra, the Festival has engaged the much more reasonable Boca Raton Symphonia Orchestra, which also gives a boost to the local musical community.
Festival Boca 2010 might not have happened at all with the generosity of Richard and Barbara Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation.”
“We provided seed money to make the Festival possible,” revealed Dick Schmidt. “The city has stepped up its role too by taking over the amphitheater. We would hate to see the Festival fall victim to politics.”
The Festival begins 7 p.m. Friday, March 4 with the traditional Future Stars Competition of young performers, presented by the Rotary Club of Boca Raton.
The literary component begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 5 with a talk by Kate Walbert, author of “A Short History of Women,” in the Cultural Arts Center.
The Canadian Brass Headlines at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater.
Literature continues at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 6 with Kevin Bleyer, Emmy Award-winning writer for The Jon Stewart Show and author of “Earth: The Book.”
The musical component continues at 7:30 p.m. Sunday with the American debut of Montenegro classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic, 27.
As the literary program is a “work in progress,” the Monday, March 7 author is to be announced. At 7:30 p.m. Monday evening Ballet Hispanico debuts.
The Latin theme continues 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with Piano Latino, featuring veteran Eddie Palmieri, Dominican Grammy Award-winner Michael Camilo and Cuban-born Alfredo Rodriguez, 24, discovered by Quincy Jones at the 2006 Montreaux Jazz Festival.
Improvisational genius pianist Gabriela Montero of Venezuela plays classics and takes requests at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10.
An author is to be announced for Friday, March 11.
As the Russian National Orchestra is not touring this year, the Boca Raton Symphonia is providing live music for the family movie classic “The Wizard of Oz” at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Distinguished writer-in-residence Doris Kearns returns at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12 and the Festival finale, “A Night at the Opera” stars Jackie Evancho and the Young Stars of the Metropolitan Opera with the Boca Raton Symphonia, under the baton of famed French pianist/conductor Philippe Entremont.
Individual tickets are $35-$125 and packages are available. Call 561-368-8445 or 866-571-ARTS or visit

Things are Not Idyllic in “Hemingway’s Garden of Eden”

Ernest Hemingway never wanted his “Garden of Eden” to be published.
Nevertheless his final novel was published posthumously in 1986 Now it is a movie, starring Jack Huston as the Hemingway-like World war I veteran and young novelist David Bourne, Mena Suvari as his young, wealthy, reckless wife Catherine and Caterina Murino as the couple’s sexy, seductive Italian friend, Marita. It is showing at FAU’s new Living Room Theaters.
The newlywed young American couple is enjoying life bombing around the French Riviera in a 1927 Bugatti sports car Catherine bought for David. They rent a seaside villa for the season, and Catherine soon grows bored and restless while David attempts to write.
One afternoon Catherine shows up with Marita in tow, and Catherine practically dares David to have an affair with the Italian beauty.
A ménage a trois develops with predictably unhappy results.
Mena Suvari is no longer the dewy-eyed doll she was in “American Beauty,” and with her hair chopped off and bleached platinum, she looks fairly ridiculous. Jack Huston looks even sillier with his platinum hair and dark eyebrows.
“Garden of Eden” may have been Hemingway’s attempt to emulate his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald, but “Tender is the Night” this is not.

Two stars

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