Sounds of music
Theaters, playhouses, musical groups pack their schedules with a little bit of everything for everyone
Brevard, with a big heart for the arts, should enjoy 2023, thanks to cultural organizations eager to return to the way things were before the pandemic.
The Space Coast’s premier performing arts venue, the King Center [kingcenter.com], offers a cornucopia of productions and performers. On tap for the coming months are:
• Tab Benoit and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dec. 4
• Holiday Dreams Cirque, Dec. 7
• Three Dog Night, Dec. 8
• Sal Valentinetti, Dec. 16
• Classic Albums Live: The Lithium Experience, Dec. 17
• A Night to Remember, a Christmas musical, Dec. 21
• Sleeping Beauty, Dec. 30
• Styx, Jan. 22
• Jim Gaffigan’s Dark Pale Tour, Jan. 29
• Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Feb. 2
• Kelly Wayne Shepherd Band, Feb. 9
• The Temptations and the Four Tops, Feb. 15
• Mania, the ABBA Tribute, Feb. 22
• America, Feb. 23
• Tyler Henry, the Hollywood Medium, Feb. 24
• Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Feb. 26
• Joe Bonamassa, March 10
• On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, March 12 and 13
• Gordon Lightfoot, March 15
• Eric Johnson, March 16
• Get the LED Out, a Celebration of The Might Zep, March 17
• The Guess Who, March 21
• R.E.S.P.E.C.T., a tribute to Aretha Franklin, April 2
• Fiddler on the Roof, April 10 and 11
• Postmodern Jukebox, April 18
The county’s community theaters will also be busy with a season of traditional and not-so-traditional productions.
“We’re known as Broadway on Brevard because of the quality of our productions,” said Anastacia Hawkins-Smith, artistic director of the historical Cocoa Village Playhouse [cocoavillageplayhouse.com].
This year, the playhouse will delight audiences of all ages with the following productions and special events:
• Galmont Ballet’s Nutcracker, Dec. 16-18
• Special screening of It’s a Wonderful Life, Dec. 22
• Silent film screening, complete with live organ music, Jan. 13
• The Music Man, Jan. 27-Feb. 12
• Steel Magnolias, March 10-19
• Rock ‘n’ Roll Review, March 31
• Golden Steppers’ Come Dance with Us, April 2
• Mary Poppins, April 28-May 14
• Hot Pink’s Throwback to the Future, May 26-28
• Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids, June 2-4
• 13, the Musical, June 9-11
Like the Cocoa Village Playhouse, Titusville Playhouse is in a lovingly restored historical building. Additionally, the playhouse operates the outdoor Shuler Stage, home to not-your-average community theater fare. For the coming months, expect the following from the playhouse:
• White Christmas, Nov. 18-Dec. 18
• Who’s Holiday, Dec. 9-18
• Escape to Margaritaville, Jan. 13-Feb. 12
• The Marvelous Wonderettes, Feb. 17-26
• Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, March 3-26
• Queens of the Night Drag Show, March 10-25
• Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man,
• Into the Woods, April 7-30
• Forget Your Troubles, the Music of Judy Garland, April 21-30
• Sunday in the Park with George, May 12-June 4
The playhouse’s Shuler Concert Series features a different type of music per concert, all performed live. On March 4, it’s the British Invasion, while April 1 is all about A Salute to the Piano Men.
Surfside Playhouse continues its decades of beachside theater with:
• The Miracle Worker, Jan. 13-29
• Cinderella, March 10-26
• You Can’t Take It with You, April 28-May 14
• Moby Dick Fractured, June 16-July 2
“We produce audience-tested treasures and add in newer productions with eclectic audience appeal,” artistic director Bryan Bergeron said. “We finish our season off with our successful fractured series of original shows. We are about fun, plain and simple.”
Audiences at the Henegar Center will notice that the Melbourne performing arts venue has a fresher look, thanks to a recent interior renovation. Upcoming shows include:
• Miracle on 34th Street, Nov. 25-Dec. 11
• Evita, Jan. 20-Feb. 5
• The Color Purple, Feb. 24-March 12
• Legally Blonde, April 21-May 7
• Avenue Q, June 7-18
It’s another season of drama and comedy at Melbourne Civic Theater, where managing/artistic director Peg Girard has the following in store:
• Lettice and Lovage, Jan. 13 to Feb. 19
• Leading Ladies, March 17-April 23
• Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, May 19-June 25
Local symphonies, orchestras and bands are tuning up for a season of making music.
Since its founding in 2009, the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra [spacecoastsymphony.org] has racked up more than 800 concerts. More are in store.
“We have worked very hard to reinvent the concept of a 21st-century orchestra by presenting the widest array of programming of any orchestra on the East Coast,” said artistic director and conductor Aaron Collins. “By offering high quality, family-oriented and affordable concert programming, the SCSO provides a unique artistic resource that serves our community and also attracts visitors.”
Based at the Suntree’s Scott Center for the Performing Arts, the symphony prides itself in robust, year-round programming. For the holidays, fans can expect the annual Messiah sing-along on Dec. 4. The 2023 concerts are:
• Fan Favorites, Jazz Edition, Jan. 14
• An Evening with Judy Collins, a special concert starring the folk music legend, Jan. 19 at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach
• Brahms & Rach, Jan. 28
• Showtime, a concert of Broadway tunes, Feb. 25 at Satellite High School Performing Arts Center
• Symphonic Jukebox, March 18
• Best of Classic Rock, March 30
• Aaron & Friends, a special program powered by Collins and students, April 22 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church
• The Best of John Williams, May 27
Brevard’s oldest professional orchestra, the Brevard Symphony Orchestra [brevardsymphony.com] also has a lively schedule ahead. Concerts, held at the King Center, include
• Inspired by Bach, Jan. 21
• Comedy Tonight, Feb. 4
• Mendelssohn and Beethoven, March 11
• American Dream, April 15
Three of the evening concerts, Inspired by Bach, Comedy Tonight and Mendelssohn and Beethoven, are also matinees.
Melbourne Municipal Band, which offers free concerts at Melbourne Auditorium, is also stoked for next season.
“We have a very exciting season ahead, where our audience will be immersed in the theme of each concert as soon as they step into the lobby,” MMB conductor Staci Rosbury said. “In addition to amazing music, we’ll have special exhibitors and guests relevant to the program, and we’ll be getting our audience members involved in activities that help our community, such as food donations at our holiday concert and a book drive for kids at our February concert. The Rock & Roll Revue sock hop in January will feature classic ’50s and ’60s cars. It’s going to be a great year.”
MMB’s 22-piece Swingtime jazz ensemble has transformed traditional concerts into Concert Cafes so audiences can spin around the dance floor. There’s even more music, too.
“Swingtime is adding a whole new library of excitement to its traditional swing fare,” conductor Kurt Schulenburg said.
“We’ll be bringing the sound of the Big Band to reggae, rock, rumba and more, we will be playing an entire concert of TV show themes and generally challenging ourselves and our audiences to have more fun. A get up and dance or sit back and enjoy music you just can’t hear anywhere else.”
The 2023 season concerts include:
• Herald the Holidays, Dec. 7 and 8
• TV Tunes Tonight [Swingtime], Jan. 18 and 19
• Inspired by Books, Feb. 22 and 23
• Sundry Showcase [Swingtime], March 8 and 9
• Music that Moves You, April 12 and 13
• MMB Pops!, June 7 and 8
MMB’s New Year’s Eve concert, an extravaganza in the
great Guy Lombardo tradition, is a black tie affair that sells
Swingtime is a major ensemble, but not the whole picture, for MMB also features the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue, Swingtime Lite, Oh Golly Dixieland Band, Swingtimers Vocal Trio, Adagio Sax Quartet, Sunshine Brass Quintet, the Clarinetics, 3 Gen Flutes and the Mel-bones, performing at venues throughout the county. There are sock hops and dances, too.
Also free and at Melbourne Auditorium are the concerts of Melbourne Community Orchestra [mcorchestra.org] with an upcoming schedule that includes:
• Snow in Love, Dec. 21 and 22
• Conductor’s Choice, Feb. 1 and 2
• University of Saturday Morning Cartoons, March 22 and 23
• May Mysteries, May 3 and 4
• Made in the USA, June 13 and 14
Community Band of Brevard [CommunityBandOfBrevard.com] gets into the holiday spirit with a CBOB Holiday Concert Dec. 4 at Merritt Island High School Auditorium. Spring and summer concerts are in the works. All CBOB concerts are free.
Central Florida Winds [CFWinds.org] will feature Music for Winds and Strings, Feb. 11 and 12; on April 22 and 23, the group will perform Works by the Masters; and A Salute to America, May 28.
Jazz is always in style in Brevard thanks to the Brevard Music Group [brevardmusicgroup.com] and the Space Coast Jazz Society [spacecoastjazzsociety.org]. Brevard Music Group has scheduled performers such as Spyro Gyra, Dave Koz and Rockapella in the coming months. Most concerts are at the King Center. Brevard Veterans Center in Merritt Island is home to Space Coast Jazz Society concerts.
The Space Coast is also home to several choral ensembles, including Brevard Community Chorus [brevardcommunitychorus.org], the Indialantic Chamber Singers [indialanticchambersingers.org], and the Brevard Chorale [brevardchorale.org].
“Singing is the most intimate method of music-making that exists,” said Robert Lamb, conductor of Brevard Community Chorus, which celebrates the holidays Dec. 10 with Gloria: a Christmas Celebration. Indialantic Chamber Singers will present Sing We Now of Christmas Dec.16 and 18 and offer a spring concert in 2023. Brevard Choral will present A Ceremony of Carols Dec. 5 at the Simpkins Auditorium of Eastern Florida State College.
Ballet will also thrive next season in Brevard. Space Coast Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, onstage Dec. 3 at the King Center, features Brevard Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music, principal dancers from top companies around the world and sets imported from the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia. In its 19th year, it has become a family tradition for many.
Galmont Ballet, resident company of Cocoa Village Playhouse, also delights ballet fans with several performances during the year, including an original American version of The Nutcracker, set in the United States of the 19th century.
Galmont’s 20th Anniversary Gala Performance July 1 and 2, also at Cocoa Village Playhouse, promises to be a dazzling evening of dance and will feature international guest dancers along with the ballet’s talented students.
Culture lovers have a busy season ahead.
Maria is a prolific writer and most excellent proofer for various Space Coast publications and an adjunct professor at Florida Institute of Technology’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. When not writing, teaching or traveling, she can be found waging a one-woman war against her lawn and futilely attempting to maintain order among the chaos of a pack of extremely clueless wirehair dachshunds and an angst-driven basset hound.