By Greg Stepanich
If the success of AMC’s series Mad Men tapped an unsuspected cultural ardor for the early 1960s, then it was inevitable that the era’s signature musical, 1961’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, should enjoy another revival.
Currently showing on Broadway with, of all people, Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch (the original star, Robert Morse, now shows up on Mad Men), the Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows show that hymns a guy who can bring the “slam, bang, tang reminiscent of gin and vermouth” to his quest for the corner office is set for the Count de Hoernle Theatre from June 16-26.
The show is a production of Entr’Acte Theatrix, which was spun off from the Palm Beach Principal Players, as part of its new alliance with the Caldwell Theatre. This will be the fourth production for Entr’Acte, which has mounted Hair, Cabaret and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Next February, it will co-produce Cy Coleman’s City of Angels with the Caldwell.
Entr’Acte executive director Vicki Halmos said her company offers a next step for emerging thespians to get “real performing opportunities.”
“People who are launching a professional career need opportunities outside of school,” Halmos said. “In New York, nobody cares what you did in school. That’s why we called it ‘Entr’acte’: It’s the music before the second act. We wanted to create a résumé-building opportunity for young artists.”
The show stars Shane Blanford as Finch, an ambitious window-washer, and Leah Sessa as Rosemary, the secretary at the World Wide Wicket Company who falls in love with Finch and helps him advance. John Costanzo is J.B. Biggley, Erin Pittleman is Hedy LaRue, and Jeanne McKinnon is Miss Jones. The show will be directed and choreographed by Kimberly Dawn Smith.
How to Succeed features a cast of 22, and is good for Entr’Acte because most of it is non-age-specific, Halmos said. And its retro setting offers room for diverting stage business.
“We’re going to have some fun with smoking in the office, secretaries who take out their emery boards and do their nails, and office politics,” she said. “It’s all done with a great deal of fun, and very tongue-in-cheek.”
There will be a dozen performances of H2S, as it’s sometimes called: 8 p.m. June 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 18 and 25; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 19; and 2 p.m. June 26. Tickets are available by calling 241-7432 or going to the Caldwell box office at 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.
Since 1950, the Florida Artist Group has presented an annual exhibition of work by its members at spaces all over the state.
This year’s show is spending a couple months at the Cornell Museum in Delray Beach before heading to Maitland in September. Until June 26, visitors to the Cornell can see 84 drawings, paintings, and photographs by 60 artists from across Florida.
The local chief of the Florida Artist Group (Area II) is Cecily Hangen, an abstract artist specializing in geometric shapes, who runs the Hangen Thompson Gallery in Palm Beach.
“The purpose of the exhibit is to show the range of art all over the state,” Hangen said, adding that the Florida Artist Group, which was founded in 1949, used to sponsor a traveling Florida art show that toured the country. “That’s why we have the title cards with each piece of art that tells what city they’re from.”
Showing concurrently with the FLAG show is Body Language, a collection of 32 watercolor nudes by Rowena Smith, an artist based in Tamarac and a signature member of the Florida Artist Group. The Smith exhibit can be seen in the Cornell’s upstairs gallery.
The exhibit at the Cornell Museum of American Art and Culture at Old School Square is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $6, $4 for seniors, and $2 for ages 5 to 12 (under 5, admission is free). Call 243-7922.
In February, West Palm Beach resident and noted dance photographer Steve Caras was on hand for the Kravis Center world premiere of See Them Dance, a documentary devoted to his work.
This month, Caras will be in the studios of WXEL-TV in Boynton Beach for the television premiere of the documentary, which will be shown during a pledge drive for the station.
During pledge breaks, he will speak with documentarian Deborah Novak and WPTV-Channel 5 anchor Lauren LaPonzina about the film and his career. Those talks will be repurposed for pledge drives by other public TV stations showing See Them Dance.
Caras joined the New York City Ballet as a teenager, and danced for 14 years under the tutelage of George Balanchine, perhaps the most important choreographer of the 20th century.
While working for the NYCB, Caras began taking photographs of the dancers, and built himself an important secondary career as a dance photographer.
The show is set to air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, on WXEL-Channel 42.
Greg Stepanich is the editor/founder of the Palm Beach ArtsPaper, available online at www.palmbeach