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SPOTLIGHT ON STAGE


Eleanor

Hannan

ESunTimes@aol.com


VERSATILE AND OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINER BEN VEREEN STEPS OUT LIVE AT AVENTURA CENTER:
   Audiences will not want to miss Ben Vereen when the celebrated entertainer performs his one man show, combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. with songs that will include: “Defying Gravity,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “For Good” and “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” as well as dance, humor and stories from his life. It is well known that Mr. Vereen is an old-school song and dance man who never lets up. He wins audiences over with his sheer energy, good will and showbiz know-how.
    This dynamic showman, born in Miami, Florida in 1946,  brings his act to South Florida. At the age of fourteen he enrolled in a High School of Performing Arts where he studied under world renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. This versatile Vereen is a triple treat on stage, TV and as a film star. He has appeared in “Fosse,” “Chicken George,” “All That Jazz” and “Funny Lady,” among many others. He was nominated for and won a Tony Award for his appearances in Jesus Christ Super Star and Pippin.
     Ben takes center stage at the Aventura Center on February 14th, 2016  at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 to $60 at the box office. Located at 3385 Northeast 188th Street, Aventura. For all information, call: 1 (877) 311-7469. Or: (305) 466-8002.
 
CELEBRATED QUEEN OF CABARET “AELITA” CONCERT COMING TO PELICAN CENTER IN SUNNY ISLES BEACH:
   Aelita is an international singing star known all over the world as the “Chanteuse Extraordinaire” and “Queen of Cabaret.” Her warmth, charm and personality make her one of the greatest performers, who will win the hearts of any audience. Aelita has completed two world tours singing in sixteen different languages. Many of her performances have been before sold out audiences. She has entertained many prominent dignitaries, too many to mention, in the United States and abroad. Aelita has performed with the some of the biggest names in jazz with incredible talents such as: Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. Her “Swing Around the World” was recorded in New York with Sherrie Maricle and The Diva Jazz Orchestra, one of the best big bands performed by an all-female 15 piece orchestra with a string section.
    A rare talent indeed with a singing style of her very own, Aelita will take center stage at the Pelican Community Center-Gymnasium. Located at 18115 North Bay Road, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida on Sunday, February 14th, 2016 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 Non-Members. Light refreshments will be served from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. including  coffee, soft drinks, Ice Cream & pastries. For information and reservations, call: (305) 936-0986. Or: (305) 949-1522.
 
BROWARD STAGE DOOR THEATRE PRESENTS BROADWAY'S 1961 - CARNIVAL:
   
Carnival follows a naive young orphan girl who eagerly joins a traveling French circus. Falling for the troupe’s manipulative magician, she also enchants a disillusioned puppeteer, who can only show his love through his whimsical creations. Colorful characters, delightful puppets, wonderful dance sequences, theatric magic and memorable songs like “Love Makes the World Go Round,” makes Carnival a mesmerizing musical. The play opens with a lone figure, Jacquot, playing the song on a concertina. Gradually, the other carnival members arrive and parade colorful banners and bright costumes. Lili, an optimistic orphan, enters the caravan in hopes of a job, but instead the souvenir salesman, Gobert tries to sexually assault her. Marco the Magnificent, a magician, enters as Lili escapes from Gobert, and performs a magic trick, which enchants Lili so much that she falls in love with him. He invites her to his trailer and charms her. She agrees to participate in one of his magic tricks and leaves to explore more of the carnival very happily. Although she finds employment as an assistant puppeteer, her life becomes so complicated through a love life of ups and downs, she is finally fired. So humiliated, she contemplates suicide until one of the small redheaded puppets, Carrot Top saves her.   
   Many enjoyable songs are played and sung throughout the musical that are catchy and entertaining at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, now on stage through February 28th, 2016. Tickets are $38 and $42 at the box office. Located at 8036 West Sample Road, Coral Springs. For more information and reservations, call: (954) 344-7765.