Age: 53

Hometown: New York City

Claim to fame: Founder and producing director of the acclaimed Florida Stage

What he's done for us lately: The Florida Stage has stuck by its guns for 17 years, producing quality new stage works with professionalism. No tired revivals of Arsenic and Old Lace or The Glass Menagerie, no janitors stumbling on as walk-ons, no costumes from Kmart. Spots are hit, lines are spoken on cue, and the company does its damnedest to grapple with the issues that contemporary playwrights are brooding upon. This year, Tyrrell, a hands-on theater man all the way, directed local playwright Michael McKeever's macabre Running with Scissors. Then the company staged one of the best South Florida productions of the past year, Permanent Collection, Thomas Gibbons' challenging examination of institutional racism and political correctness.

What it takes: "In the theater, it's all about collaboration. The thing that's driven me is ultimately a practical need to interact with other people, to have a positive impact on the community in the small way that we do. The moment we start to think too much of ourselves and that impact, though, I remind myself that we wear wigs and bows for a living."

Age: 53

Hometown: New York City

Claim to fame: Founder and producing director of the acclaimed Florida Stage

What he's done for us lately: The Florida Stage has stuck by its guns for 17 years, producing quality new stage works with professionalism. No tired revivals of Arsenic and Old Lace or The Glass Menagerie, no janitors stumbling on as walk-ons, no costumes from Kmart. Spots are hit, lines are spoken on cue, and the company does its damnedest to grapple with the issues that contemporary playwrights are brooding upon. This year, Tyrrell, a hands-on theater man all the way, directed local playwright Michael McKeever's macabre Running with Scissors. Then the company staged one of the best South Florida productions of the past year, Permanent Collection, Thomas Gibbons' challenging examination of institutional racism and political correctness.

What it takes: "In the theater, it's all about collaboration. The thing that's driven me is ultimately a practical need to interact with other people, to have a positive impact on the community in the small way that we do. The moment we start to think too much of ourselves and that impact, though, I remind myself that we wear wigs and bows for a living."

The now-defunct (or is it?), FCC-dodging pirate hip-hop station was dirty and raunchy and played music Power 96 wouldn't touch with a ten-foot Source award. It was a South Florida representative of the Dirty South style of hip-hop. Listeners called in to give first-name-only shoutouts to friends they knew might be tuning in. Obscenities were de rigueur. It hosted a Holiday Inn throwdown on Powerline and Commercial called "Throwback Friday," attracting upward of 600 people, some from out of state, as well as a sea of Air Force 1's and tricked-out cars. And then... silence. But if you happen to be dial-surfing in the high 80s soon, listen for the thump of the crunk.

The now-defunct (or is it?), FCC-dodging pirate hip-hop station was dirty and raunchy and played music Power 96 wouldn't touch with a ten-foot Source award. It was a South Florida representative of the Dirty South style of hip-hop. Listeners called in to give first-name-only shoutouts to friends they knew might be tuning in. Obscenities were de rigueur. It hosted a Holiday Inn throwdown on Powerline and Commercial called "Throwback Friday," attracting upward of 600 people, some from out of state, as well as a sea of Air Force 1's and tricked-out cars. And then... silence. But if you happen to be dial-surfing in the high 80s soon, listen for the thump of the crunk.

There have been better times for magic, magician Larry Taylor admits. Fewer and fewer people are getting into the business of pulling rabbits out of, well, wherever. So Taylor, who's spent 35 years as a magician in Philadelphia and South Florida, is hoping to teach the next generation. Taylor gives one-on-one magic lessons for kids and soon-to-be pros out of his Boynton Beach magic shop, the South Florida Magic Company. The $50-an-hour lessons begin with simple card and coin tricks, eventually bringing the advanced student to Taylor's specialty, the ol' "cube zag." That's where Taylor sticks knives through his assistant (also his wife). Well, at least it looks that way. "That's the advanced stuff," Taylor says. After three or four lessons, Taylor contends, most students can perform for audiences. They'll need probably $500 for just the beginner's equipment and thousands more for technical tricks. But there are hatfuls of money to be made just in the bar mitzvah market, he says, and the big thing now is corporate events, where magicians make the rounds at company cocktail parties. Soon enough, however, magic may be back to the mainstream. "It's been around for thousands of years, and it's not going away anytime soon," the 65-year-old Taylor says. "It's going to come back before you know it." Maybe Taylor's just the man to pull the profession from his sleeve.

There have been better times for magic, magician Larry Taylor admits. Fewer and fewer people are getting into the business of pulling rabbits out of, well, wherever. So Taylor, who's spent 35 years as a magician in Philadelphia and South Florida, is hoping to teach the next generation. Taylor gives one-on-one magic lessons for kids and soon-to-be pros out of his Boynton Beach magic shop, the South Florida Magic Company. The $50-an-hour lessons begin with simple card and coin tricks, eventually bringing the advanced student to Taylor's specialty, the ol' "cube zag." That's where Taylor sticks knives through his assistant (also his wife). Well, at least it looks that way. "That's the advanced stuff," Taylor says. After three or four lessons, Taylor contends, most students can perform for audiences. They'll need probably $500 for just the beginner's equipment and thousands more for technical tricks. But there are hatfuls of money to be made just in the bar mitzvah market, he says, and the big thing now is corporate events, where magicians make the rounds at company cocktail parties. Soon enough, however, magic may be back to the mainstream. "It's been around for thousands of years, and it's not going away anytime soon," the 65-year-old Taylor says. "It's going to come back before you know it." Maybe Taylor's just the man to pull the profession from his sleeve.

All the political, religious, and legal B.S. (and there sure is a lot of it) aside, 104.1 plays some of the tastiest nuggets of soul, funk, blues, and jazz that can be found on the radio anywhere, let alone this barren wasteland of airwaves ruled by Clear Channel and the FCC. Said to be broadcasting from North Miami, on a clear day the sounds of "the Boss" can be heard north of I-595 and as far west as Sawgrass Mills. One day, it played Miles Davis' Kind of Blue straight through, flipping the vinyl and everything for that authentic cracklin' and poppin' lo-fi experience. You'll hear P-Funk, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and a plethora of obscure songs straight out of a rare-groove DJ's bag of tricks. It plays few (if any) commercials and broadcasts little inane DJ chatter, excepting the raves and rants of local legend Michael the Black Man. The Boss has no FCC license and borrowed the call letters of a Boston-based station, but it still plays music you just won't hear anywhere else.
All the political, religious, and legal B.S. (and there sure is a lot of it) aside, 104.1 plays some of the tastiest nuggets of soul, funk, blues, and jazz that can be found on the radio anywhere, let alone this barren wasteland of airwaves ruled by Clear Channel and the FCC. Said to be broadcasting from North Miami, on a clear day the sounds of "the Boss" can be heard north of I-595 and as far west as Sawgrass Mills. One day, it played Miles Davis' Kind of Blue straight through, flipping the vinyl and everything for that authentic cracklin' and poppin' lo-fi experience. You'll hear P-Funk, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and a plethora of obscure songs straight out of a rare-groove DJ's bag of tricks. It plays few (if any) commercials and broadcasts little inane DJ chatter, excepting the raves and rants of local legend Michael the Black Man. The Boss has no FCC license and borrowed the call letters of a Boston-based station, but it still plays music you just won't hear anywhere else. Readers' Choice: WPYM-FM (93.1)

Best Radio Show

Sounds of the Caribbean

WLRN-FM (91.3) Sounds of the Caribbean has been a presence on South Florida's airwaves since 1979, when none other than Bob Marley convinced host Clint O'Neil that he could be an important voice of island culture in Miami, a city that could be called the capital of the Caribbean. Until recently, O'Neil's Monday-through-Friday, late-night broadcasts were supplemented with two weekend editions hosted by Kevin "Ital-K" Smith, but Smith's early Sunday and Monday morning shows were replaced with BBC News by station management in October. It's a shame Smith's quick wit and sharp British accent is no longer heard, but O'Neil is still on from 2 to 7 a.m. Sundays, laying down tracks from nearly every tropical genre, from soca to rocksteady and dancehall through Afro-Cuban. Through the Internet, the station reaches listeners worldwide. The show breaks up the canned chatter and carefully calculated playlists that rule the corporately controlled medium of radio today.

Once upon a time, theater was a crucible through which a society's deepest concerns were given life on-stage. That unquestionably was the case this season when a powerful tale of racial conflict and media manipulation, Permanent Collection, blazed white hot at Florida Stage. The staging was expert, combining a professional acting ensemble, assured direction, and superior production support. But it was this show's fierce emotional and intellectual honesty -- which set up many more questions than answers -- that made for such a memorable, challenging theatrical event.
Once upon a time, theater was a crucible through which a society's deepest concerns were given life on-stage. That unquestionably was the case this season when a powerful tale of racial conflict and media manipulation, Permanent Collection, blazed white hot at Florida Stage. The staging was expert, combining a professional acting ensemble, assured direction, and superior production support. But it was this show's fierce emotional and intellectual honesty -- which set up many more questions than answers -- that made for such a memorable, challenging theatrical event.

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