Cannoli for the Soul: The Feast of Little Italy’s Sal Richards & Little Smiles Charity


feast-of-little-italy-highlightsAh, November in South Florida. Apart from Thanksgiving, there’s one event set aside in November when locals put their diets on hold: the Feast of Little Italy (FOLI), which kicks off Nov. 7. For three straight days, the streets of Abacoa Town Center will be lined with thousands of locals clamoring for authentic Italian cuisine and music along with fun-filled activities including pizza- and lasagna-eating contests, and even an attempt to set the world record for the largest cannoli!

Jerry Somma, the founder of FOLI and owner of Via Productions Inc., has made the event about more than just great food and friends by not only celebrating Italian-American heritage throughout the weekend, but also by using the event as a vehicle to support the Little Smiles Charity year round.

“The Feast of Little Italy created the Little Smiles toy drive,” Somma said. “Last year we collected over 5,000 toys as well as several thousands of dollars for gift cards,” including iTunes cards for children ages 12-16. More…

On Stage: Ease On Down to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre to Delight in the Whimsy of The Wiz

Andrew Kato, producing artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, will direct the Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz.

Andrew Kato, producing artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, will direct the Tony Award winning musical The Wiz.

Projection, puppetry and evocative scenery will bring a classical tale with an urban twist to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre four decades after Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion first debuted on Broadway.

The New York City run of The Wiz began in January of 1975 as a cast of African-American actors “eased on down the road” to the Emerald City. Along the way, they picked up seven Tony Awards. Palm Beach County’s award-winning regional theater will raise the curtain on its adaptation of the fun-filled fantasy Jan. 13, 2015. During its 24 showings running through Feb. 1, a series of theatrical firsts will unfold.

“We’ve never done anything like this,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director. “This is completely unique to our audience.” More…

South Florida’s Playground for the Performing Arts

The Lyric Theatre

The Lyric Theatre

Does the ballet beckon? Care to see a comedy? In the mood for a musical? Lovers of the arts have come to the right place, as Palm Beach and Martin counties boast some of the best theaters in the state, which serve residents from Boca Raton to Stuart to Wellington and draw others from less culturally friendly communities.

This list of venues represents a much vaster one that, year after year, produces performances, plays and a variety of other shows to scratch everyone’s itch for good theater. More…

It’s a Wonderful Life at La Posada

Dining At Posada

Dining At Posada

The residents and associates of La Posada share a gift: their smiles. At this elegant resort community nestled in the heart of Palm Beach Gardens, the pursuit of excellence abounds. Secluded from the bustling white noise of The Gardens Mall and Downtown at the Gardens, by a longer-than-wide lake and a commanding bridge entrance, La Posada is an amenity-laden, independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing enclave that runs with the finest of movements. The skilled and compassionate staff associates deliver unparalleled service, undergirded by a core philosophy that informs their commitment to exceed the expectations of La Posada’s residents. And that has everyone smiling.

“It’s a tremendous honor and a worthy job to make a difference for the lives of residents,” explained Brad Cadiere, La Posada’s executive director. “When I leave at the end of the day, I leave fulfilled.” More…

Dr. Civin - Palm Beach Gardens Cosmetic Dentist

Ballet Palm Beach prepared for their upcoming 14th season by chilling out.

No, they didn’t relax and they didn’t do the Ice Bucket Challenge (I think). In fact, these talented dancers performed at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in front of nearly 1,000 individuals with special guest, Rob Van Winkle, a.k.a. Vanilla Ice. Simple Symphony 1

Now they are ready to heat things up in their upcoming season, commencing Oct. 24.  Ballet Palm Beach’s 2014-15 schedule is as follows:

  • October 24 – Giselle: A tragic tale of loving and losing with classical dance and music by Adolphe Adam opens this year’s season. This magical and romantic performance originated in 1814 in Paris. Now coming to Ballet Palm Beach’s stage, it is sure to encapsulate passion.  This technically sound performance requires the dancers of Giselle to transform into many emotionally stricken characters at all levels – from a youthful lover to a woman scorned. The Sunday matinee will be October 26 at 4 p.m.
  • November 28 – The Nutcracker: Ballet Palm Beach’s take of the classic play featuring Tchaikovsky’s music, pesky mice and the Land of Sweets. Nostalgia is sure to set in. Additional performances on November 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and November 30 at 2 p.m.
  • February 27, 2015 – Simple Symphony & Other Works: A conglomeration of original works sure to please all theatre-goers. Music by Benjamin Britten. Additional performance on February 28 at 4 p.m.
  • April 10, 2015 – Wonderland: Ballet Palm Beach will finish off its season with an absolutely wonderful classic, with a twist. My personal favorite story of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland will gain a wonderful personality from the works of Director Colleen Smith. This whimsical world gets a Victorian twist using three English composers: Britten, Holst and Walton. Additional performance on April 11 at 4 p.m.

It’s not too late to add these upcoming performances to your holiday gift list! Ticket prices begin at $15. Individual tickets and season passes are available. Season subscriptions will allow you to save 15% on tickets.

All performances will be held at the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State College. For more information, visit or call (561) 207-5900.Curtain Rises Dress Rehearsal 42 copy

TAGS: Ballet Palm Beach, theater, Eissey Campus Theatre, ballet, performances, Palm Beach

When Dr. Glynn Wilson, chairman and CEO of TapImmune Inc., discusses the early successes of his company’s Phase I clinical studies to treat HER2/neu breast cancer, it might be easy to let the rising fog of immunotherapy jargon envelop you. His understated demeanor and soft voice are tethered to the memories of his wife, Sheelagh Mary Wilson, to whom he was married for 30 years and with whom he was raising their young children, Danielle and Alexander. She succumbed to metastatic breast cancer in 2003. Dr. Wilson must now be in the business of saving the life of another man’s wife and another child’s mother.

With any luck’s Wilson’s words at the annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon – hosted by Susan G. Komen South Florida at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton – will make the others in attendance as resolute about saving these lives as he is. More…

If you live in or travel up to Stuart, you may have noticed that there’s a new restaurant in town. LouRónzo’s Italian Fusion has taken over what was once Gusto 2 restaurant and is putting the finishing touches on a renovation that is due to be completed by the end of October, just in time for the return of snowbirds and a new “season” for diners.

An iconic location and beloved local restaurant, Gusto was sold in May by real estate agents Angie and Vince Laviano to partners Ronald Werner, Louis Shapo and Joe Martin (who will also double as the GM). The three have been diligently making plans for the grand reopening to showcase a new menu that features two new chefs using fresh, seasonal produce to create interesting dishes and shared plates that reflect Italian and Continental flavors in a uniquely new setting. More…

Since his first chart-topping album in 1971, Don McLean has accrued over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide and in 2004 he was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by many superstar artists, most notably Madonna’s “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s “The Grave” in 2003. Additionally, in 2007, Don McClean shared his story with us in the Alan Howard biography, “The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs.”

“I was always just into my music and maybe into trying to save the world a little bit,” McLean explained. “I never really thought I’d have a hit record or anything like that. I was prepared to travel all over the country, kind of like Johnny Appleseed, and sing.”

And that’s precisely what McLean has done, albeit with a little more cred to his name than he imagined. In fact, he’ll be making a stop at the Kravis Center’s Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall on November 9 – and he won’t be coming alone. More…

In Palm Beach County, Veteran’s Day is not just for 24 hours. It’s a nearly two-month-long honor instead.

From now until Dec. 7, the West Palm Beach Library Foundation is hosting the first-ever Star Spangled Heroes exhibit at the Mandel Public Library. The free event features exhibits, lectures and films, among other highlights. All programs have specific times and will run in accordance with the library’s hours.

Jim Sugarman, executive director of the WPB Library Foundation, said in an email he hopes to reach well over 5,000 visitors. From this exhibit, he wants visitors to understand how important it is to value the roles veterans played and that the community needs to do more to support them as a community and as a country. More…