PALM BEACH GARDENS — The Palm Beach Pops, which has been entertaining South Florida audiences since 1991, is halting its concert series, the orchestra said Monday.
“It is my sad duty today to announce that The Palm Beach Pops Board of Directors has decided to cease concert series operations at this time,” said Jon Lappin, president of The Palm Beach Pops, in a prepared statement.
Financial and other pressures that led to the halting of the concert series include a declining donor and audience base, increased competition and difficulty securing desired performance dates at the Kravis Center, orchestra officials said.
The Palm Beach Pops will continue to offer and support its in-school youth education program, “Music and You,” to Palm Beach County schoolchildren.
“We are determined to continue presenting and expanding our critical music education programs that teach Palm Beach County schoolchildren the rudiments of music, introduce positive role models while developing creativity, provide tools for communication and enable students to build a strong sense of self,” Lappin says.
Lappin, son of the late founder of the Pops, Bob Lappin, said the orchestra will continue its work as an orchestra in engagements outside a concert series venue. “We intend to aggressively pursue performance opportunities and other profitable endeavors,” he said. “We are not closing our doors.”
Bob Lappin established the orchestra and led it for 22 years. He died in August 2013, and the Pops canceled its scheduled 2013-14 concerts. But it returned this season under the leadership of the pianist and composer Lee Musiker.
Jon Lappin said Musiker will still lead the group at its future engagements.
Theatre at Arts Garage taps new team
DELRAY BEACH — The Arts Garage has named a new team at the Theatre at Arts Garage to replace the retiring Lou Tyrrell and plans a 2015-16 season it says will explore edgier, darker-themed work.
President Alyona Ushe has tapped Primal Forces Production’s Keith Garsson as producing director, with Genie Croft of the Women’s Theatre Project serving as resident director. The performances, which begin in October, will take place in the Arts Garage’s traditional theater stage and its new Black Box space.
“I am so excited to begin this new partnership with Keith,” Ushe said in a prepared statement. “Our music programs consistently break new barriers exposing our audiences to diverse forms of artistry, and now I am proud to say our theatre program will explore new realms of emotions and relationships.”
“The dark-themed material of Primal Forces is a natural fit for the off-Broadway feel of Arts Garage,” said Garsson. And Croft welcomes her turn at the Arts Garage stage “to create imaginative and thought-provoking plays and musicals.”
The plays for the 2015-16 season will be Sex With Strangers, by Laura Eason (Oct. 24-Nov. 15); Reborning, by Zayd Dohrn (Jan. 23-Feb. 14); The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, by Angelo Parra and Joe Brancato (Feb. 27-March 20); and Smoke, by Kim Davies (March 26-April 17).
For season subscriptions, single ticket sales and further information, please call 561-450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.org. Tickets are $30, $40 and $45. Previews have a $5 discount.