Published On: Thu, Mar 22nd, 2012


By: Diane Feen

One thing we know for sure man (or woman) cannot live by bread alone. We also know that art and culture are to a civilized society what a cash register is to a check-out line.

That is why we are very lucky to have Festival of the Arts BOCA in our own backyard at Mizner Park. The festival started last week, but there are still some exciting events to choose from this week. And if you were lucky enough to have attended the “Opera Goes to the Movies” on Saturday night you would know that brilliance is in our midst for another few days.

The Boca Raton Symphonia had one of its most spectacular nights on Saturday with Soprano Angela Meade, Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson and Tenor James Valenti (who is a Palm Beach County resident). The music permeated the air like twinkling stars from another galaxy and came from great classics like Carmen and La boheme.

Many of the songs performed have popular culture roots in American films like Pretty Woman, Raging Bull, Moonstruck and The Pink Panther. And recently appointed Musical Director Constantine Kitsopoulos was charming, chatty and endearing, not to mention talented.  He is a real gift to our town and to the festival.

Just because you may have missed the movie Casablanca on a huge outdoor screen with live synchronized music by the Boca Symphonia does not mean that all is lost. There is still time to get tickets for upcoming events.

On Thursday (March 15) the Festival and Larry Rosen’s Jazz Roots Series presents An Evening of Gershwin featuring Patti Austin and Tony DeSare. On Friday night Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band will perform a fiery stew of jazz, soul and heart stomping rhythm and melodies (it’s OK to dance in the aisles).

The musical finale will take place on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 with a St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza filled with folk dancers, acclaimed fiddlers and Celtic bands. Come prepared to be delighted and bewitched under a spell of euphoria with food and drink that honors this great Irish tradition.

But dance you might – and enthralled you will be. But on the cultural side of things don’t miss the week’s Artist & Ideas Lectures. Award-winning author and Wall Street Media star Andrew Ross Sorkin will be at the Mizner Amphitheater discussing “How To Fix The Financial System” on Friday night, and on Sunday at 2, P. Scott Cunningham will do a Reading and Discussion of Poetry’s Place in the Modern World – in the Cultural Arts Center.

The final event of the Festival will take place on Sunday March 18th at 4pm and will be the platform for award-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. If you haven’t listened to her riveting tales of history and humanity then you are really missing out on a front row seat of our countries finest hours (and minutes).

In order to continue having these world class orchestras, musicians and cultural and literary icons we must all support the Festival of the Arts BOCA. It is with this type of venue that civilized societies continue their march onward toward greatness. Care to join?

For information call 561-368-8445 and to purchase tickets visit or call 866-571-ARTS.

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