Here's a lobbyist pushing age 60 who not only works hard and plays hard, but for years was lucky enough to get away with mixing the two. That is, until Miami cops busted Sisser in Coconut Grove this past September and charged him with possession of crack cocaine and a glass pipe. Thanks to our county's nurturing Drug Court, however, this elder statesman of the local lobbying community got a good deal, though not as nice as the one that earned him four million dollars for persuading school board members to choose a financially troubled company to provide health insurance for school district staff. Nor as nice as the deals he worked out with convicted embezzler and former teachers union boss Pat Tornillo to finance the campaigns of the very school board members who later voted for that juicy insurance contract. The Drug Court judge dropped charges against him on condition he suffer through a 30-day detox program in Arizona, after which he was to urinate for the court twice a week. But at an appearance before the judge in early January, Sisser confessed that his pee wouldn't be clean that week, for he had been playing too hard again. The judge threw the book at him: More detox, but this time 60 days!

Here's a lobbyist pushing age 60 who not only works hard and plays hard, but for years was lucky enough to get away with mixing the two. That is, until Miami cops busted Sisser in Coconut Grove this past September and charged him with possession of crack cocaine and a glass pipe. Thanks to our county's nurturing Drug Court, however, this elder statesman of the local lobbying community got a good deal, though not as nice as the one that earned him four million dollars for persuading school board members to choose a financially troubled company to provide health insurance for school district staff. Nor as nice as the deals he worked out with convicted embezzler and former teachers union boss Pat Tornillo to finance the campaigns of the very school board members who later voted for that juicy insurance contract. The Drug Court judge dropped charges against him on condition he suffer through a 30-day detox program in Arizona, after which he was to urinate for the court twice a week. But at an appearance before the judge in early January, Sisser confessed that his pee wouldn't be clean that week, for he had been playing too hard again. The judge threw the book at him: More detox, but this time 60 days!

The multitalented Moreland has long been a South Florida favorite, but her performance as the boozy, deliciously nasty Miss Hannigan in the Actors' Playhouse version of Annie was a revelation. Moreland's comedic skills are tops, but she also discovered the character's dark, desperate side with disturbing clarity. Moreland didn't just re-create the role, she redefined it.

The renowned Bikel has been a major figure in American theater for so long, it's easy to take him for granted. But stage acting doesn't get any better than his turn in The Chosen at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. As an anguished rabbi, Bikel was both a deeply emotional character and a short course in understatement: What he didn't say and do was as powerful as what he did.

Every view of Miami Beach or downtown Miami is studded with this symbol of that most recurrent theme in Miami's history -- the land boom. In the early years it was all about selling swampland to speculators and suckers. The only difference today is that the sprawl is vertical instead of horizontal. Folks, don't be left behind! Line up here for your chance to buy that shoebox in the sky!

Every view of Miami Beach or downtown Miami is studded with this symbol of that most recurrent theme in Miami's history -- the land boom. In the early years it was all about selling swampland to speculators and suckers. The only difference today is that the sprawl is vertical instead of horizontal. Folks, don't be left behind! Line up here for your chance to buy that shoebox in the sky!

This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his guests. His urge to spread cheer didn't stop there. He arranged to send magnums of Dom to all the other lounge areas. Then he ordered up a round of New Year's drinks for everyone at the bar. Engel's midnight munificence set him back roughly $10,000. The high-spirited bon vivant wasn't done yet. Each hour on the hour he sent a new round of champagne magnums circulating through the lounge. Total by night's end: $65,000. A generous man indeed, and equally generous with the B.E.D. staff. To his bill he added a $30,000 tip. With taxes, Benno's big night came to a whopping $96,000. Prosit!

This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his guests. His urge to spread cheer didn't stop there. He arranged to send magnums of Dom to all the other lounge areas. Then he ordered up a round of New Year's drinks for everyone at the bar. Engel's midnight munificence set him back roughly $10,000. The high-spirited bon vivant wasn't done yet. Each hour on the hour he sent a new round of champagne magnums circulating through the lounge. Total by night's end: $65,000. A generous man indeed, and equally generous with the B.E.D. staff. To his bill he added a $30,000 tip. With taxes, Benno's big night came to a whopping $96,000. Prosit!

Fortune's Fool opened a year ago at the Caldwell Theatre up in Boca Raton, a bit too late to honor this actor in last year's issue, but the memory of Wade's performance lingers on and now's the time to pay him his props and give him his award. As a supercilious Russian aristocrat, he was a model of acting style and craft, balancing superb comedic timing with sudden, unnerving moments of casual cruelty.

This North Miami company devoted to African-American playwrights and culture has managed to survive a looong time, through thick and thin (mostly thin). Past work has been all over the map in terms of quality, but this season it all came together for the Ensemble. Jerry Maple, Jr., and John Pryor's resourceful directing and an increasingly assured team of talents are backed by solid production and technical support in the company's newly renovated studio space. Each show of the season -- The Piano Lesson, Strands, and now Flyin' West -- has been a significant step up in quality and power. What the "M" stands for must remain a mystery, but we do know what it should stand for: More!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®