Songbook for “Song of the Milky Way” (Ginga no uta)
Credit: fourarts.org

Happy New Year!  Phew, starting the year off with what I consider an AMAZING compilation of goodies taking place throughout South Florida and the Keys.  Let’s start by talking about how the Florida Keys seems to be the “the spot” this month (while wearing elastic waist pants), with their various food & booze festivals: Uncorked (Jan. 9-18), Florida Keys Food Festival (Jan. 18-19), Key West Food & Wine Festival (Jan. 22-26), Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival (Jan. 25-26), and even an annual literary seminar (Jan. 9-19).

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County holds its own with FOTOfusion (Jan. 14-18); definitely plan on attending some of the seminars to improve my photography.  It’s that time when ArtPalmBeach (Jan. 23-27) comes back to the Palm Beach County Convention Center… this year with an inaugural fair, Art Synergy (Jan. 22-28), which aims to introduce the local artists to the APB crowd. Palm Beach Opera starts their season with MacBeth (Jan. 24-26).  Bring in the Japanese New Year – Oshogatsu (Jan. 19) – at Morikami in Delray Beach; it’s the year of the Horse.

In Broward, the Polynesian Cultural Festival (Jan. 18-20) at the Museum of Discovery & Science seems like a “can’t miss”.  Catch Viva Paris (Jan. 18-19), a burlesque show at Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  I’m a little confused as to why it’s called “Viva Paris” when it’s French cabaret.

Miami gives us a remake of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra (Jan. 10-Feb. 20) as part of a collaboration between The Public in NYC and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK.  Nora Chipaumire (Jan. 24-25) performs Miriam at the Miami Light Project.

The list goes on so see below for more events and feel free to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr. Enjoy!

THROUGH JANUARY 10

“Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920 – 1945”

During the Taishô and early Shôwa epochs (1912-1945), artists and patrons created a Japanese modernism that simultaneously signaled the nation’s unique history and its cosmopolitanism. The vitality of the era is further expressed through the theme of the modern girl, known in Japan as the “modan gaaru” or “moga,” for short – the emblem of contemporary urban chic that flowered along with the Art Deco style in the 1920s and 1930s. The exhibit features nearly 200 hundred works which include sculpture ceramics, lacquer, glass, wood furniture, jewelry, textiles, graphic design on paper, painting, and woodblock prints; they range from fine art objects made to impress the public at national art exhibitions to goods mass-produced for the modern home.

More info: http://bit.ly/KoQZNU

THROUGH MARCH 23

The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation

The exhibition centers on experimentation and examines how the invention of instant photography—in particular Polaroid, a brand known for its innovation and responsiveness to artistic endeavors—has influenced and inspired amateurs and professionals for nearly forty years. By juxtaposing early experimental work with more recent forays into the possibilities of the medium, the exhibition tells a more complete story of instant photography than has yet been chronicled.

More info: http://bit.ly/19Uq3hO

JANUARY 3

Cirque Zuma Zuma

A high-energy dance act, part Cirque du Soleil, part Harlem Globetrotters. Experience the blend between traditional and a wide variety of arts and circus skills done in an African-style.

More info: http://bit.ly/KoR97M

JANUARY 3-5

A Moon Between Two Houses: Marionetas de la Esquina

The tale of two neighbors whose shared fear of the dark draws them to become the best of friends. With its unique blend of puppetry and storytelling, this show teaches that overcoming life’s challenges is easier with a great friend.

More info: http://bit.ly/JzRLXD

JANUARY 9-12

“I Have a Dream” Musical Production

“I Have A Dream” (the Broadway musical) is a multi-media Gospel musical based on the words of international icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring 120 historical photographic images, 28 gospel songs and taut portrayals of quintessential moments during the Civil Rights Era. The “I Have A Dream” production covers events in the Southeastern USA between 1955 – 1968. The musical was written by Josh Greenfeld and directed by AUDELCO Award winner Herman LeVern Jones.  TheatreSouth Atlanta, Inc. and community leaders join in sponsoring our Gala and evening productions. Public school matinees will honor the 50th Anniversary of March on Washington.

More info: http://bit.ly/1aQ4oHt

JANUARY 9-18

Uncorked … the Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival

Come on down to the Florida Keys and enjoy a multi-sensory experience as Key Largo and Islamorada’s culinary experts step up to the “palate” to present nearly 30 tasty food, wine and spirits events. Enjoy 10 glorious days of wine tasting events, cooking demonstrations,wine dinners, food and wine pairing classes, progressive wine dinners, art and wine shows and the Festival Finale ‘A Grand Tasting,’ set for Jan. 18. What better reason to ‘Uncork’ and unwind in the Florida Keys.

More info: http://bit.ly/1e2S6uS

JANUARY 9-19

32nd Annual Key West Literary Seminar

The 2014 seminar includes two independent sessions (Jan. 9-12 & 16-19) exploring the theme “The Dark Side.” Writing workshops are scheduled Jan. 12-16. Advance registration required. A stunning lineup of celebrated authors who are to explore the mystery, crime and literary thriller genres includes Carl Hiaase, Scott Turow, Les Standiford and many more.

More info: http://bit.ly/1d788Yd

JANUARY 10 — FEBRUARY 9

Antony and Cleopatra

Collaborating with two of the world’s most prestigious theaters – The Public in NYC and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK – on what promises to be one of the most exciting cultural events in Miami’s history.  Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra has been adapted and directed by playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney.  The production is set on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French.

More info: http://bit.ly/1ki1zWG

JANUARY 11

Key Largo Brew on the Bay – Craft Beer Festival

Presented by the Rotary Club of Key Largo, this craft beer festival features a “home brew competition,” along with a main event with more than 80 craft beers from around the world featured in an unlimited tasting with food, music and entertainment along the waterfront.

More info: http://bit.ly/1d78bDe

JANUARY 14

The Pool

The Pool is the story of Venkatesh, a “room boy” working at a hotel in Panjim, Goa, who sees from his perch in a mango tree a luxuriant garden and shimmering pool hidden behind a wall. In making whatever efforts he can to better himself, Venkatesh offers his services to the wealthy owner of the home. Not content to simply dream about a different life, Venkatesh is inquisitive about the home’s inhabitants-indeed about the world around him-and his curiosity changes the shape of his future.

More info: http://bit.ly/1e2SRnE

JANUARY 14-18

FOTOfusion 2014 at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre

See photographic and digital art exhibitions, along with multimedia presentations. Learn more about the craft with hands-on computer labs, seminars, and panel discussions. If you are a polished professional or an amateur looking to improve, have your portfolio reviewed, or spend time in the FOTOfusion Technology Lab this is the event to further your passions. Throughout the week of FOTOfusion there are over twenty 600 series events, which are free to Workshop Members and Gold or Silver Passport holders, $10 otherwise.

More info: http://bit.ly/1f29IfJ

JANUARY 18

Look at How You’re Looking at Me When I Tell You This

Broward-based artist and choreographer Jenny Larsson enlists six non-dancers who will perform investigations into pedestrian movement. Performance followed by a wine reception and Q&A with the choreographer.

More info: http://bit.ly/KoROGt

Step Afrika

Step Afrika celebrates stepping — an original art form born at African-American fraternities and based on African traditions. As the first professional company dedicated to stepping, Step Afrika’s intricate kicks, stomps and rhythms mixed with spoken word pound the floor and fill the air.

More info: http://bit.ly/1d78uhD

JANUARY 18-19

9th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival

A family-friendly event with local fresh Keys seafood, drinks, marine-related crafts, youth activities, and live music. Fresh Florida Keys seafood and the commercial fishermen who harvest it are to be celebrated. The seafood festival’s menu features fresh grilled Florida lobster, Key West pink shrimp, fried fish, stone crab claws, smoked fish dip and more — including traditional regional favorites such as savory conch chowder, conch salad, sweet flan and Key lime pie. All seafood is to be prepared and served by local fishermen and their families.

More info: http://bit.ly/1hnkBsA

Viva Paris: International Show by Erika Moon

Be transported from the celebrated Cabaret “Moulin Rouge” to the stages of the colorful and exciting Las Vegas “Jubilee” style Shows! The show includes acts from Feather Show Girls to Can-Can Dancers, Acting and Comedy Sets, Variety Acts and a pinch of sophisticated Burlesque.

More info: http://bit.ly/JzSecf

JANUARY 18-20

Polynesian Culture Festival

Experience the music, dance and culture of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand and other South Pacific Islands. Learn about Tahitian drum carving, Samoan tattoos, Hawaiian fashions, how to create authentic leis from fresh flowers, sample Tahitian po’e and more.

More info: http://bit.ly/1lGbPU0

JANUARY 19

Oshogatsu New Year Celebration

Now in its 37th year at the Morikami, Oshogatsu — the traditional New Year celebratory festival — is celebrated with games and entertainment throughout the museum and gardens. The day’s activities will include Japan’s customary rice-pounding, making mochi rice cakes, and sado tea ceremony, as well as omikuji, fortune-telling.

More info: http://bit.ly/JPOCCm

JANUARY 22-26

Key West Food & Wine Festival

Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creativity and the Keys’ indigenous cuisine in a tasty schedule of events for food lovers. Attendees also can participate in food-related adventures during the savory celebration.

More info: http://bit.ly/1lbDXRv

JANUARY 22-28

Art Synergy

The inauguration of “Art Synergy” the first countywide gallery walk creating history by including six art districts and coinciding with ArtPalmBeach. The six day event includes over 60 galleries, studios, non-profit art exhibition institutions and museums in six art districts throughout Palm Beach County.

More info: http://bit.ly/1hnkE7P

JANUARY 23-27

Art Palm Beach 2014

More than 80 international galleries will be exhibiting contemporary and emerging artists at the 17th annual show. This year’s ArtPalmBeach will extend, creating six satellite exhibitions, known collectively as Art Synergy (Jan. 22-28).

More info: http://bit.ly/1e2UstA

JANUARY 23 — MARCH 9

Florida Keys History & Discovery Center presents: Clyde Butcher

Renowned landscape photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher will showcase the natural beauty of Cuba in images of the island’s most remote and mountainous island locations during a traveling exhibit at the Keys History & Discovery Center, located at the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost, at MM 82. Butcher is best known for his evocative black and white photographs of Florida wetlands. The exhibit also will include images from Butcher’s Florida Keys photography collection.

More info: http://bit.ly/JzSpEy

JANUARY 24-25

Nora Chipaumire: Miriam

With Miriam, renowned choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire creates her first character-driven work — a deeply personal dance-theatre performance that looks closely at the tensions women face between public expectations and private desires, between selflessness and ambition, and between the perfection and sacrifice of the feminine ideal. Inspired by South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba with original music by Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, the work layers text, sound and image that enrich the mysterious and haunting world of Chipaumire’s creation.

More info: http://bit.ly/1gypzQt

JANUARY 24-26

Lake Worth Sand Sculpting & Seafood Festival

The inaugural Lake Worth Beach Sand Sculpting and Seafood Festival will take place at the newly renovated Lake Worth Beach Complex.  Professional and amateur sand castle sculptors compete for cash and prizes; view the work in progress and enjoy an ocean side seafood festival, Lil’ Guppies Area, Live Music and more. Free Admission.

More info: http://bit.ly/1lbFDKK

Macbeth

Shakespeare’s gripping tale of temptation, ambition and murder comes to the opera stage set to the intense music of Giuseppe Verdi, as Macbeth and his power-hungry Lady Macbeth embark on a bloody course to take the Scottish throne. You’ll be on the edge of your seat watching the hair-raising drama instigated by other-worldly witches and ghost apparitions, and swept away by the powerful orchestral melodies and arias.

More info: http://bit.ly/1avubC1

JANUARY 25

Urban Farming: Sustainable Backyard Vegetable Growing & Composting

Learn how to raise sustainable tomatoes and vegetables and create compost for your vegetable or garden beds.

More info: http://bit.ly/1iBc5GP

JANUARY 25-26

5th Annual Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival

A festival chock full of fresh stone crabs, conch, local seafood, music, entertainment and fun for the entire family, including cooking demonstrations, peel-and-eat shrimp and Key lime pie-eating contests, a “little mermaid” contest and a kids’ play area with live fish aquarium. Arts & craft vendors, Junkanoo band, magic shows, face painters, food, beverages and Key lime pie.

More info: http://bit.ly/19GwebQ

JANUARY 27 — FEBRUARY 2

Key West Classic Regatta

Modeled after a centerpiece Caribbean-style event, Antigue Race Week, the new Key West Classic Regatta is to feature historic tall ships as well as modern wooden and replica vessels in a week-long sailing event.

More info: http://bit.ly/1dw4W6J

JANUARY 31 — FEBRUARY 2

SHEN YUN

A journey across 5,000 years of Chinese civilization with classical Chinese dance, live orchestra, dazzling costumes and animated backdrops.

More info: http://bit.ly/19GwkjC

FEBRUARY 4

“The Canal Builders,” by Julie Greene

The Panama Canal has long been celebrated as a triumph of American engineering and technology. In “The Canal Builders,” Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis obscures a far more remarkable element of the canal’s construction – the tens of thousands of working men and women who traveled from around the world to build it. Opened August 14, 1914, the Panama Canal will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year.

More info: http://bit.ly/19UqJnB

FEBRUARY 7-8

Global Cuba Fest featuring Yusa and Danay Suarez

Cuban singer Yusa’s cutting-edge songs map the contemporary emotional lives of urban Havana. Full of the vital energy of experimentation and the textures of musical exchange gained in intimate venues, Yusa offers a whole new way of hearing Cuba.

Danay Suárez, self-taught Cuban singer of jazz and hip hop, began her music career through the Cuban rap movement. She could rap and she also sing jazz, soul, reggae, blues, and more, with the same ease.

More info: http://bit.ly/1gypzQt

FEBRUARY 7-9

2014 Delray Beach Garlic Fest

Dedicated to exploring the health and culinary possibilities of garlic, the Delray Beach Garlic Fest has been named “The Best Stinkin’ Party in Town”. Countless recipes and unique dishes have been created including Garlic Ice Cream, Argentinian Garlic BBQ and Garlic Fest crab cakes.

More info: http://bit.ly/1czHog8