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Wellington Win Just The Start For Charlotte Ostrov

Wellington Win Just The Start For Charlotte Ostrov

2016 Wellington Idol Charlotte Ostrov Has Her Sights Set On Broadway

Story and Photos by Julie Unger

Until you’re standing next to her, it is easy to forget that 2016 Wellington Idol Charlotte Ostrov is just 14 years old. Her stage presence and personality are those of a seasoned performer.

As she finishes up eighth grade at the Bak Middle School of the Arts, her artistic adventures are only just beginning.

“I’ve been taking singing [lessons] for four years,” Ostrov said, noting that she has studied with Lynn Pernezny and Adriana Zabala.

Their teaching, along with Ostrov’s current training, have paid off. She wowed the judges when singing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Misérables in the recent Wellington Idol finals and was told to get an agent.

Like many, she would often sing in the car and shower — “badly, I was never good,” she said. Then, her father, Robert, introduced her to musical theater.

“I just fell in love with it,” Ostrov said. “I’ve been doing it ever since, and it’s still my goal to be on Broadway.”

Though that may be a steep climb, Ostrov seems to have a better shot than most.

“I want to be famous, and I have since I was a baby,” she said. “I wanted to be a director in Hollywood, but that was not for me.”

But Ostrov didn’t let that discourage her; she took a step back and refocused.

“As I started training, I said, ‘I want to be on Broadway. How do I get there?’ I started taking singing, acting and dancing lessons. I wasn’t that bad at it, so I started to pursue it from there, when I realized it was something I enjoyed, something I can do and something that is appreciated,” Ostrov said. “I also love going to the theater. It’s a great experience. It can be educational, uplifting and inspiring. The theater is a magical place.”

While she can’t pick her favorite show, Ostrov was able to come up her top five: Les Misérables, The Lion King, Hamilton, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fiddler on the Roof.

Ostrov has had parts in many school productions, and also at the Wellington Children’s Theater. She has performed in Les Misérables, And The World Goes ’Round, Maids on Broadway, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Annie.

When it came time to choose her song for the finals of Wellington Idol, a conversation with her mother, Kathleen, helped her pick.

Les Mis was the first legit musical I saw, and that’s what made me fall in love with theater. However, most pieces in Les Mis are really, really overdone. It wasn’t really something that I practice a lot,” Ostrov said. “I don’t sing Les Mis a lot anymore, but my mother loves ‘I Dreamed A Dream,’ and she loves the way I sing it.”

And with that, her winning song earned her this year’s Wellington Idol grand prize.

“Winning this competition, I am not kidding, is a dream come true for this girl,” her mother said. “This is what she wants to do. She wants to sing, she wants to perform. She was made to be up there performing.”

Ostrov, who will be singing at many official Wellington events during the next year, has already sung at Wellington’s 20th anniversary celebration and is looking forward to singing the national anthem at Memorial Day and Fourth of July observances.

For a local girl — Ostrov moved to Wellington from New York when she was 4 years old, attending Temple Beth Torah and the Little Place for preschool, then Wellington Elementary School and Bak — the Wellington Idol victory is a recognition that means a lot.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunities that they’re giving me,” she said. “I like to be involved in the community.”

As she advances in her career, Ostrov would like to try more professional theater, and wants to sing publicly as much as possible. She focuses on musical theater, is a soprano, and her voice can be described as operatic.

Any ceremony or event that needs a singer, Kathleen said, her daughter would be happy to lend her talents.

“Book me!” Ostrov interjected, as only an excited teenager could.

Friends and family are in her corner, cheering her on every step of the way.

“My family is so supportive, and my grandparents are my biggest fans. My grandmother screamed when I told her I won,” she said, also thanking her sister Hannah and friend Jakob Littell.

Kathleen is thrilled for her daughter’s early success.

“I’m very proud of her, and I think that whether it turns out that she has a life on the stage or not, it doesn’t matter because she’s fulfilling her dream right now. She’s succeeding at it,” she said.

When Ostrov isn’t practicing, she enjoys listening to music, learning about history and reading plays. “I’m reading The Crucible right now,” she said.

This summer, she is working on securing an internship, focusing on local government and an off-Broadway program in New York City.

In the late summer, on Aug. 30, the Ostrov family will also find out whether her father, a lawyer, is elected as a circuit court judge for Palm Beach County.

Either way, Ostrov is dreaming big, ready to conquer the world and Broadway. In April, she secured the next step: a spot in the freshmen class at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

“I’m going to keep singing, so you can expect to hear more from Charlotte Ostrov in the future if you live locally, and hopefully in other countries, you’ll hear about me, too,” she said.

To contact Charlotte Ostrov and inquire about bookings, visit www.twitter.com/charostrov or www.facebook.com/charlotte.ostrov.


May 2016 Wellington Table


Wellington Table

Signature Dish: Try The Paleo Bowl (Or Build Your Own Creation) At Bolay

Story and Photos by Julie Unger

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, bland and tasteless. Curating a fast, fresh and bold way of eating, Bolay is an innovative build-you-own-bowl restaurant with creative, satisfying and nutritious offerings. They’re so good, you’ll forget it is good for you.

“What we have done is put the consumer in the driver’s seat,” explained Outback Steakhouse co-founder Tim Gannon, who created the Bolay concept with his son Chris. “He comes in and says, ‘Wow, look at all this food. Now, here’s how I want to put it together.’ Enabling a consumer in customization is critical, which gives us endless variety and creativity. We’ve taken it from the hands of the chef, creating something unbelievable, to the hands of the consumer, letting them create. That is the engaging part of this enterprise.”

The concept is simple. You choose the size bowl you want. Then, you choose your base, or bases. With options like a marinated kale and currant salad, Peruvian quinoa, forbidden black rice, aromatic basmati rice and gluten-free cilantro noodles, there are plenty of flavorful and delicious choices to set the theme.

Atop the base are unique vegetables, such as smoky cauliflower, paleo sprouts, maple-roasted butternut squash, balsamic mushrooms and broccoli with a ginger orange glaze. Following the vegetables are proteins such as sesame tofu, Ponzu tuna, barbeque chicken, lemon chicken, pork tenderloin and Caribbean spiced steak.

Adding another layer of flavor are the sauce offerings and additional add-ons. Spicy Thai sauce, cilantro pesto and carrot ginger sauce, along with minted tomatoes, goat cheese crumble, parmesan and an Asian herb mix help to create an endless array of possibilities.

Chef Martin Oswald, a former protégé of Wolfgang Puck, helped create the Paleo Bowl, and the Bolay team created the other two signature bowls, the Aspen Bowl and the Thai Bowl.

The Paleo Bowl features kale, a nutritional powerhouse, with quinoa, mushrooms, sprouts, barbeque chicken, Caribbean steak and a carrot ginger sauce.

Everything at Bolay is 100 percent gluten-free. The only dairy is in the cheese topping offered, and instead of sugar in their desserts, they use agave. The restaurant doesn’t use fryers and utilizes small amounts of coconut and olive oil for flavor.

Everything at Bolay is about putting together nutrition and flavor, Tim explained.

Chris, who won the U.S. Open Polo Championship at age 16 on Outback’s team, has studied trends, and realized that when people go out to eat there is an innate curiosity as to how others eat. With the trend of eating healthier, people want fresh, clean food quickly, he explained. “We’re trying to grab all of those things by being fresh, clean and quick,” Chris said.

The high-protein forbidden black rice, Chris explained, is seasoned with ginger, cilantro and kafir lime leaf. There’s a variety of flavor in every bite. “Our restaurant has 20 sauces that we make every day,” he said. “Each item has its own marinate and its own sauce, and with that comes incredible flavors.”

Tim is bringing what he learned about flavor at Outback to Bolay, without the heavy calories.

“Here, we want to bring all that flavor that you love at Outback, and we want to infuse it with healthy ingredients,” he explained. “We’re that place that you want to go in, eat great, have great flavor, but walk out and go hit the tennis court, ride horses or exercise. That’s how much energy you’ll have.”

Bolay opened in late February in the new Buckingham Plaza on State Road 7. It has already been active in the community. They were at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s ColorFest 5K and Nic Roldan’s Sunset Polo & White Party at the Wanderers Club benefitting Brooke USA, as well as other community functions.

“The beauty of this concept is that it has got endless possibilities for creativity and change,” Chris said. “We’re really going to listen to what the guests like. That’s the most important part — not what we think, but what the guest wants.”

To wash down the fresh bowls, be it cultivated or designed by the guest, Bolay offers cold-pressed juice, infused teas, and craft beer and wine.

Bolay isn’t trying to be a health food restaurant, Chris explained, but rather a restaurant with bold flavors and incredible food that just happens to be healthy and good for you.

Bolay is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.eatbolay.com or call (561) 899-0111.