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Your Week Ahead: Oct. 17 to 23

A Belgian movie star gets his own day at a Boca brewery, the Wick pays cheeky homage to classic musicals, and a Boca-bred blues-rock duo plays Arts Garage. Plus, Conor Oberst, “The Little Foxes,” WWI aviator art and more in your week ahead.


TUESDAY

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What: Opening day of “Knights of the Air: Aviator Heroes of World War I”

Where: Flagler Museum, 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach

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

Cost: Museum admission of $18 adults, $10 youths

Contact: 561/655-2833, flaglermuseum.us

One of the many surprising pleasures of this year’s Wonder Woman movie was the unorthodox World War I setting, personified by Chris Pine’s heroic aviator. Whether planned or coincidental, this is an ideal year to revisit the romance and patriotism of classic wartime fliers, as 2017 marks the centenary of the United States’ entry into the First World War. In honor of this anniversary, the Flagler has organized “Knights of the Air,” the first museum exhibition dedicated to the pilot-heroes of World War I. For folks on the American mainland, the daredevil aviator became a national symbol for the overseas war effort—avatars of adventure and derring-do. This exhibit showcases the period art, artifacts and printed materials that brought our military might to the home front. It runs through Dec. 31.

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What: Screening of “Basic Instinct”

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

When: 9 p.m.

Cost: $12

Contact: 305/571-9970, o-cinema.org

If you’ve never seen this campy 1992 thriller by movie bad-boy Paul Verhoeven, this is not the place to experience it. But if you either love or hate “Basic Instinct,” this special interactive screening is a singular way to appreciate its quirks, faults and schlocky joys. As part of O Cinema’s Reel Hottpants series, host DJ Hottpants will provide a live commentary during the screening, complete with audience participation cues, a la “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The notorious Sharon Stone police-interrogation scene is only the tip of this iceberg of absurdity, whose two Oscar nominations and two Razzie nominations attest to its polarizing nature. Arrive at 8 p.m. for a preshow presentation with DJ Hottpants, including clips of the cast, ‘90s music videos and trivia.

WEDNESDAY

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What: Van Damme Day

Where: Barrel of Monks Brewing, 1141 S. Rogers Circle, Suite 5, Boca Raton

When: 5 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Varies per beer

Contact: 561/510-1253, barrelofmonks.com

This week is a momentous one in the history of Belgian cultural dominance on the global stage. I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, as Wednesday marks the 56th birthday of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgium’s native son and top cinematic export, known for his kickboxing prowess, limited acting skills and conveyer belt of anonymously titled straight-to-video movies (“Kill ‘em All” and “Pound of Flesh” are two of the latest, but you knew that). Barrel of Monks, Boca’s top purveyor of Belgian-style ales, will toast JCVD’s latest calendar cycle with specialty beers and food pairings from Tucker Duke’s, along with “movie spotlights, photo ops, hero moments and more,” whatever that means. Practice your best roundhouse kick if you must, but do show it off while you’re still sober!

THURSDAY

Photo by Rachel Fosbenner

Photo by Rachel Fosbenner

What: ONYX Art Stroll and concert

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

When: 7 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Art Stroll is free, $10 for concert

Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org

It’s the third Thursday of the month this week, which means Arts Garage returns for its celebration of local art, both visual and musical. Starting at 7, artists will begin vending their wares for the night, and beginning at 8, two local bands will perform spirited sets. You don’t want to miss this all-Palm Beach County lineup: Rocket to Anywhere (pictured), which began as a solo project in 2014 and has evolved into a high-energy rock group, recorded with Grammy-nominated producers and secured a show at SunFest this year with a sound that conjures New Found Glory one minute and Bruce Springsteen the next. We’re also excited to catch Anastasia Max, a teenage brother-and-sister duo from Boca that plays bluesy, garage-tinged music that belies their age, with influences such as Nina Simone and the White Stripes evident in their stripped-down sound.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of “The Little Foxes”

Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $90 ($75 for later performances)

Contact: 561/514-4042; palmbeachdramaworks.org

A new season begins at Palm Beach Dramaworks with Lillian Hellman’s masterpiece, “The Little Foxes.” It’s the tale of a greedy Southern family that will stop at nothing—including violence—to get what it wants. Driven by greed and ambition, Regina Giddens and her clan rely on cutthroat maneuvers and betrayal in their ruthless drive to amass wealth. Although it’s set in 1900 (and written in 1939), this classic is striking a chord with modern audiences. A much-heralded Broadway production of the show starring Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon wrapped up its run over the summer. Both actresses, as well as the audiences and critics they delighted, found the script to be surprisingly timely. “Given where we are now and given where our culture is now—particularly looking at money and power and what do you value and what do you not value—it’s sort of shockingly right on point,” Linney told NPR.

Conor Oberst's new album, Salutations, comes out March 17.

What: Conor Oberst

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 954/564-1074, cultureroom.net

Emerging from the cultural hinterlands of Middle America—Omaha, Nebraska, to be exact—with a quavering voice, a deft pen and an emo artist’s confessional nakedness, Bright Eyes was, for a time, the biggest thing in indie rock. In 2008, Rolling Stone named its chief musician and singer-songwriter, Conor Oberst, Best Songwriter of the Year. After mastering a ragged strain of neo-folk rock, Bright Eyes went to sleep in 2011, but Oberst has persisted in a fertile solo career. He remains as cultishly worshipped as ever, and his lyricism has only improved with age. Pitchfork recently called him “one of the 21st century’s most mercurial and charismatic songwriters.” Oberst’s Americana-inflected latest album, Salutations, is nostalgic without being saccharine; its lyrics nod to everyone from Jane Fonda and Paul Gauguin to Ronald Reagan to Christopher Hitchens. Perhaps the best part, for longtime fans? He still plays plenty of Bright Eyes songs, and switches up the set list nightly.

SATURDAY

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What: Opening night of “The Drowsy Chaperone”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $85

Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org

This self-reflexive musical comedy premiered nearly 20 years ago in Toronto. It was ahead of its time then, and good productions still have a wry, sophisticated sensibility of simultaneously winking and not winking at the audience. The protagonist and narrator, simply known as Man in Chair, is an agoraphobic New Yorker in a run-down apartment whose greatest joy in life is an obscure (fictional) 1928 Broadway musical called “The Drowsy Chaperone.” When he plays the record in his living room, the show flowers around us, as the man’s apartment transforms into a tony Broadway set. The musical-within-a-comedy is deliberately rife with ancient musical-theatre clichés and stereotypes—a controversial wedding, a ditzy flapper, a pair of bumbling gangsters, a Latin lothario—and the Man in Chair frequently interrupts the action to comment on it. It’s a clever night of entertainment for all, but Broadway junkies especially should flock to this. Its Palm Beach County regional premiere runs at the Wick through Nov. 12.

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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Gorillaz Bring Familiar Characters and New Music to III Points 2017

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The moment I stepped out of the Uber I saw a woman wearing a banana suit.

There would be many other one-piece suits at the III Points festival Friday evening. There were cow costumes, velvet leotards, bare butts and see-through clothes of all kinds. Gliding through the crowds listening to artists like Actress and Thundercat, watching the glitter, booze and conversations flow, it all seemed relatively tame to me. Everyone was waiting.

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Danny Brown drew a large crowd, but it was clear that many festival-goers (including myself) were really just waiting for the Gorillaz to make their Florida debut. By their set-time of 11:30 p.m., the bar lines had thinned dramatically and people were settling in to see the “cartoon” band formed by English musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett.

My friends and I settled atop a shipping container and cringed each time someone walked past, causing the roof to warp inward momentarily.

“Helllooooo, helllllooooooooooo, is anyone theeeeerrrreeee???” The sample from the 1985 movie “Day of the Dead” echoed and stretched over the crowd of thousands, as Albarn began the show with “M1 A1,” off the Gorillaz’ first album. People were psyched, and those closest to the stage jumped around to the lyrics (La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-hey).

The band, touring for its newest collaborative album, Humanz, pulled heavily from it. After “Last Living Souls,” a great track from the 2005 album Demon Days, the group jumped into Humanz with “Saturnz Bars.” The sounds were clean and nearly album-perfect all night. An impressive group of backup singers and artist collaborators like Jamie Principle (“Sex Murder Party”) performed with the band. Kali Uchis, who performed just hours before at the festival, sang her part in “She’s My Collar.”

Albarn was a bit sarcastic and not overly talkative with the audience. But he was a lively performer, and he indulged us a bit when he told us that as he was sitting on the balcony of his oceanfront hotel, he was inspired by the “lyrics” flying past him on airplane banners. We should expect upcoming songs to include Puff Daddy and Steve Aoki references. 😉

A scene from the music video for "Stylo," projected on the screen behind the band. Photos and video by Shayna Tanen.

A scene from the music video for “Stylo,” projected on the screen behind the band. Photos and video by Shayna Tanen.

The Gorillaz played only a few old hits. “Clint Eastwood” was much welcomed, and concertgoers couldn’t resist standing up and singing along with Del the Funky Homosapien’s part. Watching the band’s characters, 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs and Noodle, on the massive screen added some familiarity to a show full of new songs.

Albarn and the Gorillaz ended the evening on a note that made sense, but that left me in slight disbelief. Saying there’s no more plastic beach that he knows of than Miami Beach, Albarn finished the set with “Plastic Beach.” And then the lights turned off, the band left the stage, and we waited. But no encore came, even though the set finished early.

I hopped off the shipping container and walked around the art exhibits at the convention center, then visited the S3ctor 3 stage to watch Madlib.

After all that waiting, I saw the Gorillaz, which I and thousands of others came to do at III Points Friday night.

Then I got back into an Uber and called it a night.


Set List:

  • M1 A1
  • Last Living Souls
  • Saturnz Barz
  • Tomorrow Comes Today
  • Rhinestone Eyes
  • Sleeping Powder
  • Melancholy Hill
  • Busted and Blue
  • El Mañana
  • She’s My Collar (with Kali Uchis)
  • Strobelite (with Peven Everett)
  • Andromeda
  • Sex Murder Party (with Jamie Principle and Zebra Katz)
  • Out of Body (with Kilo Kish, Zebra Katz, and Michelle)
  • Superfast Jellyfish (with Pos of De La Soul)
  • Stylo (with Peven Everett)
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Plastic Beach
Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida’s greatest asset: nature.
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Delray CRA Unveils New Arts Venue in Pineapple Grove

The visual arts community of Delray Beach, which has faced the brunt of rising rents and vanishing studio space in recent years, will soon have a new champion: a 15,000-square-foot building buttressing Artists Alley.

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Situated on Northeast Third Street just west of the train tracks, the palm-lined, pale yellow edifice is known as the Arts Warehouse, and it’s been a long time coming. Delray’s Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the building in 2010, during the economic downturn, as a prong of its 2006 Cultural Plan to brand Delray Beach as an arts haven.

Originally, in conjunction with Creative City Collaborative and other entities, the CRA considered transforming the building into a performing arts venue. But with Arts Garage satisfying the community’s needs for this aspect of culture, the CRA shifted the focus to visual arts.

After years of painting, construction and redesigns—local architecture firm Currie Sowards Aguila designed the improvements—the CRA unveiled the new digs to the media this week. The building’s sleek, geometric entrance ushers visitors into a cavernous ground-floor exhibition space, which will be open to local, national and international artists. High ceilings can accommodate large-scale installations, and movable walls will ensure flexibility.

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Upstairs, approximately 18 single- or double-occupancy studios, each equipped with sinks, await tenants. The studio spaces can welcome up to 26 artists, offering 24/7 access, at a monthly cost of $2 per square foot. Other spaces ideal for classes and workshops, ground-floor kitchen and meeting rooms, and a mixed-use, all-purpose space fit for video shoots and casting calls complete the facility.

The CRA expects to soft-open the Warehouse to the public later in 2017 and to host a grand opening in 2018, once it has a full season of exhibitions lined up. In the meantime, artists interested in leasing studio space have until Oct. 20 to apply at delraycra.org/artswarehouse.

When it’s all up and running, Brown hopes to work with the city’s other visual-arts resources, seeing Artists Alley as collaborator more than competitor.

“I want us all to work together to make this a good area,” she says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in meetings with the different arts organizations, trying to come up with ideas. We’re hoping to have a trolley route for First Fridays. I have a lot of ideas for how to get things going. We’re off the Avenue, but there’s a lot to Delray besides the Avenue. We want to do things a little differently and help these artists grow.”

For updates on the Arts Warehouse, keep up with its Facebook page here. The CRA can be reached at 561/276-8640.

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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Movie Review: “Mark Felt” an Unfocused Political History Lesson

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“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” an historical wannabe thriller with an arduous subtitle, presents an executive branch in a state of chaos, scandal and interagency upheaval. There are whispers in darkened rooms of the president firing the FBI director, of government agencies struggling to maintain their independence from a commander-in-chief who demands their loyalty, of a constant stream of leaks threatening to blow the cover off the entire administration. The president, when finally forced to resign, says on television, “I must put the intentions of America first.”

If you know who Mark Felt is, you know we’re talking about Richard Nixon, not the Oval Office’s current occupant, but the movie’s writer-director, Peter Landesman, revels in the similarities between these most shambolic of administrations: As Watergate went, so may Russiagate.

This is one of the jobs of historical nonfiction—to illuminate our current moment by, in this instance, revealing how little has changed in more than 40 years. The problem is that Landesman’s movie is also a shambles, a jumble of rote clichés passing itself off as a linear story. If you haven’t recently re-watched “All the President’s Men,” Alan J. Pakula’s masterly dramatization of the Watergate investigation, you’ll be lost in this film’s impenetrable narrative fog. For drama like this to work, there needs to be a coherent through-line: A + B + C = Nixon resigns. If one ever existed in the original drafts of Mark Felt, it didn’t make it into the final cut, which feels like a three-hour movie chopped and pruned and shuffled into 106 unfocused minutes.

As the first prominent whistleblower of the modern political era, Felt famously leaked damaging information about the Watergate investigation to The Washington Post. As played by Liam Neeson, this career FBI man is the picture of erect, incorruptible integrity, one of the few men with a moral compass in an ethically bankrupt administration. Battling a stilted screenplay by adding snarls and exclamation points to the ponderous dialogue, Neeson’s Felt is nothing less than a saint in a suit and tie. If this were a western, he’d be wearing the white hat.

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Rallying his beleaguered fellow-agents amid Nixon’s crackdown of the intelligence apparatus, Felt reminds us of the “breadcrumbs leading in the general direction of the Oval Office.” One of the recipients of his leaks, a Time reporter played by Bruce Greenwood, tells Felt (mostly for our benefit), “What you’re doing will bring down the whole house of cards.” Too bad we have to take their word for it.

Instead of evidence to support these trailer-ready declarations, we get the usual shadowplay of secondhand spy theatre—secret meetings in public parks and greasy spoons; the inevitable montage of Felt searching his office for “bugs;” ominously scored, portentous overhead shots of D.C. landmarks. The tone is grave, witless and underlit; perhaps Neeson’s salary precluded the ability to afford light bulbs on set.

One can only imagine the liveliness and linguistic crackle that an Aaron Sorkin could have brought to this project. Or perhaps there just isn’t enough there there in Felt’s story to warrant his own movie. Perhaps he’s fine lurking in the shadows of parking garages, delivering deep-throated revelations to dogged reporters.

As if realizing that Felt’s whistleblowing agenda was light on entertainment value, Landesman occasionally cuts away to an underdeveloped subplot about Felt and his wife Audrey (an unpleasant Diane Lane) searching for their daughter Joan, a revolutionary who ran away from home. This missing-daughter trope allows Neeson to revisit the parental persistence of his “Taken” franchise, but by the time it’s resolved, the conclusion is, like the movie’s stolid wrap-up of Watergate, too little and too late.

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” opens Friday at Living Room Theaters at FAU, Cinemark Boynton Beach, and Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood.

 

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: Oct. 10 to 16

The Mizner Amphitheater transforms into a pumpkin patch, III Points brings together edgy music and pioneering thinkers in Miami, and a dystopian comedy offers kinky thrills in Fort Lauderdale. Plus, Art Garfunkel, “The Sound of Music,” “The Vagina Monologues” and more in your week ahead.


TUESDAY

Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria Rainer and the von Trapp children. Photo by Matthew Murphy (2)

What: Opening night of “The Sound of Music”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30-$110

Cost: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Yes, the hills are alive with the sound of music, but were they ever not? Forget the “Night of the Living Dead” musical adaptation: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic is the ultimate zombie musical, constantly roaming city and country alike, insatiable and unkillable. It’s also very good, which its detractors—who might be as legion as its admirers—are loath to admit. “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Me,” Edelweiss,” the title song and other iconic numbers have become permanently stitched in the fabric of American cultural history, while the story’s anti-Nazi sentiment has, unfortunately, taken on new resonance in the 21st century. This Broadway tour, featuring new staging, runs through Oct. 22.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

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What: “The Vagina Monologues”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$45

Cost: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Playwright Eve Ensler’s provocatively titled solo show opened in 1996 as an instant women’s-empowerment classic, prompting New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood to dub it “probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade.” Since then, tours and regional productions of this influential play have rarely ceased. The diverse monologues, drawn from Ensler’s interviews of 200 women, are told from the perspectives of rape victims and feminist activists, sex workers and new mothers, addressing topics such as body image, gender double standards, menstruation, sex and female genital mutilation. Alternately harrowing, comic and insightful, most “Vagina Monologues” productions feature multiple performers, in this case acclaimed comedians Vicky Kuperman and Vanessa Hollingshead.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening night of “Mad Cat Live!: Black Sabbath Vol. 4”

Where: The Gleason Room at Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

When: 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $15 general admission, $25 VIP table

Contact: 305/751-9550, madcattheatre.org

While casual Black Sabbath fans may be most familiar with the metal pioneers’ first two albums, Mad Cat Theatre Company tends to focus its theatrical concerts on more obscure, transitional and under-appreciated releases. To that end, and just in time for Halloween, the talented actor-musicians of Mad Cat will feature a performance of Black Sabbath’s fourth album, titled, imaginatively “Vol. 4.” It was originally intended to be called “Snowblind,” an all-too-overt reference to the mountains of coke the band members snorted during the debauched recording sessions. The influence of the white powder led the band to synthesize the heavy sound it became recognized for while opening up new sonic pathways, as evidenced on the neo-classical instruments and the spartan piano ballad “Changes.” Mad Cat will explore every nuance of this momentous album, in a limited production running through Sunday only.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening day of “The Unknown Girl”

Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

When: 2 and 6:15 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org

How many people can be responsible for a person’s accidental death? That’s the moral question at stake in this latest mystery from Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the master filmmakers behind “Two Days, One Night” and “Rosetta.” A kind, hardworking doctor, toiling in her office annex more than an hour after the clinic has closed, decides not to answer a buzz at the door. The next morning, the police inform her that the person seeking medical help was found dead shortly thereafter. Consumed by guilt, the physician plays amateur gumshoe and discovers potential suspects in every corner of Belgian society, including one of her patients. Shot in the Dardenne Brothers’ signature rigorous camera style, “The Unknown Girl” explores class and race disparities without didacticism. It runs through Oct. 19.

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What: Opening night of “The Good Girl”

Where: Andrews Living Arts, 23 N.W. Fifth St., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 866/811-4111, primalforces.com

Artistic director Keith Garsson, lately of the Theatre at Arts Garage, will bring his signature brand of hard-hitting, sexually provocative theatre back to its Fort Lauderdale roots. Playwright Emilie Collyer’s dystopian comedy “The Good Girl” is set in a future in which sex bots have largely supplanted human-on-human fornication. And when an artificially intelligent robot begins to develop ever more naturalistic human behaviors, a pair of its opportunistic helpers—its government-issued “madam” and a maintenance worker—develop a scheme that spirals the narrative into dark directions. Garsson will direct Amber Lynn Benson and Jovon Jacobs in this Southeastern premiere, which runs through Oct. 29.

FRIDAY TO SUNDAY

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What: III Points Festival

Where: Mana Wynwood Convention Center, 318 N.W. 23rd St., Miami

When: Various show times

Cost: $125-$295

Contact: iiipoints.com

This fifth-annual Miami confab is more than a music festival, bringing together national and local “thinkers, dreamers and doers” for a diverse program of lectures, tech talks, gallery showcases and more. But the headlining bands remain the top draw of III Points, which welcomes Gorillaz, the electro-pop side project of Blur’s Damon Albarn; English indie-pop sensations The xx (pictured above); Seattle-based chamber-pop auteur Perfume Genius; numerous EDM and hip-hop headliners; and even an “audio installation” by the legendary Brian Eno. This is where the cool kids will be all weekend.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

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What: Boca Raton Pumpkin Patch Festival

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

When: 10 a.m.

Cost: $15

Contact: bocapumpkinpatch.com

Nothing says fall like the influx of pumpkins in markets, on lawns and decorating window displays. The seasonal squash plant also will be center stage at many attractions this weekend, as the Mizner Park Amphitheater transforms into a pumpkin patch. In addition to the opportunity to decorate pumpkins into edible works of art, kids can enjoy a cornstalk maze and carnival rides, and take photos in front of backdrops of autumn leaves. You can also design—and take home—a scarecrow, and choose from among 2,500 pumpkins. Sweet and savory pumpkin entrees can be purchased at a specialty food court, and guests 21 and up can imbibe at the Pumpkin Beer Bar.

SUNDAY

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What: Art Garfunkel in Conversation

Where: Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus Auditorium, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami

When: 4 p.m.

Cost: $27.95 book purchase from Books & Books serves as entry for two

Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com

Fans of folk music, nonfiction books, art cinema and especially the six-time Grammy-winning output of Simon and Garfunkel would be remiss in passing up the opportunity to meet the legendary duo’s more sensitive side up close and personal. Garfunkel, the curly-haired Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, will join Shelly Berg, dean of U.M.’s Frost School of Music, for a conversation about Garfunkel’s new memoir, What is it All But Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man. The book explores Garfunkel’s life before, during and after his S&G heyday, from paying a studio seven dollars to record a demo of their first song to acting in movies by Nicholas Roeg and Mike Nichols. Stick around, and you may even get him to sign the book.

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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Concert Review: Band of Horses at Fillmore Miami Beach

On Sunday night, indie rock veterans Band of Horses stopped by the Fillmore Miami Beach for the last show on their 115-date “Why Are You OK” tour, and provided a pleasant but mostly unremarkable show.

After an opening set by fellow South Carolina group The Artisanals, Band of Horses took the stage at 9:10 to The Clash’s “Train in Vain,” before quickly slowing things down with a soft opening song that featured frontman Ben Bridwell on piano.

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Band of Horses has always been a revolving door of musicians centered on songwriter Bridwell, and this was no different on Sunday night. The five-piece group featured two new contributors on bass and guitar following the departure of longtime members Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds earlier this year.

With curtains blocking off most of the seating at the back of the venue’s bottom level, it was clear that the promoters weren’t expecting anywhere near a sold-out show. What they got instead was a noticeably smaller-than-usual crowd for the Fillmore, but one that was packed up towards the stage to create an unusual sense of intimacy for the venue.

Backed by a minimal light show and the band’s customary cursive script font on a large Irish flag behind them, Band of Horses bypassed flashy stage tricks in favor of a simple setup that placed the focus squarely on the music. As with its studio albums, the band used strong dynamic contrast to keep the crowd engaged and the show moving along. Each song had its own peaks and valleys, and with each upswing in volume and tempo the crowd became visibly more active and engaged.

Photo by James Biagiotti

Photo by James Biagiotti

Though the band was still promoting its most recent record, last year’s Why Are You OK, songs off of the group’s first two records, 2006’s Everything All the Time and 2007’s Cease to Begin, dominated the setlist. These were the tracks that received the most avid response from the crowd, many of whom seemed to be devoted fans.

A few songs into the show, Bridwell took time to speak to the audience, putting on a white trucker hat and telling the South Florida crowd “We’re feeling for y’all with all that storm stuff, and we hope you’re doing alright down here. Nothing but the best for you.”

The most interesting parts of the set came when the band occasionally lapsed into rocker excess, as with standout cut “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands,” which was a pleasant upswing in the middle of the show.

After closing the main set with “Is There a Ghost,” the encore brought a one-two punch of “The Funeral” and “The General Specific,” which produced a jovial ending for the 90-minute performance and seemed to validate the decision to stay late for many fans.

While Band of Horses tried admirably to maintain the attention of the crowd throughout the evening, the considerably thinner headcount by the start of the encore spoke volumes for the mindset of the audience. It was getting late on a Sunday night, and while it may have been fun, for many attendees it wasn’t worth getting stuck in traffic on the way out.

James Biagiotti is a native of Boca Raton and music obsessive who is currently studying journalism and working as a guitar salesman. When he’s not attending or reviewing concerts in South Florida, he’s probably either playing and recording music or watching the Miami Dolphins.
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Jack Johnson Plays Upbeat, Memorable Show in West Palm Beach

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True to his music, Jack Johnson’s performance at Coral Sky Amphitheatre was exactly how I pictured it: playful and laid-back. Although the outdoor venue was packed with Johnson fans and enthusiasts, the atmosphere was akin to a small, intimate house party gathering. Everyone showed up in ponchos and rain boots due to some pretty soggy weather, but by the time Jack and his band came on stage, it was like his Hawaiian blood transformed the space into a bonfire on the beach.

Twinkling mason jars filled with colorful pieces of plastic collected from the ocean (a haunting yet beautiful illustration of modern pollution) swayed breezily in strands overhead. People swayed from side to side, nodding in tune to the beats and singing along softly.

The scenery made for a chill vibe throughout the show. Photo by Shayna Tanen.

The scenery made for a chill vibe throughout the show. Photo by Shayna Tanen.

Jack opened the show with “Sitting, Wishing, Waiting,” skipping the usual bold spotlight for softer stage lights. He quickly segued into “I Won’t Back Down,” in tribute to the late Tom Petty, followed by hits “Taylor,” “Staple It Together,” and “You and Your Heart.” The show was a combination of classic throwbacks intermixed with new hits from his July 2017 album, “All the Light About It Too.” Jack treats concertgoers like close friends, laughing and sharing stories about his college days and his kids. One especially sweet story went like this: His son was misbehaving so Jack said he’d grow a monkey tail with an eyeball at the end if he didn’t stop. His kid was delighted by the prospect, and pretended he had a monkey tail, looking at his dad and saying “You look good!” The story segued into, what else, “If I Had Eyes.” Jack even jokingly pretending to push fellow band member and instrumentalist Zach Gill off the stage.

Gill, for his part, is a great sport, and there’s a genuine friendship between the two musicians that runs way deeper than music. And Gill is an amazingly gifted pianist. He played some killer solos on “Flake,” “Big Sur,” and “Wasting Time,” to name a few. But he’s also excellent on the accordion and the melodica, a blow-organ harmonica with a keyboard attachment, which he played vibrantly. He was best when he was standing on his piano, blurting out notes on the melodica. It looked wildly fun.

It's always fun when musicians stand on their instruments. Photo by Shayna Tanen.

It’s always fun when musicians stand on their instruments. Photo by Shayna Tanen.

Jack saved “Banana Pancakes,” till the show’s nearing end, and the crowd responded in thankful applause. For the encore, Jack came back solo, opening with “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” a nod to our homegrown singer Jimmy Buffet, then rounding it out with four more songs—some quite uh, emotion-evoking—including a silly one about getting stoned with Willie Nelson. All in all, it was the perfect ending to a long day at the office, and the perfect starter to the almost weekend. Aloha.

Set List:

Sitting, Wishing, Waiting

I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)

Taylor Staple It Together

You and Your Heart

Monsoon

Flake

The Horizon Has Been Defeated

Badfish/BossDJ

Inaudible Melodies

You Can’t Control It

My Mind Is for Sale

Breakdown

Big Sur

You Don’t Know How It Feels (Tom Petty cover)

If I Had Eyes

Good People

I Got You

Belle/Bananas Pancakes

Shot Reverse Shot

Wasting Time

Bubble Toes/The Joker

 

Encore:

A Pirate Looks at Forty

Do You Remember

Willie Got Me Stoned

Angel

Better Together

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.
BackstagePass

5 Questions for X-Scream Halloween’s Creative Director

BackstagePass

This story comes from our September/October 2017 issue. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.

Written by John Thomason. Photo by Aaron Bristol.


There’s nothing frightening about George Colavecchio. In fact, he’s kind of a hippie. In a previous life as a professional singer/songwriter, he toured with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, and recorded with MCA under the name George St. John. Before that, he toiled the same coffeehouse circuit as Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

But these days, he strums scarier notes as creative director of G-Star School’s X-Scream Halloween, which bills itself as Florida’s third-largest haunted attraction. Built and performed by film students at the Palm Springs high school, this durable fundraiser has transformed G-Star’s benign soundstages into zombie apocalypses, Old West ghost towns, anarchic mental wards, demented circus shows and more, for intrepid visitors aged 8 to 80. It earned its haunt-industry bona fides in 2008, when the Travel Channel named it one of the 13 Scariest Haunted Attractions in America.

Colavecchio’s 200 X-Scream students, who comprise about a quarter of the school’s student body, have expanded well beyond the October event, staging FBI and first-responder disaster drills, writing murder-mystery dinner theater productions, and even decorating the Palm Beach Zoo for Christmas.

Colavecchio oversees it all, along with handling G-Star’s web and graphic design and most of its P.R. His job description is complicated. “If you ask the teachers what I do, they have no clue,” he says. “I found this niche for a very bizarre set of skills.”

With X-Scream’s lucky 13th anniversary this October, we asked Colavecchio to share insights from the spook trade.


Do you have a special affinity for horror films?

No. The funny thing is that I don’t watch horror films. The only horror films I’ve ever seen are going back to Lon Chaney—the original “Dracula” and “Werewolf.” Because you can scare people without all that [gore]. It’s more about the entertainment, and the fact that when doing a haunted event, you don’t have any boundaries. If you can think it, you can probably do it.

What’s the secret to a good scare?

There is a psychology to scaring people. You can try to rationalize it all you want, but when you take all of the sophisticated ideas about how haunting works, basically it’s just ‘boo.’ The key to it is getting you to look over there, and getting something to bump or scream over here. It’s like doing a magic trick—it’s all about misdirection.

How important is it to have a story?

There are two trains of thought in the haunt industry. There’s your standard, old-school vampire room, zombie room and clown room, that have no story—it’s just there to scare you. Then there’s a group of us who are referred to as themers, where you have a backstory.

I’m a big-time themer for a couple of reasons. No. 1, I’m a writer, and I’ve got all these stories in my head. No. 2, everything we do is somewhere in time. We’ve done haunts that took place in the 1400s. We’ve done them in the 1920s. In order to do it right, the kids have to research what we’re doing. They’re actually learning a lot of history. You have to learn the correct history before you can twist it.

Your website lists the 2017 X-Scream as the most ambitious one yet. Why?

We wanted to do something different with witches—not your stereotypical pointy hat and broomstick. The inside haunt is in the soundstage, and there are no walls: It’s a dark forest. A witch has cursed the forest and the creatures within it. It’s trolls and goblins and ogres and wood nymphs—all the stereotypical fantasy characters, with our twist on them.

The outside haunt is a medieval village during a witch burning. The village has been hit by the Black Plague—and Black Plague victims are basically zombies with slightly different skin tones. This year I’m also adding a hayride that goes around the property, and there are scare zones built in along the way.

Why do people enjoy being frightened?

It’s kind of like living on the edge. It’s safer than skydiving or bungee jumping. If your haunt is successful, when people come out that back door,  I want them sweating bullets and smiling.

You’ve scared them, but you’ve also made it fun.


Our interview with Colavecchio took place over the summer. Visit xscreamhalloween.com to see the haunts at this year’s event, which vary slightly from those described in the interview. 

X-Scream takes place Oct. 13-28 at 2030 S Congress Ave., Palm Springs. Tickets are $8 to $10. Call 561/967-2023 for more information.

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.
Justin-Brice-Guariglia2

The Art of Climate Change, Stunningly Explored at the Norton

For most of us, climate change is an abstract concern—an accumulation of hopeless data we can’t see, smell or hear, and can only occasionally, and debatably, feel (read: Hurricane Irma). So perhaps it makes sense that an abstract artist would produce the most illuminating visualization of global warming’s impact on Earth’s natural resources.

That artist is innovative photographer Justin Brice Guariglia, who flew over Greenland with a contingent of NASA scientists seven times during 2015 and 2016. The resulting images—of arctic voids and industrial landscapes alike—form the basis for “Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene,” now on display at the Norton Museum. (“Anthropocene” is the proposed era of geologic time in which we currently live, with “anthropo” referring to changes caused by human activity.)

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These photographs, printed on an ultra-archival process Guariglia himself pioneered, are stunningly beautiful objects on its own. Guariglia’s work conjures the terror and intensity of the early abstract expressionist painters more than anything in the traditional photographic realm.

But their collective implication is of a clarion call unheeded, of the last desperate gasps of a dying planet unsentimentally presented for observation by its very killers. It’s just about the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in an art museum.

For this monumental show to settle in, it’s best to take things slow. If you follow this one-room show clockwise, you’ll start with its most frenzied works and progress to its more despairing selections. “Obur I,” one of many photographs taken over industrial mining sites, is an ominous blur of furious topography—created, like so many of these works, by integrating elements of painting. He coats his shots in platinum gold acrylic pigment and mineral-based gesso. These materials are deployed as much for their commentary as their aesthetics; three of his “Landscape Studies” are awash in 22-karat gold leaf, one of the products mined from this mutilated region for our pleasure, resulting in tempestuous images of a world in flux that are also partial diagnoses of its current state.

Another “Landscape Study,” this one pointedly lacquered in pewter leaf, resembles a broken mirror, a straightforward if effective metaphor. His images of the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay, however, were taken after the breakage. Once-mighty glaciers have been reduced to glacial dust—specks of white on a dark surface that suggests deep space more than the North Pole. These aren’t icy masses anymore; they’re simply detritus.

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Finally, you arrive at Guariglia’s extreme close-ups of ice sheets, many of them ballooned in size. The four-panel “Akunnaaaq I” looks like the most inhospitable planet in a science-fiction film. But even this is dwarfed by “Jacobshavn I,” depicting a landmass pockmarked and cratered by carbon dioxide emissions. It’s a nine-panel wake-up call too massively scaled to ignore.

At least, that should be the response. The reality is, on the day I visited, most museumgoers breezed in and out of the gallery without reading the wall text. As with the issue of confronting climate change, the urgency is lost on too many of us.

“Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene” runs through Jan. 7 at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Admission is free. Additionally, Guariglia will be discussing his work and the exhibition at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the museum, at no cost. 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.
Kelly Goodman Photography

Your Week Ahead: Oct. 3 to 9

Fright Nights celebrates its “sweet” 16, the Wick Costume Museum shows off its bling, and Gloria Estefan’s musical comes home. Plus, Hillary Clinton, Seu Jorge, “Blade Runner 2049” and more in your week ahead.


TUESDAY

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What: Hillary Clinton

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $50-$375

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

“What happened?” is the question millions of flummoxed Americans asked themselves, slack-jawed, on Nov. 8, 2016. What Happened, in turn, is Hillary Clinton’s book-length response to that query. Clinton famously fumbled what the polls and popular sentiment considered the easiest presidential election win in recent history for reasons that have been rehashed, dissected and autopsied for nine months—by countless people not named Hillary Clinton. Now is South Floridians’ up-close and personal opportunity to listen to the candidate’s side of the story at this exclusive stop on her What Happened book tour.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of Free Friday Concerts

Where: The Pavilion at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/243-7922, oldschoolsquare.org

Friday nights, fresh air and free music—what could be better? Once again, Old School Square is showing the community some love with its popular series of outdoor concerts at the Pavilion. Whether you come with the family or that one special friend, you’ll want to bring lawn chairs or at least a blanket to stretch out on. You’ll have to leave the pets at home for this one, though. No coolers or outside food or beverages are permitted either, but don’t worry: You’ll be able to buy something to nibble on and something nice and cold to drink. The new season of shows begins Friday with the note-perfect Billy Joel tribute Turnstiles, kicking off a high-energy lineup of bands that continues throughout the season.

THURSDAY

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What: Opening night of “Blade Runner 2049”

Where: Cinemark Palace, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton

When: 7 and 10 p.m.

Cost: $9-$16

Contact: fandango.com

Few modern directors convey creeping dread quite like Denis Villeneuve, the auteur of “Sicario” and “Arrival,” whose latest project expands the mythology of “Blade Runner,” Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi benchmark. Set 30 years after the events of the original, this audacious sequel follows a next-generation replicant cop (Ryan Gosling) designed by a globalist industrialist (Jared Leto) whose latest case leads him down a soul-searching rabbit hole into his own creation. Harrison Ford reprises his role in Scott’s film, as a retired blade runner whose own history is crucial to solving the movie’s mysteries. While Villeneuve pays homage to the 1982 feature’s grim urban cityscapes, the visual and aural language of “2049” is certifiably his own: The alien topographies and expressionistic interiors; the exotic, elephantine musical score; and the melancholy drift of its stranger-in-a-strange-land hero are largely of a piece with his impressive oeuvre. The story is plagued by occasional inertia, and it doesn’t quite grip you enough, but its meditations on bioengineering and transhumanism, and its cogent observations on corporate hegemony, surveillance and an underground slave state resonate even greater now than in the franchise’s inception. It will open Friday at most area theaters.

Kelly Goodman Photography

Kelly Goodman Photography

What: Opening night of Fright Nights

Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 6 p.m. to midnight

Cost: $30

Contact: 561/790-5225, myfrightnights.com

Fright Nights, one of Palm Beach’s County’s preeminent haunted attractions, celebrates its not-so-sweet 16th birthday this season with four brand-new walk-throughs filled with special effects and live scare-actors. Creative director Craig McInnis and his crack(ed?) team of designers welcome horror fans to these concepts: “Occultus,” about witchcraft hysteria run amok; “Metamorphosis,” a mad-doctor tribute to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; “Shutter,” about a fashion photographer-cum-murderous psychopath; and “The Cuckoo’s Nest,” which riffs on that old chestnut about the inmates running the asylum. Enjoy these, along with carnival rides, food, drinks and other entertainment, through Oct. 28. Through Oct. 5, you can buy discounted tickets online for $25.

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What: Opening night of “On Your Feet!”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $29-$75

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Gloria and Emilio Estefan are the closest people Miami has to royalty. Cuban-born and Miami-bred, they personify the American dream: fleeing Communist oppression, forging a legacy in the city’s burgeoning Latin pop scene, and winning 26 Grammys between them. So it’s wholly appropriate that the city that hatched their fame will be the first national tour stop of “On Your Feet!,” the zesty and heartfelt musical based on their vertiginous life. The tunes the Estefans immortalized, including “Conga,” “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Get on Your Feet,” complement a narrative that addresses the their uphill battle in an Anglo-centric music industry as well as the car accident that nearly ended Gloria’s career. With the creators of “Kinky Boots,” “Jersey Boys” and “Birdman” behind the directing, choreography and writing, this power couple’s story is in good hands … er, feet. The show runs through Oct. 15.

SATURDAY

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What: Opening day of “Bling: The Brilliant History of Glitz”

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

When: Reservations begin at 11 a.m.

Cost: $48 (includes three-course lunch)

Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org

The Wick’s fifth and latest costume exhibition is more than just a showcase of theatrical wardrobes, although there are some great ones on display from “La Cage,” “42nd Street” and “The Producers.” But this celebration of all things glitzy also integrates film accessories from lavish productions such as “Cleopatra” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” Its breathtaking centerpiece will feature samples of Liberace’s most flamboyant costumes, including his iconic King Neptune cape, on loan from the Liberace Foundation in Las Vegas. The exhibition runs through May 20, 2018.

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What: Seu Jorge

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $45-$215

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

The 2005 feature “The Life Aquatic” is one of director Wes Anderson’s most eccentric films, worshipped by his cult fanbase while eliciting a shrug from much of the mainstream audience. But even viewers wary of Anderson’s stylized vision probably remember the movie’s musical selections—the ethereally beautiful acoustic covers of David Bowie compositions, sung in Portuguese, by Brazilian singer-songwriter Seu Jorge. Transforming Bowie’s glam spunk into intricate pop-samba numbers, Jorge both deepened and redefined another’s master work, prompting the Thin White Duke himself to comment, “Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portuguese I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.” Jorge will pay tribute to Bowie on this tour, in which he’ll perform the “Life Aquatic” soundtrack supplemented by movie stills and a stage design that re-creates its stylish submarine setting.

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What: Opening night of “The Humans”

Where: GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $57-$60

Contact: 305/445-1119, gablestage.org

Stephen Karam’s drama “The Humans” arrives for its South Florida regional premiere with a most impressive track record: It transferred from off-Broadway to Broadway in less than a month’s time last winter before becoming a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and winning the Tony Award for Best Play. “The Humans” is centered on a familiar theatrical conceit—a dinner party for an extended family—but it avoids the histrionics and broad comedic strokes often associated with dysfunctional-family plays. Praised for its naturalistic dialogue and documentary-style look at a middle-class family trying to stay afloat in turbulent and unpredictable times, “The Humans” features characters that probably look and sound like you. If done well, the production should strike notes that are both, as the New York Times review put it, “blisteringly funny [and] bruisingly sad.” GableStage’s premiere runs through Nov. 5.

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.