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My View: Barbra Streisand Opens In Miami Beach…”Hello Gorgeous” Exhibition

My View: Barbra Streisand Opens In Miami Beach…”Hello Gorgeous” Exhibition

Last night, after months and months of being closed to the public, The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU opened its doors at 301 Washington Avenue in South Beach, to welcome back

visitors and debut HELLO GORGOUS, The Exhibition, showcasing the extraordinary career

of Barbra Streisand, now thru February 20, 2022.  I had never been there and the building itself is a wonder and worth the trip. The exhibit, curated here, by Jacqueline Goldstein, was made possible by a unique arrangement between the museum’s Executive Director, Susan Gladstone Pasternack, Warren Klein, who curated in New York, premiering at Temple Emanu-el’s Bernard Museum of Judaica and the owner of 90% of the show’s offerings, Lou Papalas, who lives in Palm Springs and has, over the years, collected some 100,000 pieces from the greatest star’s unique career and achievements. The VIP, by invitation only, launch, included supporters of the museum, sponsors Diane and Alan Lieberman (stating that “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world” referring to the support and joining together after so long to celebrate … together), Mayor Dan Gelber and a WHO’S WHO of South Florida tastemakers and influencers. Warren Klein and Mr. Papalas addressed the crowd, via ZOOM, from their respective New York and Palm Springs and told the story and history of how the exhibition came to be and we learned, from Susan, that after seeing the exhibit (pre-pandemic) in New York and asking Klein, where it was headed next, after he answered, “Nowhere, this is it.” She said, “Oh, no, not before it comes to Miami!” And, now, HERE IT IS, after a year in storage and newly assembled, very differently than it was in New York and just as awe-inspiring. Richard Jay-Alexander was invited to join the evening. He, of course, is a local Miami resident and has worked with the talented supernova for 21 years now. Richard, admitting he had nothing to do with the assembly of the exhibit, confessed to knowing it was going to happen when Nancy Doyle Cohen, Museum Manager, phoned him in the midst of life being shut down. “I was very excited and committed to being there for their Opening Night. I saw it in New York (twice) and loved it and was looking forward to seeing how Jackie was going to approach putting together the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU’s exhibition.” Richard Jay- (as he is known) welcomed the crowd, spoke of his history with the museum (in particular the Charlie Cinnamon exhibit that he and Manny Hernandez were a part of) and spoke intoxicatingly about the evening’s subject, Barbra Streisand, as an actress, a singer, a director, an activist, a philanthropist and many other hyphenates with an unparalleled career and still going strong. He also shared that if you look around, carefully, you can get a glimpse of how this titanic career came to be. He shared that some of his favorite things to look at and study were early contract bookings for a club in Detroit and the Bon Soir, movie posters from around the world and what he told the crowd was the Holy Grail, Barbra’s iconic sailor dress from the MY NAME IS BARBRA Television Special. “I had never seen it. And it is something.” 

Stephen Sorokoff, Eda Sorokoff, Richard Jay-Alexander, David Sexton, Steve Rothaus
Susan Gladstone Pasternak, Executive Director
Miami Beach Mayor, Dan Gelber
Jacqueline Goldstein, Curator
Allan & Diane Lieberman, Sponsors
Richard Jay-Alexander
Richard Jay-Alexander
Ariel Roman-Harris, Counsulate General of Israel in Miami, Eda Sorokoff, Richard Jay-Alexander, David Sexton, Steve Rothaus
Richard Jay-Alexander

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Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

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