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.

week ahead

Week Ahead Feb. 21-27

Miami City Ballet premieres a post-Valentine’s “Kiss,” a presidential historian shares Oval Office insights in Boca, and a jazz icon tinkles the keys at the Arsht. Plus, Lucinda Williams, “Xanadu,” Save Ferris and more in your week ahead.


What: “A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America”


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

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

Cost: $5Contact: 561/655-7226, fourarts.org

These days, we call unschooled painters and sculptors “outsider artists.” But in the hollers and hollows of the American South, Midwest and New England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were known as folk artists, and in their visual diaspora, they both re-created the world around them with stunning realism and injected it with primitive character and indelible whimsy. This touring exhibition organized by the American Folk Art Museum in New York collects more than 60 works by these untrained pioneers, whose allegorical tableaux, singular animal sculptures and functional household objects helped establish an innate style for a country still seeking its artistic distinction. See it through March 26.


What: Michael Beschloss


Presidential historian Michael Beschloss is the author of nine books.

Where: University Theatre at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 800/564-9539, fauevents.com

For its annual Symposium on the American Presidency, FAU couldn’t have selected a more informed voice on the subject than Beschloss. NBC News’ official presidential historian has influenced and inspired world leaders through nine books about presidents in turmoil, from Kennedy’s dealings with Khrushchev to Roosevelt and Truman’s tenures during World War II. He will address “Critical Moments in the American Presidency.”


What: Save Ferris



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

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $18.50 advance, $20 at door

Contact: jointherevolution.net

Save Ferris inherently trades in nostalgia, which I guess is appropriate for a band that takes its name from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The group’s nostalgia harkens primarily to the ska wave it rode in the mid-‘90s alongside No Doubt and tour-mates Goldfinger, most memorably on its brassy, mosh-able cover of the New Wave chestnut “Come On Eileen.” Sadly, this infectious and energetic band fell apart in the 2000s, roiled by key member departures and legal disputes, and there are currently far more ex-Save Ferris musicians than current ones. But Monique Powell’s vocals continue to carry the group’s ska-punk anthems, as present as ever on the forthcoming EP “Checkered Past,” Save Ferris’ first release in 15 years.


What: Opening night of “Xanadu”


Where: Broward Center’s New River Room, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $45

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

The source material for the stage musical “Xanadu” is more than dubious: The 1980 film of the same name, despite contributions from Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, is one of film history’s epic clunkers, a spectacularly bad movie that only in cultish circles has become a good-bad movie. But the theatrical version, mounted this time by Fort Lauderdale’s Slow Burn Theatre Company, is a cheekier, more effective spin on the gonzo story, one chockablock with inside-theater jokes, gender-bending casting and copious roller skating. The narrative is what it is: Thanks to interventionist Greek muses, a thick-headed aspiring artist in California realizes his dreams by opening a roller disco. But it’s the winking spirit—not to mention those infectious songs—that has helped the musical succeed where the film most certainly didn’t. It runs through March 5.


What: “Blackbird, Fly”


Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Daniel Bernard Roumain.

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $32

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

“Blackbird, Fly” is the collaborative collage between two virtuosi at the pinnacle of their respective fields. Haitian-Americans Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a political activist and spoken-word artist, and Daniel Bernard Roumain, a composer and violinist, co-created this “Concert for Voice, Body and Strings.” Joseph’s staccato performance poetry, steeped in both Haitian folklore and hip-hop culture, provides the show’s introspective narrative, while Roumain’s violin prowess contributes the soundtrack, his notes running a gamut from plaintive to furious. As Joseph has said of his colleague’s music, “he uses one instrument in probably 50,000 ways.” Themes of identity and the search for role models radiate from this singular fusion of words, strings and body percussion.


What: Lucinda Williams


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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $37.50-$47.50

Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com

Alt-country siren Lucinda Williams has been writing and performing music professionally for nearly 40 years, forging a reputation as a durable critics’ darling despite a dearth of radio play. A musician’s musician, she has swum fluidly between genres, from folk to blues to rock, all the while communicating love and its loss, faith and rage, uplift and discontent with an unshakeable clarity. Her once-angelic vocals have now matured into a gritty vintage, adding rugged authenticity to her latest LP “The Ghosts of Highway 20,” a haunting album of story-songs inspired by her travels on the titular southern interstate.

What: Chick Corea and Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $45-$125

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Across a career that stretches back to 1962, jazz keyboardist Corea has accumulated 61 Grammy nominations, the fourth-most in the awards’ history—and at 75, he shows no signs of slowing down. A member of Miles Davis’ band in the late ‘60s, he helped hatch the electric jazz fusion movement and has since mastered genres ranging from avant-garde to children’s music, bebop to symphonic works. He’ll be joined on this tour by another esteemed pianist, the Afro-Cuban phenom Rubalcaba, for a program of solos and duets.


What: Miami City Ballet’s Program III


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

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $20-$99

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

Miami City Ballet is currently the envy of the classical dance world, thanks to its Program III unveiling of a new work by premier choreographer Alexei Ratmansky: “The Fairy’s Kiss,” a 45-minute narrative ballet for 25 dancers, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s dark fairy tale “The Ice-Maiden.” It will be preceded by two eclectic works: George Balanchine’s “Walpurgisnacht Ballet,” which marries music from “Faust” with kitschy movement; and Christopher Wheeldon’s turbulent “Polyphonia.”



Color Your World—With a New Soulmate

Arielle Ford & Brian (husband)

Arielle Ford and her husband, Brian.

For those of you still smarting from not having your very own Valentine this year, there may be a way to get the wheels in motion for next year—by coloring. Yes, you heard us right. A brand new coloring book (fueled by positive advice and affirmations) has just been written by former South Florida resident and relationship expert Arielle Ford (above, with husband Brian)—and it is intended to help you “manifest your soulmate” by “using the timeless principles of the Law of Attraction” by coloring in romantic artwork—and contemplating the accompanying message of each illustration.

For example, the coloring book, Inkspirations, love by design, published by HCI in Deerfield, begins with the notion of intention (“Live in the knowingness that you deserve to have loving committed relationship”) through belief (that your soulmate exists) and on through the stages of trust, surrender, clarity, making your soulmate wish list and more.

Ford will present her new book, which she calls a “transformational coloring book” this Saturday, February 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the downtown Boca library.

Ford is a speaker, a blogger for the Huffington Post, and the producer and author of 10 books including The Soulmate Secret: Manifest the Love of Your Life with the Law of Attraction. Her latest book is Turn Your Mate into Your Soulmate.

The event promises to be interactive and we say you have to start somewhere. So color yourself hopeful and get back in the game. For more information, visit the event page here.

disney world

Exciting Disney Park Happenings in 2017

2017-02-10 11.32.02

It has been a whirlwind week of travel, Boca moms. Walt Disney World invited me and my family to a very special event, the “2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.” What did we celebrate? 160 bloggers and digital influencers came together to learn about the endless magic happening at Walt Disney World Resort as well as new enhancements to the Disney Wonder, one of four ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. And by learning about it, I mean personally experiencing it as we spent two days at the parks and Disney Springs and four days aboard the Wonder.

I told you it was a whirlwind!

There’s so much to write about (and I will on ModernBocaMom.com in the coming weeks), but these are the two things I am most excited about at the Disney Parks. I had to share…

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


There’s a new show after dark at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, and we saw a sneak preview! Opening Friday, Feb. 17, Rivers of Light is an elaborate theatrical production that takes guests on a breathtaking emotional journey—a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light all choreographed to an original music score.


The new 15-minute show is the latest addition to the lineup of nighttime experiences at Animal Kingdom. Celebrating the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world, the performance combines live performers, beautiful floating lanterns, glistening fountains, special effects and authentic animal imagery projected on giant water screens. We even found out that all of the scenes projected are from past Disney Nature films! Rivers of Light will be performed on select nights.

Pandora: The World of Avatar to Open this Spring

2017-02-07 18.32.01

Walt Disney World has announced the addition of several new “lands” ranging from Star Wars to Toy Story over the next few years at Hollywood Studios, but the first to open at Animal Kingdom will be Pandora: The World of Avatar on May 27. Pandora will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by James Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.

Guests will discover two main adventures in this breathtaking new land. We experienced the final model of Pandora during the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Avatar Flight of Passage will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.

We are counting down the Disney days!

Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more Disney news! 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.
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.