During the 25 years that Arnold Mittelman was producing artistic director of the still-shuttered Coconut Grove Playhouse, award-winning actor and singer Theodore Bikel appeared at Miami's oldest regional theater a number of times. He was there in The Disputation in 1999, back later that year in The Gathering, starred in The Chosen in 2004 and was part of the theater's final season as the star of About Time (opposite Patricia Conolly) in 2006.
When Mittelman learned that Bikel would be premiering Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears at Washington D.C.'s Theater J Dec. 17-Jan. 11, he persuaded Bikel to follow that run with one at Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse. Bikel, pianist Tamara Brooks and Bosnian accordion player Merima Kljuco will appear at the Parker Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2009, under the auspices of Mittelman's two not-for-profit companies, The American Theater Festival and the National Jewish Theater. Last season, Mittelman presented The Soul of Gershwin (a show he had brought to the Grove in 2002) at the Parker, and he plans to bring it back again Nov. 12-23.
Tickets for Bikel's Sholom Aleichem are $32.50-$65, and they go on sale Saturday, Oct. 4. Performances will be 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. For information, call the box office (which is handled by the Broward Center) at 954-462-0222 or visit the Parker web site.