By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
You say you love the arts? Well, if there’s not at least one thing that strikes your fancy at the sumptuous smorgasbord of performances and programs known as this year’s Festival of the Arts BOCA, then perhaps you’re not really an arts lover, are you?
In its 14th year, the festival returns to both the Amphitheater and Cultural Arts Center in Mizner Park Feb. 28-March 8 with a theme of “A Season of Heroes” — which, honestly, seems a bit peripheral. The real hero of this fest may be its executive director, Joanna Marie Kayea, who has ensured that artistic quality across the board is the main attraction of a rich and varied lineup.
On either edge of that bill are classic Yoda (confused not to be with today’s Baby Yoda sensation) in an orchestra-accompanied screening of The Empire Strikes Back; and psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos, professor of Yale University’s most popular class ever, “Psychology and the Good Life.”
Among highlights in between are festival-opener Troupe Vertigo and their edgy, eclectic mélange of circus, dance and theater, Cirque du Cinema; a Symphonia concert celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday, featuring the female chamber group, the Eroica Trio; Miloŝ, the young artist branded with Segovia comparisons and called “the hottest guitarist in the world”; and fest finale Postmodern Jukebox, Scott Bradlee’s 100-strong “rotating collective of musical outcasts” that’s become a viral-video phenom with 400 million views of its classic jazz and Motown remixes.
For the literary minded, there’s standout novelist Jesmyn Ward, the first woman and person of color to win two national book awards, for Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing. And The Moth Story Slam, an open-mic storytelling competition, invites anyone with a five-minute story to get in on the tale-telling action.
Tickets for Festival of the Arts BOCA, presented by Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts, range from $15 to $150. For tickets and more info, visit festivalboca.org or call 800-210-0689.