Palm Beach Florida Weekly

Boca festival brings music, dance, authors

Festival of the Arts Boca opens with a presentation of the Disney film “Fantasia,” with live orchestra. COURTESY PHOTO

Festival of the Arts Boca opens with a presentation of the Disney film “Fantasia,” with live orchestra. COURTESY PHOTO

Festival of the Arts Boca returns for its 17th year March 3-12 in Mizner Park, bringing live music and dance performances, lectures and its well-received Authors & Ideas panel.

The festival opens on Friday, March 3, with Disney’s classic film “Fantasia,” remastered and projected on a giant screen and accompanied live by Festival Orchestra Boca playing the soundtrack, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, festival music director.

Also returning this year is three-time Grammy Award-winning musician Sergio Mendes and Brasil 2023 and “A Night at the Ballet: From Tchaikovsky to the Rolling Stones,” with principal dancers from New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, the production includes excerpts from “Giselle,” “Swan Lake” and “Le Corsaire,” as well as contemporary works set to the music of The Rolling Stones.

Jazz singer Nicole Henry will perform from her seventh and latest album, “Time to Love Again,” accompanied by a seven-piece band.

Coming to Festival of the Arts Boca: Sergio Mendes • Fran Lebowitz • Nicole Henry

Coming to Festival of the Arts Boca: Sergio Mendes • Fran Lebowitz • Nicole Henry

“This year’s Festival of the Arts Boca is rich with a diverse range of stories,” said Joanna Marie Kaye, executive director. “From Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in “Fantasia” and Scheherazade’s “1001 Nights,” to the story of the young woman who ran a spy network in France and the history and songbook of the legendary Sergio Mendes, there is something for every taste.”

The young performers program includes Voices Rise: The Young People’s Chorus of New York City in a joint performance with the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches and Broadway star Christina Maxwell; “Scheherazade and Solos,” an evening centered on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” with flutist Kara Ravaschieri (winner of the Festival’s Young Artist Competition) and violinist Hina Khuong-Huu, with Festival Orchestra Boca conducted by Mr. Kitsopoulos; and the Rotary Club Future Stars Competition featuring South Florida’s top high school singers and dancers.



This year’s Authors & Ideas program features actress and social commentator Fran Lebowitz, New York Times bestselling author Lynne Olson, a chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy, presenting “WWII: Women in the Resistance,” a discussion of her book, “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War,” the story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a Frenchwoman and mother of two who became leader of a vast Resistance intelligence organization and spy network in France during the war, and journalist and author Charles Fishman, who will speak about the passing of the “golden age of water” and how water scarcity may soon be a major issue in our lives.

Mr. Fishman is the author of “The Wal- Mart Effect,” published in 2006. For that, he visited 100 Walmart stores in 23 states for his research and the 2019 “One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon,” a look at the American trailblazers who took us on a mission to the moon.

In his 2012 book, “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water,” Mr. Fishman examines how we take water for granted, which, he says, may not continue to be the case.



Initially, Mr. Fishman became Interested in the bottled water industry. He thought it was “silly and ridiculous” and decided examine the industry. His article titled, “Message in a Bottle,” dissects the multibillion dollar per year industry and the irony that comes with it. For example, he says, in the case of Fiji water, water is being shipped around the world to fill consumer demand, when half the people living in Fiji didn’t have access to clean, safe drinking water.

That led him on a journey of examining the state of water from the deserts of Las Vegas to other countries including India and Australia.

“How much water do we use, what do we use it for and what is the cost of that use?” he asks.”

“Our water has always been abundant, safe and cheap,” he says, “But, we have lost track of the value of clean, safe and reliable water and totally take it for granted.”

“Going forward, we will have to solve our water problems because we have no other choice,” Fishman says. “We can’t move forward without it.”

Ms. Olson will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 6, at the Mizner Park Amphitheater

Ms. Lebowitz will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, at the Mizner Park Amphitheater

Mr. Fishman will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at the Mizner Park Amphitheater.

The 17th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca runs March 3-12 at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, downtown Boca Raton. Tickets range from $15 to $150 per person and are available at or by calling 561-757- 4762 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

General admission tickets are $40, and virtual tickets are available for $10. Admission to the Rotary Club Future Stars Competition is free.

For info, visit or call 561-571-5270. ¦

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