The Arsht Center threw a blowout 10th anniversary gala and concert Thursday night. Stars like Estelle, Jon Secada and Michael Feinstein showed. Here are some fun takeaways:
1. People like us: As the event was about to start, emcee/host Andy Cohen strolled through the center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House with a Starbucks coffee cup in hand like any average everyday guest, instead of using the venue’s private stage-door entrance for the artists. Guests in the lobby did a double take when he walked by. How much do we love this Regular Joe?
2. Prince remembered: Though the tone of the evening was light and celebratory, there were solemn moments due to the tragedy that went down in the entertainment world earlier that day. Cohen acknowledged Prince’s untimely death at the beginning of the concert, saying, “Today we mourn the loss of a great musical icon and legend.”
3. What a guy wants: The Bravo personality seemed to particularly enjoy Stephanie J. Block’s performance of “Defying Gravity” from the play “Wicked,” as well as Miami Mass Choir’s rendition of “We Are Family.” After they were done, Cohen, a Broadway aficionado, came back on stage gushing how excited he was to be there. “This is like a gay man’s dream!”
4. Surprise, surprise! Gleeks went wild when Darren Criss performed an acoustic version of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables while on the guitar. During rehearsals, the former “Glee” star toyed around with Britney Spears’ “Baby…One More Time.” Give this guy his own one man show. Please!
5. Spontaneity is key: During dinner on the Ziff Ballet Opera House stage, Arturo Sandoval surprised guests by making his way to the piano for an unplanned performance. Soon after, Shelly Berg, Grammy Award-nominated piano artist and Dean of the Frost School of Music, jumped in on the piano, joining the jazz legend for a powerful performance that drove the dinner guests to their feet. Oh what a night is right.