Setting the Stage
The lights are dim, the symphony music soft and demure, the elaborate junkyard stage is uninhabited except for one gorgeous snow-white female cat, Victoria, the White Cat, performing a demanding ballet solo with long, outstretched legs when my then 4-year-old yells from the fourth row, “Mommy, look at how long her legs are!” A little embarrassed after the roar of laughter, I explained to my son that it was live theater and that you have to be quiet. It was all he could do to contain himself the rest of the show. He was so captivated by the intricate costumes, the diverse cast of characters and the up-close experience – especially when the cats ran down the aisles!
My son’s Nana had sent him the DVD that she so loved, so he had already seen the musical, but I wanted to introduce him to live theater – and what better way than with one of the most entertaining family musicals ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” at our local Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The Palm Beaches are so fortunate to have world-class arts and culture venues that not only we as adults can enjoy, but that we can expose our children to, as well.
The target demographic is changing, too. Many of our cultural facilities are catering to children, providing educational programs, conservatories (Maltz Jupiter Theatre summer camps) and even dedicated schools (G-Star) to further the outreach, and expose our children to the opportunities and careers available in the cultural and performing arts. The Kravis Center offers the S*T*A*R Series – Students and Teachers Arts Resources – offering performances targeted specifically to children. Palm Beach Symphony now offers free children’s concerts and will be participating in the S*T*A*R Series. And even though the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium has always catered to children, it is now partnering with other cultural entities, such as the Palm Beach Symphony, to enrich this synergistic experience. And how cool is it that Ballet Palm Beach is reaching the public through impromptu flash mobs at places like the Palm Beach Zoo? Or that the Cultural Council of Palm Beach put together a non-traditional amalgam of performers with rapper Vanilla Ice, Ballet Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Symphony for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism? Now, that’s creative thinking for creative outlets.
November kicks off our social season, where we do our own little dance of attending worthy charitable fundraising events, flashy balls and galas, and myriad social gatherings. We help you prioritize your dance card with our annual Charity Datebook, a compilation of Tri-County charities and their major fundraisers throughout the year. You can reference this guide throughout the year on our print, tablet and online editions, and remember to take some time to enjoy a show, an exhibit, a performance and a day at one of our area’s numerous attractions, just because. Your life will be more enriched as a result!