Back during Arnold Mittelman's 25-year run as producing artistic director of Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse, beloved Odd Couple and Quincy veteran Jack Klugman appeared in three productions there: in Arthur Miller's The Price, Tom Stoppard's Rough Crossing and Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys. In the latter two, Klugman played opposite his longtime friend and Odd Couple co-star, the late great Tony Randall (that's Jack and Tony seated at right, during Sunshine Boys rehearsals).
Klugman is coming back to South Florida, not to be in a play but to support Mittleman's new theater ventures: the American Theater Festival and The National Jewish Theater. Together, the companies are presenting The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer March 4 to March 9 at Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse. Before each performance, Klugman will greet the audience. He's doing it to support Mittelman's companies.
On March 8, Mittelman returns the favor. After the performance, Klugman and Southern Wine & Spirits Chairman and CEO Harvey R. Chaplin will receive the theater companies' inaugural Creative Leadership Awards. They'll get the honor during a post-show reception. VIP tickets for the performance and reception are $150, available by calling 305-365-8038. Regular tickets to The Soul of Gershwin are $30 to $65.