Miami Life: Happy Art, Miami or Bust, New Season, Brightline
If you live in Miami, or visit the sunshine city on a frequent basis, you know all about Romero Britto, the founder of the Happy Art Movement, and he’s just opened two new stores in Miami. It just amazes me how many people I know in the entertainment business are giving up Los Angeles for Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Here’s the scoop on why. The Adrienne Arsht Center has announced the 2023/24 season, and it’s fabulous. And Brightline is now available to and from Miami and Orlando. Yippee!
Britto Opens Stores in Aventura and Brickell City Center
Romero Britto started in Miami but is now an international sensation. If you live in Miami, or visit the sunshine city on a frequent basis, you know all about Romero Britto, the founder of the Happy Art Movement. His store on Lincoln Road has been considered an entertainment destination for more than 20 years. Britto spreads happiness. People from all over the world love to stop in at Britto’s to see what new pieces of fashion, home furnishings, toys and accessories are now decorated with the recognizable Britto signature art. Everything in the store has been created with Britto’s iconic visual language of happiness, fun, love, and hope.
Brazilian-born Romero is now considered one of the most famous and celebrated living visual artists around the world. It is known that Britto was inspired by the masters: Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein. They influenced him to create vibrant, bold, and colorful patterns to reflect his optimistic view of the world around him.
Britto’s work is now exhibited in the most prestigious galleries and museums in over 120 countries, including the Carrousel Du Louvre and he was the first living visual artist to present his work at the Soumaya Museum. Britto has also created many public and private art installations, the largest in the history of London’s Hyde Park. He did the opening of the Super Bowl XLI in collaboration with the Cirque Du Soleil, was the official artist for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, ambassador to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, honorary torch bearer and ambassador for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Britto, considered the most licensed artist in history, is a frequent speaker at the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) and is an activist for more than 250 charitable organizations, but most of all, he is an artist who believes that “art is too important not to share” and that he has a role as an agent of positive change.
New Britto store locations include:
Aventura 19501 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD 305-935-1110
And Brickell City Center: 701 S MIAMI AVE. +1 (305) 676-9480
Miami/Ft Lauderdale or Bust
It just amazes me how many people I know in the entertainment business that are giving up Los Angeles for Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. I’m trying to wrap my head around this movement ever since I read that Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills were becoming ghost towns.
Why would anyone leave the center of all the action in Hollywood when their careers were in full swing?
Jo-Ann Geffen, founder and President of JAG PR, and President of Creative Rights Group President of Creative Rights Group (which brokers the sale of songwriters’, recording artists’ and music producers’ music assets) was kind enough to explain the whole scene to me. She moved from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale two years ago and is very happy with her decision. Jo-Ann grew up in New York but moved to LA in 1978 when the musical group, the Commodores, asked her to join their team. She ended up living in LA for 45 years.
“Unless you have a job where you must be on a studio lot, or hand-holding a major personality every day, you can now work from anywhere in the entertainment business. The pandemic taught us that. Remote meetings are perfectly acceptable for most conferences. The traffic is so congested in Los Angeles that it could take a business executive two hours to get from one part of town to another. Zoom calls, or another similar service, can make a businessperson 10 times more productive. Who is going to argue with that? Those calls can be made from anywhere.”
Jo-Ann, who lived in a sprawling house on the road coming off of Laurel Canyon, said that the living expenses every month were skyrocketing like crazy. “Gas for the car is among the highest in the nation at almost $6 a gallon and my bi-monthly electric bill for my house was $1,500. That’s what I pay for eight months in Ft. Lauderdale where I have a three-bedroom home on the water.”
What really drove Jo-Ann out of LA was the growing homeless situation. “I didn’t feel safe anymore. There are tents everywhere. I used to leave the gate open to my driveway because no one walks around LA. Then one day I spotted a homeless guy in my backyard. I freaked. It took three calls to the police to get them here. When they finally came, they had to draw their guns to capture him. When they all left, I called my realtor to get me out of here.”
I challenged Jo-Ann. I asked her, “Don’t you think the same thing can happen here in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami? We can run but we can’t hide.” Her answer was pragmatic. “Anything can happen, but I don’t think so. Right now, I am enjoying my new home and neighbors. The fact that I can constantly see water everywhere, (the ocean, the canals, the waterways, the bay, and lakes) and I can walk to all the stores I need on a daily basis and feel safe, makes this place paradise.”
I rest my case.
Adrienne Arsht Center Announces The 2023-24 Season
The 2023-24 season of The Adrienne Arsht Center is about to start. It is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. That’s why every year we get an unforgettable lineup of concerts, plays, musicals, and dance. Over 70 shows are on sale now. I’m going through the list now to make sure I don’t miss a thing.
The Cher Show, January 2-7
Hamilton, March 13-24
Peter Pan, May 7-12
Les Misérables, June 18-23
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, February 15
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, March 7
Lang Lang, April 16
The Henry Mancini 100th Birthday Celebration, November 3
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2023, December 1
Chucho Valdés: Irakere 50, February 9
Artistry & Soul: An Evening With Gregory Porter, February 23
Clyde’s, November 2-19
La Gringa, November 30 – December 17
Wicked Child, January 11-28
Cabaret, March 14 – April 7
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, October 15
The Sound of (Black) Music, October 20
El PUMA: José Luis Rodríguez, December 2
LeAnn Rimes – JOY: The Holiday Tour, December 21
Chris Botti, February 16
Mavis Staples, March 8
Andrés Cepeda: Tengo Ganas Tour, April 27
Peter London Global Dance Company: Edge of Tomorrow, December 28-31
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, February 2-3
Ayikodans: Invocation, April 11-14
Disney Junior Live On Tour: Costume Palooza, October 10
The Magic of Rob Lake, May 18
Bluey’s Big Play, June 29-30
New World Symphony: Dances From West Side Story, October 21
Miami Symphony Orchestra: Grand Season Opening, November 5
The Cleveland Orchestra in Miami: An Alpine Symphony, November 17-18
Staatskapelle Berlin, December 5-6
New World Symphony: Beethoven 9: Ode to Joy, January 13
The Cleveland Orchestra in Miami: Brahms and Bruch, January 26-27
Nu Deco Ensemble, March 2
FALL MIX, October 20-22
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, December 15-24
WINTER MIX, February 9-11
SPRING MIX, March 8-10
Swan Lake, April 18-2
La traviata, November 11-14
I pagliacci, January 27-30
La bohème, April 6-
Madd Jazz, October 5
The Swayzees, October 26
JUke, November 7
Calixto Oviedo and the Cuban Jazz Train, November 15
Carly Jo Jackson, December 13
Adam David, January 10
Jesus Pupo, January 16
The Smoogies, January 24
Tony & the Kings, January 31
Keith Johns, February 21
Abstract Citizen, March 6
Braidsman, April 3
Gold Dust Lounge, April 11
América Viva! With Willy Chirino, October 27
Florence Foresti: Boys Boys Boys, October 29
Jorge Luis Chacín: El Maleducado Tour, November 10
HASAN MINHAJ: OFF WITH HIS HEAD, November 17
Brightline Is Now Available to and from Miami and Orlando
There were a few false starts but now I can officially say we have a Brightline high speed train that goes from Miami to Orlando and back again.
The service starts on Friday, September 22. The inter-city rail route will connect South Florida stations Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach to Orlando. I don’t know how often I will personally be going to Orlando but I am thrilled we are connected. It definitely expands our horizons for tourism on both ends.
The Brightline luxury train posted a reminder on social media to encourage everyone to check calendars, make plans, visit the website or app and reserve a seat now. The holiday season is going to be a busy one.
Brightline announced that for a limited time, it will be offering “one-way Smart fares starting at $79 for adults and $39 for kids. Groups of four or more will automatically save an additional 25 percent on Smart fares. Smart service offers business-class options onboard in hand-stitched leather seats, complimentary Starlink WiFi, multiple power and USB outlets and an array of food and beverages available for purchase.
“One-way Premium fares start at $149, a first-class experience with added amenities including a lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary snacks and beverages. Premium booked guests also enjoy Brightline’s first- and last-mile service to get to and from the station with complimentary Uber rides anywhere within a five-mile radius in South Florida.”
Passengers can buy tickets at the stations, but they also can purchase them online. Discounted fares are available with two days advance purchase.
Service will include 16 daily round trips with hourly departures between Miami and Orlando.
Brightline will link riders from Miami to Orlando in about three hours.
Here is the estimated time from the South Florida stations:
- Miami to Orlando: Three hours
- Aventura to Orlando: Two hours, 45 minutes.
- Fort Lauderdale to Orlando: Two hours, 30 minutes.
- Boca Raton to Orlando: Two hours, 15 minutes
- West Palm Beach to Orlando: Two hours.
The service will roll at speeds of up to 125 mph, making Brightline the fastest train operating in Florida and one of the fastest in the country.