Coming Up: Emerson entertains with triple-header

The Emerson Center appears to be the unofficial Venue of the Week, with several events on the calendar there: The wonderful Space Coast Symphony Orchestra welcomes the brand-new year with the “Best of Broadway” this Sunday afternoon at the Emerson Center.

With unforgettable music from the Great White Way by such stellar composers and lyricists as Rodgers, Kern, Hamlisch, Bernstein, Porter, Webber, Hammerstein and Hart, you should plan on doing a lot of humming under your breath. Who doesn’t know at least some of the melody and/or lyrics to “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Seventy Six Trombones,” “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Impossible Dream,” to name a few?

I’ll bet you can even name the shows these iconic numbers were in. Wielding the baton as principal guest conductor will be Michael Hall, the newly appointed music director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada, and, from 2007 to 2012, music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony.

Joining the symphony on stage are sopranos Claire Tendl and Beth Green, and baritones Sean Christopher Stork and Shawn Jesseman. Show time is 3 p.m. Tickets are $20; free for those 18 and under.

In what is sure to be an extremely engaging and fascinating evening – and likely a packed house – this coming Thursday, the Emerson Center’s well-received Humanities Series will present rancher, artist, poet and Waldo Sexton grandson Sean Sexton on “Local Legends: The Sexton Family.”

The program is part of the Treasure Coast History Festival, and the intriguing format will be, says the Emerson promo, a “fast-paced, free-wheeling roundtable discussion,” as descendants of the legendary patriarch Waldo Sexton share recollections of their enigmatic, eccentric, visionary grandfather “and the family whose name has become synonymous with ‘Vero Beach.’” Waldo Sexton, as much as any other, was responsible for the unique character of our little town.

Such landmarks as the McKee Botanical Gardens, the Patio Restaurant, the Ocean Grill, the Driftwood Inn and the Szechuan Palace Restaurant are among Waldo’s creations.

In addition to Sean Sexton, participating family members include Mark Tripson, Logan Tripson Geeslin, Jenz Tripson, Bonnie Schwey, Randy Sexton and more, who will reminisce about their family’s rich history and discuss the various creative paths they’ve taken in many aspects of Vero’s and Indian River County’s growth.

Admission is free and seating is first come, first served, so make a note-to-self to arrive early so as not to miss what is sure to be an unforgettable evening with this legendary family. The program begins at 7 p.m.

The Treasure Coast History Festival continues Jan. 13 in front of downtown Fort Pierce’s Sunrise Theatre, with activities throughout the day.

The very next evening, Jan. 12, the professional concert series “LIVE! From Vero Beach” kicks off its fifth season at the Emerson Center with a pair of headliners, Livingston “Liv” Taylor and Karla Bonoff.

This season, the series is focusing on the classic folk and rock groups of the ’60s and forward, and plans to bring in some country rock and bring back some audience favorites as well.

According to Wikipedia, singer/songwriter/folk musician Taylor is the brother of James Taylor, and, as a matter of fact, all five siblings are musicians/vocalists. Taylor’s noted for Billboard hits “I Will Be In Love With You,” “First Time Love” and “I’ll Come Running”; has toured with such  luminaries as Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett and Jethro Tull; and still performs more than 75 shows a year nationally and internationally.

Singer-songwriter Bonoff is primarily known for her songwriting and her songs have been interpreted by Bonnie Raitt, “Home”; Wynonna Judd, “Tell Me Why”; and Lynn Anderson, “Isn’t It Always Love.” Ronstadt has recorded a number of Bonoff’s songs, notably three tracks on the 1976 album, “Hasten Down the Wind,” which introduced Bonoff to a mass audience.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $75.


If you want to see “Finding Neverland,” you’d better get your wiggles on: the short run of’s  Audience Choice Award for Best Musical ends its short run at the Kravis Center’ Dreyfoos Hall in West Palm this Sunday.

The musical, based on the Oscar-winning film, tells the backstory of one of the world’s most beloved characters – Peter Pan; how playwright J.M. Barry finds the courage to become the writer – and man – he yearns to be.

Barrie finds the inspiration he’s been missing when he meets the beautiful widow Sylvia and her four young sons: Jack, George, Michael and Peter.

The show website quotes Time magazine, describing the show as “A spirited, tuneful, nimbly staged delight. One of the year’s Top Ten Best Shows.”

Show times are Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets start at $28.

Leave a Comment