Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Who Needs Communication Anyway?

Tri-county South Florida harbors a “high culture” bubble within its boundaries-a fertile stomping ground for perennial film and music festivals, hard rock concerts and priceless museum artifacts in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. High and low-culture often flock to such avenues to celebrate the enduring multicultural spirit. Further mind-boggling is that, after a painting or film exhibition, there’s usually a panel discussion, whereby visitors are prompted to share knowledge, comments and trivia.

Unfortunately, all that sounds like work. Sounds like too much communication. For the antisocial FAU student on spring break, checking one’s inhibitions at the door is tough. Nauseating, even. Just the thought of socializing rekindles that pit of queasiness in one’s stomach. Fortunately, Palm Beach and Broward County are awash in non-communal culture hotspots. Check out the two candidates below.

Festival of the Arts BocaExcessive partying, drunken slurs and belchy cheers are usually abound during spring break, as Heineken bottles are raised high in triumph, much like Lady Liberty brandishes the freedom torch. But not at Festival of the Arts Boca. Trade Heineken and the overall liquored-up stupor for a quiet Napa Valley wine sipping and warbled jukebox tunes at the local watering hole for rich philharmonic symphonies, and one might come close to the sheer lavishness the festival yields.

Since it’s five minutes from the Boca campus, even the transportation screams “uncomplicated”. The park itself erupts with upscale splendor- two one-lane red brick streets, a median teeming with palm trees and green benches and a Centre for the Arts indoor amphitheater. Seats are typically $25 for an average per-event admission. Participants of the few dubious film and wine tasting “seminars” are expected to partake in puffy, grandiose conversations while critiquing the expensive grub, so this is a necessary event to dodge if socializing is not your forte.

It’s probably wise to let the performers get cracking instead, and there’s no shortage of them. Antisocials should burrow within their fortresses o’ solitude and passively absorb the performances from the Russian National Orchestra, featuring conductors Vladimir Jurowski and Teodor Currentzis. The next day, saddle into a cozy aisle seat as virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman, opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky and others command the amphitheater’s stage.

Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and acclaimed author Edward Albee bookend the event, but check out the three-day catered feast from Boca Bacchanal that caps off the festival. Festival Executive Director Deborah Phelan is surprised that so many high-caliber artists have joined the inaugural event. “It was significant for us to be able to attain such star performers,” said Phelan. “These artists of the classical world have all agreed to play in our outdoor venue, and we’re very pleased.” This $2 million-budgeted, eleven-day celebration kicks off at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Mizner Park in Boca Raton on March 1.

Visit festivaloftheartsboca.com or call (561) 368-8445 for more information.

Florida Renaissance FestivalSo, how do antisocial students get their medieval on without succumbing to the eye-fluttering, lustful gaze of Renaissance wenches? It’s almost impossible, but the Florida Renaissance Festival has hog-tied enough festivities to Ye Olde Royal Barn that such social blemishes can be avoided.

For the past 15 years sword fighters, magicians and beggars have stormed the gates of Quiet Waters Park, intent on revisiting-and recreating-that nostalgia-laden 15th century European Age of Enlightenment. A sense of history isn’t required to join the month-long gala, since the program directors employ emcees to cater to the younger crowd.

Check out RenFest during its final weekend (March 10-11) for a potpourri of non-participatory magic shows, combat chess and oftentimes corrupt and one-sided Joust tournaments. It’s also when the month-long Knights Challenge holds finals, so students can slip innocuously into the ecstatic crowd and watch average Joes duke it out in various archery, axe throwing, strength and fencing endurance tests.

If students decide to attend only a single day, try to arrive before 10 a.m. to cram at least 10 events into the itinerary. Take 30 minutes to acclimate to the park layout, then join the in-progress combat chess game at the Checkmate Stage. Head to the Crown Stage for a magic show at 11 a.m., then to the Castle Stage for MooNiE and Broom’s stand-up comedy.

Bring an appetite since the $53 lunch is a five-course meal consisting of artisan bread, Vermont Cabot cheese, fresh fruit, tomato bisque soup and a field green salad for the appetizers; a game fowl and prime rib for the main course; bottomless beer to whet the taste buds and warm bread pudding smothered in brandy sauce for dessert. Cap off the antisocial afternoon observing a jousting and archery tournament from a distance, but try not to gaze too longingly at the Wishing Well Wenches.

Tickets are $20 a pop, but check the back of Mountain Dew cans for a $3-off coupon. Food is $53 if you call (954) 776-1642 to reserve special meal tickets. Otherwise, it’s $63. Quiet Waters is located at 401 S. Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach. RenFest runs Feb. 10 through March 11. Times and schedules subject to change.

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