week ahead april

Your Week Ahead: April 25 – May 1

Magic and drama combine in a Houdini bio-play, a legendary Miami crooner performs in a legendary Boca venue, and the Kravis Center tries to catch ‘em all. Plus, Book of Love, Surfer Blood, “Clue” and more in your week ahead.


What: Opening night of “Death and Harry Houdini”


Where: Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Fifteen years ago, the House Theatre of Chicago—an Illinois incubator for world-premiere plays—opened its first season with the smash hit “Death and Harry Houdini,” which shared the life story of the titular magician and his “lifelong war against Death.” The play proved so legendary that the House Theatre revived the play in 2012 and brought it on tour to Miami, with most performances selling out. That very show is returning to Miami this week for a limited-run encore. Copious magic tricks complement the human drama of the play, and its centerpiece is a replication of Houdini’s notorious water torture cell escape, in which he was manacled and dunked into a column of water. Magician Dennis Watkins, who plays Houdini, told a reporter that he even quit smoking to expand his lung capacity for this role. It runs through May 21.


What: Opening night of “Nine”


Where: Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Road, Margate

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $38

Contact: 954/344-7765, stagedoorfl.org

How do you make a musical about writer’s block? Maury Yeston’s “Nine” is one way. Adapting freely from Federico Fellini’s classic “8 1/2,” it’s set largely inside the convoluted head of a famous film director suffering artistic burnout and sexual estrangement. His fantasies, memories and amorous conflicts bounce around his noggin like pinballs, each realized onstage with theatrical flair. Broward Stage Door’s production runs through June 11.

What: Book of Love


Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/564-1074, ticketmaster.com

The cliché “everything old is new again” has certainly applied to Philadelphia synthpop quartet Book of Love, who, 31 years after the release of its debut album, has enjoyed a rejuvenated popularity rare among its big-haired, cheesy-music-video peers. Trading largely in the sunny side of New Wave—think Pet Shop Boys, or Depeche Mode at its most commercial—Book of Love’s dance-chart success peaked between 1985 and 1993, during which time its music enjoyed the pop-culture rite of passage of appearing in a John Hughes movie (the shimmery “Modigliani,” from “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”). But Book of Love is more than a product of its synthetic era; the group’s lyrics addressed sexual differences with welcome arms, anticipating concepts of gender fluidity by decades. This helps explain why “Boy” from the band’s debut album finally became a hit in 2001, and why new audiences have embraced Book of Love on its current reunion tour.


What: “One Night Stand” with Bobby Caldwell


Where: Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton

When: 7 and 9 p.m.

Cost: $170 (includes luxury guest room, open bar during the concert and tickets for two)

Contact: 561/447-3071, ticketmaster.com

Not many singers can claim to have inspired artists ranging from The Notorious B.I.G. to Michael Bolton. But when folks say Bobby Caldwell has range, they mean it. A South Florida native, Caldwell cut his teeth at Miami’s legendary TK records in the 1970s, where he recorded iconic blue-eyed soul insta-hits like “What You Won’t Do for Love,” released on an equally cool and tacky heart-shaped vinyl record. Still a force in the upscale cabaret culture, this Rat Pack devotee (he even played Sinatra on a Las Vegas stage revue and earned raves for it) will perform the hits he perfected for himself and others in this homecoming show. Admission includes a night at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and needless to say there are worse places to lay your head.

What: “Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions”


Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20-$100

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

Video game music has come a long way from the bleeps and bloops of Donkey Kong’s time, as evidenced by the surprisingly bankable trend of orchestral concerts of multi-bit scores. Just as games have become more cinematic, so too have video game scores been composed with filmic intensity and emotion. The Pokemon franchise has embraced this aesthetic from the beginning, which is where the game’s “Symphonic Evolutions” tour stars: with songs from Pokemon’s original Game Boy concoctions, all the way through its latest iterations on the 3DS. Electronic overlays are woven into the live symphonic sounds, and carefully timed video projections link the music to Pokemon’s many characters and editions. Most of the rules of traditional Kravis Center orchestral decorum fly by the wayside for this performance, with fans encouraged to cosplay as their favorite Pokemon and catch, battle and trade with fellow enthusiasts.

What: Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood

Where: Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

When: 10 p.m.

Cost: $12

Contact: sub-culture.com/respectable-street

Arguably South Florida’s most prominent musical export of the Aughts, West Palm Beach’s Surfer Blood exploded from pretty much nowhere in 2009 with its sensational debut single “Swim” and its accompanying debut album, the following year’s “Astro Coast.” Evoking indie rock’s canonized forbears—Pavement, Built to Spill, Pixies—the album had a “Citizen Kane”-like preternatural brilliance to it, received with the kind of acclaim that could send lesser bands plummeting into the vortex of one-album-wonderdom. Not Surfer Blood: The group’s follow-up LPs have been just as hooky (if more produced, which is certainly not a bad thing) and infectious—every track a potential hit in the making, if commercial radio weren’t such a wasteland. This hometown show is sure to include a number of early hits, but it also celebrates the band’s new album “Snowdonia,” which expands the group’s drum-tight aesthetic over eight songs and a lean, unimpeachable 38 minutes.

What: Screening of “Clue”


Where: O Cinema, 500 71st St., Miami Beach

When: 11:45 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 786/207-1919, o-cinema.org

Adapting board games into movies didn’t used to be a thing. Before “Ouija” and “Battleship” and “Dungeons & Dragons,” there was “Clue,” the board-to-reel 1985 comedy that started it all. Director Jonathan Lynn set his adaptation in 1954 on—where else?—a dark and stormy night, where a rogues’ gallery of power players has gathered for a mysterious dinner party. It turns out they all have ties to Washington, and they’re all about to be blackmailed … by a host who just happens to wind up dead. “Clue” has its share of slapstick, but it’s anchored by subversive politics, sending up the McCarthy era as much as it sends up itself. The expertly curated cast includes Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Lesley Ann Warren and Madeline Kahn, as those colorful people you remember from childhood.

week ahead

Your Week Ahead April 18-24

Literary luminaries descend on West Palm Beach, animals entertain you in Delray, and a sitcom star reinvents himself as a cabaret crooner. Plus, David Sedaris, “Waiting For Godot,” “Free Fire” and more in your week ahead.


What: Popovich Comedy Pet Theater

Popovich (1)


Where: Crest Theatre, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $15-$25

Contact: 561/243-7922, oldschoolsquare.org

I for one have trouble preventing my shih tzu from peeing on my neighbor’s lawn décor. Gregory Popovich, the son of Moscow circus performers and the impresario of Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, has no such problems controlling his pets. The Spielberg of fauna, he herds cats, among other animals, for a living. His zoo of a cast, which includes canines, felines, geese and goats, has performed in 25 countries and on countless talk shows, where they walk tightropes, ride scooters, jump rope, play football and save fellow-animals from a “burning” building. Lest you call PETA, these animals, all rescued from shelters, have been given second chances at life and have been trained with positive reinforcement. They’re pretty much divas.

What: Opening day of “Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters”

Artists-Handwritten-Letters (1)

Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach

When: Noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org

How did Georgia O’Keeffe dot her “i”s? How did Winslow Homer cross his “t”s? These are questions that probably don’t keep you up at night, but they reveal much about these famous artists, as this exhibition documents. It explores the penmanship of artists from Mary Cassatt to Isamu Noguchi—from casually jotted notes to decorative calligraphy. Catch it through June 25.


What: Tony Danza


Where: The Royal Room at Colony Hotel, 155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $80-$90

Contact: 561/659-8100, theroyalroom.com

Yes, you read that right—it’s that Tony Danza. Singing standards. On a cabaret stage. Danza is used to winning over skeptics; as he told the Palm Beach Post last year during his Royal Room debut, “Being Tony Danza gets you onstage. They’ll give you a pass … but then you gotta show ‘em something.” Anyone immersed in recent Broadway history knows Danza can sing. The former pugilist and sitcom star earned plaudits for his role in the short-lived Broadway musical “Honeymoon in Vegas.” But he’s also a devotee of the American Songbook. Returning to Palm Beach by popular demand to close out the season, Danza will perform a program called “Standards & Stories,” featuring his croons of classic cuts, along with entertaining yarns from his decades in show business.


What: Opening night of “Waiting for Godot”


Where: Evening Star Productions, 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $15 students, $30 adults

Contact: 561/447-8829, eveningstarproductions.org

Once voted “the most significant English-language play of the 20th century,” Samuel Beckett’s existential tragicomedy remains as durable as ever. Two wandering tramps position themselves under a leafless tree, in anticipation of meeting the elusive Mr. Godot. Instead, they encounter an imperious master and his rope-tied slave, as well as the mysterious Godot’s messenger, promising his employer will “surely” arrive tomorrow. A paean to patience and plotlessness, Beckett’s classic continues to puzzle and enrich us in equal measure. This rare production of the play from Boca Raton’s Evening Star Productions runs through May 7.

What: David Sedaris


Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $45-$75

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

With five New York Times best-sellers to his credit, David Sedaris is one of the country’s foremost humorists and the reigning champion of the short-form essay. Deftly illuminating the unpleasantries, absurdities and vagaries of modern life, Sedaris’ latest collection, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, includes memoirs and fiction pieces on topics ranging from his first colonoscopy to his father’s unorthodox dinner attire to the weird inner sanctum of a European taxidermy shop. His 2017 tour will feature a brand-new selection of spoken-word narratives, offering fans a preview of his forthcoming writings as well as a spirited Q&A.


What: Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival


Where: Various locations

When: Various show times

Cost: $27 day passes, $42 multiday passes

Contact: 954/201-6306, fortlauderdalefringe.com

The first and only running fringe festival in South Florida, the Fort Lauderdale Fringe returns for its third year of uncensored, accessible, community-bolstering plays at venues including the Broward Center, Broward College, Stache and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. Expected highlights include standup comedian Megan Gogerty’s inside-theater “Lady Macbeth and her Pal Megan;” the apocalyptic science fiction of “An Unnamed Psychosis;” “Safe House,” a sobering play inspired by the Orlando nightclub shooting; and the magic-infused “Illusion of Choice.” Twilight jazz performances and other live music complements the experience, and each show runs multiple times over the busy weekend.


What: Opening night of “Free Fire”


Where: Various movie theaters

When: Various show times

Cost: Varies by theater

Contact: a24films.com/films/free-fire

This lean, kinetic, bruising anarcho-comedy from U.K. madman Ben Wheatley has at best a cocktail-napkin plot: A few bad dudes meet a few other bad dudes in an abandoned warehouse to exchange cash for firearms. Tempers flare, and pretty soon everybody draws their weapon, takes makeshift cover among the industrial detritus, and fires away, with a John Denver 8-track tape providing an occasional inspired counterpoint. Not since the classic John Woo actioners of the ‘80s have this many bullets flown and pinged and ricocheted across a movie’s soundscape, forming a percussive musicality to accompany Wheatley’s precise editing and almost balletic imagery of flailing limbs and nervous glances. “Free Fire” becomes a Darwinian reality show: As the carnage grows increasingly baroque, one character after another bites the bullet (literally and figuratively). The film’s humor has a Tarantinan edge, but it’s an immature, early-‘90s Tarantino. The marketing materials insist that “Free Fire” is a satire on gun violence, but to ascribe social commentary to the melee gives it too much credit. It knows it’s cynical folderol for a desensitized, B-movie demo, concerning characters about whom we don’t care a lick. It’s accomplished filmmaking nonetheless.


What: Palm Beach Book Festival


Where: Harriet Himmel Theatre at CityPlace, 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $100 full-day pass, $25 individual panels

Contact: 561/429-4008, palmbeachbookfestival.com

One of the Palm Beach cultural scene’s most recent success stories, the Palm Beach Book Festival started in 2015 and has grown each year since in size, stature and celebrity cachet. This celebration of all things printed and bound has earned a reputation for its enlightening panel discussions, and the 2017 edition, hosted for the first time in CityPlace, features a diverse lineup of authors and topics, starting with “You Go Girl: The Writing of Memoir vs. Biography” with memoirist Dani Shapiro and the authors of biographies on Joan Rivers and Helen Gurley Brown. At 10:30, Rob Harris will moderate a conversation with fearless war correspondent Sebastian Junger. Later events include discussions with James Patterson, award-winning legal expert Jeffrey Toobin (pictured) and iconic actor Robert Wagner.

week ahead

Your Week Ahead April 4-10

The Delray Affair continues to innovate at 55, a Dreamgirl headlines a Boca fundraiser, and country superstars dip their toes in the Fort Lauderdale sand. Plus, Miami City Ballet, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Camille Paglia and more in your week ahead.


What: Jennifer Hudson fundraising performance

jennifer hudson

Where: Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $200

Contact: 561/488-6980, bocawestfoundation.org

Now’s your chance to see a Dreamgirl up close and for an exceptional cause. The star of stage and screens large and small will headline the Boca West Foundation’s “Concert for the Children,” whose proceeds benefit 25 local charities serving South Palm Beach County children. An “American Idol” alum, Hudson’s meteoric rise from general unknown to household name is thanks to the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls,” her Oscar-winning film debut. Though she’s released two gold albums, acted on Broadway and secured a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, her career has been famously beset by tragedy, when three members of her family were killed in a shooting in 2008. She’s since become a generous advocate for families of slain victims, making her an ideal headliner for this charity-focused fundraiser. R&B star Ellis Hall will open the show, followed by Hudson’s performance at 9 p.m.

What: Screening of “1984”


Where: Silverspot Cinema, 4441 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $8-$14.50

Contact: 954/840-8150

Absurdity reigns: After Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway unveiled the insta-meme “alternative facts” earlier this year, sales of George Orwell’s 1984 spiked on Amazon. In Orwell’s version, the revision and control of language was called “newspeak,” and the current administration’s embrace of this and other Orwellian tropes is no laughing matter. That’s why some 90 theaters across the country are screening the film adaptation of Orwell’s prophetic novel, for one night only. Why April 4? Because that’s when Winston Smith, the everyman hero of “1984,” begins his scandalous, verboten diary in Orwell’s story. The screenings double as a tribute to John Hurt, who plays Winston, and who died in January.

What: Camille Paglia

-UNDATED PHOTO- Undated photograph of Prof. Camille Paglia of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia - RTXNNL9

Where: Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com

A leading light in the fight for gender equality since her surprise 1990 breakthrough Sexual Personae, culture critic Camille Paglia has spent decades threading the needle between academic author and clickbait provocateur. Like fellow free-speech absolutist Bill Maher, this sometimes means shaking the nest of her ostensible demographic: Some of this feminist’s boldest rejoinders are against traditional feminists themselves. You can read many of them in her new essay collection, Free Women, Free Men, a survey that acts as both introduction and summation of a career on the intellectual fringe. She’ll read from and discuss the book—and hopefully offer some opinions on the news of the day—at this off-site appearance courtesy of Books & Books.


What: Delray Affair


Where: Downtown Delray Beach

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/279-0907, delrayaffair.com

The Delray Affair has long billed itself as the largest arts and crafts festival in the Southeastern United States, and after 55 years of bringing eclectic art in countless mediums to locals and visitors, this linchpin of downtown Delray continues to innovate. In addition to the worldwide art for show and sale—last year, the Affair attracted vendors from 30 states and 12 countries—the event is integrating “Delray Affair After Dark” programming, including “Artrageous,” a 7 p.m. show Friday and Saturday at the Old School Square Pavilion that combines live painting with music, choreography and audience interaction. There’s also plenty of food, pop-up music stations where local singer-songwriters perform, and a Family Fun Zone featuring a mobile video arcade and a celebrity dunk tank. So if you ever wanted to see Delray luminaries like Mayor Cary Glickstein and multihyphenate Frank McKinney plunged into cold water, this is your chance.

What: Tortuga Music Festival

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

Where: Fort Lauderdale Beach

When: Starts 1:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Cost: $99-$999

Contact: tortugamusicfestival.com

Cowboy hats and pedal-steel guitars continue to dominate the headlining slots of this beachy festival. Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker and countless more country-music standard-bearers will set the tone, while scattered purveyors of R&B (Nelly), alternative (Slightly Stoopid) and bluesy hip-hop (G. Love & the Special Sauce) add a pinch of sonic seasoning.


What: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

big bad voodoo daddy

Where: Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $50-$70

Contact: 561/395-2929, funkybiscuit.com

Along with Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the California septet Big Bad Voodoo Daddy helped usher a ‘90s revival of an unlikely genre: swing music. Bolstered by BBVD’s prominent appearance in the 1996 cult hit “Swingers,” big, brassy, horns, and jumping, jiving and wailing began vying for dominance against the grunge movement and punk revival on alternative record shelves. Voodoo Daddy hits like “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” and “You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight” transcended the genre, and remain instantly recognizable even by listeners who don’t recall the band. You can argue that the neo-swing phenomenon has come and gone, but BBVD has survived the vagaries of industry trends, with nine albums and more than 2,800 live shows to prove it. For the intimate Funky Biscuit, this booking is an outstanding “get,” Daddy-O.


What: Miami City Ballet’s Program IV

Miami City Ballet

Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $20-$189

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Miami City Ballet has been premiering plenty of buzz-worthy dances in recent years, but the acclaimed company’s final program of the season is full of its majestic bread-and-butter: It’s bookended by a pair of classic George Balanchine ballets, a spring treat from these foremost Balanchine interpreters of the Southeast. “Divertimento No. 15,” which opens the program, is a plotless, spellbinding work for five starring women and three supporting men, and the closing “Who Cares” is a joyous celebration of New York City set to more than 15 Gershwin compositions. In the middle, you’ll be treated to Paul Taylor’s “Arden Court,” an exhilarating and acrobatic display scored to William Boyce’s Baroque music, which earns its first MCB performance in 11 years.

week ahead

Your Week Ahead March 21-27

Boca hosts its biggest foodie weekend of the year, knights and minstrels gather one last time in Deerfield, and LBJ and MLK talk civil rights in Coral Gables. Plus, The Pretenders, “Phantom of the Opera,” “Personal Shopper” and more in your week ahead.


What: The Pretenders


Where: The Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

When: 9 p.m.

Cost: $30-$49.50

Contact: 305/673-7300, livenation.com

The Pretenders must be considered among the more humble band names in rock history. With its impassioned, socially conscious, and spiky yet accessible songs, Chrissie Hynde’s durable group of English and American rockers are anything but phonies or imitators; if anything, Hynde has spawned her own pretenders. In what remains a male-dominated industry, she has inspired legions of female rockers that can match any male vocalist in bravado, charisma and chutzpah, and she’s been doing it on and off for nearly 40 years. Time has hardly mellowed this onetime member of The Clash and The Damned; even in her mid-60s, according to Rolling Stone’s review of the Pretenders’ 10th and latest album “Alone,” Hynde “flex[es] command and carnality with no apology.” The group’s 2017 tour is heavier on hits than new material; expect to hear “Brass in Pocket” and “Back on the Chain Gang,” among others.


What: Opening night of “The Phantom of the Opera”


Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $31-$115

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

The trailer for the current Broadway tour of “The Phantom of the Opera” looks less like a theater piece than a sumptuous Hollywood blockbuster: pyrotechnic flares, gold-bedecked sets, smoke and gondola excursions and precariously plunging chandeliers. Yes, the chandelier remains a scene-stealing co-star in this new production by Cameron Mackintosh, the billionaire British impresario. Weighing between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds, the colossal battery-powered light fixture contains 6,000 beads and 48 bulbs. If your only experience with “Phantom” is the meretriciously empty 2004 film adaptation, you owe it to yourself to experience Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ghostly melodramatic love triangle the way it is meant to be seen—which in this case means the original costume design, a new lighting design by a Tony winner, and a cast and orchestra of no less than 52. It runs through April 1.


What: Opening night of “Personal Shopper”


Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50-$9.50

Contact: 561/659-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com

Fresh off the success of their sensational 2015 film “Clouds of Sils Maria,” French auteur Olivier Assayas and recent muse Kristen Stewart return with this cerebral thriller. Stewart’s protagonist is at first whiff strikingly similar to her “Sils Maria” character—the personal assistant to a celebrity. But “Personal Shopper” turns out to be less about fame and the artifice of performance than it is an old-fashioned ghost story shot through an art-house lens, as Stewart’s title heroine believes she may be encountering cryptic signs from her recently departed twin brother. Earning comparisons to Hitchcock, this Cannes award-winner is certainly the buzziest film of early spring and should be an antidote to what has been a tepid post-Oscar lull.


What: The Boca Bacchanal

boca bacchanal

Where: Various locations

Where: Various event times

Cost: Varies per event

Contact: 561/395-6766 ext. 301, bocabacchanal.com

Now in its 15th year, Boca Ratonians’ favorite annual foodie event doubles, as always, as the premier fundraiser for one of the city’s most invaluable institutions, the Boca Raton Historical Society. If you’re an annual Bacchanalian, you know the drill: Festivities begin Friday with the priceless (and pricey, but well worth it) vintner dinners at select private estates and historical institutions, including the Addison, where top toques from the around the country will serve exclusive five-course meals for $325. On Saturday, foodies can enjoy the more-affordable Bacchanalia for $125 at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, where they’ll enjoy live music, vintner offerings, and culinary delights from 30 area restaurants. But we’re most excited about the additions this year: Friday’s vintner dinners will now include mixologist-curated spirits and liquor cocktails, and Saturday’s Bacchanalia will feature extended hours (until 11 p.m.), selfie spots scattered throughout the grounds and more.

What: Mike Birbiglia


Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach

When: Various show times

Cost: $30

Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com

The term “comedian’s comedian” has long applied to Mike Birbiglia, an improv veteran and alt-comedy urbanite. What does that moniker mean, exactly? It’s one way of indicating his cult appeal within the industry: His sly, wry material plays better with his devoted throng and his professional compatriots than with the public at large. But who needs mass appeal? Birbiglia’s highly personal routines—”Sleepwalk With Me” is about his unusual sleep disorder, and “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” is a spot-on relationship self-analysis—have been dextrous and impactful enough to run off-Broadway. He’s not promising that level of polish for this rare club tour, tellingly titled “Working it Out,” which features the rawest Birbiglia material you’re ever likely to hear. The tour will also feature improv bits and highlights from his last world tour, “Thank God for Jokes.”


What: Opening night of “Dry Powder”

DRY POWDER - Image 1 (Sans Credits)

Where: GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $52-$60

Contact: 305/445-1119, gablestage.org

Despite its vaguely drug-suggesting name, Sarah Burgess’ play “Dry Powder” is not about cocaine—though its chief characters have probably done their share. It’s set in a private equity firm, where attractive, expensively dressed, rapacious high-finance bigwigs sacrifice morality at the altar of capitalism. Riding a wave of pitchfork populism that began during the financial crisis of 2008, crested during Occupy Wall Street and reformed during the 2016 presidential election, “Dry Powder” features a smart script full of insider jargon—GableStage Artistic Director Joseph Adler told me he might need to include a thesaurus in the playbill—and amoral people doing plenty of amoral things. It feels timelier every passing day. GableStage’s regional premiere, starring Alex Alvarez, Steven G. Anthony, Katherine C. McDonald and Robert Strain, runs through April 23.

What: Opening night of “All the Way”


Where: Actors’ Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $64

Contact: 305/444-9293, actorsplayhouse.org

You’ve seen the HBO movie adaptation; now immerse yourself in the award-winning source material by playwright Robert Schenkkan. Lyndon Baines Johnson, fresh off the assassination of President Kennedy, attempts to wangle passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from a divided and intransigent Congress. Supporting characters include Martin Luther King Jr., J. Edgar Hoover and Lady Bird Johnson, in this wonkiest of recent American plays. It runs through April 9.


What: Closing weekend of Florida Renaissance Festival

ren fest

Where: Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach

When: 10 a.m. to sunset

Cost: $21

Contact: ren-fest.com

If you haven’t partaken in the medieval revelry of this most popular Renaissance festival in the southeast, now is your last chance. No less than 14 entertainment stations are chockablock with live bands, theatre, jousting, magic and more, some family-friendly and others rated R. Don’t miss the Splatter-time Players at the Mud Pit (dress appropriately) and Blackshear Comedy Magic at Showcase Pavilion. Wandering minstrels, gypsies and comedians rove the grounds as usual, and the theme for the final weekend is “Viking Barbarian,” so bring your proverbial—and not so proverbial—battleaxe.

ReDream, oil on canvas by Evan Lurie. On display at Art Boca in 2016.

Art Boca Starts Today, Ends Sunday


ReDream, oil on canvas by Evan Lurie. On display at Art Boca in 2016.

ReDream, oil on canvas by Alexi Torres on display at Evan Lurie Gallery at Art Boca in 2016.

One of Boca Raton’s most significant—and promising—art events is this weekend—and it’s a don’t-miss. Now in its second year and conceived as a spinoff of the Art Basel idea, Art Boca Raton Contemporary Art Fair starts today at the International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches (along with Florida Atlantic University) at 3450 N.W. Eighth Ave. in Boca.

The fair will feature sculpture, photography, works on paper and installations. There will be local and international exhibitors, including galleries/artists from Paris and Bucharest. The event is produced by NextLevel Fairs and will include a 65,000 square foot exhibition hall, a restaurant, a sculpture garden and a lecture auditorium.

The fair starts today at 11 a.m. and goes through 7 p.m. tonight. Saturday’s hours are the same and it concludes Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission starts at $15.

So get your art on this weekend; this event was impressive last year and promises to keep on getting bigger and better.

week ahead

A&E Week Ahead Feb. 28 – March 6

Literary and jazz lions kick off Festival of the Arts, a new Italian festival brings a Stallone to Fort Lauderdale, and the Okeechobee Music Festival camps out with the stars. Plus, KT Tunstall, A.O. Scott, the Miami Film Festival and more in your week ahead.


What: A.O. Scott


Where: Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 561/655-7227, fourarts.org

Scott has been chief film critic for the New York Times since 2004. He’s a witty, erudite and observant critic, whose tastes lean as much toward perfectly executed family fare as they do meandering art-house experiments. An accomplished book critic as well, Scott will discuss his chosen art form and his recent book Better Living Through Criticism, his eloquent defense of a career spent in the shadows of artists and clowns.


What: Opening night of Festival of the Arts Boca


Where: Mizner Park Cultural Center, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 561/368-8445, festivaloftheartsboca.org

Festival of the Arts Boca is finally upon us, offering 11 eclectic days of jazz and symphonic concerts, lectures, film screenings and more. Thursday’s opener, Jennifer Egan, is a darling among both the fiction and nonfiction literary sets, thanks in part to her episodic, rock-and-roll-set, Pulitzer-winning 2010 novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” as well as her award-winning reporting for the New York Times. She’ll discuss her occasional tightrope-walking between these not-so-opposing worlds of writing in her FOA lecture, titled “Novelist as Journalist/Journalist as Novelist.” Return Friday for acclaimed jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis at Mizner Park Amphitheater; and Saturday for a 4 p.m. presentation by affable New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff and a 7:30 p.m. semi-staged production of Puccini’s opera “La Boheme,” with the Boca Raton Symphonia.


What: Okeechobee Music Festival

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

Where: Sunshine Groves, 12517 N.E. 91st Ave., Okeechobee

When: Begins at 4 p.m.

Cost: $279 for four-day passes

Contact: okeechobeefest.com

It’s hard to believe, with the many months of anticipation, but at the time of this writing, tickets are still available for the Okeechobee Music Festival (we can’t all be Ultra, I guess). Now in its second year, this campground festival lies outside our usual coverage range—it’s about a 90 minutes’ jaunt from Boca—but we’re certain a huge contingent of South Florida music lovers will fill the middle-of-nowhere milieu for a lineup heavy on alt-rock, indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and jam bands. Top acts include Kings of Leon, Bassnectar, the drool-worthy pairing of Usher & the Roots, The Lumineers, Wiz Khalifa and George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic. Our favorites, among the dozens of acts, include the arena bombast of Bleachers, the crunching harmonies of Sleigh Bells, South Florida fuzz-rockers Jacuzzi Boys, throwback rockers The Growlers, and the brilliant and uncategorizable Merchandise.


What: The Fab Faux


Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $64-$121.50

Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com

The star-studded Beatles tribute act will once again descend on Fort Lauderdale for its annual tour of the Fab Four’s hits and deep cuts. Eschewing mop-tops and Liverpudlian accents, the singers and musicians of the Fab Faux—which includes former “Late Show With David Letterman” bassist Will Lee and Conan O’Brien guitarist Jimmy Vivino—focus 100 percent on the tunes themselves, often performing difficult albums in their entirety. This year, however, they’re mixing it up, isolating their two-act program by songwriter, not by LP: The first set will feature the “Book of Lennon—The Beatles According to John,” and Act Two will spotlight “The Book of McCartney—The Beatles According to Paul.” You know you fall on one side or the other as to the Beatles’ over-arching genius: Let the raging debate continue.

What: Opening night of Miami International Film Festival


“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer”

Where: Olympia Theater, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Varies per event

Contact: 305/237-3456, miamifilmfestival.com

Arguably the worldliest of South Florida’s film festivals, MIFF is the nation’s preeminent festival showcasing Ibero-American cinema. It’s also one of its most progressive festivals, with workshops and programming aimed at closing race and gender gaps in film and technology. To that effect, the 2017 fest will feature 15 premieres by female directors, from the American indie “Carrie Pilby” to the Indian political drama “Lipstick Under My Burkha.” The festival opens Friday with the Florida premiere of “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,” which arguably provides Richard Gere’s best star role since “Arbitrage,” in a similarly set story about the intersecting worlds of politics and finance. It screens at 7 p.m. at the Olympia Theater, followed by an opening-night party at the Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building; for the entire schedule, visit the festival’s website.


What: “Taste of Little Italy” Festival

Frank Stallone

Frank Stallone

Where: Huizenga Park, 312 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $10 adults, free for children 12 and younger

Contact: 561/427-0500, fortlauderdaleitalianfestival.com

Creating a “cultural journey filled with authentic Italian food, music, art and tradition” is the ambitious mission of this inaugural Fort Lauderdale festival. It aims to achieve this goal with a generous slate of culinary presentations and activities, vendor booths and live performances. There will be cooking demos, wine seminars, bocce and festival rides, and more than 10 singers, bands and dance troupes. Headliners for the three nights include Tommy Mara & the Crests, Salvatore Valentinetti and our personal fave—if only because he inspired some of Norm MacDonald’s best “Weekend Update” material—Frank Stallone, brother of Rocky himself. He’ll take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, following the 7:30 p.m. opening ceremony.


What: KT Tunstall


KT Tunstall learned to play piano at just 4 years old.


Where: The Bowery, 567 Hibiscus St., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25-$85

Contact: 561/420-8600, bowerypb.com

One of West Palm Beach’s newest restaurants, The Bowery has also become one of the region’s most impressive live music venues, hosting major international acts in intimate, under-the-radar performances: Lee Greenwood recently performed, and Edwin McCain and Jefferson Starship are on its March docket. But next up is KT Tunstall, the stylish Scottish singer-songwriter whose music is sunny, soulful and driving. Her backstory is astonishing: She was born to a Hong Kong stripper and was adopted by a family from Fife, where she learned piano at the prodigious age of 4. On the strength of her 2004 debut “Eye of the Telescope” and its ubiquitous single “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree,” Tunstall secured Grammy and Mercury awards. She’s never topped that song’s mass penetration, but her devoted following has continued to support her through four more albums, including 2016’s “Kin.”


What: Staged reading of “The Camp”


Playwright Michael McKeever

Where: Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 561/237-9000, lynn.edu/tickets

The last time South Florida playwright Michael McKeever premiered a new work at a Lynn University staged reading, that play—“Daniel’s Husband”—went on to win three Carbonell Awards, and it will enjoy its New York premiere in early April. So anticipation is high for McKeever’s latest work in progress, “The Camp,” a change of historical pace from McKeever’s contemporary-set recent plays. It takes place in a village of “good Germans” circa World World II, focusing on the citizens who looked the other way while the Nazi death machine steamrolled around them. “It’s a very human take on a time in world history where inhuman things were happening,” McKeever explained in a press release. “Sadly, it’s become relevant in the times we find ourselves living in now.” Sounds like another sobering winner.

julie feldman

Handbag Designer Julie Feldman Trunk Show This Week at Boca Museum of Art

Alina Z. Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat […]

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
Elton John Tribute  band Rocket Man

Arts & Entertainment Week Ahead Feb. 14-21


Broadway Ballads

Catch Broadway veterans singing your favorites from “Wicked,” “Phantom,” and selections from the impressive oeuvre of composer Stephen Schwartz, whose credits include “Pippin,” “Godspell” and “Wicked.” Chanteuse Debbie Gravitte, who has sung in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “9 to 5” is featured as Broadway performer Jason Graae (“Stardust” and “Snoopy!”), cabaret savant Scott Coulter and pianist John Boswell.

Where: Crest Theatre at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $52-$67

Contact: 561/243-7922; oldschoolsquare.org


Rocket Man

Elton John Tribute band Rocket Man

Elton John Tribute band Rocket Man

Sing along to Elton John’s greatest hits, “I remember when rock was young, me and Suzie had so much fun holding hands and skimming stones had an old gold Chevy?” An Elton John tribute band, Rocket Man, plays an exact reenactment of an early Elton John concert, featuring lavish costumes—many actually worn by the legendary rock star—and details down to the flashy grand pianos. Rocket Man, featuring Rus Anderson and his three-piece back-up band, has played BB King’s Blues Club, House of Blues, Hard Rock and other major venues with songs “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets” and more.

Where: Old Schoolhouse Square, Delray

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $31 to $59.

Contact: www.OldSchoolSquare.org or at 561/243.7922, ext. 1.


 Shake ‘Em On Down

Documentary about bluesman Fred McDowell

Documentary about bluesman Fred McDowell

Although his beginnings were humble as a cotton-picker, bluesman Fred McDowell went on to travel with the Rolling Stones, mentor Bonnie Raitt. McDowell was discovered by folk music field collectors in 1959, which propelled him into the folk movement of the 1960s. You can catch the story about the godfather of the North Mississippi style of blues in the one-hour documentary Shake ‘Em On Down, as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Following the screening, director Joe York will host a discussion about the film and his work.

Where: Bailey Hall, Broward College

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10, $8 seniors and children

Contact: box office at 954/201-6884 or www.baileyhall.org


The Spitfire Grill

Need a dose of hope and “soul satisfying” drama? Head out for the small town of Gilead, where a feisty parolee gets a job at a diner in a depressed small town in the musical theater production of “The Spitfire Grill” and restores hope to its residents.

Where: Studio One Theatre at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 2 p.m., 7 p.m.

Cost: $20

Contact: 800/745-3000, fauevents.com


The New Shanghai Circus and Traditional Chinese Acts



Captivating, colorful, dynamic – 2,000 years in the making. The Chinese acrobatic tradition, from the most graceful to the most demanding, has its origin in harvest festivals dating back to 700 B.C. Magnificent and polished to perfection, The New Shanghai Circus dazzles with its mastery of time-honored Chinese traditions.

Where: Keith C. and Elaine Johnson World Performing Arts Center, Lynn University

 When: Saturday: 7:30 p.m., Sunday: 4 p.m.

Cost: $50 to $70.

Contact: 561/237-9000, online at events.lynn.edu

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Week Ahead in A&E: Meet a Mummy, Stroll Stinkiest Festival Ever

Here’s your week ahead for February 7-12


Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Time travel back to ancient Egypt and meet a mummy!

Meet Annie, a 2,300- year-old mummy at the recently-opened exhibit “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science” at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Enter a lost world of 200 B.C. as you’re transported first to a modern Egyptian street scene, through a field site exploring tools and technologies used at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders on the Giza Plateau and, finally, plunge into ancient Egyptian culture with a mummy, funerary artifacts, art and culture of ancient Egypt. The laboratory X-rays animal mummies and does CT scans of human mummies.

Where: Lost Egypt, 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale

When: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Cost: $16 adults, $15 seniors 65-plus, $13 military and children age 2 to 12.

Contact: 954/467-6637 or www.mods.org



Craving a little cabaret to soothe the soul? Maybe a crooner is just what you need. Two-time Tony nominee Vivian Reed, known for her work in “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “High Rollers,” presents a cabaret set of “Standards and More,” focusing on the classics but with a smattering of less-familiar surprises at Lynn University.

Where: Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 561/237-9000, lynn.edu



Anthony Jeselnik

Fan of the sharp-tongued savant of the zinger? Catch the caustic Anthony Jeselnik (the former Mr. Amy Schumer, whose voice is sharper than his no-holds-barred ex-girlfriend), specializing in darkly comic standup that explores amoral, politically incorrect topics through deviant left-turns and hilarious non-sequiturs.

Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 250, West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com




Head out to the stinkiest street festival ever, the Delray Beach Garlic Festival — in Lake Worth of course. The longtime Delray Beach festival celebrates its first year in this 726-acre park in Lake Worth. Catch headlining acts Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Kongos, and Andy Childs. Savor the food court with more than 80 garlic-tinged items, a children’s amusement area and more than 180 craft and artist vendors. Shuttle service free from Palm Beach State College and Tri-Rail.

Where: John Prince Park, 2700 Sixth Ave. S., Lake Worth

When: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday

Cost: $10-20 for headliners; children under 12 free.

Contact: 561/279-0907, dbgarlicfest.com.



The worst dinner party ever, "Disgraced."

The worst dinner party ever, “Disgraced.”

Ever had a dinner party just die on you? Well, if you think you’ve thrown some bad ones, check out the political, personal and religious tensions colliding in “Disgraced.” A gathering heads South in an epically disastrous multicultural dinner party in this award-winning, button-pushing drama by Ayad Akhtar, which exposes prejudice, injustice and tribalism in equal measure.

Where: Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter

When: 8 p.m. curtain

Cost: $70 to 91

Contact: 561/575-2223, jupitertheatre.org.



Willie Cole lectures at the Norton.

The work of Willie Cole.

The work of Willie Cole.

Artist Willie Cole will discuss his work during a public presentation at the Norton Museum of Art in conjunction with the Norton Museum of Art’s Black History Month exhibition Spotlight: Recent Acquisitions.

Where: 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: Museum admission and Cole’s presentation are free.

Contact: 561/832-5196, Norton.org



For more arts and entertainment, visit the Arts/Entertainment tab on our site, and subscribe to the magazine for the best of Boca and beyond. 

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in "Neverland".

Kravis Center Announces 10th Anniversary Broadway Hits Season

Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in "Neverland".

Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie in “Neverland.”

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts announced its 10th anniversary season of Kravis On Broadway for 2017/2018.

“The King and I” opens Nov. 7 through 12; “The Book of Mormon” runs Nov. 21 through 26; “Finding Neverland” runs Jan. 2 to 7, 2018; “Cabaret” opens Feb. 6 through 11, 2018;  “The Illusionists Live from Broadway” opens March  through 11, 2018; “The Bodyguard runs April 10 to 15, 2018; “Something Rotten” runs May 1 to 6, and Disney’s “The Lion King” runs Feb. 1, 2017.


Book of Mormon


For information about purchasing a subscription to Kravis On Broadway 2017/2018, contact the Kravis Center box office at (561) 832-7469 or (800) 572-8471, or log on to www.Kravis.org/broadwayseason.

 "The Illusionists Live from Broadway."

“The Illusionists Live from Broadway.”

New editor of Boca and Delray magazines, Pamela served as storytelling coach and entertainment editor for USA Today network in Naples before moving to Lake Worth. A journalism professor with an M.A. in literary journalism, she’s a seasoned entertainment editor from San Francisco and Cincinnati.