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
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
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.
People that make North Beach.
James Quinlan and Gerry Cea are North Beach.
(Click to view story)
(Click to view story)
Meet the Artists.
Art Deco Artisan market bringing art to SoBe.
Meet Daniel Ciraldo.
Meet the guy who's preserving our past & future.
Rolling Loud is back!
Meet the guys that make it happen.
A look at Miami Beach in the 50's
Myron Lubell, shares the 50's thru his eyes.
Meet Noa Lindberg
Local actor talks about the "Hollywood" life.
5 Questions with David Sexton
Meet local artist and Painting with a Twist Miami Beach owner.
Meet George Coronado
Peruvian fashion designer with an eye for Miami Beach.
Sammy, bringing music to the beach
Meet the music man of Miami Beach.
What's next for Byron Carlyle?
What does the city have planned for this iconic building?
Beach High: More than just a school.
Beach High has had better days, lets see what we can do to help the only public high school on Miami Beach.
See full list in November issue
What happened to Washington Avenue?
The one time hotspot in South Beach has seen better days.