Maybe not, but if I am in the dark about the Carbonells, you can bet the general public isn't much more enlightened, especially residents who haven't been here very long. Accordingly, here are some facts about the Carbonells:
The annual awards honor excellence in South Florida professional theater. Originally founded by the South Florida Critics Circle (I don't know them either; I expect I'll get another e-mail about that), the awards became jointly administered by the Theatre League of South Florida in 1994. The Carbonells are now managed by their own board of trustees. A committee of volunteers votes awards for acting, directing, design, and several other categories. The voting committee consists of critics from the Miami Herald, the Sun-Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post, and other publications, as well as arts administrators, writers, directors, and educators, all of whom are required to see a minimum of 35 productions among the many affiliated theater companies in the region.
The awards are named after Manuel Carbonell, the Cuban-born sculptor who created the original bronze and marble award in 1976. His gallery, Beaux Arts Collections, casts and donates every statuette each season. Legendary Broadway director George Abbott (1887-1995), a longtime Miami Beach resident, lent his support to the Carbonells in the mid-1980s; his widow, Joy, continues to present the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, the highpoint of the Carbonells' annual event. The Carbonells also sponsor visual arts, performing arts, and journalism scholarships. Since 1978, more than $100,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students in the tri-county area. Mystery solved.