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.

Laugh With the Library This Weekend!


Be honest:

Was there ever a time in your life you needed a laugh more than now??? Look no further; Delray’s famous Laugh With The Library is this Friday night and we know it’s going to be spectacular! The Delray Beach Library’s “Laugh with the Library-11th Chapter” featuring comedian Kevin Flynn is Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Delray Marriott.

After a season of sit-down dinners and tuxedos, this event is refreshingly easy — a delish dinner-by-the-bite and bar (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), followed by a table with your pals and a nationally known comedian (show starts at 9 p.m.) who will make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts. And did we mention the dessert bar? The candy room?

This year’s star of the show is Kevin Flynn, who’s had film roles alongside Bill Murray, Ben Stiller and Jim Carey—and has also appeared in “Sex in the City.” Flynn started the Nantucket Comedy Festival and is guaranteed to make TGIF a night to remember.

The event this year is co-chaired by Nancy and Caron Dockerty, and is arguably the most fun event you will hit this season. In fact, it always sells out so best to snag a ticket now. The cost is $200 per person, and new this year is the Party Table, an exclusive table with a party bucket of wine and champagne.

This year all monies raised will go toward Delray Library outreach programs. To purchase tickets, call 561/266-0798 or go to delraylibraray.org/laugh



John and Kaiden Griswold at the SFSCA's Science of Chocolate. Photo by Michelle Olson-Rogers

Chocolate and Art Make for Sweet Weekends This February

What does art and chocolate have in common for local families in February?

My family and I have a love/hate relationship with the Boca Raton season. The traffic, the manic calendar obligations, never being able to get a restaurant reservation… it can get annoying. On the plus side? The cooler weather and so many great family event options, indoors and out! There’s always something fun going on during a seasonal weekend. Here’s the Boca Mom Talk on two of my favorite family events coming up this month…

Saturday & Sunday, February 4–5

Boca Raton Museum of Art 31st Annual Outdoor Juried Art Festival

Art Festival

The Boca Outdoor Art Festival. Photo provided by the Boca Raton Museum of Art

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend, more than 200 artisans from around the country will be featuring their work around Mizner Park courtesy of the Boca Raton Museum of Art. This year, the festival has added a family zone with four activities: chalk drawing, art tales, banner making, and letter writing to our new president to advocate for arts funding and support. Fine art body painter Shannon Holt will also hold several performances during this year’s event.

The festival will take over Mizner Park with the Activity Zone located in the Mizner Park Amphitheater. It is a free event, but any donations support the museum’s youth educational programs. I also hear the weather is going to be gorgeous!

501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL; 561/392-2500

Saturday, February 18

South Florida Science Center & Aquarium 12th Annual “Science of Chocolate”

Chianna Troy eats up the Science of Chocolate at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Chianna Troy eats up the Science of Chocolate. Photo provided the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. 

Treat your family’s taste buds to the sweet side of science at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s Science of Chocolate event from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on February 18th! The day will be filled with a variety of interactive chocolate experiments to celebrate one of the world’s oldest and most popular desserts.

Science lovers and chocoholics of all ages will learn the science of how chocolate is made and the chemical properties and potential health benefits of the sweet treat. Activities include liquid nitrogen chocolate ice cream, a never-ending chocolate fountain, a chocolate eruptions science demo and even chocolate trivia with prizes. Yum!

The Science of Chocolate is free with paid admission and free to members. General admission is $16.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors, $12.95 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under 3.

4801 Dreher Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL; 561/832-1988

See you around this season, Boca moms!

John and Kaiden Griswold at the SFSCA's Science of Chocolate. Photo by Michelle Olson-Rogers

John Griswold and his son Kaiden at the SFSCA’s Science of Chocolate. Photo provided by the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. 

Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more local event options! And be sure to subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/mbmsubscribe

Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features events for mom and kids, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! A MOMpreneur herself, Michelle truly believes that working moms (and dads!) instill an unparalleled work ethic in their kids. She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.

The Week Ahead: Jan. 3-9

The Kravis dances dirty, the Morikami welcomes 2017, and Miami Shakespeare visits Venice in Boca. Plus, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Malpaso Dance Company, Save the Panther 5k run and more in your week ahead.



What: Opening night of “Dirty Dancing—The Classic Story On Stage”


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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: Starting at $27

Contact: 561/832-5469, kravis.org

When “Dirty Dancing,” a low-budget movie with no bankable stars and a distributor with an unproven track record, premiered in 1987, it generated the sort of lightning in a bottle that handsomely paid studio heads could never predict. The film has become one of the decade’s touchstones, both for its music as well as its images, earning $214 million on its $6 million investment. Rather than leave this fluky success well enough alone, the entertainment industry has only tarnished its memory with inferior spinoffs: a short-lived television series, an uninspired 2004 prequel, even a video game. So the makers of the stage musical “Dirty Dancing” are making a statement with their show’s subtitle: “The Classic Story Live On Stage.” They’ve cast the closest replicas they could find of Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze to re-recreate the magic of the original film, staging the live dialogue and choreography to the original soundtrack, with its iconic hits by Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, The Drifters, Marvin Gaye, and more. Audiences have had hungry eyes for the show since it premiered in Australia in 2004. Expect the kind of libidinous dance moves you’re just not going to see in “The Sound of Music” or “South Pacific.” The Kravis on Broadway tour runs through Sunday.


What: “Mia Madre” screening

Shots from "Mia Madre"

Shots from “Mia Madre”

Where: Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 N.E. 188th St., Aventura

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $11

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

This sublime film from Italian director Nanni Moretti is one of the most observant movies I’ve seen about the deleterious ways we deal with negative information. Celebrated actress Margherita Buy plays a testy, exacting director also named Margherita, who is in the process of shooting a film about an organized labor strike by workers who won’t accept the loss of their livelihood. Off the set, Margherita is coping, poorly, with her own setback: Her hospitalized mother, Ada (Giulia Lazzarini), is dying of cancer, though neither Margherita nor her brother Giovanni (Moretti) have the gumption to admit this—to themselves or, more importantly, to their parent. Avoidance and denial, disconnection and projection become Margherita’s emotional crutches as she navigates both her mother’s inexorable decline and her increasingly wayward movie, whose progress is derailed upon the arrival of a short-circuited, confabulating Hollywood actor (John Turturro, adding welcome comic relief). “Mia Madre” is an unsentimental portrait of wounded human behavior—the kind of mirror to the soul that reflects our deepest selves, even when we don’t like what we see.



What: Lunch and Learn: Dr. Ruth Westheimer


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

When: 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $89 (includes lunch by The Breakers)

Contact: 561/832-5469, kravis.org

What better time to have a frank conversation about sex than a Thursday brunch date with one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject? A German-born, Sorbonne-trained psychologist, Ruth Westheimer’s career as the nation’s premier sex therapist and advocate began with a 15-minute program that aired on a single New York radio station at midnights on Sundays. After two months, the show expanded to an hour and included audience phone calls; “Sexually Speaking” was eventually syndicated, along with her television show of the same name, and Westheimer emerged as a gregarious pop culture icon whose personality has been described as “Henry Kissinger meets Minnie Mouse.” In this illuminating conversation, Steven Caras will discuss Westheimer’s influential career, from escaping the Holocaust at age 10 to being ranked among Playboy’s all-time top 20 most important people in sex.



What: Malpaso Dance Company


Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$95

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Founded in 2012, this youthful contemporary dance company from Havana has seen its profile, and touring regimen, increase in recent years, thanks to thawing U.S.-Cuban relations. This is a gift for modern dance enthusiasts looking for something different—or in the words of the Miami Herald, a “new side of Cuban dance beyond folklore and ballet.” Malpaso, which ironically translates to “misstep,” will showcase its repertory, which includes “24 Hours and a Dog,” choreographed by Malpaso Artistic Director Osnel Delgado; “Under Fire,” a commissioned work by eminent American choreographer Trey McIntyre; and “Despedida,” a Delago-choreographed dance inspired by the poem of the same name by Jorge Luis Borges.



What: Shakespeare in the Park: “The Merchant of Venice”


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

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/393-7807, myboca.us

Boca will have first dibs at Shakespeare Miami’s annual mainstage production, a week before it tours Miami, Pinecrest and Hollywood. “The Merchant of Venice,” initially conceived as a comedy but now more remembered for its tragic scenes, is one of the Bard’s most controversial works. Dramatizing the events that lead a merchant in 16th-century Venice to default on a significant loan granted by a miserly Jewish moneylender, the play still battles accusations of anti-Semitism for its seeming perpetuation of Jewish stereotypes. The director of this production, Colleen Stovall, doesn’t find the work offensive: Shylock, the moneylender, is an abused victim, after all, and she sees him as a three-dimensional character. Her director’s notes cite this past year’s tumultuous election season, which has seen hate speech become accepted in the highest levels of government, as the perfect context for the play’s powerful examinations of prejudice. Bring a low-profile lawn chair and blanket, and join the conversation.



What: Save the Panther 5k


Where: Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 a.m.

Cost: $20-$35

Contact: 561/547-9453, palmbeachzoo.org

Runners can enjoy the picturesque locals and animal-filled pathways of the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park at the first race in the organization’s 2017 Big Cat Race Series. As always, the run supports a vital cause for species propagation, in this case the endangered Florida panther. An estimated 100 to 180 Florida panthers exist in the wild, and net proceeds from this 5k will fund the Zoo’s partnership with Florida Wildlife Corridor, which protects the panther and its dwindling habitat. Runners receive a free T-shirt commemorating the event and free zoo admission for the day, along with half-price admission for up to three guests per runner.



What: Oshogatsu 2017


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

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

Cost: $6-$35

Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org

Legend has it that the Japanese zodiac, borrowed from the Chinese, came into being when the Buddha invited all of world’s animals to come to him on New Year’s Day for a special gift. He could’ve learned something from Noah: Only 12 animals showed up, but each of them was granted its own calendar year in a 12-year cycle. In January, the Morikami Museum celebrates the calendar’s transition to the Year of the Rooster with its 39th annual Oshogatsu celebration, which brings a lively, festive atmosphere to traditionally quiet Japanese New Year customs. Enjoy Japanese fortune telling; taiko drumming and open-air koto musical performance (koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument); bonsai demonstrations; a Mochi pounding demonstration; hands-on-children’s activities; and more. Libations will be provided by the Sake Station and Kirin Beer Garden, with food available from the museum’s Cornell Café and special vendors.

Jason is a graduate of the University of Central Florida where he studied journalism and creative writing. He is currently the web editor at Boca Raton Magazine.

The Week Ahead: Nov. 22-28

Mizner Park lights its “iTree,” the Wick Theatre gets back in the habit, and a pair of experts debate the Kennedy Assassination. Plus, Melissa Etheridge, “Aliens,” new art at PAMM and more in your week ahead.



What: “Who Killed John F. Kennedy”

Where: Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com

On the 53rd anniversary of the JFK assassination, Books and Books is welcoming two investigators who have contributed to the endless volume of literature on the subject. The notorious Roger Stone, a political rabble-rouser and adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, will defend his conspiracy tome “The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ,” and Gerald Posner, a dogged investigative journalist, will speak on “Case Closed,” which supports the Warren Commission and the single-assassin theory. Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald will moderate a debate between these two best-selling authors. Whether the conversation will remain civil or devolve into chair-throwing remains to be seen; just keep your smartphone cameras at the ready.



What: Holiday Tree Lighting

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

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

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/393-7807, myboca.us

Mizner Park’s Christmas tree is so 21st century. The so-called “iTree,” which will be unveiled Wednesday evening near Lord & Taylor, is a marvelous combination of the organic and the digital, boasting more than 32,000 lifelike PVC branches and 25,000 clear and multicolored LED lights, along with clusters of ornaments and red and gold bows. A 20-minute musical light show will illuminate the park nightly, every hour, from 6 to 9 p.m. through the holiday season. But the “iTree” isn’t the only festive addition to Mizner; 50,000 LED lights will adorn 75 palm trees throughout the complex. Garland, lights and holiday trimmings will be everywhere, and four wreaths—each 60 inches in diameter—will be placed throughout the facility. Celebrate the yuletide cheer at this tree lighting celebration, which includes artificial snow, carnival rides, fireworks and a family-friendly stage show, with food and Santa sessions available for purchase.


What: South Florida Musicians Assistance Foundation benefit concert

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

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20-$40

Contact: 561/395-2929, funkybiscuit.com

An area’s best musicians are often the area’s most starving musicians, because rocking well doesn’t always pay the bills. These include health care costs, which are on the rise—and that’s where South Florida Musicians Assistance Foundation comes in. Launched in 2014 after the death of multi-instrumentalist and SoFla music pillar Corey Dwyer, the SFMAF pools funds to assist the medical bills of local musicians who otherwise can’t afford them, and much of its reservoir comes from this annual fundraising concert at the beloved Funky Biscuit. Three of the biggest names in the local scene will perform for your well-directed dollars: Crazy Fingers, the nationally acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute artists; Albert Castiglia, the veteran blues-rock virtuoso; and Bluestone, David Shelley’s bluesy hot rock project. “Other special guests” may turn up as well for the cause.



What: Opening day of “Jillian Mayer: Slumpies”


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

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: $12-$16

Contact: 305/375-3000, pamm.org

So what is a “Slumpie,” you may ask? It’s neither the latest sugary calorie bomb from 7-11 nor an innovation in thermal blanketing. A “Slumpie” is an awkward, deliberately meretricious piece of sculptural furniture, designed by artist Jillian Mayer as a sojourn for iPhone zombies. Inspired by research suggesting that smartphone users spend an average of 4.7 hours a day staring at their devices, Mayer’s satirical yet functional “Slumpies” are glitter-bedecked retro-futuristic respites for the perennially distracted to unplug from real-life and bask in handheld data. Comprised of materials such as fiberglass, resin, enamel and Amazon Prime cardboard boxes, “Slumpies” are a hilarious solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist; it’s no surprise their artist was inspired in part by Skymall merchandise, the now-defunct standard-bearer in superfluous gadgetry. PAMM visitors are invited to utilize the “Slumpies” on the museum’s Vattikuti Learning Theater and outdoor terrace. The exhibition runs through Jan. 22.



What: Opening night of “Sister Act”


Where: The Wick, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $80 ($75 for future performances)

Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org

“Sister Act,” the 1992 fish-out-of-water movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, became one of the most successful comedies of the early ‘90s, earning more than $230 million dollars off its clever premise: A hard-living Reno nightclub singer, fleeing her vindictive mobster boyfriend, enters the witness protection program by joining a convent. Cue the culture-clashing comedy. With Goldberg’s imprimatur, “Sister Act” was adapted as a stage musical in 2006, and by the time it reached Broadway in 2011, it was en route to becoming an international feel-good hit. Composer Alan Mencken, who penned the scores for stage musicals like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Newsies,” wrote the music, and the witty playwright Douglas Carter Beane contributed to the book. In this regional premiere, The Wick’s largely local cast includes familiar faces Jessica Brooke Sanford, Margot Morland, Meredith Bartmon and Leah Sessa. It runs through Dec. 17.


What: Screening of “Aliens”


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

When: 11:30 p.m.

Cost: $10

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

If Ridley Scott’s original “Alien,” from 1979, was a claustrophobic horror film, James Cameron’s 1986 sequel was a relentless antiwar actioner—two hours and 17 minutes of blast-furnace carnage that resonated with the still-present aftershocks of the Vietnam War. Sigourney Weaver, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance, returns as iconic alien slayer Ellen Ripley. She launches back to the planet of hostile stomach-invaders, only this time with a team of elite space marines to back her up. Written and directed by a still-somewhat-humble, pre-King of the World Cameron, “Aliens” is a genre classic that has stands up powerfully to repeated viewings. See it for the first time, or enjoy it again, at this one-time-only 35mm screening.



What: Melissa Etheridge

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


When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $20-$100

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

Fresh off her Memphis Rock and Soul Tour, which featured the celebrated folk-rocker covering soulful compositions by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and other genre staples, Melissa Etheridge is jumping right back into the touring grind, this time with a holiday trio. In 2008, Etheridge released “A New Thought for Christmas,” one of the more distinctive holiday albums of the Aughts, which featured seasonal standards like “Blue Christmas” and “O Night Divine” with original compositions such as “Christmas in America” and “Light a Light.” The mix of religious and secular, old and new, was meant to “bridge our old oppressive cultural ways with the enlightenment of our coming future.” She’ll continue to build that bridge on this tour, which features her Christmas cuts alongside megahits like “Come to My Window” and “I’m the Only One.”


South Florida Artist Humanizes Illegal Immigration

For most of you reading this blog, illegal immigration is an abstract issue, a distant concern, a political talking point. For the people drawn by Plantation-based artist Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.) in the Boca Museum’s illuminating exhibition “Krome,” being “illegal” is their everyday reality.

The show draws its title from Dade County’s Krome Detention Center, an isolated penitentiary for individuals with legal-status issues 30 miles west of Miami. Alvarez, whose real name is Devyi Orangel Pena Arteaga (D.O.P.A.), and whose husband is the famed magician and paranormal debunker James Randi, spent two months in Krome in 2012 after he was apprehended on identity theft charges. Rather than sulk in despair, Alvarez continued to practice art from his cell, thanks to a fellow-prisoner’s encouragement. A mug shot-style close-up of that prisoner, a Brazilian named Julio, became the first of more than 30 drawings Alvarez composed of Krome detainees, sketched on whatever scraps of paper were available.

On the day of my visit, Boca Museum Executive Director Irvin Lippman commented that Alvarez’s drawings “humanize a statistic.” Alvarez, who was clearly changed by his experience, arrived at an even loftier conclusion. The drawings were “a way for art to become my salvation and give voices to the voiceless.”

There’s a stark beauty in each of his unadorned drawings, which improve as you move through the small but impactful exhibition, their creator growing increasingly comfortable with the style and limitations of his medium. Completed not with a proper pen but with pen refills—those were the only tools the wardens allowed—Alvarez captured the inmates’ physical intricacies as well as their spiritual energies. The quality of the shading, the bristle of the subjects’ goatees and the wild strands of their hair, the expert curves of their ears and worry lines on their foreheads: All offer unflinching peaks into the souls of the dispossessed.

Alvarez interviewed the majority of the detainees he drew, and their stories of hardship further coarsen the drawings’ rough edges. Orlin, depicted as an elegant man with high cheekbones and a full shock of hair, survived a harrowing ordeal when he escaped gang violence in Guatemala. Adrian fled Colombian extortionists. Patrik was robbed of thousands of dollars by an unscrupulous immigration lawyer, and Jose—drawn as a guru-like figure with leonine locks—trekked eight days in the desert from Mexico to the U.S., surviving on cacti. Roberto Q., a sad-eyed Quetchi Indian, would search barren fields for deflated soccer balls, which he would tear into halves and use for shoes.

Every detainee had a similar story of peril and woe, of escaping a personal hell of crime and destitution through a border crossing no less harrowing, only to find themselves corralled by American authorities weeks or years or decades later—the enervating postscript to a life spent in the shadows. These are not the rapists and killers of which the Republican nominee for president speaks when he rails against the horrors of illegal immigration. These are family men, loyal workers and freedom seekers with eyes full of kindness, compassion and yearning, and “Krome” should be a wakeup call to anyone who sees the mass of immigrants in this country as anything but.

It certainly was for Alvarez, normally a geometrically precise abstract painter of kaleidoscopic shapes and vivid colors. His cosmic, hallucinogenic “Promised Land,” the first piece he completed after his release from Krome, and included this exhibit, is more akin to his usual style. Not only has Alvarez’s time at Krome seemed to expand his empathy for the paperless around us; it also made him into a more diverse artist capable of mastering a style that couldn’t be further from his natural muse. No matter how you view it, it was time well spent.

“Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.): Krome” runs through Jan. 8 at Boca Raton Museum of Art. Admission costs $10-$12, or free for children. Call 561/392-2500 or visit bocamuseum.org.