In 1963, the Coconut Grove Playhouse staged a bawdy musical production, and organizers were worried about attracting theatergoers to their event. An intrepid publicist came up with a solution that resulted in crowds pouncing on the play like a sardine at a cat show. It also sowed the seeds for the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, which is celebrating its 50th year next February during President's Day weekend.
The play was Irma la Douce, local PR whiz Charlie Cinnamon recalls. "I needed an idea to turn them on, so I came up with the idea of a Paris Left Bank street-art show, which was almost a natural for the Grove, since in those days it was the center of art and a South Florida version of bohemian life."
Feb. 16-18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2013
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