Opening night of Palm Beach Poetry Festival at Delray Beach Center for the Arts
Where: 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach
Time: Various show times
Contact Information: 451/243-7922 or palmbeachpoetryfestival.org
Poetry is no longer just a quiet afternoon pursuit for the introverted, on par with tea and crumpets. Far from it: Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, thie Palm Beach Poetry Festival is a must-attend for the literate hipster, complete with a DJ dance celebration and coffee house performance event, where poets groove to their words in a jubilant slam.
Taylor Mali and Glenis Redmond are among the performance poets scheduled to attend, and there will be also be a Poem Panel, a reading an interview with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (pictured), and invaluable workshops with poets Nick Flynn, Carolyn Forche, Thomas Lux and others. Events run through Jan. 26. As one pithy poet famously rhymed, be there or be square.
Bob Woodward at Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Where: 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $165 to $575 for three- or five-speaker series
Contact Information: 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
Bob Woodward and his former colleague, Carl Bernstein, literally wrote the book on modern investigative journalism with the seminal “All The President’s Men.” In the four decades since, he has continued to bring readers inside the halls of the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill with his exhaustive, fly-on-the-wall accounts of presidents dealing with crises.
He is a recipient of Pulitzer, Polk and Lovejoy awards, with nearly every one of his books rocketing to best-seller status. His latest book, “The Price of Politics,” is, for Woodward, a light read, at 448 pages. It chronicles the attempts of President Obama and Congressional Republicans and Democrats to wrest the economy from a recession; addressing such legislative gridlock is surely to be a component of this lecture, the third in the Broward Center’s first annual speaker series.
Lucero at Culture Room
Where: 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Contact Information: 954/564-1074 or www.cultureroom.net
Ben Nichols, the vocalist for the Memphis sextet Lucero, has been gifted with one of those great country voices, the sort that has been doused in vintage rotgut and dragged across the gravel by a rusty pickup truck. His lyrical content hearkens to outlaw country music too, but much of the music isn’t: Most of it skirts up against the raw fury of punk rock, preferring to operate in a hybrid of dissimilar genres that has won the band an eclectic cult audience.
A group, perhaps, that could only emerge in a place like Memphis, Lucero has become known as one of the hardest working bands in rock, “on tour significantly more days than they are not,” according to the blog consequenceofsound.net. Jonny Fritz will open tonight’s show.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
“Fahrenheit 451” at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Where: 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Contact Information: 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
In 1966, the great Ray Bradbury adapted his own best-seller “Fahrenheit 451” for the stage, bringing an even wider audience to his prescient story of an oppressive society where televisions control minds and books are burned (unsurprisingly, the book itself was subject to censorship). Witness how many of Bradbury’s themes and ideas have come depressingly to pass in this touring production from New York’s Aquila Theatre Company, which always puts its own stamp on theater classics during its annual Kravis engagements.
Andre de Shields at FAU’s University Theatre
Where: 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
Time: 7 p.m.
Contact Information: 561/297-2595 or www.fau.edu/artsandletters
The indefatigable Andre de Shields is many things—an actor (in major productions of “The Jungle Book” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” among many others), a director, a choreographer, a singer, a dancer, a novelist and a college professor. If he wore any more hats, he could be on the board of Bollman. And he’ll wear many of them during his time at FAU, which actually begins midweek, when he’ll spend three days as an Eminent Scholar in the Performing Arts for students at the university’s College of Arts and Letters. His time in Boca will culminate Friday with a free public performance of his one-man show “Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” which delves into the life and achievements of the titular slave-turned-emancipator.
Opening night of “Parade” at Slow Burn Theatre Company at West Boca Performing Arts Theater
Where: 12811 W. Glades Road, Boca Raton
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 to $40
Contact Information: 866/811-4111 or slowburntheatre.org
Continuing its tradition of producing musicals with profound thematic resonance, Slow Burn Theatre Company is tackling “Parade,” a Tony-winning study of prejudice and ignorance conceived by “Driving Miss Daisy” playwright Alfred Uhry and the musical wunderkind Jason Robert Brown.The story dramatizes the real-life court case and lynching of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was wrongly convicted of raping and murdering a 13-year-old employee in Georgia, and whose martyrdom eventually spawned the creation of the Anti-Defamation League. As usual, expect Slow Burn to deal with this material differently than previous companies have.
“It’s so relevant right now; we get so wrapped up in these crime dramas, like Jodi Arias or Casey Anthony,” Slow Burn artistic director Patrick Fitzwater told Boca Raton last year. “We get so addicted to the drama that unfolds watching the trial come through, so I thought, what if I took this piece and moved it onstage through the factory like a trial instead of doing it like they did it on Broadway? I’m going to walk that dream through like a crime scene. I think it’ll be fun, and more daring theater.”
Opening night reception of new exhibits at Art and Culture Center
Where: 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
Contact Information: 954/921-3274 or www.artandculturecenter.org
It’s that time of the year again, when one of South Florida’s most daring art galleries makes magic—and hopefully a good deal of fundraising money in the process. Tonight marks the opening night of the museum’s annual “Abracadabra” group exhibition and fundraiser, in which more than 120 artists have contributed new works, which will be raffled off in March to art buyers willing to shell out some $350 or more to own a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
In the meantime, the rest of us have a month and a half to savor this state-of-the-art survey of South Florida’s finest. Other exhibits opening at the center this weekend include Virginia Fifield’s “Them/Us,” a collection of hyper-real charcoal drawings (pictured); Johnny Laderer’s “Fast Fade,” an exhibition of playful local photography; and Kristen Thiele’s “Smoke and Mirrors,” a series of oil paintings inspired by vintage Hollywood films.
Jeff Dunham at BB&T Center
Where: 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise
When: 5 p.m.
Contact Information: 954/835-8000 or www.ticketmaster.com
When Jeff Dunham takes the standup comedy stage, it’s never a solo act: It’s always an ensemble piece, co-created along with the loud-mouthed, opinionated creatures that sit on his lap. As the country’s most visible and lucrative ventriloquist—his staggering numbers quadruple-platinum DVD sales and status as the top-grossing standup act in North America, according to Pollstar.
Dunham has introduced a number of indelible characters into American pop culture, including the grumpy old man Walter, the beer-swilling redneck Bubba J and Jose Jalapeno on a Stick, a sombrero-wearing jalapeno pepper. As you might have guessed, Dunham has garnered some controversy thanks to the sweeping stereotypes of some his puppets, especially in the case of “Achmed the Dead Terrorist.” But his legions of fans, which cut across all demographics, suggest that as a whole, we’re none too bothered by them.