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Florida Spotlight: January 2008

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Marc Salem in Mind Games
(© Joan Marcus)
With plenty of Northerners heading to Florida for the winter, it's hardly surprising that the state's cultural offerings seem to be on the upswing.

There's always a wide and appealing variety of entertainment at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. This month's attractions include world-famous mentalist Marc Salem's Mind Games (January 2-6), comedian Jackie Mason (January 3), Bob Lappin and the Palm Beach Pops in The Genius of Cole Porter (January 5-6), singer Neil Sedaka (January 6), Cirque Dreams' Jungle Fantasy (January 8-13), singer Johnny Mathis (January 15), the Aquila Theatre Company's productions of Catch 22 (January 24-25) and Julius Caesar (January 26-27), and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (January 30).

Looking for more variety? The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne serves up the exciting Blast! (January 3), Broadway on Ice (January 8), The Golden Dragon Acrobats (January 17), Annie (January 20), and Ring of Fire, the musical revue based on the songs of Johnny Cash (January 30).

The Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton presents the world premiere of Michael McKeever's Suite Surrender (January 13-February 17), which transports audiences to 1942, where the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel is under siege as two of Hollywood's biggest divas vie for the same suite. Mistaken identities, overblown egos, double entendres, and one pampered little lap dog round out this farce. On Monday, January 28, the Caldwell will also host Syd Lieberman's solo show The Man and His Muse.

If you're in (or near) Boca, you might want to head over to the Levis JCC for Timeless Divas!... Goes Hollywood (January 10-20), an entertaining recollection of the wealth of songs of the Silver Screen from the 1940s through the1970s featuring some of New York's top talents, including Hollie Howard, Trisha Rapier, and Kevin Reed.

The Jobsite Theater presents Eleemosynary (Tampa Bay Arts Center, January 3-20), which examines the subtle and often perilous relationship between three generations of remarkable women: a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother. Also in Tampa, the Gorilla Theater presents Jeffrey Hatcher's provocative two-character drama A Picasso (January 17-February 3) about an art historian dealing with the Nazis during World War II.

The New Theatre in Coral Gables is presenting Fill Our Mouths (January 10-20), a look at the growing friendship between two women who meet on the streets of Paris -- one of whom is hard of hearing. The show uses American Sign Language. Also in Coral Gables, Actors' Playhouse presents the heavenly Altar Boyz (January 16-February 10), the boy band parody that spreads the word of faith with songs, tight jeans, and synchronized choreography.

Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers presents John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt (January 10-February 3) starring Carbonell Award winner Lisa Morgan. Florida Stage in Manalapan offers up The Count (January 25-March 2), a smart new comedy in which a world-renowned photographer returns home for the first time in years to celebrate her parents' 55th anniversary. Her father's friendship with a mysterious count ignites family fireworks with the brother she left behind.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre offers up the Bard's romantic comedy As You Like It (January 9-February 3), while Shakespeare Miami presents a version of Much Ado About Nothing set in Louisiana on the cusp of the 1960s (Coconut Grove Playhouse, January 17-20).

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