Larry Keller, Special to The Post Appear 12:15 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2021 | Updated 3:46 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2021
Jan McArt generally was proclaimed to be the Aboriginal Lady of South Florida Theater.
BOCA RATON — Jan McArt’s six-decade career took her to venues about the country and the world, singing opera and acting on Broadway stages and in supper clubs, actualization on civic television shows such as “The Tonight Appearance Starring Johnny Carson” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”
Eventually, she concluded up at Lynn University in Boca Raton, area in 2004 McArt because the aboriginal and alone administrator of the amphitheater arts affairs development.
But in South Florida, McArt may be best accepted for aperture several amphitheater venues, best conspicuously the Royal Palm Banquet Amphitheater in Boca Raton in 1977. That was the aforementioned year she confused there from New York. In accomplishing so, she became a trailblazer in bringing locally produced able amphitheater to a arena that saw little of that. The 250-seat area in the annular survived a blaze in 1993 afore closing in 2001. With acceptable aliment and accomplished productions, it animated what banquet theaters commonly were and admiring added flush audiences. She generally was proclaimed to be the Aboriginal Lady of South Florida Theater.
Now the amphitheater association is aching McArt, who died Sunday morning at her Boca Raton home.
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“The amphitheater apple of South Florida is activity to absence Jan. There’s activity to be a abandoned there,” said H. Bryant Sims, a above lath administrator of the Florida Theatrical Association. “I can’t anticipate of anyone that’s activity to be able to ample Jan’s boots — no, her aerial heels.”
Alumni of the Royal Palm Banquet Amphitheater accept remained in blow on a Facebook folio over the years. Abounding acquaint their memories of McArt.
“She would drive you crazy, but would adulation you in the continued run,” wrote Dino Lillo, a above abode manager. “She consistently kept you on your toes. But that McArt smile would cook you.”
Jan McArt and Jay Stuart at the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation/American Humane: Reception and banquet at The Breakers in November 2019 in Palm Beach. MEGHAN MCCARTHY/PALM EACH DAILY NEWS
Amy Solomon acted in productions at the theater. “Beautiful, talented, kind, professional, funny, acute … a accurate STAR,” she wrote.
At Lynn University, McArt directed and aloft money for a advanced ambit of entertainment, including plays, concerts with cabaret stars, opera recitals and a staged comedy account series. “She admired the range,” said abstruse assembly administrator Desiree McKim, who formed anxiously with McArt at Lynn for about 15 years. “She was actually forward-thinking in everything.”
Sims added, “She admired alive at Lynn University And through her access with abounding stars, she brought bodies to Lynn University that we would be advantageous to get to the Kravis Performing Arts Center. She was an amazing woman.”
POST 2012 STORY: Amateur Don McArt, brother of Jan McArt, dies
McArt kept her age a anxiously attentive secret.
“Even aback I was a little girl, I afield told a acquaintance in elementary academy how old she was,” recalled her daughter, Debbi Lawlor. “She heard about it and she was actual upset. She didn’t appetite to be articular by that. Not alike a anniversary ago, she said ‘I do not appetite my age published.’ She was ageless.”
Jan McArt’s Royal Palm Banquet Amphitheater in Royal Palm Plaza, Boca Raton, about 1999.
Philanthropist Lois Pope was accompany with McArt for added than 60 years, activity aback to New York City “when we were both disturbing actors. We knew the aforementioned agents. We knew the aforementioned people. She was a giver, all the way … not a taker.”
McArt abiding Pope aftermost year to booty a above role in a artefact of “Gigi” at Lynn, alone to accept the appearance canceled at the aftermost moment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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“It was activity to be a agitating production, with a abounding orchestra,” Pope said. “That was so affecting for everybody.”
Those who knew her, said the affable McArt had a absurd anamnesis and a allowance for talking to people. “She consistently fabricated you feel like you were the best important being in her life. It was genuine,” Sims said.
McArt was a singer, an actor, a administrator and added – but all her jobs were in the aforementioned industry. “She never had a job alfresco of appearance business,” said Lawlor, her daughter.
Jan McArt in her beforehand years. PHOTO PROVIDED
“I had a mother who was absolutely admirable and alluring and she’d accept aerial heels. She was breathtaking, alike to a adolescent child,” Lawlor said. “I was actual appreciative of her. It was august to apprehend her sing. She admired me fiercely. She was a astounding force of nature. She’s a animal from accession era. She was a admirable mother.”
In accession to her daughter, McArt is survived by grandchildren Evan and Katharine. The ancestors affairs a baby clandestine remembrance. A anniversary of her activity will be captivated at Lynn University eventually. Because of communicable restrictions, there is no acting date. But, Lawlor said, there absolutely will be champagne.
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