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My View: Dancing With The Stars Under The Stars at the Ballet Palm Beach Gala



Palm Beach is affectionately nicknamed “paradise” by those who reside and vacation here.  Since it’s early beginnings the town has been a cultural hub inhabited by a community that generously and enthusiastically supports the performing arts.  This was no more evident than at the legendary Colony Hotel last night as Ballet Palm Beach held their “WE BELIEVE” Season of Dance Gala.

It has been a difficult time for audiences and performers these last 2 years.   Masked socially distanced patrons and artists are not the optional way to enjoy a performance.  Luckily the skills of Ballet dancers cannot be constrained by masks.  As a result there was no impediment between the beauty, grace, and agility of the dancers of Ballet Palm Beach and the audience as company dancers Libby Faber, Nicholas Holtz, Lily Loveland, Jay Markov, Aaron Melendrez and Madeleine Miller thrilled the gala attendees with a specially choreographed piece to Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” played by The Switzer Sound and sung by Chris Santiago. 

The annual fundraising event chaired by long-time board member Erin McGould and her husband, Sean McGould supports Ballet Palm Beach’s incredible WE BELIEVE Season of Dance.

The memorable evening featured cocktails under the stars, exciting silent and live auctions, and a delightful dinner. It was truly Dancing Under The Stars With The Stars to the music of Jill & Rich Switzer


Ballet Palm Beach’s WE BELIEVE campaign focuses on sharing what the ballet company truly values and how it impacts the community. THEY BELIEVE in taking your breath away with incredible performances. THEY BELIEVE dance is for everyone. THEY BELIEVE in excellence for their students. THEY BELIEVE dance speaks to your soul. Funds raised will also offset expenses of performances and free community outreach programs which reach thousands of underserved families every year.

“Dance truly is for everyone,” says Erin McGould. “I was honored to chair this year’s gala to support not only professional ballet performances, but also the Ballet Palm Beach Academy students and its free community outreach programs.”

The incredible Anka Palitz served as honorary chair of this year’s gala. Palm Beach cultural patron Anka K. Palitz has been a generous and tireless supporter of dancers for decades, both during and after their dance careers. In January, 2020 she created the Ballet Palm Beach Anka Fund for Dancers. The fund directly supports salaries for the professional dancers of Ballet Palm Beach. Ballet Palm Beach applauds Anka and her support of our organization.

Host committee members included Stefani & John Daddano, Heidi & Don Kiselewski, Erin & Sean McGould, Michelle & Woodward Middleton, and Michele & Karl Ruppert. Ballet Palm Beach is incredibly grateful for sponsors UBS, Legends Radio, Bank of America, FPL, The Royal Poinciana Plaza, Joy and Mike Miltenberger, Elizabeth and Peter Keith, Jane and William Todd, AmFund, Jimmy Choo and FlowerMart.

About Ballet Palm Beach

Ballet Palm Beach (BPB), the professional ballet company of the Palm Beaches, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ballet company dedicated to preserving the art of classical ballet, cultivating new visions in choreography, impacting the next generation through the discipline of dance, and enriching the community through this universal art form.  Established in 2001, the company has become a fixture in Palm Beach County. Each year BPB produces main stage ballets as well as outreach shows, both locally and abroad. For more information about the professional company or its school, Ballet Palm Beach Academy, or to support BPB’s outreach efforts call 561.630.8235 or visit



ANKA PALITZ & RICHARD ROSE, Palm Beach Historian

Karl Ruppert, Ballet Palm Beach Board Chairman & Wayne Safro

Colleen Smith













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, 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


My View: Lucie Arnaz…..How Did She Get This Job?



With apologies to politicians who tout their job creating policies, Lucie Arnaz did not need any assistance to get her current job at 54 Below with a show titled “I Got The Job”.  Lucie got this gig because she is a supremely talented actor/singer/dancer who possesses a distinguished resume and long career of memorable performances on the stages of Broadway, Cabaret, and Concert Halls all over the world… and as I’ve said before about this show….

Lucie Arnaz hit the stage of 54Below with all cylinders on burn and guns ablaze! She performed an evening she calls “I GOT THE JOB” and kept the New York City audience entranced from beginning to end, garnering multiple ovations that seemed as natural as breathing.

For 85 minutes, she owned the stage, dressed to work, in black tights with tuxedo rhinestone striping and a dazzling orange silk blouse with glimmering buttons and cuffs. Basic, simple, perfect. This woman comes with all the equipment to perform, entertain and break your heart. She’s a master storyteller with impeccable timing and the voice shows up for her song after song, from show after show, exhibiting range and colors and nuancing that engage the audience at every turn. The star, of course, is the daughter of showbiz royalty, but she doesn’t rely on that one bit and has her own stories to tell, and they are mesmerizing.

Lucie Arnaz has had an extraordinary life and career and judging by what was on display, last night, I imagine, as Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh wrote, “The Best Is Yet To Come.” Lucie wrote and directed herself in this show, which opened the Birdland Theater years ago, but it has been fully fleshed out and brought to vivid life. Sharing the stage with her is what appears to be a musical soulmate in her Musical Director, Arranger and “Acting Partner,” Ron Abel, whose hands gave Ms. Arnaz her orchestra.

During the evening we were treated to a story of her audition (in a theatre) for THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG. During the audition, Neil Simon walked onto the stage and told her she was a breath of fresh air. She later “got the job.” Last night, she also stole our hearts and, now, we’re helpless and LOVE LUCIE.










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My View: An Evening With Rex Reed, Will Friedwald, & POLLY BERGEN



Will Friedwald’s Clip Joint presented the legendary film critic and personality “Rex Reed Remembers Polly Bergen” last night at the TRIAD Theater.  It was a fascinating evening as Rex, who was one of Polly Bergen’s closest friends told fly on the wall show biz stories and personal anecdotes about her remarkable life.  An especially hilarious one occurred at the annual OSCAR NIGHT party that Polly had every year in her New York apartment.  There was Rex, watching the Oscars on a TV in Polly’s bedroom, Lucille Ball on one side of him and Paul Newman on the other .  Milton Berle who had been in another room parades past them wearing one of Polly’s gowns that he snatched from her closet!

Will and Rex reminisced about her amazing career in the movies ( including three classic comedies with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis) but even more so on television.  In fact, her career spans the very history of the small screen medium, starting with appearances on pioneering broadcasts of the late 1940’s right up to a memorable regular role in the hit series DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-although she was probably best known for starring in the legendary 1957 PLAYHOUSE 90 live television biography of HELEN MORGAN.  In other guises, she was an entrepreneur and political activist. 

Will Friedwald brought along his extensive library of film clips of her appearances on The Hollywood Palace, The Andy Williams Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Perry Como Kraft Music Hall, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and appearances with Phil Silvers, George Burns, Red Skelton, Andy Williams and many more. Polly Bergen (1930-2014) had three husbands, and unfortunately became a Doris Day type financial victim because of her last one. And now “here’s the rest of my personal Polly Bergen story”.

Many years ago a firm placed a large order with my factory.  When I checked with our credit insuring agency they advised me that the company did not have enough finances to purchase that amount of goods and consequently the agency would only insure half the order.  Not wanting to reject a sizable order I made an appointment to meet the owner in his garment center office and check out his business for myself.  During the course of the conversation somehow the entertainment business came up (of course it did) and he mentioned that he was married to Polly Bergen.  Being a fan and and having reverence for the famous and talented artists in this world I dropped my usual due diligence guard and the hour was spent talking about show business, I loved it, especially when he invited me over to their apartment to watch the Super Bowl.   Well, I shipped all the merchandise…and you can guess what happened….Years later I met Polly Bergen at one of Rex Reed’s evenings and introduced myself with the opening line “ you cost me a lot of money” and then related the story of how her husband never paid.   Polly put her arm around me and said in her bawdy way, “ honey, you’re lucky it was only that much, he bankrupted me”.












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Ken Fallin's Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Inspired By True Events A New Play by Ryan Spahn



Off-Broadway’s Out of the Box Theatrics is presenting Inspired By True Events, a new play by Ryan Spahn.

In the green room of a community theater in Rochester, the Uptown Players are getting ready to play to a full house after opening to rave reviews the night before. When their star actor arrives in a dangerously unhinged state, they must improvise on and off stage in ways they could not have imagined. By turns hilarious, harrowing, and horrifying, Inspired By True Events follows a tenacious group of show people who must determine at what cost the show must go on.

Inspired By True Events received development workshops with New York Stage & Film, Vineyard Theatre and EST.

Knud Adams is directing, and the cast will feature Lou Liberatore, Jack DiFalco, Mallory Portnoy, and Dana Scurlock. The play opens July 17 at 154 Christopher Street (formerly the New Ohio Theatre). The play was developed by Michael Urie.

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Fung Shui Pet

Transitioning Your Pup: From Kibble to Fresh Canine Cuisine




In recent years, more and more dog owners have been exploring alternatives to traditional kibble diets for their furry friends. One increasingly popular option is transitioning to fresh canine cuisine, which includes raw and lightly cooked meals. This shift can offer numerous benefits for your dog’s health and well-being, but it’s essential to approach the transition carefully and thoughtfully. In this article, we’ll explore the process of moving your pup from kibble to fresh food, discussing the benefits, potential challenges, and best practices for a smooth transition.

Understanding the Benefits of Fresh Canine Cuisine

Before diving into the transition process, it’s important to understand why many pet owners are making the switch to fresh food for their dogs. Some potential benefits include:

  1. Improved digestion: Fresh foods are often easier for dogs to digest than heavily processed kibble.
  2. Better nutrient absorption: Whole, fresh ingredients may provide more bioavailable nutrients.
  3. Increased energy levels: Many dogs experience a boost in vitality when switching to fresh food.
  4. Healthier skin and coat: The higher quality nutrients in fresh food can lead to a shinier, healthier coat.
  5. Weight management: Fresh diets can help maintain a healthy weight more easily than some kibble options.
  6. Reduced allergies: Some dogs with food sensitivities may find relief with a fresh food diet.

Planning the Transition

Transitioning your dog from kibble to fresh food should be a gradual process. Sudden dietary changes can lead to digestive upset, so it’s crucial to take things slow. Here’s a general timeline to consider:

Week 1-2: Introduction Phase

  • Start by replacing 25% of your dog’s kibble with fresh food.
  • Mix the fresh food thoroughly with the kibble to encourage your dog to try it.
  • Observe your dog’s reaction and monitor for any digestive issues.

Week 3-4: Increasing Fresh Food

  • If your dog is tolerating the new food well, increase the fresh food portion to 50%.
  • Continue to mix the foods thoroughly.
  • Keep an eye on your dog’s stool consistency and energy levels.

Week 5-6: Majority Fresh Food

  • Increase the fresh food portion to 75% of your dog’s diet.
  • Reduce kibble to 25%.
  • By this point, you should notice positive changes in your dog’s overall health and vitality.

Week 7 and Beyond: Full Transition

  • If all has gone well, you can now feed your dog 100% fresh food.
  • Some owners choose to keep a small amount of high-quality kibble in the diet for convenience or as treats.

Choosing the Right Fresh Food Options

When transitioning to fresh canine cuisine, you have several options:

  1. Commercial fresh food: Many companies now offer fresh, pre-prepared dog food that can be delivered to your door. These options are convenient but can be more expensive.
  2. Homemade meals: Preparing your dog’s meals at home gives you complete control over ingredients but requires time and careful planning to ensure nutritional balance.
  3. Raw diets: Some owners opt for a raw dog food diet, which can include raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables. This approach requires careful handling and preparation to avoid bacterial contamination.
  4. Lightly cooked diets: A middle ground between raw and commercial options, lightly cooked diets involve minimal processing of whole food ingredients.

Whichever option you choose, it’s crucial to ensure that your dog’s new diet is nutritionally complete and balanced. Consult with a veterinary nutritionist if you’re unsure about your dog’s specific dietary needs.

Potential Challenges and How to Address Them

While many dogs transition smoothly to fresh food, some may experience challenges:

  1. Reluctance to try new foods: Some dogs are hesitant to eat unfamiliar foods. Try warming the fresh food slightly or adding a small amount of low-sodium broth to enhance the aroma.
  2. Digestive upset: Temporary diarrhea or constipation can occur during the transition. If symptoms persist, slow down the transition process or consult your veterinarian.
  3. Weight changes: Monitor your dog’s weight closely during the transition. Adjust portion sizes as needed to maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Increased food drive: Some dogs become more enthusiastic about mealtimes on a fresh food diet. Establish consistent feeding routines to manage expectations.

Tips for Success

To ensure a smooth transition to fresh canine cuisine, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Be patient: Every dog is different, and some may take longer to adjust than others.
  2. Stay consistent: Once you’ve chosen a fresh food option, stick with it for at least a few weeks before making any changes.
  3. Monitor your dog closely: Watch for changes in energy levels, coat condition, and overall health.
  4. Keep your veterinarian informed: Regular check-ups can help ensure your dog is thriving on their new diet.
  5. Consider supplements: Depending on the fresh food option you choose, you may need to add supplements to ensure nutritional completeness.
  6. Practice good hygiene: When handling raw or fresh foods, be sure to follow food safety guidelines to protect both you and your pet.

Transitioning your pup from kibble to fresh canine cuisine can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By taking a gradual approach, choosing the right fresh food options, and staying attentive to your dog’s needs, you can help your pet enjoy the potential benefits of a fresher, less processed diet. Remember that every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Always consult with your veterinarian before making significant changes to your dog’s diet, especially if your pet has existing health conditions or dietary restrictions.

With patience, care, and attention to detail, you can successfully guide your pup through the journey from kibble to fresh, wholesome canine cuisine, potentially improving their health and quality of life for years to come.

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Coming In August Broadway Barks Returns to Shubert Alley



The 26th anniversary of the star-studded dog and cat adoption event, Broadway Barks returns to Shubert Alley on Saturday, August 3, 2024 to benefit New York City animal rescue groups. The event, co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, features Broadway celebrities who use their star power to help find loving homes for animals in need from 24 NYC area adoption and rescue groups.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster. Photo courtesy of Broadway Barks.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster will co-host this year’s festivities! Other celebrity participants to be announced soon.

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Barks begins at 3pm with a ‘meet and greet’ of all the adoptable pets; from 5–6:30pm, adoptees make their Broadway debut on stage alongside some of Broadway’s favorite stars for the celebrity presentations.Produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the adoption event takes place in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues).

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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