| November, 2019

Vassallo inducted into Broward Sports Hall of Fame

Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Jesse Vassallo, left, was inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, along with (from left to right) John Cohen (Spirit of Sport recipient), Guy Harvey, Tamara James, Eddie Rodger, Roberto Luongo and OJ McDuffie. Submitted photo

Pompano Beach Piranhas Swim Team head coach Jesse Vassallo was recently inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.

He was joined by fellow 2019 inductees, including Dr. Guy Harvey (Fishing), Tamara James (Basketball), Roberto Luongo (Ice Hockey), Otis James “OJ” McDuffie (Football) and Eddie Rodger (Soccer).

“It was a surprise for me,” Vassallo said. “I have been 10 years in Broward and I didn’t expect to be recognized that quickly. I am very honored. I know some of the other inductees and they are people that I have always admired and very proud.”

Vassallo, 58, of Pompano Beach, is a three-time World Record holder and obtained his first world record at the age of 15 when he was just a  freshman in high school. In 1976, he held the world record in the 400-meter individual medley (the toughest event in swimming), and again in 1978.

In 1979, he took over the world record in the 200-meter individual medley and was also a two-time US Olympian (1980 and 1984). Equally impressive is his National 13-14 age-group record in the 1,500-meter freestyle when he was just 13 years old. This record remains unbroken and still stands as the longest U.S. National Age Group record in history – even Michael Phelps admitted to Vassallo that Phelps was not able to break the record time of 15:31.03 at that age. 

Vassallo wanted to participate in the 1976 Summer Olympics, which were held in Montreal, Canada, representing Puerto Rico, but he could not participate due to a ruling of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee that stated that “in order to represent Puerto Rico, a person must have resided on the island for at least a year. 

Vassallo was unable to attend the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow, Russia, because of the boycott imposed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. He competed in another competition held in the United States, which was held at the same time as the Moscow Olympics. Vassallo made better times in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley event at the competition than the two gold medalists in Moscow.

Vassallo has also been inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the University of Miami’s Hall of Fame, the Puerto Rican Hall of Fame, and the Japanese Swimmers Hall of Fame. He has been on the covers of Sports Illustrated, the Olympian and Swimming World Magazine.

“I went through a boycott and some political things that were very frustrating to my swimming career,” he said. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fames, it really fills up a good spot. It means you are recognized for history.”

Bucks advance to semifinals

Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton ran for 93 yds and two touchdowns on 15 carries to lead the Bucks to a 35-7 victory over host Vero Beach in a Class 8A regional final last Friday.

Knighton also became the third back to surpass 5,000 yds in Broward County history.

Knighton, who missed the past week of practice due a bruised left thigh, has 5,054 career yds and is 23 yds shy of becoming second in all-time rushing yards behind the late Tyrone Moss of Blanche Ely.

Deerfield Beach (10-3) advances to the state semifinals for the third time in four years. They will face Miami Columbus Friday on the road.

Comments Off on Vassallo inducted into Broward Sports Hall of Fame

The Diane Baker story

Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Prolific actress Diane Baker and Cinema Dave.
Photo by Rachel Galvin.

It should have been easy. We scheduled my interview with Diane Baker to avoid traffic on the Veteran’s Day holiday.  Despite leaving with plenty of time to spare, I sat on I-95 for 45 minutes, trapped between the exits of Cypress Creek and Commercial Boulevards.  When I finally arrived, I expected this movie star to turn diva on me. Instead, she shared her strawberries with me. Diane Baker is an optimistic individual who radiates positive energy. 

So it was with a sense of irony that she would conduct FLIFF post screening interviews of Strait-Jacket and Marnie, a horror and suspense movie, respectively. After seeing Marnie, after not seeing it for many years, her first words were “That was disturbing.”

A sensitive soul, she did tear up when she discussed Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s treatment of her and Tippi Hedren on the set of the film.

One does not survive six decades in show business by being a victim. Baker worked steadily on television in classic shows like Route 66, Wagon Train and Dr. Kildare.  She appeared in the first episode of The Invaders and the last episode of The Fugitive starring David Janssen. Of her costar Janssen, Diane said, “No one knew how smart he was.” She rates Janssen’s intelligence with that of Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Robert Osborne, Vincent Price and her mentor, Melvyn Douglas.

Television provided a variety of acting opportunities for Baker. She considered playing the mother on Little House on the Prairie, but had doubts about committing to performing the same role for seven years. Instead, she chose the pilot for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which was not picked up.  As recent as 2012, Baker portrayed Nicole Kidman’s mother in the Emmy Award winning Hemingway & Gellhorn, a good experience that involved two days of work.

As Senator Ruth Martin, Baker worked one day on The Silence of the Lambs, another good experience, thanks to Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme and Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins.

Demme wanted Baker for this small, but important role as the victim’s mother.  Both actors were prepared. Hopkins and Baker performed an emotional first take of the scene.  Demme complimented the actors but asked for another take, to make it simpler and play it more internally.  Demme’s instincts paid off. The chilling scene between the masked Hannibal Lecter and the senator remains tense drama nearly 30 years after it was filmed.

Like It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Silence of the Lambs earned Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor.  Despite scary protests at the 1992 ceremony, Baker attended at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with her boyfriend Michael Lerner, who was nominated for his work on Barton Fink. Like being on a winning sports team, Baker shared the joy as Demme, Hopkins and Jodie Foster collected their golden idols. 

Given that her first film was The Diary of Anne Frank, Baker is used to creating quality.  She has been an acting teacher for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and served as the executive director for the School of Motion Pictures &Television, and the Academy of Art University School of Acting.  Her interests are broad, and she is an advocate of Norman Cousins, who believed in healing through laughter.  

Baker and I laughed together. We share mutual birthdays, and we sang “Happy Birthday to Us” when she departed for home.

As a teacher and mentor, I asked her what advice she would pass on to a new generation, to which, she answered, “Young people should learn to meditate… Get to know thyself and calm yourself.”

Comments Off on The Diane Baker story


Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Nov. 19: A man was observed coming up to the door of a home at 720 NE 43 Ct. and stealing several power tools.

Nov. 20: Two men were observed stealing packages of beer for a total loss of $76 from a 7-11 at 900 SW 10 St.

Nov. 20: A man reported that two GPS devices valued at $10,000 each were stolen from a boat parked at 14 Terr.

Nov. 20: It was reported that a refrigerator valued at $2,000 was stolen from a building under construction by Lennar Homes at 1111 Veleiros Blvd.

Nov. 20: The regional manager for the European Wax Center said that beginning on Oct. 8, an employee stole $3,869 worth of goods and services and diverted the funds for personal use. The incident was reported at 282 S. Federal Hwy.

Lighthouse Point

Nov. 14: The victim met with police at 2700 NE 36 St. where she said she was unsure where she lost her driver’s license. It was later found by a public works employee at Frank McDonough Park.

Nov. 16: Police responded to an audible alarm at 3150 N. Federal Hwy. A search of the building found an open door to the front of the business. There were no signs of criminal activity.

Nov. 18: The victim met with police at 2849 NE 26 Ave. regarding a fraudulent transaction on his credit card in the amount of $7,000. He disputed the charge in September and it was removed in October only for the amount to be re-charged in November. He was told he needed to file a police report.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

Comments Off on CRIME WATCH


Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

Holiday fun on the island

Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 to 3 p.m.

Deerfield Island Park

1720 Deerfield Island Park

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Have some holiday fun! Children can create a Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer face that they can take home for the holidays. The tax-deductible suggested donation is $7 per “Rudolph.” Registration is required for this limited attendance event. Register by calling 954-357-5100. Donations will be accepted at Deerfield Island Park by the “Friends” group on the day of the event.

The Art of Christmas Lights

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Sample-McDougald House

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out for a night of nostalgia. Revisit your childhood Christmas while you enjoy a display of Christmas lights by the decade from the 1920s to 1960s. This event includes light bites, open bar (beer/wine), musical entertainment and a tour of the fully decorated holiday home. Admission is $35 per person and $25 for members. Free entry with membership purchase or renewal at the door. Free for children under the age of 12.

Dedication Ceremony

for OASIS Public Art Sculpture

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 4:30 p.m.

The Oasis Reuse Water Plant

1799 N. Federal Hwy.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

The City of Pompano Beach will be dedicating a piece of public art by artist Cecilia Lueza. Light refreshments will be served and free parking will be available at the Pompano Beach Citi Centre in the north parking lot by Chili’s. For more information on the city’s Public Art Program, call 954-545-7800 ext. 3813 or e-mail laura.atria@copbfl.com. For more information on the OASIS Reuse Water Program, visit http://pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/ut_oasis/oasis.

Worth the Drive:

Art Basel Miami

Thursday, Dec. 5 through 8, 3 p.m.

1901 Convention Center Dr.

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Art lovers relish this event every year. Their reputation for showing high quality work has attracted leading international galleries and collectors, offering visitors the most important art from around the world. Art Basel focuses on modern and contemporary art, and includes more than 250 galleries and 4,000 artists from across the globe. Have fun celebrity-spotting. There’s also invitation-only days from Dec. 3 to 5. For more info., visit www.artbasel.com.

Yuletide Parade

Thursday, Dec. 5. 6:30 p.m.

McNab Park

2250 E. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Get ready for the City of Pompano Beach Annual Yuletide Parade on Atlantic Boulevard! Enjoy over-the-top eye dazzling floats, holiday performers, dancers and a variety of other amazing entertainment. The parade theme is “The Polar Express.” It starts from Riverside Drive, heads west on Atlantic Boulevard and ends at McNab Park. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

Monthly Business Breakfast —

Beyond Arthritis

Thursday, Dec. 5. 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Wyndham Deerfield Beach Hotel

2096 NE 2 St

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Hosted by speaker Dr. Kojo A. Marfo. Are you cramming your exercise into weekend soccer games or tennis matches? Do your achy knees keep you from performing your best? Learn prevention tips and treatment options to keep you in the game. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. To register, visit www.deerfieldchamber.com.

Light Up

Hillsboro Beach

Thursday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.

Town Hall

1210 Hillsboro Mile

Hillsboro Beach, FL 33062

Christmas tree and Menorah lighting. School choir performance. Refreshments and more. For more information, visit www.townofhillsborobeach.com.

Save the Date:

Toys for Tots Holiday Luncheon

Friday, Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m.

Coral Ridge Country Club

3801 Bayview Dr.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

Join the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Pompano Beach Branch. New members and guests welcome! The cost is $46. Bring an unwrapped toy. Please R.S.V.P. to 312-316-6229 or e-mail pompanoscholar@yahoo.com.

District 4 Saturday Office Hours

Saturday, Dec.7, 10 a.m. to noon

City Hall

150 NE 2 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Vice Mayor Drosky, who is commissioner for District 4, will be available to meet with constituents on an appointment basis. To schedule an appointment, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 954-480-4263.

Ocean Way Holiday Celebration!

Saturday, Dec. 7, 5 to 9 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Come out for a family night of fun while walking the parade of lights display. Take your photo with Santa, step into a life-size snow globe, enjoy kid’s activities, an ice-skating rink and live entertainment throughout the event! Be sure not to miss the special Holiday Character Show from 7 to 8:30 p.m. followed by a character meet and greet. Arts and crafts, refreshments and food will be available for purchase. There will be several road closures related to the Ocean Way. Parking will be limited but there will be a free shuttle at The Cove Shopping Center running back and forth from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, call Special Events at 954-480-4429.

Our Christmas Carol

Sunday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Community Presbyterian Church

1920 SE 4 St. 

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Ballet presented by Many But One Dance Company. $10 donation at the door, 18 and under free. For more info., call 954-427-0222.

Garden Club Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9, 12:30 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out for holiday designs by the Flower Show School. Make new friends with a shared love of gardening, floral and landscaping design. Learn about environment, civic projects, different gardening techniques and creating your own sanctuary. First time guests are welcome free of charge. For more information, call Hilde at 954-782-4121.

Comments Off on HAPPENINGS

10 reasons for gratitude

Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

It’s that time of year again when we pause to consider and be grateful for the things we love and hold dear. I believe it’s an exercise that we should engage more frequently than once a year. Every day brings experiences that we ought to be thankful for. Unfortunately, some wait to be shocked into an appreciation for the important things in life by the news of some tragedy elsewhere, or a near-death experience.
Thanksgiving Day provides an opportunity to consider what really matters in life.
In the “Peanuts” Thanksgiving episode that’s been aired every year since 1973, Marcie says to Charlie Brown, “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. We should just be thankful for being together.”
God’s goodness towards us should always be recognized. In Psalm 136, the ancient Hebrews sang a song that celebrated the mercies of God upon their nation. Verse 1 exclaims, Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Then there is a recounting of specific instances of God’s power, protection and provision for His people, for which they affirm, His mercy endures forever. To that end, here is my list of 10 reasons to be grateful to God.
1) I’m grateful for a loving family: a spouse, children, parents and extended family members who provide the love, support and belonging that we need.
2) I’m grateful for good friends: acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors and associates who help our social development and keep us connected to the world around us.
3) I’m grateful for relatively good health: a proper diet, regular exercise and visits to the doctor help keep us one step ahead of sickness.
4) I’m grateful for traveling mercies: to be able to drive or fly to other cities, states and countries and return without incident or accident is a blessing.
5) I’m grateful for a job: to be employed, have a career or own a business is necessary to our existence. It may sometimes feel like a grind, but the payoff and benefit is often worth the effort.
6) I’m grateful for a home: whether owned or rented, there’s nothing like your own space to relax, unwind and retreat from the outside world.
7) I’m grateful for a decent education: To be able to read, write, comprehend basic math and communicate are skills that should not be taken for granted. Kudos to the schools and teachers that prepared us for life.
8) I’m grateful for America: Although our country is far from perfect and there may be much to complain about, we enjoy a far better existence and experience than many in other countries of the world. We also possess the ability to make changes through the ballot box and the political process rather than be strong-armed by dictatorial leadership.
9) I’m grateful for the freedom we enjoy in this country: Our rights as defined in the constitution guarantee certain protections that allow us to live in peace. Although we may disagree on certain things, we can do so agreeably.
10) I’m grateful for the knowledge of God: Awareness of God is important to the total experience of our humanity. We are more than flesh and blood. We are spiritual beings with a connection to the immaterial world. As we come to know God and respond to Him, life takes on a richer, deeper and fuller meaning.
The ancient Hebrews learned to trust, worship and serve God through their experiences of life. He was central to their existence, and they rightfully acknowledged His blessings. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:26). We have the same opportunity to discover God’s work in our own lives and benefit from a relationship with Him. If you look closely, you’ll see His fingerprints everywhere. In this season, take the time to create your own list of reasons to give thanks for God’s blessings in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

Comments Off on 10 reasons for gratitude

YATC knows the Art of Success

Posted on 26 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Since its inception in 1984, the Youth Automotive Center (YATC), created by Jim Moran, has served as an alternative education program for kids. Not only do the students learn basic automotive repair, but also academics, job readiness and life skills. The company is located right here in Deerfield Beach at 399 SW 3 Ave.

On Nov. 9, they held a special Art of Success event, which included an open house of their facility during the day, complete with BBQ by L&B Catering, and fun activities and raffles. At night, they had an evening reception at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

At the Open House, Charles Whitehouse showed guests the room where he teaches job readiness and life skills. Before he became a teacher back in 1995, he was a student himself, starting in 1988.

Instructor Loren Kushner talked about some of the ways they train students on automotive techniques, often using videos to instruct some of the basics. He graduated from the program back in 1987. His father and uncle were in the automotive business. He always enjoyed working with his hands. Coming into this program got him back on his feet and helped him build a future. He ended up getting GM certified and became a technician before eventually applying to teach here.

“Before I was in the program, I was in a drug rehab for six months. As a kid, I was always taking things apart – the toaster, clock radio… My mom would say, ‘You can’t put that back together,’ but I always could. In 1986, my uncle said what are you going to do? Do you want to work on cars? And he told me about the program.”

Instructor Roger Lamoreal told guests about how kids received hands on experience working on cars. Their Harvey J. Rumsfield Memorial Automotive Training Shop was filled with cars ready to be worked on. He said cars are usually donated and kids fix them up, and, sometimes, the cars are given back to the kids.

“We try to teach them [the students] about team building and help them get into college,” said Lamoreal.

Heidi Gonzalez is the lead academic instructor. She is used to dealing with kids that have been through tough times. Before this, she was a probation officer.

“I have been here for eight years working with this population. I love what I do. Mr. Moran got it right. There is no other program I have seen that has had such a success rate. I want to keep the intimacy of the school. I wish other companies would get involved and somehow replicate this. I advocate that this is not the last stop. I sit down with them and ask, ‘What do you want [for your life]?’ We do an assessment test to make sure [they have basic skills they need]. We get them ready for their GED exam.”

She showed off a board that features names and pictures of all the graduates, something she leaves up to inspire new students.

“They can come in here 10 years from now and their name will still be on the board,” she said.

She added that JM employees come in on their lunch break to volunteer to tutor students as well, which is beneficial for the students, but also the JM staff, who are always about giving back to the community.

Students do not have to go into automotive after taking this program. Lisa Jacsaint, who is currently in the program, wants to get into law enforcement.

“This school is a good school. The teachers are wonderful. In a traditional high school, everyone is afraid to ask questions. But I sit here [in the front] and always ask questions. We do it over and over again until we get it,” she said.

Ranger Mervilus went on to drive a US Foods truck.

“YATC helped me get my CDL license. I graduated in 2003. It changed my life. If it weren’t for YATC, I don’t know where I would be right now. Words can’t explain how much they helped me. I’m in the process of buying a home next year. I got married and had my first son. I’m about to buy my own truck, and I am about to start my own business. It’s not just mechanics. I chose another route,” said Mervilus.

Nikolas Rattray said they also have field trips and other events. He said that after completing the program, he wants to get ASE certified and go to college for business.

He added, “Two of my [friends] got their GED here. [I thought I would come here] and put in the work and see the outcome.”

Micah Pinnock wants to go into construction after the program.

“It is a good program. It has a lot of benefits,” he added.

Khalel Williams started the school in September and he couldn’t be happier with the program.

He said, “I was hanging out with the wrong group of friends. It caused me to get arrested and go to court. The judge told me about YATC. I knew I liked mechanics. I love fixing stuff. When you take something that is broken and then see it working, it gives you that peace. I have nothing but good things to say about the program. When I was in school, I didn’t like the way the school system was set up. I come here every day so that should tell you something. Everyone is here to uplift you. They help you get your high school diploma. They also give you a 500 piece toolset and help you get into Toyota or Lexus.”

[Jim Moran, who passed away in 2007, created JM Family Enterprises, which is still the Southeast distributor for Toyota and also owns JM Lexus, located in Margate.]

The next event for YATC is their yearly Cool Wheels Car Show, which is scheduled for Jan. 19 at Quiet Waters Park.

For more information on this program, visit www.yatc.org.

Comments Off on YATC knows the Art of Success

Ride the Polar Express!

Posted on 26 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

The Polar Express Train Ride is now open in Ft. Lauderdale (in conjunction with Brightline)! This is the perfect Christmastime event for the whole family. Wear your pajamas and hop aboard. The conductor will lead the way and several people may come up and punch your golden ticket to reveal something special you will have to remember and learn about along the way. Board in Ft. Lauderdale and get ready for an hour-long adventure. It feels like you are hopping into the storybook itself as characters, like the Hero Boy, Conductor, Know-It-All, Hobo and more come to life before your eyes. There is a story that unfolds right in the aisle of the train, as well as dancing chefs providing hot chocolate and snickerdoodles to passengers, and a surprise visitor who hops down on the train from the north pole to provide something special that everyone gets to take home. Kids can be helpers, marching down the aisle wearing antlers to become Rudolph or top hats to become Frosty, and everyone can sing along to some Christmas carols. You also get to help flip the pages of the big storybook as they bring it down the aisle. It really is a unique event that will bring a smile to your face.

At the media sneak preview event on Nov. 10, members of Brightline, Rail Events Productions and the Museum of Discovery & Science welcomed guests, followed by a preview scene by the Conductor and Hero Boy before everyone got their tickets and hopped aboard.

The Brightline station is located at 101 NW 2 Ave. in Ft. Lauderdale. Find out more details at www.ftlthepolarexpressride.com.

Comments Off on Ride the Polar Express!

MNM Theatre Company

Posted on 26 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin
Marcie Gorman-Althof has a passion for theatre. She has kept her foot in the theatrical community in one way or another for most of her life. She taught and has been a guest director at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She even worked in directing and producing a film called “Incubus,” and has helped with other film productions, but has found that she prefers the stage.
Today, she runs her own nonprofit theatre company, MNM Theatre Company, founded in 2014, and has plays at the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Her last play was “Man of La Mancha.” Their next production is “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” It runs Nov. 22 through Dec. 8. After that, “Cabaret,” running May 15 to 31.
But putting on plays is only one part of her contribution to the theatrical community. She also has a 3,500 sq. ft. space in Boca Raton on NW 2 Avenue near 10 Street that she rents out to productions. Production companies can build sets there, hold classes, do rehearsals and more.
Many times, theaters are booked up with other productions, and once a production company finally gains access, they must scramble to put on a show. With this space available, producers can build the sets in advance and have plenty of time to practice and then sets can be moved to the Kravis Center. That way, once the actors go there, they already know their blocking and can just focus on a last-minute tech rehearsal.
The location, she feels, is perfect, being centrally located between West Palm Beach and Miami. She also operates during off season so as not to compete with everyone else. Her goal is to bring jobs to actors and production people. She wants to let everyone know they don’t need to go off to New York or Los Angeles; they can stay right here. She hires both Equity and Non-Equity performers, live musicians and top-notch designers and technicians.
“Every waitress in New York is waiting to be discovered. Come back here. Everyone I hire has grown up here, lives here. I want to bring talented people back to South Florida,” she said.
“For each show, we hire over 50 people,” she added. “There is too much competition during season. Everyone is running shows. We are a smaller fish. Off-season, I am the only game in town. I am trying to fill a niche that no one is doing.”
She continued, “I love watching live theater. I love to watch it grow. [Live theater is different — like when actors are faced with a situation where someone forgets a line and they are forced to deal with it]. I love watching it morph from day one to the last day.”
In addition, she partners with other groups, letting them build sets or rent space for their productions, including the Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida and Primal Forces, which has shows at Sol Theatre.
For Theater Arts Productions, a nonprofit working with middle and high schoolers interested in the arts at Wellington High School, MNM provided monetary support and set building services for a three-week run of The Lion King Jr. presented at their school.
She also works with a group called Imagina, a U.S. based nonprofit that supports disadvantaged Mexican nationals, collaborating with them by providing a choreographer and letting them perform here at Rinker Playhouse on Nov. 10. In order to be brought to America to perform, the students compete, and the best ones come over, and she also provided a dance workshop for disadvantaged Palm Beach County children and the Imagina cast.
This work is done under the auspices of their Emerging Artist Initiative. MNM Theatre Company recently kicked off a $100,000 campaign for their job training program, as well as to increase the number of jobs they can offer and opportunities for students who want to intern or get community service hours.
Before she took on MNM Theatre Company, she owned several Weight Watchers franchises. The skills she developed there, employing more than 400 staff members, translated into her work in live theatre, including overseeing staff, training, problem solving and building teams.
She has been married to her husband, Stan, now for 16 years. She named her company after her children Michael and Mark. (Instead of M&M, she made it MNM). She has become a well-known asset to the South Florida community for her contributions.
To find out more about opportunities available at MNM Theatre Company, including how to get tickets for upcoming productions, visit www.mnmtheatre.org.

Comments Off on MNM Theatre Company

Bucks rout Palm Beach Central, 44-6

Posted on 21 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach senior quarterback Michael Pratt returned from injury and passed for two touchdowns, and rushed for another, to lead the Bucks to a 44-6 win over host Palm Beach Central, 44-6, in the Class 8A regional semifinal last Friday night.

“We played well and are peaking at the right time,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn, whose team defeated Palm Beach Central in last year’s regional final. “We were prepared and have played a tough schedule to be ready.”

After Palm Beach Central seized a 6-0 lead, the Bucks scored 44 unanswered points for the victory. Pratt, a Tulane commit, returned to the field after missing the regional quarterfinal contest with a wrist injury on his throwing arm.

“We just took care of business,” Pratt said following the game. “Our offensive line blocked well so our run game was established stuck to their assignments so they had to take care of that and we were able to get outside and make some big plays.”

After the Broncos took the initial lead, Deerfield Beach wasted little time in responding and taking the lead for good on a 90-yard kickoff return for a score by Joseph Kennerly for a 7-6 lead. Pratt made it 14-6 with a TD run and then responded with two TD passes from Pratt to Xavier Restrepo and Deajaun McDougle to extend the lead to 28-6. Bucks running back Jaziun Patterson added two second half TD runs for the final margin.

Deerfield Beach will play in the Class 8A regional final at Vero Beach on Friday.

Pompano Beach Golf Results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association recently held several events starting with a Four-Man scramble on Oct. 30 at the Pines Course.

The team of Jim Foster, Fred Joy, Lance Naiman and Willie Smith won the event when they carded a 62. They were followed by Jorge Duarte, Bob Mascatello, Pete Strychowskyj (who played with alternating shots) and finished second with a 65 after matching cards with Jerry DeSapio, Bill O’Brien and Jack Permenter (who also alternated shots).

Chuck Brown, Bill Delaney, Kevin Narus and Brian Nixon shot a 67 to finish in fourth. The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 3 was Bob Mascatello.

In the Two Best Ball of a Foursome event on Nov. 6 at the Pines, the team of Terry Denoma, Jorge Duarte, Kevin Narus and Dennis Rooy fired a 114 to win the championship by one stroke over the team of Chuck Brown, Andy Burt, Steve Serkey and Willie Smith. Finishing in third was George Disch, Jerry Goodman, Mike Katawczik and Val Rapoport, who shot 118, while the team of Oscar Aleman, Gary Gill, Mike Marruquin and Bob Mascatello shot a 119 to finish fourth. Lance Naiman won the closest to the pin on hole No. 15. He stepped up and made the 2-ft., 5-in. putt for a birdie.

Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association also held a 1-2-3 Best Ball, mixed foursome event with the team of Terri Schulte, Pat DeSanctis, Nancy Cutler and Eleanor Tague coming out on top with a 123. The team of Sandra Gore, Vonnie O’Keefe, Lori Tarmey and Carla Tinnirello (won tiebreaker) with a 128.

Comments Off on Bucks rout Palm Beach Central, 44-6

17 Days of FLIFF 2019

Posted on 21 November 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


An epic tale can be told in 17 days. That is the major lesson that was learned in the 2 ½ weeks of the 34th Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), which featured a strong beginning, middle and a grand finale.  There were heroes and villains, featuring close calls and thrilling escapes. There was also an acknowledgement that regardless of race, color or creed, there is a community of individuals who love stories told on the big screen.

Winner of the best ensemble award,Working Man, is a film that symbolizes the themes of FLIFF 2019. Ten years in preparation, Robert Jury molded his script into a 1 hour and 49 minute drama that touches upon all the elements of Aristotelian drama: sadness, penance, comedy and redemption. Yet, for all of the academic touch points, Working Man is a contemporary movie that taps into modern sensibilities. The production values of this film reflect upon a little independent film that costar Talia Shire was involved in 43 years ago — Rocky.

Forty-three years ago, the biggest star on the set of Rocky was Burgess Meredith, an actor who was known to one generation as Batman’s nemesis “The Penguin,” to another generation he was “George” to Lon Chaney Jr.’s “Lennie” in John Steinbeck’s adaption Of Mice and Men.  The production values of Rocky were far more depressed than the previous mentioned Burgess Meredith productions. In fact, the actor’s dressing room was a shared van on the streets of Philadelphia.

Instead of missing the glory of salad days gone by, Talia Shire saw him (in his Long Johns, in the dressing room) proclaiming, “Isn’t this great?” Meredith garnered an Oscar nomination for Rocky and steady work in the industry for another 30 years. This is a lesson that the then 29 year-old Talia Shire embraced.

Being trained in theater with the gravitas that “the show must go on,” Shire flew into Ft. Lauderdale on a red eye jet, later than expected, despite an injured index finger and waves of throbbing pain. She would have made Burgess Meredith proud. 

Shire provided expert analysis of Working Man (Videos will be downloaded on my blog — https://cinemadave.livejournal.com this weekend.)  She was generous with the press, signing autographs and posing with fans for photographs.  Shire is a movie star, but she prefers to be known as a character actress.

As an Italian child from Long Island, the film From the Vine helped me recapture moments of my youth.  Starring Joe Pantoliano in a rare leading role, this filmis the story of an overworked executive who discovers the bucolic joy of making wine. 

In 17 days, the climate changed from tropic heat to November chill.  As a double feature, Working Man and From the Vine were great Sunday afternoon matinee fun.

FLIFF 2019 has closed. Many of the backstage angels and class acts are limping home from a job well done.  In fact, 17 days is a great benchmark in the motion picture industry. For Working Man and Rocky were filmed within a similar time period.   Hmm … Cinema Dave has an idea for a film project in 2020 Anno Domini …

Comments Off on 17 Days of FLIFF 2019

Advertise Here
Advertise Here