miami stories

February 8, 2007 § Leave a comment


Miami Stories to Feature One-Act Plays
Penned by Nestor Torres, Sen. Gwen Margolis and Mitchell Kaplan

March 9th Dinner/Theatre Gala Benefits Coral Gables’ New Theatre

Following on the heels of its successful 2006 debut, Miami Stories, a series of three one-act plays penned by local personalities, promises to be another smashing sensation. The dinner/theatre production is a benefit for the award-winning New Theatre and takes place on Friday, March 9th at the luxurious Grand Bay Club on Key Biscayne.

Three local personalities* – flutist Nestor Torres, Florida Senator Gwen Margolis and Books & Books founder Mitchell Kaplan — have each written a ten-minute play on a subject of their choice, and the plays will be professionally cast and directed by Ricky J. Martinez, New Theatre’s Artistic director. Nestor Torres also will appear in his production. The evening also includes a cocktail reception, three-course gourmet dinner, silent auction and music by Marc Berner and Peter Betan. Meteorologist/TV personality Lonnie Quinn will emcee.

Miami Stories replicates the trendsetting Chicago Stories, which has been a hit for 19 consecutive seasons in Chicago and inspired similar fundraisers for theaters in San Francisco and Seattle. Philanthropist Harvey Burstein, a Chicago native who makes Miami Beach his home, originally presented the concept to the New Theatre, spearheading its 2006 debut presentation for the Miami market.

Miami Stories is perfectly tailored to New Theatre’s mission of producing new works. Founded in 1986 by Rafael and Kimberly de Acha, the Coral Gables-based theatre focuses on the development of new plays, having brought to South Florida the national premieres of more than 30 plays by early- and mid-career American playwrights, including Anna in the Tropics, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Miami Stories hopes to raise substantial funds for New Theatre in support of its mission, and the proceeds will be earmarked to support the theater’s continued growth and stature as an award-winning venue for world-class productions.

Co-chair Pauline Goldsmith leads Miami Stories’ committee, consisting of Harvey Burstein, Meg Daly, Marilyn Holzberg, Paula Levine, Jules Oaklander and Bea Pila.

Generous sponsors and underwriters of the event include Bacardi, Grand Bay Club, Burstein Family Foundation, Marc Berner & Peter Betan, CorpLogoWare, Complete Framers Supply, Inc., Dr. Jules Oaklander, Orvieto’s Trophies and More, Felix Becerra, PR Press, Inc. and Southern Wine & Spirits.

Miami Stories takes place on Friday, March 9 at 6:30 PM at the Grand Bay Club, 425 Grand Bay Drive North, Key Biscayne. Tickets are priced at $200 per person, or $2500 for an Inner Circle Table of 10. For tickets or further information, please call Pauline Goldsmith at (305)-774-7390. Information on New Theatre is available at

*Celebrity Playwrights

Nestor Torres
Jazz flautist and Latin Grammy Award winner Nestor Torres has been captivating audiences with his distinctive mix of Latin, jazz and pop for more than two decades. By transforming the flute’s role in the musical landscape, he has cultivated a devoted following and established a new genre of popular music.

Born in Puerto Rico, Nestor moved to New York in his late teens and settled in Miami in the early ’80s. Influenced by the events of 9/11 and other worldwide tragic events, Nestor has called upon his creative muse and his passionate vision for world peace to work towards a heightened level of human understanding, His evolution has taken him beyond his persona as a mere entertainer and casts him in the role of artist as an agent for change.

Senator Gwen Margolis
State Senator Gwen Margolis was raised and educated in Philadelphia, moving to Florida in the early 1960s. Politics are her driving force and in the early ’70s she was elected to the State House of Representatives. In 1980 she was elected to the State Senate and was the first woman President of the Florida Senate from 1990-1992. A vital force on the Miami-Dade County Commission, Senator Margolis returned to the State Senate in 2002.

Mitchell Kaplan
A Miami Beach native, Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in 1982, expanding to Lincoln Road in 1989 and Bal Harbour in 2005. Mitchell is a co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and serves as the Chairperson of its Board of Directors. The Book Fair, sponsored and supported by Miami-Dade College, brings over 300 authors and exhibitors to a weeklong celebration of all things literary into the heart of downtown Miami and onto the College’s Wolfson Campus. Mitchell also serves on the steering committee of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, Miami-Dade College’s new literary center.

Mitchell previously served as President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and also served on the Board of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.


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