By Thom Smith
The pop music scene in Palm Beach County isn’t what it used to be, not that it’s that great anywhere in South Florida these days. Most acts and promoters follow the money, and unless they’re strong enough to draw big crowds in Jacksonville, Tampa or Orlando and South Florida, they don’t want to spend the money to come this far south.
That said, good sounds abound. Not necessarily chart busters, but top talent just the same. Just consider the scene in South County.
On Nov. 4, TV doctors Rick Springfield and Jack Wagner, both of whom starred on General Hospital and had top 40 hits, were to play Mizner Park Amphitheater. Springfield, still a knockout at 62, won a Grammy for Jessie’s Girl in 1981. Wagner, now 52 and engaged to Heather Locklear, had a hit with All I Need, but his résumé includes touring stints in West Side Story and Grease. It’s an odd combination, but Boca’s older, soapier demographic makes for the novel pairing.
On Nov. 5, the fourth annual Think Pink Rocks rolls into Mizner Park, appealing to a far younger audience with a lineup that ranges from BET host Terrence J to Shontelle to Boca’s own American Idol finalist Brett Loewenstern. It raises money to fund breast cancer research and treatment.
On a more regular basis, “Jazz, Bossa Nova and Blues” has been extended at least through November at Carmen’s At The Top Of The Bridge Hotel. Tapas, a limited prix fixe menu and full bar are available, but if you just want to hear some top musicians, the entertainment charge is $10.
Lots of action around Royal Palm Place in Boca these days, thanks in large part to the arrival of Philippe by Philippe Chow, No. 6. Chow knows how to pack his upscale Chinese eatery at 200 E. Palmetto Park Road: Give ’em good food and a good show. The latter includes a healthy celebrity roster that has included in recent weeks ex-NBA star Alonzo Mourning (he’s an investor), boxing promoter Don King, tennis legend Jimmy Connors and post-break-up Jennifer Lopez.
J Lo, without Marc Anthony, spent time with action star Jason Statham. They were shooting Parker, a jewel-heist film set in Palm Beach, but since Palm Beach frowns on movie-making, they only shot driving scenes on the island. Some interiors were shot at the sound stage at G-Star School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, but most were done on the QT at 1000 Ocean Drive, a Boca beachfront condo.
At the south end of Royal Palm Place, from Arturo Gismondo of Cannoli Kitchen fame, comes Biergarten, with two dozen craft beers on tap, special bottled brews, at least four genuine German Oktoberfest brews, plus pretzels, schnitzels, sausages, cheeses, and soups. Prost!
More good news for beer fans: A Yard House restaurant will open at the old Cartoon Museum in Mizner Park in May. About 130 local and regional beers will be on tap.
Chris Evert always tries to have a rocking good time at her annual Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic, both on the court and at her Gala Dinner Dance and Auction the weekend of Nov. 11. This year is no exception. On the court, look for Oscar winner Elisabeth Shue, Today show host Hoda Kotb, comedian Jon Lovitz, newsman Stone Phillips, Breaking In’s Christian Slater, Burn Notice’s Jeffrey Donovan, Grey’s Anatomy’s Scott Foley, actress and former tennis pro Maeve Quinlan, “Real Housewife” Jill Zarin, Alan Thicke and a few tennis players including Monica Seles, Murphy Jensen and Vince Spadea. At the gala, The Spinners will perform.
“Chrissy always likes for the crowd to dance,” an associate said. “She wants people to have a good time.” (www.chrisevert.org)
And speaking of “Real Housewives,” Kelley Killoren Bensimon (of the Real HW of NY) was one of the honorary speakers at real estate agent to the wealthy Senada Adzem’s Celebration of Hope, a Pink Strides event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The event was co-hosted by shoe mogul Bobby Campbell, CEO of BBC International, and held at his $10 million Intracoastal home in Boca. Bensimon paired up with Campbell to create a ballet shoe line which donates a percentage of its proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Remember the New Christy Minstrels? They cut more than 20 albums, had several hits including Green, Green, Saturday Night and This Land is Your Land and launched the careers of future solo stars Kenny Rogers, Gene Clark, Kim Carnes and Barry McGuire. Well, 50 years later, they’re still at it and on the road. On Dec. 8, they’ll play Century Village in Boca.
Always a great party: The 12th annual Best of Boca & Beyond at the Shops at Boca Center Thursday marked the unofficial launch of Boca’s social season with lots of food and desserts from 30 restaurants, fine wines and specialty drinks, a wine and cigar lounge.
The bash was sponsored by Boca Raton magazine, and proceeds go to Hospice of Palm Beach County. For an added twist this year, the magazine honored five individuals who have had made significant impact on the city: restaurateur Dennis Max, St. Andrew’s School Headmaster Ann Marie Krejcarek, Junior League President Nancy Dockerty, FAU President Mary Jane Saunders, and Boca Center Manager Candace Goldstein.
For those who’ve been striking out lately, head to the Back Room, 2222 West Atlantic in Delray at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10, for the second annual Sexy Sensational Singles charity bachelor and bachelorette auction. It’s a benefit for Prep and Sports, which provides academic guidance and performance training to at-risk youth. A $20 ticket includes food and one drink. At least one celebrity will go on the block and the rumor mill keeps spitting out “Miami Heat.”
Thom Smith is a freelance writer. Contact him at email@example.com.