Arts and culture

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The plays of Tennessee Williams are usually set in the steamy, hot American South. Laurie Sansom is a theater director from chilly, gray Britain. But he’s come to love the works of one of America’s greatest playwrights. And because Key West is where Tennessee Williams lived for decades, that’s where Sansom came to work on a new project.

David G. Zuckerman

This morning, I woke up to vindication. It came in the form of a news alert on my phone telling me that Bob Dylan is now a Nobel Prize winner in literature. Not that I needed vindication so many years after the incident at my high school graduation. OK, maybe I did because I immediately wondered if the early 1990s-era administration of Minisink Valley High School in New York State got the same alert.

jlacpo / Flicker

It was in a Miami Beach High School classroom in 1974 that I first heard the name Bob Dylan. The teacher thought that Dylan's “Like A Rolling Stone,” written some 10 years before, was important enough in the evolution of pop culture to share with a bunch of 15-year-olds.

Bruce Springsteen also heard “Like a Rolling Stone” at age 15 and remembers: “I knew I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard. It was lean and it sounded somehow simultaneously young and adult…It make me feel kind of irresponsibly innocent. It freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body”

Luigi Guarino / Flickr Creative Commons

Plantain. It’s a South Florida food staple. It’s green, it’s starchy and when cooked absolutely delicious.  No arguments there.

But how do you pronounce it?

I was going over a radio script with my editor Tom Hudson and when we got to the word he called it “plan-TAYNE,” rhymes with rain. I said,  “plan-TIN,” like inn.

I’ve always heard it pronounced both ways in Miami, but is there a “right" way?

Tax records and literary criticism are strange bedfellows. But over the weekend, the two combined and brought into the world a literary controversy — call it the Ferrante Furor of 2016.

To put it briefly: Elena Ferrante, an admired and cherished Italian novelist, has always made it clear that her name is a pseudonym and her true identity is not for public consumption.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – began the evening of Oct. 2. And for the more than half a million Jews living in South Florida, the holiday is brought in with a familiar sound: the shofar.


The shofar is an ancient musical instrument made from a hollowed-out ram's horn. The rabbi blows it at the end of the Rosh Hashanah service, after Yom Kippur and at other times during the High Holidays.

Miami blogger Starex Smith is exploring local food scenes from the perspective of a hungry black man.

His blog The Hungry Black Man is a mix of restaurant recommendations and profiles of food entrepreneurs across Florida and other states he visits.

But since Smith's home base is Miami, South Florida gets a lot of love on the blog.  

Lisann Ramos

Our WLRN interns come to us from all over the country in hopes of dipping their toes in the radio reporting world. What they usually get is full immersion; into the many sights and sounds of South Florida's culture, quirks and food! This summer we were lucky enough to host four wonderful reporters from Tallahassee, Chicago and Miami. In their own words, they explain what it was like to get a taste of local living.  

Caitlin Switalski: Here You Never Have To Eat Alone

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The lack of new film incentives in Florida hasn't stopped one movie production from shooting some of its scenes in the state.

"The Leisure Seeker," starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, is set to shoot for several days in the keys later this month.

On Thursday, a casting call for extras drew Key Westers needed to play medical personnel, a wedding party and tourists.

There was no call for a parrot, but Mango was there anyway with her owners, Thane and Tami Gilliam.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

You've been warned.
This is not a common story. This is a story that begins at night.
Many children are afraid of the night because
they think that when it is all dark, monsters and ghosts appear.
But that is not true.
The night is the night and nothing else.
The night is just the other side of the day.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Key West has a great restaurant scene — but people who live on the island know that to get true local delicacies you have to get inside someone's kitchen. Preferably someone who was born in the Keys, or a Conch in local parlance.

Someone like Martin Liz. He was born and raised on the island and he knows how to handle a conch filet.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  When Cuban migrants cross the Florida Straits and arrive on U.S. shores in homemade vessels, it's news for a day or two. Now, for a museum in Key West, it is also history.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum has created a permanent exhibit featuring the Mariana. The boat came ashore on Smathers Beach in Key West in August of last year.

Miami Herald

The Miami Herald's Howard Cohen often  gets to share the stories of regular Miamians through an obituary. His most recent piece looks at Myriam Correa-Sherman, one of the first Hispanics to receive a heart transplant at Jackson Memorial Hospital back in 1991. The gift she received inspired her to dedicate the rest of her life to raising awareness in the Hispanic community about the importance of donating organs. 

Here is what Cohen had to say about Myriam Correa-Sherman's story: 

Nevermore Production Films

If you're going to craft a good horror story, a gloomy climate almost always helps. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining probably wouldn't be as scary without that isolating snow storm. Nor would Edgar Allen Poe's House of Usher seem as foreboding surrounded by palm trees inside of all the miasmic fog.

So can a top-notch horror movie ever be set in sunny South Florida?

Collectors Cafe

In 1947, a 28-year-old baseball player named Jackie Robinson broke the Major League’s color barrier when he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. That historical document and others will be on display at two Miami Marlins games this week.