The annual Festival of the Arts Boca, now in its 11th season, returns to Mizner Park from March 2-12, with musical performances and author discussions at the Mizner Park Amphitheater and the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center.
“We are so excited to present the 2017 Festival of the Arts Boca season and we think the audience will be, too,” said Charlie Siemon, co-founder and co-producer.
“We have stars from all over the world, from Brazil to Indonesia to Mexico and the United States, and famous music from the most beloved films and opera, by the world’s greatest composers,” Siemon said. “And three of the headliners have a combined age of 45.”
On Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m., the Festival welcomes Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis who will join with The Symphonia Boca Raton conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, in a program that includes movie music by John Williams from Catch Me if You Can, Star Wars and the Harry Potter films.
One of the most popular events from past seasons is back – movies in the park with the University of Miami’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, conducted by Kitsopoulos, playing Mancini’s score to Blake Edwards’ 1963 film The Pink Panther, as an accompaniment to the comedy that introduced Peter Sellers’ bumbling Inspector Clouseau.
The Festival has invited Robert Wagner, who starred in the original Pink Panther film, and singer Monica Mancini, daughter of Henry Mancini, both of whom may put in an appearance, although it hasn’t been confirmed.
On Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m., the Festival will feature a semi-staged version of Puccini’s La Bohème, with The Symphonia and a cast of young singers including Jennifer Goode as Mimi and John Kaneklides as Rodolfo. Tickets for the performance start at $9.99.
Joey Alexander, a 13-year old Indonesian jazz piano prodigy, returns on Sunday, March 5, at 7 p.m., for his second appearance at the Festival in a double bill with 14-year old Mexican classical pianist Daniela Liebman, who will play Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
The celebrated violinist Sarah Chang is headlining Friday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m., performing the Violin Concerto in G Minor by Bruch. Completing the program is pianist Daniel Hsu, who will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2017 are the closing night act on Sunday, March 12, at 7 p.m., performing their hits including “Mas Que Nada.”
“The diversity of the programming from the musical performances to the authors to the entertainers makes it exciting,” says Festival Director, Joanna Marie Kaye. There’s a lot to choose from and something for everyone.”
Headlining the Authors and Ideas program are Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker; Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and presidential historian, and Brian Greene, theoretical physicist and author of The Elegant Universe.
“Our Authors and Ideas program is extremely varied, exploring areas of politics, the arts, science and fiction,” Siemon said.
Kaye said the festival is proud of its history and its upcoming offerings.
“After 11 years in Boca, people know they can count on us for quality,” she said. “We’ve built a reputation over the years. Many people plan their trips to Florida around the festival. We’re very proud of this.”
Tickets for the 11th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca range from $9.99 to $125 per person and are available at festivalboca.org or by calling (866) 571-ARTS (866-571-2787). Multi-event, full Festival packages and sponsorships are also available. For program details and ticket information visit: festivalboca.org.