South Florida’s elite congregated on Friday, April 24, for the 9th annual Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Anniversary Gala. The one and only Tony, Emmy, and Grammy-award winning international superstar Barry Manilow performed in the Ziff Ballet Opera House and was accompanied by the Henry Mancini Institute Big Band Orchestra.
Manilow wow’d guests with a special tribute to Frank Sinatra in honor of “The Chairman’s” 100th birthday. He performed some of the singers most iconic classics, such as Strangers in the Night and My Kind of Town. The audience didn’t hold back when Manilow performed several of his greatest hits, including a lively performance of Copacabana and I Write the Songs, which got everyone out of their seats.
Manilow not only noted that “this is the most beautiful place I have played,” but he also praised the Arsht Center for its dedication to advocating arts education throughout the county, as there has been a drastic reduction of music programs in public schools. Due to this, Manilow founded The Manilow Music Project, which seeks to highlight how important music is through donations of instruments and other musical materials to middle and high schools across the country.
“This has been one of the best galas in the Arsht Center’s history, and we want to thank Mr. Manilow for delivering a riveting performance that helped us set the stage as we move into our 10th anniversary,” said Swanee DiMare, chair of the Gala for the fourth year in a row. “It is no secret that arts education has an immense impact on the academic success of our youth. We are grateful for the support of all of this year’s guests and sponsors, as these philanthropists will help us continue to provide the robust education programming to the community.”
The Lynn Wolfson Stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House is the second largest performing arts stage in the U.S. The massive stage was transformed by Le Basque into a private and personal supper club with an exquisite 20 foot chandelier floating over guests. Ovations Food Services, the official caterers of the Arsht Center, provided a three-course menu ending with a delicious dessert trio of classic New York style cheesecake with raspberry drizzle, fresh glazed berries in a chocolate shell, and chocolate molten cake with chocolate sauce.
Gala chairs Swanee and Paul DiMare were joined by Adrienne Arsht, the institution’s name benefactor, who served as the Honorary Gala Chair. Margaret and Mike Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board, were part of the gala leadership committee, which also included Gala Sponsors, Margarita and Armando Codina and Sue Miller on behalf of the Miller Family Foundation, as well as Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard.
Co-chairs in attendance included Ana-Marie and Robert Barlick; Bunny Bastian; Trish and Dan Bell; Constance and Mike Fernandez; Ana and Manuel Kadre; Ginger and Roger Medel; Jason Williams, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Dean Colson, Colson Hicks Eidson; Gilberto Neves, Odebrecht; Rick Schatz, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Alan Fein, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Donna Shalala, president, University of Miami; Janet Risi Field and James Field; Abigail and FJ Pollack; and Carlos Rosso, The Related Group.
Additional attendees included: Ambassador Steven Green and his wife Dorothea; Miami-Dade County Public School Board Member Raquel Regalado; Mayor Tomas Regalado; City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and his wife Teresa; former U.S. Senator John Breaux and his wife Lois; Lourdes Lopez, artistic director of the Miami City Ballet; Grammy-nominated recording artist Monica Mancini; multi-Grammy Award winner Gregg Field; and multi-Grammy Award nominee Shelly Berg and his wife Julia.