Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre Plans August Fundraiser with Southern Flair


Douglas Rill, Burt Reynolds, James Bearden and Bob Nichols. Photo by Todd Vittum

Douglas Rill, Burt Reynolds, James Bearden and Bob Nichols. Photo by Todd Vittum

A major charity event to help beloved Jupiter resident and movie star Burt Reynolds’ new museum, theater and teaching institute will take place this summer at L’Auberge Resort in St. Charles, La.

The surprise announcement was made by the board of directors of the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre. The institute, which also housed the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum off Indiantown Road, was demolished in 2012 to make way for the upscale Harbourside development.

The three-day fundraiser, set for Aug. 2 through 4, will feature a Burt Reynolds Poker Tournament, a golf fundraiser and a gala, plus an appearance by Reynolds. Live and silent auctions of an array of memorabilia from Reynolds’ 55-plus years in the business also will be on tap.

All proceeds from the southern-style event will go to the nonprofit organization’s capital campaign to build a new institute and museum on Jupiter land near Burt Reynolds Park. The new digs will feature space for classes, a state-of-the-art editing suite and rehearsal rooms, as well as a display of awards, photos, costumes, props and other items formerly housed in the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum. The items now are in storage.

Said Douglas Rill, board chairman: “The proceeds from this event are important if we are to secure a continuing legacy of Burt Reynolds’ talent for acting and teaching, as well as provide a home for the memories created by him over the past 55 years.”

Travel Back to Happy Days at Roy Michaels Concert

Roy MichaelsThe Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre presents dynamic performer Roy Michaels will headline a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. July 7.

Michaels, who became lead singer of the popular group The Brooklyn Bridge after the death of Johnny Maestro, has been touring the world for more than 30 years. When he was 16, he already was working the nightclub scene. In 1977, he moved to Europe where he recorded his hit single, “All Alone Am I.”

Michaels returned to South Florida in 2009, and began focusing his attention on the music of life — songs that bring back memories and generate smiles. In 2012, he stepped in with The Brooklyn Bridge, the legendary band from the ’60s and ’70s, and still tours with the band today.

The July 7 concert will include songs by Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, The Righteous Brothers and other well- known artists. Michaels vocal skills allow for spot-on interpretations of the songs as performed by the original artists. He is known for closing his concerts with a tear-inducing salute to America, while singing the hit Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the USA. ”

Tickets are $15. For information , call 561-385-1584 or visit www.brift.org

Come out for Laughs at Improv Players Showcase in June

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The Improv Players will return to the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre on June 30.

Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre’s Improv Players, led by master actor Todd Vittum, will take center stage June 30 at the Jupiter center for a return engagement.

The show will come with a warning to those in the audience: “Laughing is mandatory.”

“Improv Live” debuted in front of two sold-out crowds in April. The response was overwhelming. The players’ return is much-anticipated because the improvised show is driven by audience participation. Their “no scripts, no rules” approach always is a big winner with the audience. The spontaneity of response – unguarded and unfiltered – is the stuff of legend.

“Most people think improv is only about being funny,” Vittum said. “It isn’t. However with my troupes, the humor comes from the honesty of the scene and funny just happens.”

The good times start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 — or $10 if guests bring a prop for the actors to use in their skits.

For information, call (561) 385-1584.

‘The Maltese Falcon’ Lands at Burt Reynolds Institute

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Master actors will take the stage June 9 at the Burt Reynolds Institute.

Master actors from the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre will reenact The Maltese Falcon in much the same way it was presented during the golden age of radio. The Airplayz

Using specially designed props and some traditional and not-so-traditional devices for sound effects, the performers will bring to life those days when radio was the dominant form of entertainment. And, to add to the fun, the audience will become part of the show. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. June 9.

The Maltese Falcon, written in 1930, by Dashiell Hammett, is considered by many critics to be one of the finest radio dramas ever presented. The popularity of Hammett’s main character, Sam Spade, endures today.

The evening will be hosted and directed by award-winning actor Gordon McConnell, an instructor at BRIFT. McConnell’s career has taken him from Los Angeles to London to Amersterdam to New York City and, eventually, to South Florida, where his performances have earned him the prestigious Carbonell Award.

Tickets are $15. For information, call (561) 385-1584.