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Your Week Ahead: Aug. 22 to 28

Animal artists show off their paintings, a Miami mentalist plays Russian roulette, and an all-female tribute act brings a Whole Lotta Love. Plus, Demetri Martin, Gilbert Gottfried, “The Sunshine Boys” and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: “The Sunshine Boys”

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

When: 2 p.m. Cost: $48

Contact: 954/344-7765, stagedoorfl.org

This 1972 Neil Simon comedy is the playwright’s nostalgic ode to vaudeville, that early-20th-century clearinghouse for live entertainers of various stripes—think “America’s Got Talent” for the Depression era. The Sunshine Boys of the title, Al Lewis and Willie Clark, were a once-successful vaudeville comedy duo for more than four decades, but whose relationship withered. When Willie’s nephew, a talent agent, inspires his uncle to reunite with his former partners, old wounds reopen with humor and Simon’s trademark humanism. Simon is said to have been inspired by several mostly forgotten, real-life vaudeville duos, such as Smith & Dale and Gallagher & Shean. We’d like to think that, given this week’s celebrity passing, that Martin & Lewis were firmly on Simon’s mind. “The Sunshine Boys” runs through Sept. 24.

THURSDAY

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What: ONYX Art Stroll

Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach

When: 7 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 866/811-4111, artsgarage.org

Arts Garage’s monthly celebration of South Florida artists and musicians features a pair of live bands and handful of artists and crafters hawking their original wares in the venue’s Grassroots Gallery. August’s lineup features soulful, funky rock bands Chemradery (pictured) and the Nostalgic Minds. The latter, a six-piece outfit, recently released an EP of acoustic songs and a faithful cover of Soundgarden’s “Fell On Black Days.” Between acts, and before the show, shop the local vendors, whose work is usually concentrated in outsider art, painting, sculpture, mixed media and jewelry.

THURSDAY TO SATURDAY

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What: Gilbert Gottfried

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

When: Various show times

Cost: $22

Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com

Back when “The Celebrity Apprentice” was merely one of television’s guiltiest pleasures and not a road map to a polarizing presidency, Gilbert Gottfried had the hilarious, unmitigated audacity to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler … to Donald Trump’s face. It should come as a surprise to no one that Gottfried didn’t last much longer on the NBC series; getting fired for un-P.C. barbs is kind of his thing. Just ask Aflac, which ended Gottfried’s lucrative tenure as its spokes-duck after he tweeted off-color jokes about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But for fans of the screechy-voiced comic, his ruthlessness at pillorying such sacred cows continues to ensure packed comedy clubs wherever he performs, in an act that is old-fashioned in its approach and cutting-edge in its content. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

THURSDAY TO SUNDAY

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What: Alan Chamo: “Mind Hacker”

Where: Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $39-$49

Contact: 800/211-1414, colonymb.org

Chamo, a longtime Miami magician and comedian, concludes his three-week residency at the Colony with six shows in both English and Spanish this weekend. A favorite on cruise ships and corporate mixers, Chamo’s “mind-blowing” show is focused on mentalism, the sophisticated art of simulating psychic powers. Interactive in nature, his act includes mind reading, blindfolded object detections, and a show-stopping, Russian Roulette style game involving paper bags and a large spike—making for a pointed illusion, indeed.

FRIDAY

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What: “Wet Hot American Summer”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $5, or $15 for VIP ticket

Contact: 561/243-7922, oldschoolsquare.org

This 2001 comedy set at a debauched summer camp in 1981 has enjoyed a surprisingly robust afterlife. Despite failing at the box office and among critics, “Wet Hot American Summer” has struck a chord with Gen-Xers and beyond, who appreciate its satirical skewering of 1980s sex comedies and its bonkers sense of humor, courtesy of “The State” alums Michael Showalter and David Wain. Bawdy, iconic and endlessly quotable, the movie’s enshrinement as a cult classic makes it a perfect fit for the Crest’s summer movie series. It also provides for plenty of star-gazing, with a parade of familiar faces including Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, and a then-unknown Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper. For a $15 VIP ticket, you get one drink and food item along with admission.

SATURDAY

Lez Zeppelin plays Led Zeppelin at the State Theater in Fairfax, Virginia on June 18, 2011. Photo by Pat Benic

Lez Zeppelin plays Led Zeppelin at the State Theater in Fairfax, Virginia on June 18, 2011. Photo by Pat Benic

What: Lez Zeppelin

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

“Lez Zeppelin” is an irresistible name for an all-female tribute act to Led Zeppelin, but if the four ladies didn’t bring the fire along with the irony, it would be easy to write them off as a novelty act. But these women rock just as hard as Robert Plant and company, resurrecting Zeppelin’s greatest hits with unimpeachable passion and urgency. The group established its authentic bona fides in 2007, when it enlisted Led Zeppelin sound engineer Eddie Kramer to produce its debut album. The band subsequently employed ‘60s-era period instrumentation, includes ‘50s guitars, a 1960s compressor and a Fuzzbender stomp box, to recreate the vinyl version of Zeppelin I. As a live band, the extra x chromosome goes a long way; for evidence, look no further than Lez Zeppelin’s orgasmic take on “Whole Lotta Love.”

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What: “Savage: Art Made by Animals”

Where: Macaya Gallery, 145 N.W. 36th St., Miami

When: 7 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: zoomiami.org

Yes, you read that correctly: This fundraiser features artwork created by the animals of Zoo Miami, with some assistance by their stewards. Themes include the relationship between the animals and their keepers, a collaboration that resonates across dozens of abstract paintings from a wide range of creatures, from snakes to elephants. The best of the bunch, like “Chimp Splatter” and “Croc Chaos,” even conjure Jackson Pollock! This special event includes music, free snacks and a cash bar, along with animal encounters for the first hour. All proceeds will support species conservation and research.

MONDAY (Aug. 28)

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What: Demetri Martin

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com

This Greek-American comedian from New York has built up a hip cultural pedigree: For years, he was the “Senior Youth Correspondent” on “The Daily Show;” he appeared on musical jokesters The Flight of the Conchords’ TV series; he starred in an Ang Lee movie and appeared in others by Steven Soderbergh and Lake Bell. He has achieved all of this bankable success through his consistently unique standup act, a sophisticated mélange of observations, self-deprecation, non-sequiturs and malapropisms inspired by the no-frills deadpanning of Steven Wright. As reviews of his current tours have indicated, Martin is also evolving: He eschews props such as the white drawing board of his earlier gigs, letting the jokes alone—eventually accompanied by acoustic guitar and other instruments—bring the funny.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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Patricia Nix’s Boca Museum Show is the Right Kind of Crazy

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At first awestruck blush, Patricia Nix’s work seems absolutely insane. And I mean that as a compliment, of course. She doesn’t create sculptures or paintings so much as phantasmagorical monuments to imaginary realms, often on a monolithic scale.

Nix is a collagist who constructs totems from secondhand ephemera, from doll parts to broken musical instruments to religious iconography and animal horns. Some suggest humanoid forms, while others adopt more abstract shapes. Most feel like offerings to pagan gods. The best reside on the border of the nightmarish and comic, a twilight zone that both attracts and repels. I’d want to buy these pieces in an instant, if I wasn’t afraid of the kind of energy they’d attract in my home.

These are the weird emotions that percolated during my visit this week to “American Baroque,” the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s audacious survey of Nix’s ongoing oeuvre. The native Texan has been making art for more than half a century, and she now works in her studio on Palm Beach, making surrealist outsider art that couldn’t be more incongruous from the other galleries on the island, with their accessible Pop art and gilded antiques. There’s little accessibility in Nix’s macabre mixed-media goulashes. And those stately figurines in the Worth Avenue galleries? She’s more likely to use them as readymade elements in her collages than display them.

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While there’s no linear chronology to the exhibition, “American Baroque” starts quite rightly, for visitors traveling clockwise, with one of her early pieces, “Bulldog on a Tightrope,” from 1978. Begin with this embryonic work, with its muted circusy atmosphere, because it only gets weirder from here. “Beauty and the Beast,” a sculpture begun in 1985 and completed in 2017, features the body of a string instrument encased in a cabinet, topped with the head of a monster which is sprouting wild antlers. The beast part is clear, so does the broken instrument represent music, which represents beauty?

Overthinking is de rigueur for most of these masterpieces, but it’s unnecessary for their appreciation. “Cowboy and Indian,” another wall-mounted assemblage, resembles neither of its titular archetypes, though it does suggest a humanoid animal chimera with a disemboweled keyboard for a spine. “As Time Goes By” conjures an instrument from some madman Terry Gilliam set—part chair, part piano, part clock, part midway amusement whose constituent parts have been stripped of their functionality.

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This transformation—from valued appliances, instruments and icons with individual purposes, to reinvented parts of an esoteric whole—is a recurring element across her oeuvre, often resulting in a mordant wit. In “Mother and Child,” a porcelain doll head rests atop what appears to be a miniature stove where inside, instead of a “bun in the oven,” there resides only wood shavings and cracked glass. The title character in “Fat Girl,” from 1984, is comprised of two chubby “legs” (actually ornate table legs), a jigsaw-puzzle heart with missing pieces, and an inverted tortoise shell to approximate an oversized midsection.

As Nix continued her practice into the Aughts, her art has seemingly become more vertical, more deliberately totemic, and even less figural. “Allegro 1” and “Allegro 2” are, in typical totem fashion, divided sectionally—abstract paint swatches here, dominos there, piano keys over there. “Flexible Totems” is a series of 24 narrow objects, each a work of extravagant collation, each suggesting a belt for an eccentric giant.

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The exhibition concludes with her large-scale interpretations of tarot cards, paintings composed of fever-dream visions of devils and hanged men, before coming full circle with “The Magic Mountain.” Completed in 2017, this newest sculpture is also the most massive in the exhibit, a golden shrine that feels like a Patricia Nix greatest hits collection, with its mounted steer head, its tiny piano, its billiard balls and bicycle wheel and dominoes and stopwatches. It’s festooned with too many religious icons to count, from Buddhas to crucifixes, popes to saints.

It comes across, like so many of her manic sculptures, like an object of worship, but of what? Certainly, Nix’s catchall ingredients and ambiguous aims transcend any one belief system. For all I know, she’s creating her own.

“Patricia Nix: American Baroque” runs through Oct. 22 at Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors and free for students with ID. Call 561/392-2500 or visit bocamuseum.org.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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Your Week Ahead: Aug. 8 to 14

A Cuban-American plumbs the distant past in Boca Raton, ’80s and ’90s rock icons channel “Rapture and Rage” in Hollywood,  and “Y&R” stars bring the small screen to the big stage. Plus, The Psychedelic Furs, Norm MacDonald, a horror movie fest and more in your week ahead.


TUESDAY

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What: Opening day of “Deep Line Drawings by Carlos Luna”

Where: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $10-$12, free for students

Contact: 561/392-2500, bocamuseum.org

Artist Carlos Luna is the embodiment of South Florida’s melting pot. A Cuban exile, he emigrated to Mexico in 1991 and then to Miami nearly a decade later, absorbing the customs, rituals and rich artistic heritage of each country. Cuban jargon, Mexican Day of the Dead-style imagery and even European cubism inform his dynamic oeuvre, which stretches from paintings and drawings to sculpture, tapestry and installations. Rootless, restless and forever innovating, Luna continues to integrate new styles and formats by, in the case of “Deep Line Drawings,” gazing into the distant past: The exhibition will feature new works on amate, a type of paper formed from natural tree bark whose practice dates to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It runs through Feb. 11, 2018.

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What: Blondie and Garbage

Where: Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $50-$90

Contact: 954/797-5531, myhrl.com

Pioneering female-fronted rock from two generations headlines this nostalgic jaunt, aka the “Rapture and Rage” tour. Former punk sensations Blondie, indefatigably touring with original members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke, continues to innovate on its star-studded latest album “Pollinator,” a dancey, sparkly collection of tunes that picks up where the group’s ‘80s pinnacle left off. Just as impressive, ‘90s hitmakers Garbage (“Stupid Girl,” “I Think I’m Paranoid”), led by the infectious and self-flagellating vocalist Shirley Manson, is likewise on the heels of its strongest album in years: the expansive, brooding and serpentine “Strange Little Birds.” Hear a tailored mix of the old and the new at this co-headlining tour, along with opening act Deep Valley. Look for a review of this concert Wednesday here on bocamag.com.

WEDNESDAY

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What: The Psychedelic Furs

Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $32

Contact: 954/564-1074, cultureroom.net

The night after Blondie, keep the ‘80s party raging with The Psychedelic Furs, the British New Wave standard-bearers founded by brothers Richard and Tim Butler. This group’s quartet of albums from their 1981 to 1987 peak period became permanent fixtures of pop music enthusiasts, underground goths and club kids alike, on the strength of Richard Butler’s singular vocal style, the band’s limitless capacity for shiny earworms—“Pretty in Pink,” “Heaven” and “Love My Way” are among its biggest—and its ability to channel the angst of its era and beyond. “President Gas,” for instance, written during the Thatcher and Reagan revolutions, contains lyrics that just as easily apply today. The Furs haven’t released an album in 26 years, but their ‘80s output continues to offer a trove of stellar material for the group’s fans, and their current set list stretches all the way back to their lesser-known, self-titled debut from 1980.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening of Fusion Art & Fashion Gallery

Where: 501 Fern St., West Palm Beach

When: 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/305-6004

West Palm Beach’s latest gallery, Fusion Art & Fashion, is a brainchild of the producers of the annual Fashion Week Palm Beach, an area staple since 2010. The gallery will keep things local for its inaugural exhibition, “Sublime Chaos: A Journey From Realism to Abstraction,” a showcase of 25 paintings from West Palm Beach-based artist Deborah Bigeleisen. Her swirling, tempestuous art pops off the canvas with bold colors inspired by fellow-abstract expressionist Paul Jenkins. Check it out through Oct. 10, and if you buy a painting, proceeds of the sale will benefit Soroptimist International of the Palm Beaches.

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What: Opening night of “True West”

Where: The Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost $20-$35

Contact: 954/591-0818, newcityplayers.org

In the kind of tragic scheduling irony that could never be planned, New City Players were likely in the early stages of rehearsing their production of Sam Shepard’s 1980 masterpiece “True West” when the heartbreaking news came across the wire: Shepard had died, at age 73, from complications of ALS. Also an Academy Award-actor specializing in rugged, earthen characters, Shepard was most prominently a playwright, where he penned emotionally excoriating and shocking sagas of fractured families. “True West” is a stellar example of his invigorating craftsmanship, focusing on the split between estranged brothers—a screenwriter and a petty thief—who find themselves cohabitating in their mother’s otherwise empty house. Tensions flare in this astute and surprising play, which seems to be as much about the entertainment business as filial strife. See this poignantly timed tribute to the late, great playwright, through Aug. 27.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Where: O Cinema Wynwood, 90 N.W. 29th St., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $12 per screening, $120 for all-access festival badges

Contact: popcornfrights.com

Most mainstream horror cinema, with its cheap and predictable scares and routine plotting, has nothing on the innovative and gonzo approaches of underground auteurs. That’s the raison d’être behind Popcorn Frights, which screens a flurry of cultish horror films too weird or subversive for commercial theaters. It all begins at 7 p.m. Friday with the Florida premiere of “Tragedy Girls,” a satirical horror-comedy that takes bloody aim at fame-seeking internet exhibitionism. The film stars Brianna Hildebrand, of “Deadpool,” and Craig Robinson, and has been described as “Scream meets Clueless.” Tickets are still available for most of the other films, which screen through Aug. 17. Check out the full schedule at the festival’s website.

SATURDAY

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What: “The Young and the Restless” Soap Opera Festival

Where: Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 N.W. 40th St., Coconut Creek

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30-$50

Contact: 800/653-8000, casinococo.com

Broadcast television may have entered its glacial death spiral, but “The Young and the Restless” shows no signs of diminishing. If anything, it’s keeping CBS alive. The highest-rated daytime drama on American television, “Y&R” proves that well-written, well-acted, well-directed soaps can still attract eyeballs and advertising dollars even in the Netflix world. Having never seen an episode, I won’t pretend to write about it with authority, but for the show’s fans, the actors appearing at this live Soap Opera Festival need no introduction. Amelia Heinle, Kristoff St. John, Tracey E. Bregman (pictured) and Chrisian Le Blanc will field questions from the audience and share behind-the-scenes insights about the Emmy-winning show’s production in this 75-minute program.

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What: Norm MacDonald

Where: The Casino @ Dania Beach, 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania Beach

When: 7 and 10 p.m.

Cost: $30-$45

Contact: 954/920-1511, casinodaniabeach.com

I reckon it’s been years since my favorite comedian, Norm MacDonald, has taken a stage in South Florida, so expect a slate of new (or at least new-ish) material that may or may not also be found on his recent Netflix special “Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery.” MacDonald is most famous for his polarizing three-year run as the “Weekend Update” anchor in the booming ‘90s of “Saturday Night Live,” in which he shredded pop-culture magnets like O.J. Simpson, Jack Kevorkian and Lyle Lovett with relentless potshots. But Norm’s oddball humor, which included deadpan parodies of Larry King and David Letterman, quickly bypassed mainstream acceptance in favor of cult worship, which only intensified during his brief film career and sitcom wilderness. Always better solo than in groups, MacDonald is most gifted on the standup stage, where his brand of alternative, ironic and occasionally anti-humor yields its richest rewards.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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Your Week Ahead: Aug. 1 to 7

Delray restaurants offer prix fixe discounts, a cappella singers reinterpret Top 40 hits, and a “Kosher cheerleader” explains her complicated backstory. Plus, Bill Maher, “Landline,” food & wine at an art museum and more in your week ahead.


TUESDAY

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What: Straight No Chaser with Postmodern Jukebox

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: $18-$89

Contact: 800/745-3000, ticketmaster.com

Like most a cappella groups, Straight No Chaser found its harmonic calling on a college campus, Indiana University, in the late 1990s. But it took the world nine years to fully discover the band, when a 1998 video of its polyphonic take on “The 12 Days of Christmas” went viral, in 2007. That video yielded 20 million hits and a five-record deal, which has seen the nine-piece ensemble expand well beyond holiday hits. At this concert, expect to hear the singers’ heavenly takes on vintage and contemporary classics from Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Hozier, Walk the Moon and many more. Definitely arrive early for openers Postmodern Jukebox, which similarly reinterprets the hits of others, transforming “Call Me Maybe” into a jazz standard and “Shake It Off” into a vintage Motown number.

 

Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

What: Opening day of “Dine Out Delray”

Where: Downtown Delray Beach restaurants

When: Lunch and dinner times

Cost: Varies per restaurant

Contact: 561/243-1077, downtowndelraybeach.com

If there’s still such a thing as a slow season in Palm Beach County, August is it: Parking in downtown Delray is more plentiful, events are scanter, noise pollution less invasive and, perhaps most importantly, restaurants are more available without a reservation. That’s why this midsummer night’s dream in the most fun small town in America has proven so popular: The annual Dine Out Delray Restaurant Week offers discounted opportunities to discover (or rediscover) the finest restaurants on and off the Ave, which will be serving prix fixe lunch and dinner specials through Aug. 7 only. The lunch deals run as low as $10 per person, and dinners start at $16. Culinary events and classes complement the great dining, and the list of participating restaurants is a gastronomic who’s-who: 32 East, 3rd and 3rd, Caffe Luna Rosa, City Oyster, Deck 84, Max’s Harvest, Prime and the list goes on an on. Visit downtowndelraybeach.com for complete details.

THURSDAY

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What: Art of Food & Wine Series

Where: NSU Art Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $40

Contact: 954/525-5500, nsuartmuseum.org

Once a month, the NSU Art Museum stays open until 8 on Thursday evenings to brings culinary delights to art lovers. The theme of this month’s program speaks for itself: “Wine & Chocolate, How Sweet It Is.” The event pairs four varietals with four types of chocolates from Hoffman’s, one of our region’s top suppliers of sweet-toothed goodness. While you’re there, stick around to check out shows like “Some Aesthetic Decisions” and “Anselm Kiefer” before they close in September.

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Sandy Gelfound

What: Opening night of “The Kosher Cheerleader: A Truish, Jewish Love Story”

Where: PGA Arts Center, 4076 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

When: Show times vary

Cost: $45-$59

Contact: 855/448-7469, pgaartscenter.com

Comedian Sandy Gelfound has enjoyed an unusual life. Aside from opening standup gigs for Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, Gelfound forged a twin career as a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, a five-year tenure that, in part, inspired this solo show. But “The Kosher Cheerleader” is also about her upbringing, which she says “left a hole in my heart.” Raised by a Jewish atheist father and a Russian orthodox gypsy dancer mom, Gelfound grew up battling her parents’ divergent opinions about life and their daughter’s career prospects. Gelfound hopes her show, with its amusing and touching contradictions, encourages others to find humor through hardship. It runs through Aug. 27.

FRIDAY

Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn appear in Landline by Gillian Robespierre, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jojo Whilden.

Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn appear in Landline by Gillian Robespierre, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jojo Whilden.

What: Opening day of “Landline”

Where: Cinemark Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $7-$11

Contact: 561/395-4695

Nineties nostalgia permeates the premise of “Landline,” an urbane comedy about a dysfunctional American family set during the fall of 1995. We’re not 15 minutes in before co-writer/director Gillian Robespierre has peppered her script with references to k.d. lang, Blockbuster Video and “Must See TV.” But it’s the transcendent universality of the characters’ foibles, not the ‘90s fetishism, that lifts the narrative. Jenny Slate plays an early-twenties professional who strays from her fiancée; Abby Quinn is her younger sister, newly experimenting with sex and drugs; and Edie Falco and John Turturro play their upper-middle-class parents, whose calcifying relationship is the elephant in every room they share. The film takes all the expected directions, but the charmingly wayward performances give us plenty to root for, and inject the familiar with pathos. It’s easily a sweeter, more egalitarian comedy than Robespierre’s 2014 debut, the polarizing culture-war bromide “Obvious Child.” In Boca, you can also see it starting Friday at Living Room Theaters and Regal Shadowood.

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What: Opening night of “The Good Thief”

Where: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 S.W. 211th St., Cutler Bay

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and industry, free for attendees under age 25

Contact: 786/573-5300, smdcac.org

Local theatre company Ground Up and Rising specializes in minimalist stagecraft, and it doesn’t get more minimalistic than “The Good Thief,” a 65-minute soliloquy from master Irish dramatist Conor McPherson. Carbonell Award winner Gregg Weiner, in what I take to be his first one-man show, plays the title character, a self-described “paid thug” whose profession consists of roughing up—and occasionally offing—the enemies of his employer, a crime boss. In McPherson’s evocative monologue, the thief reflects on his poor career prospects, his busted personal relationships, and a job that went terribly awry, forcing him to confront his conscience. “The Good Thief” is an early McPherson work, completed when he was in his early ‘20s; it likely won’t be produced again for an awfully long time, so it may be worth the schlep to South Miami. See it through Aug. 20.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

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What: Robert Dubac’s “The Book of Moron”

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

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $45-$50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

A monologist whose craft has been compared to Mark Twain and Lily Tomlin, Robert Dubac looks askance at American culture and politics, with an eye that is both jaundiced and probing. Prone to asking big-picture questions about a society awash in distracting minutia, Dubac acts as philosopher and social critic in his latest stage comedy “The Book of Moron,” which showcases his deft combination of standup and live theatre. In this touring production, which recently ran off-Broadway, Dubac inhabits multiple guises in his deconstruction of our so-called idiocracy, shooting at easy targets like the Kardashians and selfies but often reaching profound conclusions that encapsulate our damaged state of things. It’s no wonder that “the Book of Moron” has been described as “a head trip on a banana peel.”

SUNDAY

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What: Bill Maher

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

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $59-$95

Contact: 305/673-7300, livenation.com

It seems like yesterday that Bill Maher was being threatened by a lawsuit from one Donald J. Trump, after alleging in a comedy bit that Trump may, perhaps, be the child of an orangutan, and that only the release of the billionaire’s full birth certificate could disprove the assertion. Nothing came from this litigious confrontation between two of the most inflated egos in popular culture, but it proved a harbinger of humor to come. Trump has a different job title now, one that has been keeping Maher’s weekly talk show, Real Time, stocked with his best material since the George W. Bush administration. Expect Palm Beach’s most famous semi-resident to consume much of the oxygen in Maher’s new standup tour, which will likely address his favorite themes—from religion to political correctness to the media.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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The Norton Makes “French Connections” in New Show

If food were art, the Norton Museum has become more of a tapas bar than a full-service restaurant. Working with abbreviated gallery space while the rest of the museum is under renovation, the Norton has eschewed large-scale, multiroom shows in favor of “Spotlight” exhibitions like its newly opened “French Connections,” which showcases the work of five French photographers, past and present. Like many small plates, it satisfies but also leaves you hungry for more—namely for a massive survey of French photography, the kind that could consume an entire floor.

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For now (and for free, which certainly helps!), we have “French Connections,” a small show by anyone’s estimation, but one with nary a dud on the wall. Historic French photography is best represented here by Eugene Atget, a documentarian of street life sans the living: People never show up in the Norton’s Atget selections, unless you count the mannequins communing in “Storefront Window Reflection.”

Under Atget’s camera eye, the trees in the Parisian parks are always naked, the boats in the shipyard placidly docked, and the cafes are closed for business. In light of recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe, Atget’s early 20th century black-and-whites—elegantly printed by Man Ray’s assistant, Berenice Abbott—take on the solemn air of a nation in mourning. Yet there’s an equal amount of beauty in the absence, each image composed like a landscape artist’s carefully tended still-life.

Post-WWII American street photographer Erika Stone, on the other hand, focused her images of the City of Light on its many denizens. And this section of “French Connections” is arguably the most iconically Francophilian, from a man asleep on a park bench, complete with beret and winter coat; to an elderly resident glaring out a window while children pose for the camera in the spaces between potted plants; to an image cloaked in noirish light, a lone figure walking amongst the gutter water and classic architecture.

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From there, the exhibition slingshots to the present, with a pair of terrific works by the familial artist collective Les Soeurs Chevalme. Their subjects are urban street dancers, but it’s the form that rivals the content: The Chevalmes hand-stenciled patterns into the negatives before imposing the portrait on top, so each photograph is really two artworks that comment on each other. Note the way the designs on a breakdancer’s hooded sweatshirt play gently off the stenciled filigrees in “Santo Lazarus,” or the way the spaceman-like stenciled images of “Arouna” reflect the way its dancer seems to be leaping toward the stars.

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Less successful in this “Spotlight” format is Valerie Belin’s one example from her “Moroccan Brides” series, not because the work isn’t powerful but because it yearns for more context. Additional prints of her Moroccan brides would have enhanced the artist’s vision for spectators unfamiliar with Belin’s work; on its own, the piece feels a bit marooned.

Saving the most impressive for last, Yasumasa Morimura’s 1990 masterpiece “Portrait” consumes an entire wall, and for good reason. The artist spent months painting and recreating the backdrop for this gender-bending deconstruction of Edouard Manet’s once-scandalous painting, “Olympia.” Manet was an Impressionist, but Morimura’s recreation is nothing if not expressive. He portrays both the lounging Caucasian prostitute and the black-skinned servant, fluidly merging male and female, white and black, artist and subject. The lines blur so much in this one photograp that they’re pretty much rendered nonexistent.

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Like any great tapas dish, it inspires you to order more: In the New Norton, a Morimura career retrospective would be more than welcome.

The Norton is at 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Admission is free. Call 561/832-5196 or visit Norton.org.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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Your Week Ahead: June 27 to July 3

PAMM explores the politics behind dominoes, Mad Cat Theatre opens a climate-change comedy, and a “Stranger Things” star brings psych-pop to West Palm Beach. Plus, the Vans Warped Tour, French photography, “Slack Bay” and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: Post Animal

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

When: 9 p.m.

Cost: $8

Contact: sub-culture.org/respectable-street

The hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” may trade in nightmares, but Post Animal barters in dreams. There’s a reason for this comparison. The horror procedural and the Chicago psych-rock band share a cast member in common: Joe Keery, a distinctively pompadoured millennial whose acting career has helped bolster his musical one. He plays guitar and sings in Post Animal, whose members have grown from four to six in just a couple of years, a testament to the group’s ever-expanding sound—a trippy, ‘60s-inflected psychedelic stew with echoes of acts like Tame Impala and the Shins. It belongs on alternative radio as much as both of those bands, and its cachet is growing. See this exciting new act now before it outgrows intimate venues like Respectable Street.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening day of “French Connections: Photography”

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

When: Noon to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org

If your knowledge of French photography begins and ends with the street photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson, you’re forgiven. Bresson, considered by many to be the godfather of photojournalism, tends to tower over his contemporaries and followers like the Eiffel Tower. But for more than a century, French photographers of many moods, styles and disciplines have been illuminating their country for international and local viewers alike. This exhibition, culled from the Norton’s photography collection, features prominent French photographs from early black-and-white documents of Paris to contemporary portraits reflecting the nation’s diverse cultural makeup. Stay late for Thursday’s Art After Dark, featuring live music, a DIY art activity, a Curator’s Conversation, Happy Hour drinks and more.

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What: Opening reception of “Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles”

Where: Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $12-$16 museum admission

Contact: 305/375-3000, pamm.org

Though its roots date to ancient China, the game of dominoes thrives most prominently today in Latin America, the Caribbean and the American South. Miami tends to straddle all three of these worlds, and a stroll down Calle Ocho in Little Havana any night of the week offers a testament to the gane’s competitive, community-building popularity. “Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles” speaks the language of dominoes, featuring works by 21 artists that reference the game directly or indirectly. These include paintings, sculptures, installations, videos and mixed-media works touching on political struggle, racial stereotyping, religion and more. At Thursday’s opening reception, three of the artists will discuss the show with two PAMM curators. It runs through Oct. 29.

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What: Opening night of “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary”

Where: Miami Theater Center, 9816 N.E. Second Ave., Miami Shores

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $15-$25

Contact: madcattheatre.org

Like George Orwell, South Florida playwright Theo Reyna believes language matters—and that when governments attempt to remove linguistic weapons from our arsenal of truth, we mustn’t acquiesce. At least that’s my takeaway from the story and inspiration behind Reyna’s latest comedy, “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” opening this weekend from Mad Cat Theatre Company. Described as “a dark comedy about some light censorship,” the play was borne out of Gov. Rick Scott’s provocative banning of the terms “climate change” and “global warming” by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection and other government agencies. It’s set in the near future, and its protagonist, a climate scientist, must fight an obstinate bureaucracy to raise necessary alarm bells about the erosion of the state’s limestone bedrock. Is it science fiction or a prophetic docu-play? Decide for yourself in this world-premiere production, which runs through July 16.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening day of “Slack Bay”

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50-$9.50

Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com

Three of French cinema’s biggest stars—Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi—pratfall majestically through “Slack Bay,” the latest absurdist farce from master director Bruno Dumont. It’s set on the titular bay in France, a picturesque summer getaway for the Van Peteghams, an eccentric bourgeois family. They’d like nothing better than to while away a season sunbathing and feasting, but a pair of bumbling inspectors disrupts their reverie: They’re investigating a strings of missing tourists, and the Van Peteghams might be suspects. Marrying the class critiques of directors like Bunuel and Godard with the slapstick of Laurel and Hardy and Monty Python, “Slack Bay” has been called “madcap,” “deranged” and “completely off the wall”—which are compliments, of course.

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What: Nights at the Museum: “SeaFari”

Where: South Florida Science Center, 4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $6-$12

Contact: 561/832-1988, sfsciencecenter.org

Swimming with tropical fish is made easy—with no wetsuits or snorkel equipment required—thanks to South Florida Science Center’s Virtual Oceans. The virtual reality technology simulator is one of the highlights of this aquatic-centered edition of the museum’s monthly evening program for families. Attendees can also enjoy a fishy craft activity, the Shark Trek Interactive Lab, and activities and conversations with local marine vendors. For an extra $3-$5, you can catch the museum’s appropriately themed planetarium show, “Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef,” about a pair of animated fish on a mission to save an endangered reef.

SUNDAY

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What: Vans Warped Tour

Where: Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach

When: 11 a.m.

Cost: $42

Contact: livenation.com

While other touring rock festivals have peaked and fallen, bankrupted and reformed, the Vans Warped Tour has consistently survived recessions and changing musical trends, continuing to offer its durable brand of punk, emo, hardcore and metal since 1995. This year’s lineup, on a whopping seven stages, skillfully commingles classic and newer acts, retaining the Warped Tour’s dedicated core demo while expanding its sonic footprint. This year, catch the recently reformed ska titans Save Ferris (pictured), metalcore pioneers Hatebreed, theatrical horror-rockers GWAR, protest punks Anti-Flag, Southern rock/heavy metal fusers Valient Thorr and many, many (many!) more.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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Your Week Ahead: June 20 to 26

The Morikami toasts four decades of Japanese culture, a photography pioneer exhibits in West Palm Beach, and 40 bands blanket Dade County with noise at the Miami Psych Fest. Plus, Diana Ross, a Delray literary panel, “Manifesto” and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: International Yoga Day

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 5 p.m. Cost: $30

Contact: 954/295-2458, namastacyyoga.org

It doesn’t get more Boca than this annual wellness festival presented in honor of International Yoga Day, hosted worldwide each June 21 since its inception in 2015. Palm Beach County’s celebration, presented by NamaStacy Yoga, features contributions from Master of Ceremonies Suzanne Boyd, of CBS-12; a one-of-a-kind VinVersion yoga class hosted by NamaStacy’s telegenic founder, Corbin Stacy; a taiko drumming performance; and a YinYoga and meditation program lead by “Vegas Gone Yoga” festival creator Kristina Blunt and meditation guru Pam Butler. Attendees must bring their own mats.

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What: The Indie Experience

Where: Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/279-7790, murderonthebeach.com

Historical thrillers, eccentric South Florida-set comedies, tender romances, and private-eye mysteries will take center stage at this diverse panel discussion between local authors. Moderator Charles Todd will host six emerging and veteran wordsmiths, each of them promoting a book hot off the presses: Carol White (A Divided Duty), R.V. Reyes (Jeweler’s Mark), Victoria Landis (Alias: Mitzi & Mack), Marcia King-Gamble (Just You), Joanna Campbell Slan (Love, Die, Neighbor) and Kathy Runk (Murder at the Rectory). Pick up a summer beach read, and discover a new favorite author.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening reception of “John Reuter: Second Impressions”

Where: Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 415 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/253-2600, workshop.org

A celebrated photographer since the 1970s, John Reuter has been at the forefront of some of the medium’s most luminous innovations—especially the Polaroid Corporation’s 20X24 camera, whose instant, massive prints became the gold standard in analog large-scale photography: Its adopters included Andy Warhol, Chuck Close and William Wegman. The stunningly high-resolution format has apparently reached its twilight, with Reuter’s 20X24 Studio set to cease operations by the end of 2017. So it’s an ideal time to remind us of its capacity. Reuter’s own 20X24 shots, which broke ground by combining photography with painting and collage, will display at this free exhibition, along with his captivating infrared landscapes of Singapore, shot between 2009 and 2011. It runs through Aug. 5.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of “Manifesto”

Where: Lake Worth Playhouse’s Stonzek Theatre, 709 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

When: 2 and 6:15 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org

From royal elves to wicked stepmothers, and from Queen Elizabeth I to Bob Dylan, Cate Blanchett has inhabited a remarkable range of personae in a film career that has swung, pendulum-like, from the conventional to the eccentric. In terms of the latter, it’s going to be difficult to eclipse “Manifesto,” in which Blanchett takes on 13 roles with chameleonic ease, from schoolteacher to factory worker, punk to newsreader, scientist to homeless man. Each character represents, and reads from, an important political or art-world manifesto, in curated settings that support, or ironically comment on, the spoken provocations. Originally an audiovisual exhibition by artist Julian Rosefeldt, which ran in museums on 13 screens simultaneously, this film version presents the roles in a linear fashion, but don’t expect a plot to emerge: This is Art with a capital A. It runs through next Thursday.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

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What: Miami Psych Fest

Where: The Bridge, 4220 N.W. Seventh Ave., Miami

When: Begins at 5 p.m. Friday

Cost: $10 per day, $15 for weekend pass (free for the first 50 entrants per day)

Contact: miamipsych.eventbrite.com

Miami has always been a haven for weird music, and this weekend’s Psych Fest gathers 40 radical acts in one compact place: the experimental arts hub The Bridge. The “psych” label is deployed liberally: Headliners and other touring acts include the inventive Memphis rapper Ash Leon; the indefatigable avant-jazz virtuoso Kenny Millions, who has released nearly 70 albums since 1964; Nashville-based No Wave/shoegaze band Sallow; and the definitive psych-pop of Orlando’s Timothy Eerie. There’s also live art-making and a lightshow, and all ages are welcome. “Trippy” attire is encouraged.

SATURDAY

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What: Diana Ross

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $49 and up

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

We tend to overuse the superlative “legendary,” but with a career dating back nearly 60 years, Diana Ross has earned her status as soul-dance-disco royalty. Like Alfred Hitchcock, the former Supreme inexplicably never won the premier competitive award in her industry, but the Grammys did bestow her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, honoring a career total of 70 hit singles and more than 100 million records sold worldwide. At 73, the singer-actress can still belt with the best of them: She’s fresh off a five-night stint in New York City, where she played two dozen songs per show, from Supremes classics to solo songs and covers, including tunes she popularized in her film work in “The Wiz” and “Lady Sings the Blues.” Her daughter, accomplished singer Rhonda Ross, will open the show.

SUNDAY

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What: 40th Anniversary Celebration

Where: Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: Begins at 10 a.m. Cost: $15 (or four tickets for $40)

Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org

It’s been four decades since the Morikami opened in western Delray Beach, on land once occupied by influential immigrant farmer George Morikami. The relationship between Delray Beach and Japan has continued to blossom thanks to the Morikami’s remarkable growth: The institution now spreads Japanese art, culture, food and horticulture to more than 200,000 annual visitors, and its museum houses more than 8,000 objects. Celebrate the venue’s landmark anniversary at this daylong bash, which includes craft activities, live music and Museum Store discounts. Satisfy your sushi cravings with a pair of exclusive rolls as well as a special appetizer: the Pacific Yellowtail Tuna Carpaccio.

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What: “’night, Mother” reading

Where: The Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 1 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 954/610-7283, thinkingcaptheatre.com

In its ongoing efforts to bridge the gender gap in the theater community, Thinking Cap Theatre has been producing the yearlong series “Gap,” featuring readings of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays by women. It’s a small pool from which to choose: Of the 86 Pulitzer-winning plays, only 15 have been written in part or in full by women. Thinking Cap’s monthly series spotlights 11 of them, including this weekend’s entry, ‘”night, Mother”—Marsha Norman’s emotionally taxing masterpiece about a young woman who, to her mom’s dismay, has decided to take her own life. This powerful two-hander will be read by Karen Stephens and Tina Thomas, with direction by Elizabeth Price. A talkback will follow the performance.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
In this Jan. 26, 2015 photo, Tig Notaro poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Tig", at the Eddie Bauer Adventure House during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Your Week Ahead: June 13 to 19

The Art & Culture Center marries postcards and protest, the Stonewall Festival honors LGBTQ resistance, and two funny women create a dynamic stage comedy. Plus, Tig Notaro, Will to Power, a foodie documentary and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: Opening night of “Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $35-$45

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

As the story goes, friends and veteran stage actors Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring recently rediscovered their childhood diaries and decided to plumb them together. The similarities that connected these natives of Canada and Colorado, respectively, overrode their differences, convincing these naturally funny creatives that there might be a show to be found in the detritus of their youth. The estrogen-fueled “Girls Only” expanded from there, evolving into a multimedia touring production that includes sketch comedy, improvisation, audience participation, videos and songs. Gehring and Klein play all the characters in a tour de force by and for women. It runs through June 25.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening night of “The Goldberg Variations”

Where: Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/519-2533, islandcitystage.org

Inspired by the gorgeous and ubiquitous J.S. Bach aria of the same name, Stuart Meltzer’s play “The Goldberg Variations” imagines a different group of Goldbergs: an eccentric modern family that gathers for an annual birthday celebration of a beloved, long-deceased matriarch. This year’s party will be a momentous one, as secrets unfurl amid an evening itinerary curated by Goldberg scion Caleb, whose narrative “variations” alter the present while serving to extend a difficult emotional evening. Meltzer, the artistic director of Miami’s Zoetic Stage, based “The Goldberg Variations” partly on the relationship with his own father in the latter’s final months, tempering the drama with comedy that’s both relatable and absurdist. Catch this world premiere production through July 16.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of “Past Life”

Where: Regal Shadowood 16, 9889 W. Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $10-$13

Contact: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/past-life

Deftly combining the personal, political and historical, this latest feature from veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher is a fact-based odyssey of truth and reconciliation that spans three countries. In 1977, Sephi (Joy Rieger), an aspiring classical composer and choir student, has just performed a concert in West Berlin when she is accosted by an older woman who accuses her father, a gynecologist in Israel, of being a murderer. This prompts Sephi and her more-rebellious sister Nana (Nelly Tagar) to investigate a traumatic past their father would prefer to consign to the history books. The first film in an intended trilogy, “Past Life” is superbly acted and finely crafted, if overly calculated: As history is rummaged and the chips fall, it can feel too much like a movie. But its powerful sweep bristles with ambition and curiosity for parts two and three. You can also see “Past Life” at Living Room Theaters at FAU. Ella Milch-Sheriff, the real-life inspiration for Sephi, will speak at a live Skype Q&A following the noon showtime on June 18 at Living Room.

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What: Opening night of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent”

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50-$9.50

Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com

Though he never achieved the level of fame of some of his contemporaries, celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower has had a major role in defining, and refining, today’s foodie culture. At least that’s one of the takeaways of “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” a documentary about the toque’s tumultuous culinary legacy. Capturing Tower’s brazenness, prickliness and perfectionism, the Anthony Bourdain-produced doc is filled with important talking heads waxing praise on Tower, whose history includes helping to create California cuisine with Alice Waters, opening the landmark San Francisco eatery Stars, and disappearing from kitchens for more than a decade before his short-lived return to Top Chef status at New York City’s Tavern on the Green. It’s a worthy introduction to a figure the New Yorker recently called “a forgotten father of the American food revolution.”

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What: Opening night of “Dear 33020”

Where: Art and Culture Center, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 954/921-3274, artandculturecenter.org

Call it a form a slow-motion protest. In the instantly gratified age of Tweets and blogs, South Florida artist Lisa Rockford and Connecticut artist Margaret Roleke have collaborated on a project addressing feminism in President Trump’s first 100 days through a most analog of mediums: postcards. From Jan. 20 through May 1, these relative strangers expressed their shared discontent in a series of witty, playful, socially conscious postcards exchanged through the U.S.P.S. Each time a postcard arrived, it was placed on a gallery wall here in Hollywood and in New Haven, connecting with the other postcards to form a comprehensive image encapsulating the artists’ views of the new president. Their co-inspired vision, “Dear 33020,” opens Friday, along with two other exhibitions, “Charley Friedman: Moist Things” and “David Rohn.” All run through Aug. 20.

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What: “I Want My ‘80s Back” with Will to Power

Where: Honey Delray, 16 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

When: 10 p.m.

Cost: $10 presale

Contact: eventbrite.com

Surely the most prominent musical act named for a Friedrich Nietzsche text, Miami’s Will to Power crested the wave of ‘80s dance pop on the strength of its self-titled 1988 debut. The dance trio (now a duo) imagined fresh, synth-driven takes on Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” and Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” while achieving Billboard chart success with its original dance singles “Fading Away” and “Say It’s Gonna Rain.” Having signed to Epic Records, Will to Power’s success was limited to two LPs, though the group returned in 2015, after a 15-year absence, with the album “Spirit Warrior.” See founding member Bob Rosenberg and vocalist Carmen Medina explore Will to Power’s nostalgic catalog at this throwback concert, which will be preceded by at least three hours of ‘80s and ‘90s tunes spun by DJ Johnny Quest.

SATURDAY

Style: "Standard Look"

What: Stonewall Festival

Where: 2345 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

When: 3 to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/621-1350, wiltonmanorsstonewall.com

Each June, Wilton Manors’ Stonewall Festival honors the original Stonewall riots of 1969, in which New York City’s gay community staged revolutionary protests against police oppression. These rallies honor that heritage while acknowledging how far the LGBTQ communities have come in nearly 50 years. There will be live entertainment, a vendor marketplace and a 4 p.m. parade down Wilton Drive, with 30,000 individuals and families expected to turn out. This year’s special guest and Stonewall Grand Marshal is Sharon Gless (pictured), the 10-time Emmy nominee for “Cagney & Lacey” and a longtime LGBTQ activist. Visitors can meet Gless for photo ops from 6 to 8 p.m. at the National Stonewall Museum, at 2157 Wilton Drive.

SUNDAY

In this Jan. 26, 2015 photo, Tig Notaro poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Tig", at the Eddie Bauer Adventure House during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

What: Tig Notaro 

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $28.50-$34.50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

In the early 2000s, Notaro toiled as a cult figure on the alternative comedy circuit, earning a dedicated niche of fans on the strength of her unconventional prop jokes and pithy quips. The Mississippi native never pulled much material from her life until life started pulling at her: In the span of a year, in 2012, her mother died in a freak accident, she broke up with her girlfriend, and she was diagnosed with two diseases, including breast cancer. She addressed these topics in a now-legendary standup appearance on August 2012 in Los Angeles; two years later, having undergone a double mastectomy with no reconstructive surgery, she performed a set topless in New York City. These days, she’s a mother of twin girls and an inspiration who continues to pull from her storied life, sprinkling anecdotes amid signature deadpan observations.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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The Week Ahead: June 6 to 12

Fort Lauderdale’s Hukilau sways to a Polynesian beat, the Morikami unveils a century-spanning blockbuster exhibit, and Julian Assange is ready for his complicated close-up. Plus, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Reel Big Fish, South Florida Cultural Consortium grant-winning artists, and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: Opening night of The Hukilau

Where: The Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six, 2301 S.E. 17th St., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $49-$129 for day passes; $159-$379 for festival passes

Contact: thehukilau.com

Celebrate the nostalgic history and culture of Polynesia with rum-imbibing, lei-wearing, hula-skirted enthusiasts the world over at this international tiki confab. Hardcore fans of the longstanding festival can begin celebrating at the “Pre-Party” Wednesday at the Mai-Kai’s Molokai Bar near the host hotel, but full-day activities kick off Thursday with a customarily diverse schedule of mixology events, surf-rock and lounge concerts, lectures, film screenings, workshops, pool parties, storytelling sessions, a daily “Tiki Treasures” shopping bazaar and more. Underwater performances by Fort Lauderdale’s favorite fire-breathing mermaid, MeduSirena, are an annual tradition. New inductees to the cult of Hukilau might want to start with the First Timers Welcome Reception at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

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What: Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears for Fears

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $31-$125.50

Contact: 786/777-1000, aaarena.com

Daryl Hall and John Oates’ once-novel fusing of rock and R&B has endured better, and longer, than the music of many of their ‘70s peers, thanks to newfound appreciation in the Aughts: an award-winning Daryl Hall-hosted Web TV series launched in 2007, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2014, a Hollywood Walk of Fame induction in 2016, and numerous performances on “The Voice” that reassert the duo’s Platinum-selling timelessness. Expect an outpouring of love from longtime fans and new discoverers alike, as Hall and Oates perform “Maneater,” “Rich Girl,” “Out of Touch” and a smattering of deeper cuts. Co-headliners Tears for Fears have enjoyed a similar durability while operating on the softer side of the British New Wave movement, across anthems as varied as “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout” and “Pale Shelter.”

THURSDAY

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What: Eliot Lewis

Where: Boston’s on the Beach, 40 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/278-3364, bostonsonthebeach.com

Can’t afford Wednesday’s Hall & Oates show—or don’t want to schlep to Miami for it? There’s no excuse to miss the next best thing when the duo’s touring guitarist, Eliot Lewis, makes a one-night-only stop at Boston’s. Lewis, who has been performing with Hall & Oates since 2013, is just as proficient in keyboard, bass and drums. He’s earned an international reputation as an impeccable sideman, from his long tenure with Average White Band to stages shared with Rob Thomas, Jewel, Train, Darius Rucker and more. He’s also a largely autobiographical singer-songwriter with six albums to his credit, and it’s these songs, plus select covers, that Lewis will perform at this intimate Delray Beach show alongside eclectic rock-soul guitarist Billy Livesay. Show up early for the best views.

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What: Opening night of South Florida Cultural Consortium exhibition

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 N.E. 125th St., North Miami

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $3-$5

Contact: 305/893-6211, mocanomi.org

As the largest government-sponsored grant program in the region, the South Florida Cultural Consortium is funded by organizations such as the National Endowment of the Arts and the Florida Department of State. Hundreds of local artists apply for SFCC grants, but only a few make the cut—and it’s those artists that will line the walls and floors of the newly renovated Museum of Contemporary Art. The 25 FFCC prizewinners from years 2014 and 2016 on display include such prominent and emerging South Florida artists as Edouard Duval-Carrie, Bhakti Baxter, Kevin Arrow, TD Gillispie, Vanessa Diaz and Jillian Mayer. The diverse media include drawing, painting and sculpture addressing such themes as migration, popular culture and our technology ubiquity. The exhibition runs through Aug. 6.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening day of “Building a Legacy”

Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $9-$15 museum admission

Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org

The late Mary Griggs Burke spent more than half a century amassing what is considered the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan—works dating all the way back to the Jomon period of history (2500-1500 B.C.). When New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art showcased Burke’s collection, in 2000, then-director Philippe de Montebello commented that the works “span vividly the remarkable history of one of the world’s great cultures.” We now have the rare opportunity to feast on her expansive, centuries-spanning collection at this selection of works loaned to the Morikami, which became a chief outlet for Burke’s patronage: It was Burke’s contributions, after all, which filled the Morikami’s newly constructed galleries back in 1993. “Building a Legacy” will include more than 60 pieces in mediums ranging from paintings and prints to ceramics, lacquer and textiles. It runs through Sept. 17.

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What: Opening night of “Risk”

Where: Lake Worth Playhouse’s Stonzek Theater, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

When: 2 and 6 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org

Laura Poitras is attracted to controversial figures like moths are attracted to light. The American documentary filmmaker spent six years, on and off, shadowing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for the new film “Risk.” Her Oscar-winning exclusive with Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” grew out of this project. But unlike the Snowden film, “Risk” is less supportive of its subject. Initially a more glowing portrait when it premiered at Cannes last year, “Risk” has evolved since its prickly protagonist took an activist role in the 2016 presidential election. Poitras has come to view Assange differently than when she embarked on the film, going so far as to recut the movie. This new “Risk” is a fascinating case study in maintaining the journalistic long view in the midst of a surreally accelerating news cycle. See it this weekend, before it changes again for the home video release.

SUNDAY

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What: Reel Big Fish: “The Beer Run”

Where: Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 5 p.m.

Cost: $28-$30

Contact: 954/449-1025, jointherevolution.net

It’s been more than 20 years since ska-popsters Reel Big Fish released their iconic single “Beer,” a jaunty paean to the palliative effects of an empty bottle. The anthem remains a staple at the group’s concerts, but this tour takes an appreciation for hops ‘n’ suds one step further. “The Beer Run” includes a “Mini Beerfest” at America’s Backyard, the outdoor space attached to Revolution, which includes free tastings and specials from Cigar City, Sweetwater, Magic Hat, Lagunitas and more crafty purveyors, appropriately scheduled to begin at the happy hour of 5 p.m. The great lineup of opening acts kicks off in the early evening as well, including Tunnel Vision, the Expendables and one of my favorite retro punk acts of the ‘90s and beyond, The Queers.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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What is Art? “Some Aesthetic Decisions” Prompts This Eternal Question

One hundred years ago this spring, Marcel Duchamp submitted an actual, unadulterated urinal as a piece of art in a major exhibition. The shockwaves of this provocation have rippled across the decades.

The famed conceptual artist and Dadaist entered the porcelain urinal in the Society of Independent Artists’ first group show at New York’s Grand Central Palace. He was told that all works would be accepted by artists who paid the fee, as Duchamp did, but his toilet, which he called “Fountain,” was rejected by the committee and was apocryphally destroyed shortly thereafter. All that remains of this audacious act is an iconic black-and-white photograph by Alfred Stieglitz in a Dada art journal.

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This is the necessary backstory for the NSU Art Museum’s newest exhibition, “Some Aesthetic Decisions,” a bold and loosely coherent collection of works by artists who, like Duchamp, redefine the parameters of “art.” The idea is that when it’s placed in a functional lavatory, a urinal is a urinal; when it’s reappropriated by an artist, it’s art.

This argument remains a tough sell for many audience members, not all of them philistines. How many times have you strolled a modern art gallery and witnessed a patron scoffing at a blank canvas, or a windowpane, or a stack of newspapers that’s been positioned as art? How many times have you been the scoffer?

As a potent defense of the non-art as art, “Some Aesthetic Decisions” prompts us to linger a little longer with these boundary-crossing works—to examine the differences between taste and aesthetics, to question the value judgments we place on one work vis a vis another, and to follow a shift, in a segment of avant-garde artists, away from a visual experience of art and toward a cerebral one.

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Some of the selections illustrating these trends are inevitable; others are slyer, more mysterious. From the former, we get Andy Warhol, Pop Art’s ultimate trumpeter of the colorfully banal, in the form of a deadpan Campbell’s Soup serigraph and packing boxes for Brillo, Campbell’s and Heinz. On the supermarket shelves, they’re a product; in a gallery they’re art. But isn’t art a product, too? The continued brilliance of Warhol’s commentary is that it immortalizes commercialism, making no pretentions about the purity and loftiness of the artist’s calling.

Along the same lines, we get Jeff Koons’ childhood-evoking recreations of vinyl carnival prizes and iconic balloon dogs, the latter sculpted in shiny porcelain and mounted under glass, suggesting a precious antiquity. I’ve tended to roll my eyes at Koons’ work in the past, dismissing it as tacky pseudo-art for the masses, but this is the first exhibition that contextualizes it in a way that makes sense—or at least that asserts that tacky pseudo-art for the masses isn’t a bad thing.

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Because Duchamp’s “Fountain” was a pioneering example of the “readymade”—a found object, manufactured for another purpose, that an artist parlays into his own vision—“Some Aesthetic Decisions” also showcases works in that tradition. These include the raw functionality of Jorge Pardo’s “Palette”—a stone-faced replica of a handyman tool from the artist’s groundbreaking 1990 “Garage” show, which simulated the environment of a cluttered garage workstation. Julian Schabel’s fine work with readymades is represented here with “Girl With No Eyes,” in which the artist redacted the eyes in a thrift-store portrait of a young girl, adding elements of danger and scandal to the initially benign painting.

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My favorite retooled readymade is Richard Phillips’ “Jacko,” which recreates a portrait of Michael Jackson in chintzy gold paint, rendering the King of Pop as the creepy porcelain doll that he basically was. The show even includes an audiovisual readymade: Jimi Hendrix’s epic performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock 1969. Playful video artist Cory Arcangel ran the performance through Auto-Tune, which “corrected” Hendrix’s “errors.” The resulting performance is a soulless, sludgy drone devoid of personality. Hendrix becomes a robotic slave to the monotony, in an experiment that’s both hilarious and sad.

The most poignant manifestation of the exhibition’s theme is Sophie Calle’s enormous “Blind” series, which consumes an entire gallery wall. The artist asked blind people to share their concepts of beauty, and the exhibition chronicles their varied responses in the forms of excerpted quotations and collected images. These signifiers of beauty include everything from Rodin’s nudes to the color green to Alain Delon to nothing at all. Spanning the personal to the universal, the works prompt the sighted majority to appreciate shapes, textures, smells and nature, establishing that beauty remains a value judgment in the eye of each beholder, even eyes that can’t process visual images.

In the end, “Some Aesthetic Decisions” returns full-circle to Duchamp’s “Fountain.” In its intervening century, this controversial sculpture has lived on through the contributions of other artists, revealing the lasting influence of such an ephemeral moment in art history.

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The work is referenced in Richard Pettibone’s “The Blind Man,” a series of six painted recreations of Stieglitz’s photograph of the “Fountain,” obsessively composed with minute differences; in Sherrie Levine’s “Fountain (Buddha),” which brazenly elevates the urinal to the realm of the sacred; in Rachel Lachowitz’s “Lipstick Urinals,” a series of feminism-infused urinals smothered in cherry red lipstick; and in Mike Bidlo’s “Fractured Fountain,” which imagines a backstory for the destroyed fountain, which Bidlo “recovered” and reassembled in bronze.

“Fountain” may have been rejected in 1917, but in 2017 it’s another platform for postmodern reappropriation, embraced in reverence and irony alike. What does it say that a statement once considered confrontational has become another art-world meme? Surely, Duchamp would love it.

“Some Aesthetic Decisions” is art NSU Art Museum, 1 Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, through Sept. 3. Museum admission costs $5-$12. Call 954/525-5500 or visit nsuartmuseum.org.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.