Brad Zimmerman in MY SON THE WAITER: A JEWISH TRAGEDY in Ft. Lauderdale – February 1 – March 25

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My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy
at
The Norma & William Horvitz Auditorium at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale

February 1 – March 25, 2018

Actor/Comedian Brad Zimmerman’s hilarious and inspiring story
about the grit and passion required to ‘make it’ as an artist and the sweet rewards that come from never giving up on your dream. 

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Carol Kassie
561-445-9244 / Carol@CarolKassie.com   

January 11, 2018

LAUDERDALE, FL: Brad Zimmerman will bring his hit New York Comedy to Ft. Lauderdale this season in his highly praised autobiographical comedy, My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy.  The show will run from February 1 – March 25 at the Norma & William Horvitz Auditorium at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale.

My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy is the story of Zimmerman’s struggle to fulfill his dream and ‘make it’ as a comedic actor in New York.  One-part standup, one-part theatrical, and all parts uproarious My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy has garnered rave reviews wherever it has played, including sold out runs Off Broadway in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta,  Toronto, San Diego, Thousand Oaks, CA, Huntington Beach, CA., Palm Beach, FL., the Northshore PAC in Skokie, Illinois, The Gordon Center For Performing Arts in Maryland, the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and dozens of other cities throughout the USA.

Every mother dreams her children will grow up to be happy, healthy, and successful.  Every Jewish mother secretly – and often not so secretly –  adds specifics to her wish:  A doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, or these days, a Silicon Valley tycoon would make her very happy.  Brad Zimmerman’s mother has finally adapted to her ‘actor-waiter’ son’s career choice and financial situation: “If all goes well, I think Brad is going to buy a bookcase,” she boasts to her friends.

Brad Zimmerman has paid his dues.  He spent 29 years “temporarily” waiting tables in New York, all the while chasing a career in acting and comedy.  He tells of his pursuit, along with stories about his childhood, family, and misbegotten love life with warmth, wit, self-deprecating humor, and wicked charm, and combines his years of training as an actor with his innate comedic talent.

Zimmerman also examines the trials and tribulations of waiting on tables – particularly for someone not exactly invested in that career, and with little tolerance for persnickety diners:

“I don’t want 60 questions, get to the point!” he said he would tell restaurant patrons when he sat down for a recent interview for The New York Times. He joked that if diners prefaced their orders by saying they were in a hurry he would say “So go!” He says he did enjoy some of the bantering he did with diners, and often tried out material on them, however there were also ‘the bossy customers who would snap their fingers to get his attention… and the health-food obsessives who elaborately customized their orders and button-holed him over ingredients.’  As he says in My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy, he was convinced his epitaph would read “I’ll be right with you.”

His perseverance and hard work eventually did pay off, and Zimmerman went on to act – he had a small part in “The Sopranos” playing Johnny Sack’s lawyer – and to become the opening act for a number of well-known entertainers, including George Carlin, Brad Garrett, Dennis Miller, Julio Iglesias, and Joan Rivers who said “I’ve had three great opening acts in my lifetime:  Billy Crystal, Garry Shandling, and Brad Zimmerman.”

Zimmerman worked on the script for My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy for 9 years and performed it in small venues all over the country, including a stint at Florida’s Stage Door Theatre, where it came to the attention of producers Dana Matthow and Philip Roy (Respect: A Musical Journey of Women, Old Jews Telling Jokes, My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy). Since then My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy spent 2 years at Off-Broadway’s Stage 72 (Triad Theatre) in New York, and has toured the USA from coast to coast.

My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy will run from February 1 – March 25 at the Norma & William Horvitz Auditorium at the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale.  Tickets are on sale now, and are available on line at MySonTheWaiter.com or by phone at 1-855-448-7469. For group rates (12 +) call 1-888-264-1788.  Tickets for My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy range from $45 – $65.

For more information about My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy please visit MySontheWaiter.com or contact Carol Kassie at 561-445-9244 / Carol@CarolKassie.com.

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My Son the Waiter:  A Jewish Tragedy
By Brad Zimmerman
February 1 – March 25
Tickets:  $45 – $65
Phone:  1-855-448-7469
On Line: MySonTheWaiter.com
Group Rates (12 +):  1888-264-1788
Showtimes:  Thurs. 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm; Friday 7:30 pm; Sat. 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm; Sun. 2:00 pm
Norma & William Horvitz Auditorium at
The NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale
1 East Las Olas Boulevard
Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33301
MySontheWaiter.com
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Praise for My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy:

“Delicious! Distinctly original… powerfully poignant.” “Great Comedy!” ~ The New York Times

“A Must See. It’s Hysterical, Heartfelt, Timely and Poignant. I cried, I laughed, I forgot where I parked.” ~ Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond)

“Zimmerman is a funny man with funny material.” ~ Thomas Burns Scully (On Stage)

“This is easily the funniest show to hit an off-Broadway stage since ‘Old Jews Telling Jokes.’ What makes this SUPERIOR is that it isn’t just jokes. It’s a life.” ~ The Jewish Daily Forward

 “AN ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE! You’ll laugh and you’ll walk out of the theater with a lesson: If you can find something that you truly love, it gives your life meaning. ~ Palm Beach Arts Paper

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GARLAND IN WORD AND SONG at the Willow Theatre – January 26 – February 11

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Black Box Booking
presents
Jody Briskey in
Garland in Word and Song
January 26 – February 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

January 4, 2018

BOCA RATON, FL: When Judy Garland stepped out onto the stage at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961, the raucous standing ovation that greeted her was just the start of what has been called “the greatest night in showbusiness history.”  Award-winning actress/singer Jody Briskey will channel Garland and recreate that night’s iconic performance in Garland in Word and Song at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park.  The production, produced by Black Box Booking (The Jazz Singer, Danny Kaye & Sylvia), will run from January 26th through February 11th.  

Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, April 1961

Judy Garland was a mega-star before the term was coined.  She made her first film appearance at age 7, and during her career earned three Oscar nominations, the first for what is listed by the American Film Institute as the 6th best film of all time – The Wizard of Oz.   Over the years she progressed from movies to Vaudeville and concert appearances, but her difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse seriously impacted on her health and her career.  However, in 1960–61, after a long recovery, she toured Europe and North America with a program labeled ‘Just Judy’, and the Carnegie Hall performance was the culmination of what had turned out to be a highly successful comeback.  The recording of that concert was a huge success.  It spent 73 weeks on the Billboards charts, including 13 weeks as number one.  It also received four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 1962. (Garland was the first woman to receive that award.)

Actress Jody Briskey has portrayed Judy Garland before, most notably in History Theatre’s world premiere of Beyond the Rainbow, a role she reprised at Florida Stage, and for which she received a 2006 Carbonell nomination, and at the Theatre at Arts Garage.

Jody Briskey

Garland in Word and Song is a show that Briskey found evolved naturally over the years: “Judy has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl, although I may not have known it at the time,” she explains. “I knew there was something about her, especially when she sang, that latched on to my soul.  As I developed my own passion for singing, I always made sure I sang something of Judy’s.  She had a way of singing a standard song you may have heard a dozen times by other performers but by the time she enveloped it with her heart it became uniquely hers.  It’s this heart that I feel as I bring her songs to my audiences. Over the years I’ve been given more opportunities to embrace Judy’s music and it has led to this show of songs and stories.”

David Nagy

Musical Direction and Accompaniment for Garland in Word and Song is by four-time Carbonell Award-winner David Nagy.  The production’s Set Design is by B.I.G. Creative Services;  Sound Design is by Andres Allessandro Beuses Casasanta, and Lighting Design is by Nicole Stav and Laura Fulton.  Costumes are by Rich Hamson and Christine Frank, and Wig Design is by Robert Dunn.

Garland in Word and Song will run from January 26 through February 11 at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park.  Tickets are $35; group rates (6 or more tickets purchased in one transaction) are $30.  Tickets can be purchased on line at www.willowtheatre.org or by phone at 561-347-3948.

For more information about Garland in Word and Song and/or Black Box Booking please visit www.blackboxbooking.com  or contact Carol Kassie (carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244).

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Garland in Word and Song
January 26 – February 11, 2018
Concept and Development by: Jody Briskey
Tickets:  $35 / $30 for groups of 6 or more
Tickets:   561-347-3948 / www.willowtheatre.org
Showtimes:
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday at 8:00 pm,
Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm
The Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park
300 S. Military Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33486
www.willowtheatre.org

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Miriam Hoffman Reads From Her Latest Book – A BREED APART: REFLECTIONS OF A YOUNG REFUGEE – January 15 at the PGA Arts Center

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Yiddishkayt Initiative
Invites audiences to join
Professor Miriam Hoffman
with her son Avi Hoffman
for a FREE Reading, Q & A, and Book Signing for
A Breed Apart: Reflections of A Young Refugee

For Immediate Release
Contact: Penny Landau
MayaPRNY@gmail.com /917-592-3149
Contact:  Carol Kassie
Carol@CarolKassie.com  / 561-445-9244

January 2, 2018

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL: Miriam Hoffman, author, scholar, journalist, playwright and survivor will read selections from her new book A Breed Apart: Reflections of a Young Refugee, on Monday, January 15, 2018, at 7pm at the PGA Arts Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She will be joined onstage by her son, Avi, the award-winning actor and performer who is currently appearing in the 20th Anniversary Production of his Too Jewish? at the PGA Arts Center through January 21st. The evening will also include a multimedia presentation, discussion, Q & A and book signing. The event will be FREE and open to the public.

Published by YI Press (a division of Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc.), A Breed Apart is an engaging non-fiction tale of war and survival, seen through the eyes of a young Miriam Hoffman and her father. Hoffman’s personal tale captures the beauty and importance of keeping the Yiddish language and Jewish culture alive during the twentieth-century, despite countless attempts to destroy it. A Breed Apart follows Miriam Hoffman’s emotional journey as a young refugee girl growing up in a post-war DP (Displaced Person) camp to her new life in the United States.

Miriam Hoffman is an author, scholar, playwright, and survivor of the Russian gulag and the post-World War II DP camps. She has spent her life preserving the Yiddish language and culture that she cherishes so dearly. Her accomplishments in education, arts and literature have impacted both Jews and non-Jews alike. From her time as a child in the post-war DP (Displaced Persons) refugee camp in Ulm, Germany, she brought with her an album of pictures of life in the camp, as well as a journal she kept of over 80 songs in four different languages – Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and Polish. The Ulm Album has been shared with the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has also written over a dozen plays which have won awards and have been produced all over the world. Hoffman recently retired after 25 years as professor of Yiddish Language and Culture at Columbia University. She has published over 2,000 weekly columns in New York’s Yiddish Forward Newspaper as a feature writer. Recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame, Miriam has written university textbooks and is the founder of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre, with the world-renowned Broadway impresario. www.YiddishkaytInitiative.org

For more information about Miriam Hoffman, A Breed Apart: Reflections of a Young Refugee, or Avi Hoffman, contact Penny Landau (MayaPRNY@gmail.com/917-592-3149) or Carol Kassie (Carol@CarolKassie.com/561-445-9244).

~

A Breed Apart: Reflections of a Young Refugee
A FREE Reading, Q & A, and Book Signing
With Miriam Hoffman and Avi Hoffman
Monday, January 15 at 7 pm
To reserve tickets contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com
PGA Arts Center
4076 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL  33410

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Stage Door Theatre presents FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL December 29 – February 11

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Stage Door Theatre
presents
Flashdance – The Musical

December 29, 2017 – February 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Derelle Bunn
DerelleBunn@yahoo.com /954-344-7765
Contact:  Carol Kassie
Carol@CarolKassie.com  / 561-445-9244

December 26, 2017

MARGATE, FL:  Flashdance – The Musical, based upon the classic 1983 film will open at Stage Door Theatre on December 29th and run through February 11th.

Flashdance has been described as ‘an unmistakably unique musical about holding on to your dreams and love against all odds.”   Alex Owens, a welder by day and a ‘flashdancer’ by night has dreams of attending the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy.  The show’s narrative follows Alex and her fellow welders and exotic dancer friends as they struggle to leave behind the reality of their everyday lives.

Flashdance – The Musical includes all the iconic numbers from the film – “Maniac”, “Gloria”, “I Love Rock & Roll”, and “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, as well as 14 new songs written expressly for the stage production.

The production will be directed by the multi-faceted Paul O’Donnell.  O’Donnell, who often serves as Stage Door’s Technical Director, recently received glowing reviews and standing ovations when he starred in Stage Door’s production of Nine in April of 2017.

Paul O’Donnell

“I happen to be the one who found this show as an option during our season building, not knowing I would be the person directing this show,” O’Donnell says. “Nor did any of us know we are the first regional theater in the U.S. to gain the rights to produce this fantastic show. So here I am feeling blessed. Surrounded by a team of wonderful people I call family. Together some of us found our cast. I can tell you that turned out Amazing! After working with this ridiculously talented cast for the past 12 days straight, I can tell you each and every person in this cast has embraced this show! Audiences are in for a treat. The heart of this show alone is intoxicating! See you all soon and tell your friends!”

Abby Perkins

O’Donnell has cast Abby Perkins as Alex Owens, and Devon Norris as Nick Hurley.   Other cast members include Vicki Anderson, Francine Birns, Sean Dorazio, Jonathan Eisele, Richard Anthony Forbes, Jenny Hegarty, Mark Hernandez, Jaclyn Juola, Fern Katz,  Christopher Mitchell, Johanna Moise, Josh Nelson, Kellyanna Polk,  and  Emily Senn.

The Musical Director for Flashdance is David Nagy; Choreography is by Isabel Trelles.  The show’s Scenic Design is by Jodi Dellaventura, Lighting and Set Design is by Ardean Landhuis, and Costume Design is by Jerry Sturdefant.  Nancy Clay is the production’s Stage Manager.

Flashdance – The Musical will run from December 29th through February 11th at Stage Door Theatre. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Margate.  Tickets for Flashdance are $48. (Student prices are also available with valid ID). Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at www.stagedoorfl.org.

For more information about Flashdance – The Musical and/or Stage Door Theatre, please visit www.stagedoorfl.org, or contact Derelle Bunn Executive Producer/Artistic Director, at DerelleBunn@yahoo.com / 954-344-7765 or Carol Kassie (carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244).

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Flashdance – The Musical
December 29 – February 11, 2018
Book by Tom Hedley and Robert Cary
Music by Robbie Roth
Lyrics by Robbi Roth and Robert Cary
Tickets:  $48
Tickets:  954-344-7765 / www.stagedoorfl.org
Showtimes:
Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday at 2 pm,
Friday & Saturday at 8 pm
Stage Door Theatre
8036 W Sample Rd
Margate, Fl 33065
www.stagedoorfl.org
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SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ – THE SONGS OF LEIBER AND STOLLER – At Stage Door Theatre – December 15 – January 14

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Stage Door Theatre
presents
Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
December 15, 2017 – January 14, 2018

“… If you are looking to have a toe-tappin’, finger-snappin’ good time, then treat yourself to see Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller .”
Mark Beachy – MD Theatre Guide

For Immediate Release
Contact: Derelle Bunn
DerelleBunn@yahoo.com /954-344-7765
Contact:  Carol Kassie
Carol@CarolKassie.com  / 561-445-9244

December 7, 2017

MARGATE, FL:  Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller – not necessarily household names in today’s pop music or theatrical worlds.   But for decades – especially from the mid 1950’s to the mid 1960’s – Leiber and Stoller were one of America’s most successful songwriting teams.  Stage Door Theatre will honor this iconic duo when they present Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, a compendium of some of their greatest hits, in the popular Margate venue’s intimate Theatre 2 from December 15th through January 14th.

Lieber and Stoller wrote together for over 60 years, creating enduring classics in a variety of genres including R & B, Pop, Jazz, Cabaret, and most notably, Rock & Roll. Among those who recorded their songs were Ben E. King (‘Stand By Me’, ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’, ‘Spanish Harlem’), The Drifters (‘There Goes My Baby’, Dance With Me’, ‘On Broadway’), and the Coasters (‘Searchin’, ‘Young Blood’, Yakety Yak’, ‘Charlie Brown’).  Elvis Presley recorded over 20 Lieber and Stoller songs, including some of his greatest hits: ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Loving You’, ‘Santa Clause is Back in Town’, ‘She’s Not You’, and ‘Treat Me Nice’ were all their compositions.

Smokey Joe’s Café features 39 Leiber and Stoller songs – some of their greatest, instantly recognizable hits, along with a few that won’t be quite as familiar, but are nonetheless fine examples of the duos’ extraordinary talent and versatility.

Kevin Black

“This will be my 3rd production of Smokey Joe’s Café and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this show,” says Kevin Black, who will direct and choreograph the show.  “I’m very fortunate to have found an incredibly talented cast that continue to impress me every day. If you’re looking for an evening of great songs, sung by great vocalists…this is the show for you!”

Black’s cast includes Kat Gold, Stephanie LoVerde, Austin Rivers, Andre Russell, Michael Schneider, Charisse Shields, Aili Venho, and Nethaneel Williams.

Smokey Joe’s Café Musical Director is Michael Friedman, and the Technical Director is Paul O’Donnell.  Lighting Design is by Ardean Landhuis, Set Design is by Michael McClain, and Costume Design is by Jerry Sturdefant.

Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller will run from December 15th through January 14th at Stage Door Theatre. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Margate.  Tickets for Smokey Joe’s Café are $48. (Student prices are also available with valid ID). Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at www.stagedoorfl.org.

For more information about Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller and/or Stage Door Theatre, please visit www.stagedoorfl.org, or contact Derelle Bunn Executive Producer/Artistic Director, at DerelleBunn@yahoo.com / 954-344-7765 or Carol Kassie (carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244).

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Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
December 15, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Words and Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Tickets:  $48
Tickets:  954-344-7765 / www.stagedoorfl.org
Showtimes:
Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday at 2 pm,
Friday & Saturday at 8 pm
Stage Door Theatre
8036 W Sample Rd
Margate, Fl 33065
www.stagedoorfl.org
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AVI HOFFMAN’S TOO JEWISH? at the PGA Arts Center – December 28, 2017 – January 21, 2018

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PGA Arts Center
in Association with
Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc.
University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
presents
A Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre ProductionDecember 28, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Avi Hoffman’s “Too Jewish?” Returns
for 20th Anniversary Production
Acclaimed Solo Show at PGA Arts Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Penny M. Landau – Maya PR
MayaPRNY@gmail.com / 917-592-3149
Contact:  Carol Kassie
Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-445-9244

December 26, 2017

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL –In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish? will return to South Florida. Produced by PGA Arts Center in Association with Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc & University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, Too Jewish? will begin performances at PGA in Palm Beach Gardens, on Thursday, December 28 & run through Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Too Jewish? premiered Off-Broadway at New York’s Houseman Theatre in 1994 and has been presented all over the world, as well as on the national PBS network.  Hoffman, a child of Holocaust survivors, was taught at an early age to appreciate the beauty and depth of Jewish literature, music and tradition.  In Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish? he combines a delightful mix of music, comedy, impersonations and personal reminiscences, taking his audiences on a journey through his own Jewish roots, illustrating the traditions and history of his beloved Yiddish culture.

“Too Jewish? has had incredible success nationally and in South Florida, so we have decided to bring the production that changed my life back to PGA Arts Center,” Hoffman said. “This will be the perfect family outing for the holidays as the mixture of musical styles in the show appeals to all age groups. It will be the ORIGINAL production, with some new perspectives on how my life has dramatically changed since then.”

Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish? has won multiple awards, including Performer of the Year ’95 by NY Press Magazine and the prestigious Los Angeles Ovation Award as Best Actor in a Musical in 2001. His most recent portrayal of Willie Loman in the Yiddish production of Death of a Salesman garnered him a NY Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actor in a Revival and was featured last summer at The Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, the largest Yiddishkayt Festival in North America. He has also been nominated for both a NY Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle Award.  His 2012 Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical was in recognition of his work as Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray at Actors Playhouse in Miami. He performs worldwide and has proudly worked in nearly every professional South Florida theatre, accumulating multiple awards and nominations. His upcoming Yiddish film Shehita (Slaughter) will be featured in this season’s Miami Jewish Film Festival. Hoffman recently directed and acted in the world premiere of Unlikely Heroes and performed in the Daryl Roth Florida tour of Stars of David. His two popular sequels to Too Jewish? – Too Jewish, Too! and Still Jewish After All These Years – have been seen throughout North America.

Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish? will run from December 28, 2017 – January 21, 2018 at PGA Arts Center. The theatre is located at 4076 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. (There is ample parking within close proximity to the theatre). Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2 & 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.

Tickets for Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish? are $45-65. Tickets may be purchased at the PGA Arts Center box office at 855-HIT-SHOW (855-448-7469) or on line at www.pgaartscenter.com.

Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish?
December 27, 2017 – January 22, 2018

Created and performed by Avi Hoffman
Tickets:  $45-65
Phone:  855 448-7469
On line: www.pgaartscenter.com
Showtimes:
Thursday at 7:30 pm
Fridays at 8 pm
Saturdays at 2 & 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm

PGA Arts Center
4076 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
www.pgaartscenter.com
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FROM PGA TO THE GREAT WHITE WAY: A New Year’s Eve Song, Dance, & Champagne Celebration

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From PGA to the Great White Way:
A New Year’s Eve Song, Dance, and Champagne Celebration
‘Sing in’ the New Year at the PGA Arts Center!

December 31st
7:pm & 9:30 pm only

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

November 21, 2017
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL:   Top South Florida Broadway and cabaret performers Avery Sommers, John Lariviere, Melissa Boher Jacobson, and Michelle Petrucci will be joined by five talented stars of the future from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts to ring in – and sing in – 2018 at the PGA Arts Center in Palm Beach Gardens.  There will be two performances on December 31st – the first at 7 pm, and the second at 9:30 pm.

The show’s concept – mixing seasoned professional performers with young up-and-coming talent, was conceived and developed by local producer and playwright Alan Jacobson.

“I chose the ‘pros’ based on talent and their ability to relate to an audience in a concert/cabaret environment, so there will be a great rapport with the audience,” Jacobson explains.  “And I chose to include Dreyfoos students because the general public doesn’t typically have the opportunity to see the level of talent that young people have, and these students, all pursuing musical theatre, are the stars of tomorrow.”

The evening will be unique in that some of the show’s musical selections were decided upon by the performers themselves:

“I asked everyone to provide me with a list of songs they’re solid and comfortable with,” Jacobson explains. “And I’m putting the show together based on their lists, as well as the songs I feel will resonate best with our audience, and show each performer off at his or her best.  I’ve also come up with a few numbers they may not know as well – for duets, trios, and of course, the finale.

“There will be lots of terrific singing and dancing, and we’re providing Michelle Petrucci the opportunity to dance with her students – a first!” he says.  Petrucci, a graduate of the Boston Conservatory, is a dancer/choreographer with extensive theatrical experience. She is currently the Dean of the award-winning Theatre Program at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

The Dreyfoos students selected to perform are Darah Abrams, Emily Betts, Eli Jacobson, Jacquez Linder-Long, and Maddy Stillman.

“The show’s focus is Broadway,” Jacobson continues, “With well-known songs as well as a few lesser known but still terrific ones sprinkled in.  It will definitely be a song and dance champagne celebration… packed with great talent, great music, and great fun!”

Avery Sommers appeared on Broadway in Ain’t Misbehavin’Show BoatChicago, and Platinum, and in the national tours of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Ann-Margret, and Chicago with Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. Avery was also seen in Regina Taylor’s Crowns at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, and Hairspray at Actors’ Playhouse.

John Lariviere is a cabaret, concert, and jazz singer regularly headlining throughout South Florida in local theatres and clubs. He specializes in music from Broadway and the American Songbook, crossing over into jazz and swing, as well as classical and operetta.

Melissa Boher Jacobson is a professional performer, director and producer, musical director as well as a busy vocal, audition and public speaking coach.  She is an Artist-in-Residence Vocal Instructor for the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Theatre Department, and the former Director of Education for the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Conservatory.  She has appeared throughout the country and Off Broadway in opera, musical theatre and in concert.

For more information about From PGA to the Great White Way or The PGA Arts Center please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244.

The PGA Arts Center is located at 4076 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Ample parking is available within close proximity to the theatre.

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From PGA to the Great White Way
December 31, 2017
Created and compiled by Alan Jacobson
Tickets:  $75 (7:00 pm performance) / $85 (9:30 pm performance)
Tickets:  1-855-448-7469 / www.pgaartscenter.com
Group Sales:  561-808-3446 
PGA Arts Center
4076 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL  33410
www.pgaartscenter.com
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Travel AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS at Boca Raton’s Sol Theatre – December 8 – 23

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Sol Children Theatre
Presents
Around the World in 80 Days
December 8 – 23

“It’s really useful to travel, if you want to see new things.”
~ Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

November 14, 2017:
BOCA RATON, FL:  If theatre audiences are looking for travel and adventure this holiday season, they need venture no farther than to Sol Theatre in Boca Raton, where Sol Children Theatre will present a brand new musical adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic tale, Around the World in 80 Days.  From London to Bombay and Yokohama to San Francisco; through typhoons, out-of- control trains, and into the deepest reaches of the imagination, this family friendly adventure will delight audiences of all ages.  The production will run from December 8th through December 23rd in the popular ‘black box’ theatre.

Phileas Fogg has bet he can race around the world – from London and back to London – in a mere 80 days, but the pressure’s on and time is running out. At his side, a band of quirky adventurers. At their heels, a relentless Scotland Yard detective. At stake, surviving utterly fantastic adventures across India, China, Japan and America – beating the clock – and winning the bet.

The production will be directed by Rosalie Grant, Sol’s dynamic founder and artistic director:

Rosalie Grant

“When I discovered this version of Around the World in 80 Days I instantly knew two things:  Sol had to stage it, and I had to direct it!” says Grant.  “I’ve always loved the story, and this version is wonderfully funny, and the music is very catchy!  It is a perfect family theatre show with enough laughs for adults as well.  I am having the time of my life directing an amazing cast of young actors in addition to adults who are my colleagues and friends.” 

Around the World in 80 Days’ combination of adult and child actors include Murphy Hayes as Phileas Fogg, Christian Matthiesen (L’Ambiance – Virtual School) as Passepartout, Faith Alfieri (Spanish River Christian School) as Inspector Fix, and Renèe Elizabeth Turner as Aouda.

Murphy Hayes

“As soon as I heard the music from this show I knew I wanted to be part of it,” says Around the World’s Philias Fogg, Murphy Hayes. “The fact that it will kick off Sol Children Theatre’s Sweet 16 Season is even more exciting. The talent of the younger actors in this show and the amount of dedication they bring challenges us adult actors to bring our best to this amazing ensemble,” he continues.  “It’s a fun family show for everyone to enjoy together…I think people may even find themselves humming a tune or two on their way home!”

Renee Elizabeth Turner

Renèe Elizabeth Turner agrees: “I am beyond honored to be a part of this exciting production inspired by the beloved Jules Verne novel,” she enthuses. “This is a show about adventure, self-discovery, and having faith in what you can achieve even when the odds are against you. The role of Princess Aouda is one that continually proves to be far more than a traditional female romantic lead. She is a woman who is loyal, caring, well educated, and strong; even while living in a culture where the traditions of human sacrifice and arranged marriages are the social norm. Thus, these unfortunate circumstances force her into the confines of never knowing what it truly means to freely fall in love. It is an absolute joy to present the musical version of this timeless classic with this incredible cast.”

Other young cast members include Kylie Lawrence (Boca High), Ava Cavasos (Henderson School), Kate Finkelstein, sisters Megan and Samantha Mascaro (Paseos – Virtual School), Samantha Marchena (Morikami Park Elementary School), Megan Enriquez (Grandview Prep).  ‘Adult’ cast members include Jenna Wyatt, Jennipher Whitcomb, and Sara Elizabeth Grant.

Around the World in 80 Days’ Musical Director is Anthony Campisi, with choreography by Sara Elizabeth Grant. The show’s Scenic Designer is Kate McVay; Costume Designers are MJ Baum and Briana Earhart; Lighting Design and set construction is by Ardean Landhuis.  The production’s Stage Manager is Sean Smyth.

Boca Raton’s Sol Children Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre organization founded by veteran director and actor Rosalie Grant sixteen years ago.  The company’s mission is to provide children with a safe, secure, and highly professional theatre experience.  Those children in then in turn provide quality theatre experiences for audiences.

Tickets for Around the World in 80 Days are on sale now and can be purchased on line at www.solchildren.org or by calling 561-447-8829.  Tickets are $20; $15 for children aged 11 or younger.  Group rates are also available. Sol Children Theatre is located at 3333 North Federal Highway in Boca Raton (33431).

For more information about Sol Children Theatre, visit www.solchildren.org, or contact Rosalie Grant at 561-447-8829 / solchildtroupe@aol.com or Carol Kassie at 561-445-9244 / carol@carolkassie.com

Around the World in 80 Days
December 8 – 23, 2017
Book and Lyrics by Chris Blackwood
Music by Piers Chater Robinson
Based on the book by Jules Verne
Directed by Rosalie Grant
Tickets:  $20 / $15 juniors (11 and under)
Group rates are also available.
Tickets:  561-447-8829 / www.solchildren.org
Performances:
Friday & Saturday: 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 2 pm
Sol Theatre
3333 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL  33431
www.solchildren.org
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This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida” (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).

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IRVING BERLIN SALUTES AMERICA at the PGA Arts Center – November 30 – December 24

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Irving Berlin Salutes America
at the PGA Arts Center
A Musical Tribute and Patriotic Celebration
November 30 – December 24

“Music is so important.  It changes thinking, it influences everybody, whether they know it or not. Music knows no boundary lines.” ~  Irving Berlin

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

November 1, 2017
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL:  No one’s music better exemplifies the culture, mood, history, and patriotism of America than Irving Berlin.  Long considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history, his works comprise a major part of the Great American Songbook.

Irving Berlin Salutes America, which will open at the PGA Arts Center on November 30th, is a compendium of Berlin’s most patriotic pieces – a musical tribute to Berlin, and to America itself.  The production will run through December 24th.

The show was written by Alan Jacobson, the creator of the popular WaistWatchers – The Musical, which has had several successful runs in South Florida, and is now on tour through the U.S.  Irving Berlin Salutes America debuted in 2002, but has been tweaked and updated to be as relevant today as it was fifteen years ago.

Alan Jacobson

“I revisited this show for three reasons,” Jacobson explains. “First and foremost is that we are living in difficult times, geopolitically and climate-wise, and our own country has seen politics overtake our lives and create tremendous polarization amongst our citizens, friends and family included. I wanted to use the power of the theatre, and live music, to take people’s minds off the daily stresses, and to remember that we must fight against the divisiveness and bring back a sense of unity and patriotism.

“Second was the music,” he continues. “Who better to look to for this kind of upbeat and moving music than Irving Berlin?! This show also exemplifies the tremendous contributions of immigrants; Mr. Berlin was one, and one who proudly served in the American armed services.

And the third reason? “I wanted a real feel good, patriotic show – something that will lift peoples’ spirits.  Irving Berlin Salutes America has all the ingredients of a show that makes us all proud to be Americans.”

Top South Florida cabaret performers Melissa Jacobson, John Lariviere, and Carbonell Award-winner Leah Sessa will star in Irving Berlin Salutes America, which will be directed by Jacobson with musical staging by Andy Fiacco.  Mark Galsky will provide the production’s musical direction.

 “Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He IS American music!”
~ Jerome Kern

Irving Berlin

One of the most prolific composers in American history, Irving Berlin’s music has entertained millions since his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy” was published in 1907.  His first big hit was “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, which was published in 1911. “His music served as a social barometer for much of the 20th century. It offered hope to a nation in bleak times, and rejoiced in the good things embodied in the American way of life. It also provided anthems for American culture, including such standards as “White Christmas”, “Easter Parade”, “God Bless America”, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. (From Broadway, The American Musical – PBS).

Berlin’s music has also served as inspiration to U.S. military personnel for generations; he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1918, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1919.  His musical revue, Yip Yip Yaphank, written while he served, produced the timeless classic, “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”. Another classic, “This is the Army”, was written in 1942 for the film of the same name; proceeds from performances of that song totaled over 10 million dollars, and were donated to the Army Relief Fund.

The PGA Arts Center will honor Berlin’s dedication to the armed forces by offering specially priced tickets to Irving Berlin Salutes America to Veterans. (ID and roof of Veteran status must be provided in order to qualify for these tickets).

Among the songs included in Irving Berlin Salutes America are “This is a Great Country”, “Blue Skies”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Always”, “Heat Wave”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, Steppin’ Out With My Baby”, Puttin on the Ritz”, and of course “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”, and “This is the Army, Mr. Jones, and “God Bless America.”

Tickets for Irving Berlin Salutes America are on sale now and can be purchased on line at www.pgaartscenter.com or by calling 1-855-448-7469.  For group sales (10+), call 561-808-3446.

Ticket prices and performance times:
Thursday at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and Saturday at 2 pm – $45 ($39 for groups of 10 or more) Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm – $48 ($42 for groups of 10 or more)
Special price for Veterans – $40 (must show ID and proof of Veteran status)

For more information about Irving Berlin Salutes America, or The PGA Arts Center please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244.

The PGA Arts Center is located at 4076 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Ample parking is available within close proximity to the theatre.

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Irving Berlin Salutes America
November 30 – December 24
Created and compiled by Alan Jacobson
Tickets:  $45 – $48
Tickets:  1-855-448-7469 / www.pgaartscenter.com
Group Sales:  561-808-3446
Performances:
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 2 pm
Thursday: 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 8 pm
PGA Arts Center
4076 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL  33410
www.pgaartscenter.com
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From left to right: Melissa Jacobson, John Lariviere, & Leah Sessa

Stage Door Theatre presents DREAMGIRLS ~ November 3 – December 10

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Stage Door Theatre
presents
Dreamgirls
November 3 – December 10

“… a seismic emotional jolt that sends the audience, as one, right out of its wits.”
Frank Rich ~ The New York Times, December 21, 1981

For Immediate Release
Contact: Derelle Bunn
DerelleBunn@yahoo.com /954-344-7765
Contact:  Carol Kassie
Carol@CarolKassie.com  / 561-445-9244

October 28, 2017

MARGATE, FL:  1962 at the world famous Apollo Theatre in New York City.  It’s a time in American musical history when a new sound is percolating.  The Dreamettes, a trio of aspiring R & B singers, arrive late for a talent contest they hope will launch their musical career. Dreamgirls, the award-winning Broadway hit (6 Tony Awards, 5 Drama Desk Awards, 2 Grammy Awards), opening at Broward Stage Door Theatre on November 3rd,  is the story of these three women – on stage and off.

Kevin Black

Kevin Black will direct the production.  Black is a 2017 Silver Palm Award winner – recognized for his direction and choreography of his own show, Swing! Swing! Swing! which had its world premiere at Stage Door Theatre in October 2016. “On the surface, Dreamgirls is a show about the ups and downs of the music industry,” Black says.  “But once you did deeper, you discover it’s a show about family.

“Even though Dreamgirls opened in 1981, and takes place in the 60’s and 70’s, the show’s message is just as relevant today,” he explains.  “And we are really striving to relate this story to today’s challenges:  the struggle for minorities; the drive to be famous; the cost of success and what that can do to an individual – and to their family.

“We have an amazing cast of 18,” Black continues.  “Sarah Gracel is playing the lead role of Effie.  Elijah Word is James ‘Thunder’ Early, and Don Seward will play Curtis Taylor, Jr.”

Also cast are Charisse Shields, Sheena O. Murray, Cherise James, Andre Russell, James White, Joshua Conner, Sandi Stock, Natalie McPherson, Patrick Kolta, Richard Forbes, Alexander Domingue, Jabriel Shelton, Brettnie Black, Stephon Duncan, and Daryl Patrice.

Danny Durr will choreograph Dreamgirls and James Weber will provide the show’s musical direction.  Sound design is by Rushnay Henry, set and lighting design is by Ardean Landhuis, and costume design is by Jerry Sturdefant.  Dreamgirls’ technical director is Paul O’Donnell, and the show’s stage manager is Nancy Clay, assisted by Amanda Eisele.

Dreamgirls will run from November 3rd through December 10th at Stage Door Theatre. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Margate.  Tickets for Dreamgirls are $48. (Student prices are also available with valid ID). Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at www.stagedoorfl.org.

For more information about Dreamgirls and/or Stage Door Theatre, please visit www.stagedoorfl.org, or contact Derelle Bunn Executive Producer/Artistic Director, at DerelleBunn@yahoo.com / 954-344-7765 or Carol Kassie (carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244).
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Dreamgirls
November 3 – December 10, 2017
Book and lyrics by Tom Eyen
Music by Henry Krieger
Tickets:  $48
Tickets:  954-344-7765 / www.stagedoorfl.org
Showtimes:
Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday at 2 pm,
Friday & Saturday at 8 pm
Stage Door Theatre
8036 W Sample Rd
Margate, Fl 33065
www.stagedoorfl.org
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