People & Local Issues:

Meet Richard Jay-Alexander a "Broadway icon" in Miami Beach. Meet Daniel Ciraldo, preserving our city. Meet some of the artists from the Art Deco Artisan market. And meet the guys who make up North Beach.


International Producer/Director living in Miami Beach.

Richard Jay-Alexander:Diva Whisperer

By:James Cubby

Richard Jay-Alexander has worked on stages from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House but has also brought his talents as a director to Miami Beach. In 1998, he presented a series with Ellen Wedner at the Colony Theater called “Manhattan Nights in Miami” featuring performances by David Campbell, John Bucchino, Mary Cleere Haran, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Steven Brinberg (as Simply Barbra) and Barbara Cook. Most recently he directed The South Florida Symphony 
Orchestra production of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess presented in three performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall in Miami. Richard's credits could fill the pages of the publication, but Miami Beach Life Magazine visited him in his waterfront home in Surfside to chat about his life, his work, and Miami Beach.

Richard Jay-Alexander, known for directing and staging concerts productions around the world for stars such as Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Ricky Martin, Betty Buckley, and Donny & Marie Osmond, calls Miami Beach his home.

A resident of Miami Beach since the '90s, Richard 
Jay-Alexander has an impressive career working 
as a Broadway producer and director, dancer, 
singer, actor, and most notably staging and 
directing concerts. Recently dubbed “Diva 
Whisperer”, he's the favorite and first to call 
when stars like Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, 
Julie Andrews and Kristin Chenoweth need 
a concert director. Among his impressive 
credits, Jay-Alexander ran Cameron 
Mackintosh's North American operations 
for twelve years, the same Mackintosh 
know for productions including Les 
Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the 
Opera, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named 
Moe, Oliver! and Putting It Together. 
In 2008, Richard directed the concert 
production of Les Miz at the Hollywood Bowl. 

"Miami Beach welcomed me with open arms."

Born in a suburb of Syracuse, New York of Cuban parents, Richard's love of theater began in elementary school. He first traveled to Miami Beach with his family when he was 10. He remembers sneaking into the ballroom of the historic Deauville Hotel where they stayed and watching acts like The Fifth Dimension and The Four Tops. In 1975, he moved to New York City to pursue acting and oddly enough began his Broadway career in 1977 as a production assistant on 
the Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess. His performing debut on Broadway was in the original cast of Zoot Suit in 1978. 
The following years he racked up credits as a performer, stage manager, director, and producer.

As a record producer, he has worked with Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, and Mary Cleere Haran. As a director/producer, Richard Jay-Alexander has earned star billing along with the many incredible performers that he's directed. 

"All my dreams have come true. I will be a student until the day I die. I'm always learning."

In the '90s, Richard returned to Miami Beach 
regularly where he had bought a home in Surfside. Often seen among the A-list crowd that traveled from nightclub to nightclub during the heyday of South Beach, he reminisces about the vibrant nightlife scene that has since disappeared.  “Party, party, party,” is how he remembers that time hanging out with the likes of beach locals such as Debbie Ohanian 
(designer and owner of the '90s store Meet Me in Miami) and artist Carlos Bentancourt. “I met so many fantastic people here.” 

“Miami Beach welcomed me with open arms,” 
says Richard. “and I feel very fortunate to have 
found my logical family here.” Among his many 
friends, Richard speaks highly of his dear friend 
legendary press agent and publicist Charlie 
Cinnamon who passed away three years ago. 
He, along with photographer Manny Hernandez 
and Lee Brian Schrager, organized a special tribute 
exhibition to his life last year at The Jewish 
Museum of Florida-FIU. “He was my best friend.” 
Cinnamon had an incredible career and the thought 
makes Richard think of his own. “I'm just starting to 
think about my career. Time is short. How many 
summers do I have left?”

"I met so many fantastic 
people here."

While Richard always returned to Miami Beach, his career was always outside Miami. When in town, for the most part he remains in his neighborhood. “I love this house. I love this neighborhood.” Visiting Richard Jay-Alexander's home is like entering a shrine to Broadway with every wall space and corner filled with photos, posters, awards, and mementos. “A lot of the stars that I've worked with have visited here. There are lots of 
memories here.” With such an impressive career and no ending in sight, Richard loves his life. “All my dreams have come true. I will be a student until the day I die. I'm always learning. That's why I like working with Barbra, she still wants to be the best.”Undoubtedly Richard Jay-Alexander will continue his work as 
“Diva Whisperer” and recently directed Deborah Cox, star of The Bodyguard, for concerts at the Arsht Center and opening this year's season at Trust Arts in Pittsburg. Missing the old days of New York City, Richard has found a home in Miami Beach. “I lived through the AIDS crisis. Now I'm here and I'm lucky to be alive.” And we're lucky to call Richard Jay-Alexander a Miami Beach local.

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