Photo by Paulina Splechta.

Mommy and Me for You and Me: Our Top 3 Boca Classes

Sometimes you just need to GTFO—get the family out of the house—especially when you have a little one.

My saving grace when I had a toddler? Mommy & Me classes (and wine). But seriously, I had no earthly idea how amazing a baby and toddler music class would be for my mommy morale. I made friends! I learned songs I could sing to my kid at home! I enjoyed a change of scenery! It was great.

And luckily, we have some amazing Mommy & Me options in Boca Raton. Here are my favorites.

Modern Boca Mommy & Me at Grandview Preparatory School

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Photo by Michelle Olson-Rogers.

Get ready to sing, dance and move! Modern Boca Mommy & Me at Grandview Preparatory School allows children to learn and explore in a real-life educational setting. Each 45 minute #grandviewmoms class during the school year (and summer!) is specifically tailored to capture the attention of babies and toddlers. All classes are taught by the school’s early childhood faculty and offer opportunities for parents and their children to participate in yoga, dance, music and movement. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

I’m the Director of Communications and Community outreach at Grandview, and I’ve been helping promote their Mommy & Me classes. And while I do get paid to talk about how great it is, it really is great! My daughter graduated from the program and into Grandview’s preschool last year.

336 Spanish River Blvd. NW, Boca Raton

Mommy & Me Dance at Organic Movements

Photo by Paulina Splechta.

Photo by Paulina Splechta.

The Mommy & Me Dance class at Organic Movements in east Boca is not only fun for babies and toddlers, but is a challenging hour-long workout for Mom as well. Founder Ms. Courtney developed the class to introduce rhythm, musicality and movement to the youngest of Boca’s residents. In addition to stretching, core strengthening exercises and ballet movements, there is music, scarf and ribbon play. And puppets. I love the puppets!

Boca Mom Tip: Bring your baby carrier so you can wear your little one while you move in class!

2400 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Suite 12, Boca Raton 

Songs for Seeds at Creative Heart Dance Studio

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Photo provided by Songs for Seeds.

Musical education AND a live band? Yep, that’s what you’ll get at Songs for Seeds, a Mommy & Me import straight from New York City! This weekly interactive class encourages children, newborn to age 6, to sing, dance and play along with a three-piece band. Kids can rock out with children’s instruments as well as real drums, guitars and keyboards during the 45-minute class. Songs for Seeds even introduces instruments from around the world with teachers taking students on a global journey each week at their new location in central Boca Raton.

8212 Glades Road, Boca Raton


Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more things to do with your little ones! 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 family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.
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3 Simple Ways to Get Your Child Involved in the Arts

Arts and achievement go hand in hand.

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by Melanie Gibbs

Funding for the arts is getting slimmer and slimmer. In March, President Donald Trump proposed a budget that would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal program that provides vital arts funding to nonprofits, schools and local and state governments. While it will continue to be funded until Dec. 8, the future of the NEA is uncertain.

There’s a reason why the NEA exists. Art isn’t just for artists, it’s for everybody. And the earlier kids engage in the arts, the better off they are.

A Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching study found that young artists are likely to read for pleasure nearly twice as often as their peers and perform community service more than four times as often. There are also links between increased participation in the arts and being recognized for academic achievement.

There is a real and measurable link between participation in the arts and success in academics. So why do many families miss the connection?

Let’s face it, “busy” doesn’t begin to describe today’s families. Between work, school and extracurriculars, there’s little time left over for a meal together, let alone those subjects thought of as inessentials. And sometimes, parents are unable to cover the cost or transportation involved with arts education outside of school.

Florida schools have been hit with deep spending cuts since the 2008 recession, and overworked teachers don’t get much time or resources to fill the gaps. Private schools frequently include visual and performing arts in their curriculum, but their higher tuition often proves prohibitive for many families.

There are many obstacles to making the arts a part of your child’s life, and yet research has proven that a student involved in the arts excels in school, period. So what’s a frazzled parent to do? Here are some ideas you can implement right now:

  1. Play classical music in The Mom Taxi. Your kids might fight it at first, but they’ll get used to this new normal. There is a proven link between music and math skills so don’t give up—you might even enjoy it yourself!
  2. Sign your child up for dance. Even one class per week can make a visible improvement in your son or daughter’s confidence and poise, and the benefits of physical activity for kids age 4-9 are widely acknowledged. Remember recess? Dance class is like recess in Fantasyland.
  3. Leave art supplies out and easily accessible in your home. Art time doesn’t need to be structured—just let your kids create the way they want, when they want. Dorothea Brande said “A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled.”

You don’t need a degree to help your own kids get to the graduation stage—just use these simple tips to make the arts part of their daily schedule. Then stand back and watch them shine!


This post was sponsored by Boca Dance Studio.

Melanie Gibbs is the owner of Boca Dance Studio in Boca Raton and ProAm Dance Studio in Pompano Beach. Her son practices the piano three times a week with only a little whining.

For more info visit BocaDanceStudio.com or call 561/391-8557.

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Norton’s New Season Includes Blockbuster Exhibits

This week, the Norton Museum of Art announced a pair of blockbuster exhibitions for its 2017-2018 season, while the construction of the New Norton continues apace.

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Opening Sept. 5, “Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene” combines science, art and environmentalism. In 2015 and 2016, Justin Brice Guariglia, a transdisciplinary artist from New York, saw firsthand the effects of Greenland’s melting glaciers when he joined NASA as part of its Operation IceBridge survey mission. His stirringly manipulated photographs from the mission comprise this striking collection of abstract photo-paintings, which doubles as a clarion call about sea level rise. Printed with an acrylic process Guariglia himself invented, the impossible-to-replicate aerial close-ups of “Earth Works” are both placid and tempestuous, astral and arctic, forcing us to look anew at the geography we’re slowly losing.

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“Earth Works” runs through Jan. 7, 2018. A few weeks later, on Jan. 25, the Norton will open “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture,” another powerhouse show by the prominent arts patron who founded New York’s Whitney Museum. But as an heiress and socialite who was born into the Vanderbilt family, Whitney’s wealthy reputation has done her few favors as a working artist. As this exhibition illuminates, her sculptural work belied her cosseted life. Her portraits of World War I soldiers and working-class minorities revealed a boundless empathy for the less privileged, which came across in small-scale sculptures and massive public works alike. She is well past due for a reappraisal, and this career-spanning survey—remarkably, the first since her 1942 death—will provide one.

The Norton also announced this week four “Spotlight” shows: room-sized, limited-run mini-exhibitions that focus tightly on a particular subject, artist or genre. “Julie Mehretu: Epigraph, Damascus” (Sept. 5-Oct. 22) is a recently completed six-panel print consisting of deconstructed architectural renderings from the besieged Syrian capital. “BRILLIANT: Recent Acquisitions” (Oct. 26-Dec. 7) features works in paper, glass and photography that deploy vibrant, bold color. “Miss Lucy’s 3-Day Dollhouse Party” (Dec. 14, 2017-Feb. 4, 2018) features three dollhouse projects from Jupiter-based art collector Douglas Andrews, whose friends in the art world—including Julian Schnabel and Cy Twombly—contributed miniature artworks to adorn the houses. Finally, “Black History Black Futures” (Feb. 8-March 18, 2018) will be dedicated solely to black artists, and will be supplemented by special programming and lectures.

As always during reconstruction, the Norton remains free to all visitors throughout the 2017-2018 season. For more information, call 561/832-5196 or visit Norton.org. The museum is at 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach.

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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Art & Culture Center’s Latest Exhibits are Whimsical and Confrontational

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The works comprising “Charley Friedman: Moist Things,” occupying the main gallery at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, exude an emotion too often overlooked in contemporary art: They’re fun.

Small in number but monumental in scope, “Moist Things” surveys more than two decades of work from this Lincoln, Neb., artist, whose dominant sculptures are massive and playful and kinetic. The exhibition moves and drips and hums with life, inspiring immediate awe and dumfounded attention. Bright and surreal, it mesmerizes schoolchildren and art scholars alike.

At the center of this exhibit are four installations created out of mad genius and dogged persistence. “Carpet World,” the first such piece visitors will encounter, is a scaled-to-size globe made from fabric, a painstaking latch hook project that took the artist two years to complete. It’s vividly blue—oceans cover most of the planet—with countries and islands color-coded in shades of pale orange, mauve, taupe and lime green, like randomly cut snacks in a bag of veggie chips. You’re probably not supposed to touch it, but it’s so tactile I couldn’t resist. It’s a giant cat’s toy, and it turns us all into inquisitive felines. Its ambition staggers.

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The same can be said for the piece that gives the show its title, “I Like Moist Things.” Call it aquatic text art: Friedman refashioned 16 sponges into letters spelling out the titular phrase, a silly and suggestive declarative sentence. The sponge art hangs in the air, suspended by wires and absorbing and releasing streams of water, which collect in a kiddie pool below. The water circulates back to the streams above the sponges, generating an endless loop—a fountain that might fit in the lobby of an eccentric hotel, a la the Grand Budapest.

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The liveliest of all is “Science Project,” completed with assistance from local engineering students. This summery kinetic sculpture consists of 80 motor-propelled beach balls spinning like atoms around a steel rod. A beach party distilled into a carousel of symbols, it’s as endlessly watchable as anything I’ve ever seen in a museum. Just as painstaking, and arguably lovelier, is “Garden,” a site-specific arrangement of hollowed-out eggs covered in resin and glued to a gallery wall in formations that resemble verdant plants, with the occasional yolk signifying a budding flower.

Stunning from afar, Friedman’s work tends to grow in esteem the closer you analyze it. “Garden,” in particular, demands a deep dive. Viewed up close, those sinuous plant tendrils reveal themselves indeed to be eggs, with individual puncture marks serving as reminders of their previous functional life. Part of Friedman’s genius may be the way he hides nothing about his transformed materials yet manages to transport us nonetheless. Beyond that, it’s hard to discern an overarching “point” to these large-scale whimsies. Rather, as in the work of the Dada artists, they expose the futility of searching for one. Their blazing originality is pointed enough.

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By contrast, Miami artist David Rohn’s “In Service/Out of Service,” in the next gallery, confronts issues of classism and inequality head-on. It largely consists of oval-shaped portraits of the artist himself dressed as stylized versions of homeless and working-class Americans, men and women alike. For the homeless portraits, he dons secondhand garb including Army fatigues, worn coats, shower caps and makeshift wigs, a convincing hodgepodge of apparel these poorest of people may have cobbled together.

On the gallery floor, Rohn created a tent city filled with the meager detritus of a life on society’s fringes—ugly blankets, a bucket used for god knows what, a Slim Jim label, an empty Pringles canister. In a careful ironic touch, Rohn incorporated promotional giveaways from the Design District, such as tarps and umbrellas, which comment on the contrast between this ostensibly upscale tourist attraction and the urban poor that surround it.

One room over, Rohn inhabits working-class archetypes in the same portrait style, clearly identifying himself as a nurse, a mechanic, a housekeeper, a cable guy and a server. They hang over a more domestic, if still budget-conscious, setting: Instead of tents and tarps, there’s a hearth decorated with thrift-store tchotchkes, and a used three-piece used sofa set which the artist painted over with dinosaurs, a poignant reflection of our industrious method of turning others’ trash into new treasures.

The two rooms are more similar than different. Rohn’s expression never changes regardless of his subject’s socioeconomic status, and this one-gaze-fits-all approach draws connections between these tenuous strata. In an increasingly automated economy, more and more skilled workers are becoming expendable, and the gap between the lower classes is shrinking. The people in Rohn’s portraits might represent the so-called “forgotten man” (and woman) whose votes decided the last presidential election. They’re invisible to most of us reading this, but Rohn takes time to look at them. Any candidate would be wise to be follow his lead.

These exhibitions, along with “Lisa Rockford: Dear 33020,” run through Aug. 20 at Art and Culture Center, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood. Admission costs $4-$7. Call 954/921-3274 or visit artandculturecenter.org.

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

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


TUESDAY

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What: Straight No Chaser with Postmodern Jukebox

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

Contact: 800/745-3000, ticketmaster.com

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

 

Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

What: Opening day of “Dine Out Delray”

Where: Downtown Delray Beach restaurants

When: Lunch and dinner times

Cost: Varies per restaurant

Contact: 561/243-1077, downtowndelraybeach.com

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

THURSDAY

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What: Art of Food & Wine Series

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

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $40

Contact: 954/525-5500, nsuartmuseum.org

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

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Sandy Gelfound

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

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

When: Show times vary

Cost: $45-$59

Contact: 855/448-7469, pgaartscenter.com

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

FRIDAY

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

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

What: Opening day of “Landline”

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $7-$11

Contact: 561/395-4695

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

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What: Opening night of “The Good Thief”

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

When: 8:30 p.m.

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

Contact: 786/573-5300, smdcac.org

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

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

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

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

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

Cost: $45-$50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

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

SUNDAY

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What: Bill Maher

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

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $59-$95

Contact: 305/673-7300, livenation.com

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

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

Marjorie Waldo City Watch

Arts Garage makes a comeback

The second act of Arts Garage is getting good reviews.

Eight months ago, the Arts Garage board brought in Marjorie Waldo as CEO (pictured). The perilous state of the group’s finances became evident when Waldo cancelled last season’s theatrical productions. She then began cutting expenses. Arts Garage may be a small organization, but Waldo faced the same challenge as a new CEO trying to save a publicly traded company.

“We have had a huge turnaround on the business side,” Waldo told me. We stopped spending unless it was necessary. We looked at all job descriptions. We are doing a whole lot with very few people.”

Waldo laid out those numbers in a report for the community redevelopment agency, whose reimbursements for programming form a key part of Arts Garage’s budget. For the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, Waldo cut expenses by nearly $540,000. The staff size dropped from 14 to 6.5. Waldo projects a surplus for the year. “I believe it will be very impressive.”

In addition to stabilizing the business side, Waldo had to change Arts Garage’s programming. In exchange for a new lease of city space for less than $900 per month, the city commission wanted Waldo to attract more minority patrons and thus reflect Delray Beach’s diversity.

In her March 31 memo to the CRA, Waldo said she had “begun to meet with community members to discuss musical genres that will engage our targeted, demographically broadened audience.” Waldo wants to attract students who love the arts but didn’t get accepted to Bak Middle School or Dreyfoos School of the Arts, the county’s two main arts-centered schools. There’s an open mike night for local talent. This summer, Arts Garage will host the African-American Brain Bowl. In January, Arts Garage hosted a benefit for a scholarship program named for Corey Jones, who was shot and killed by former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja. Jones worked for the Delray Beach Housing Authority.

At this point, Arts Garage remains a venue for music. When it comes to bringing back theater, Waldo said, “I am not there yet.” Though several productions under previous management drew well and got good reviews, they lost money. Arts Garage recently took a tentative step with Radio Theater, but had to cancel it. “Very sad,” Waldo said. “I love theater, but I don’t want to lose any ground.”

Waldo has heard complaints that Arts Garage isn’t offering the traditional jazz acts that many customers like. She responds by noting that Arts Garage will offer about 150 music acts this year, compared to between 75 and 100 last year. Arts Garage, Waldo said, hasn’t cut back on jazz. There just are many other offerings.

Under Waldo, Arts Garage started its first development campaign. The centerpiece program is called Band of Angels. Donate $10,000, and—like Clarence in “It’s A Wonderful Life”—you get your wings. Waldo said she has found seven angels.

The CRA was impressed enough with the reorganization to approve Arts Garage’s money for the rest of this year. The lease in Pineapple Grove runs for five years. Waldo is rebuilding. Soon enough, however, she wants to reload.

Trash talk in Boca

It likely will be a packed agenda when the Boca Raton City Council returns from summer break on July 24. If Mizner 200 draws the most speakers, however, the most important item will be something that affects every resident of the city: trash.

At the June 12 workshop meeting, Municipal Services Director Dan Grippo laid it out simply: Boca Raton has outgrown the sanitation facility on Northwest Second Avenue. The city can look for other areas to expand or contract with a private trash hauler. Expanding in-house would cost more. Contracting could save money.

Unlike some cities, Boca Raton has been able to put off this decision. As Mayor Haynie told me, however, “We’ve come a long way from when people could pay extra for side yard pickup.” Grippo said the contract for Town Center Mall and the surrounding areas the city annexed in 2003 is up next year.

“We have to have a serious policy discussion,” Haynie said. Privatization might save money, but the city would lose direct control over the service that draws the most comments on social media. A city spokeswoman said the most calls come from residents after a holiday, when pickup is delayed for a day. Privatization also would mean uncertainty for sanitation employees, though the city would ask the contractor to hire them.

Delray Beach has used a private company for years. Haynie and the council members know, however, that there’s no margin for error. Any problems with trash pickup would come right back to the council.

Community Advisory Board

Boca Raton combined four advisory boards into the Community Advisory Panel with the hope that the new group would offer residents who don’t speak regularly at city council meetings a new way to offer suggestions. The most recent meeting offered less hope.

There was the usual speaker from Boca Teeca who wanted the city to get on with buying the Ocean Breeze golf course and thus subsidizing the revamp of Boca Teeca. There was the usual request that the city include a performing arts center in the downtown government campus. One resident wanted the city to ban plastic bags. Another wanted a grant program for neighborhoods—less grandiose, one assumes, than buying Ocean Breeze.

And one resident suggested that Boca Raton elect council members from single-member districts. Candidates would run from certain areas, and only those voters would decide the council seat. The idea might have seemed tempting before the last election to residents who live east of Interstate 95. Only Mayor Susan Haynie lived east of the highway. Now it’s Haynie and Andrea O’Rourke.

The problem with such a system lies in Boca Raton’s weak-mayor system. The mayor has more ceremonial and parliamentary powers—such as running the meetings— but his or her vote counts the same. The manager is the city’s CEO, and the manager reports to the whole council. But voters don’t elect the manager; the council appoints the manager. Residents thus deserve to choose all the people who make decisions, including the choice of a manager. If Boca Raton had a strong-mayor system, it might make sense to have council members represent certain geographic areas because they would also be voting for the CEO. Without such a system, single-member districts would disenfranchise residents.

Delray bike-sharing?

Bicycle sharing seems like an item made for Delray Beach, with the city’s Human Powered Delray and all. The city commission, however, whiffed in its first at bat to secure a company to provide the service.

Consider Commissioner Jim Chard an optimist. “The process was solid,” he told me. “I think we could have negotiated something. But it’s not dead.” The commission will go back out in a month or two with a proposal for bidders. “The discussion was healthy.”

Consider Mayor Cary Glickstein a skeptic. “The staff had a hard time,” he said, “reconciling the commission’s intent. The idea that this could be a revenue producer (for a private company) in a small town like this was an impossibility.” Glickstein believes that the new attempt will be in more of a “streamlined fashion.”

Chard believes that such a program is inevitable, in part because so many outside organizations support bike-sharing. “And there’s no real risk to the city.” West Palm Beach started a program two years ago. Broward County and Miami Beach have bicycle sharing. “You have to make it really easy,” Glickstein said, “for people to think, ‘I don’t have to drive.’ “ Delray Beach does have its clustered downtown. The Tri-Rail station west of I-95, however, might be too far from downtown in the hot months.

Caring Kitchen move?

If Delray Beach is having a tough time with bicycle sharing, the city may be facing a much tougher time with the Caring Kitchen.

The city commission has resolved to move the food-for-the-poor program, which CROS Ministries runs, from its city-owned location just north of Atlantic Avenue on Northwest Eighth Avenue. Interim City Manager Neal de Jesus recently told the city commission that Caring Kitchen is now on a month-to-month lease, which would make a move easier if another site became available. Previously, there had been no lease.

Commissioner Shirley Ervin Johnson pressed de Jesus for more. “I’ve been trying to have this discussion” since being elected in March. For all the good work Caring Kitchen does, its neighbors have complaints. Unspoken but understood throughout this debate is that Delray Beach would not have allowed Caring Kitchen to operate in a non-minority neighborhood.

Though the city considered moving Caring Kitchen to the former train depot near Atlantic Avenue, there is general agreement that the location wouldn’t work. It’s too far for most people who use Caring Kitchen, and those whom Caring Kitchen serves would have to cross I-95.

The plan still remains to seek bidders who would use the depot for a business. Because they would get the site at a good price, the new owner would have to find a new location for Caring Kitchen. “I think we should let that process run its course,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said. It could take two months to prepare the proposal. “Nothing will happen,” de Jesus said, “by the end of the year.”

Dogpatch?

While Boca Raton tries to decide whether to sell its main golf course, Delray Beach tries to fix up its course.

At a recent meeting, City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia referred to the condition of the course as “Dogpatch,” though the commission also held its goal-setting session at the course. Residents had especially strong complaints about the course bathrooms. Interim City Manager Neal de Jesus sent me a report of how Delray Beach has responded to recommendations in 2015 and this year by the United States Golf Association.

Landscaping around the parking lot and grounds has been improved. By the end of this month, the city expects to have quotes from two new food and beverage companies. Better tee, yardage and hole markers are due at the end of August.

The bigger problems, though, have been the condition of the course itself. One issue is water delivery. These upgrades are not so quick and not so cheap. The report sums it up this way: “Long-term improvements to the irrigation system and turf need to be addressed as funds are available. These improvements could be funded through increased user fees, permit fees, or golf impact fees that would be assessed to the patrons of the golf courses.”

In other words, golfers likely will have to pay more if they want a nicer course.


Missed the last City Watch? Visit our Community/City Watch page, and subscribe to the magazine for more City Watch columns in every issue. 

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
In this Jan. 26, 2015 photo, Tig Notaro poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Tig", at the Eddie Bauer Adventure House during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

Your Week Ahead: June 13 to 19

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


WEDNESDAY

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

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $35-$45

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

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

THURSDAY

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What: Opening night of “The Goldberg Variations”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/519-2533, islandcitystage.org

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

FRIDAY

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What: Opening night of “Past Life”

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $10-$13

Contact: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/past-life

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

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

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50-$9.50

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

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

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What: Opening night of “Dear 33020”

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

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 954/921-3274, artandculturecenter.org

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

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

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

When: 10 p.m.

Cost: $10 presale

Contact: eventbrite.com

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

SATURDAY

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What: Stonewall Festival

Where: 2345 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

When: 3 to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/621-1350, wiltonmanorsstonewall.com

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

SUNDAY

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

What: Tig Notaro 

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $28.50-$34.50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

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

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

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


WEDNESDAY

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What: Opening night of The Hukilau

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

When: 8 p.m.

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

Contact: thehukilau.com

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

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What: Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears for Fears

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $31-$125.50

Contact: 786/777-1000, aaarena.com

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

THURSDAY

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What: Eliot Lewis

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

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/278-3364, bostonsonthebeach.com

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

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What: Opening night of South Florida Cultural Consortium exhibition

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

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

Cost: $3-$5

Contact: 305/893-6211, mocanomi.org

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

FRIDAY

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What: Opening day of “Building a Legacy”

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

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

Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org

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

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What: Opening night of “Risk”

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

When: 2 and 6 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org

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

SUNDAY

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What: Reel Big Fish: “The Beer Run”

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

When: 5 p.m.

Cost: $28-$30

Contact: 954/449-1025, jointherevolution.net

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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The Week Ahead: May 30 to June 5

The Norton celebrates a Beatles landmark, Summer Shorts premieres a Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, and Florida Classical Ballet dances three masterworks. Plus, Trevor Noah, Joe Jackson, Burt Reynolds and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

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What: Joe Jackson

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $37.50-$67.50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

One of the more singular acts of the British New Wave movement, this impeccably dressed and sonically chameleonic singer-songwriter is famous for Elvis Costello-like barn-burners, baroque pop earworms, and jaunty swing music alike. He even dabbled with classical music, albeit to a more diminished audience, in the ‘90s. At this “encore” tour of his 2015 album “Fast Forward,” Jackson will play hits dating back to his classic 1979 debut “Look Sharp” on through to the conceptual ambition of “Fast Forward,” whose 16 cuts are inspired by four beloved cities: New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and New Orleans. A sprinkling of surprising, ever-changing covers will complement Jackson’s own eclectic material.

THURSDAY

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What: Art After Dark: Sound and Vision

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

When: 5 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org

It’s been 50 years this week since the U.S. release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the favorite Beatles album among art nerds, recording aficionados and lovers of all things weird. Across complex tracks such as “Within You Without You,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and “A Day in the Life,” the Beatles expanded their pop sensibilities to include vaudeville, avant-garde and Indian music, among others, knowing they wouldn’t have to perform the songs live. Half a century later, however, the possibilities for dynamism and range in live music have caught up with the endless capacities of the recording studio, and voila! Tribute acts like South Florida’s Across the Universe are more than happy to perform compositions from this iconic album. Catch them at 7:30 at this week’s Art After Dark at the Norton, but you can arrive by 5:30 for Spotlight Talks on four art works, and by 6:30 for an Artist Talk from South Korea’s Yeondoo Jung, whose installation “Documentary Nostalgia” is on display now at the Norton.

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What: An Evening With Burt Reynolds

Where: Eissey Campus Theatre, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $45-$75

Contact: 561/207-5900, legendsradio.com

Palm Beach County art royalty doesn’t get more regal than Burt Reynolds, the now-octogenarian actor whose Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre established northern Palm Beach as a cultural destination. Candid and self-deprecating, Reynolds recently told an interviewer than he’s probably made “50 good movies and 50 bad ones,” but his most iconic parts, in the likes of “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights,” have a permanent place in our mass consciousness. Still a working actor—his quasi-autobiographical new film “Dog Years” is currently playing the festival circuit—Reynolds will field questions from the audience at this intimate gathering, which will benefit the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre. Deep-pocketed fans can pay $500 for a front-row seat and meet & greet.

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What: Opening night of Summer Shorts

Where: 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: $39-$54

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

South Floridians waiting (im)patiently for their chance to finally see “Hamilton,” as part of the Broward Center’s 2018-2019 season, can enjoy some tapas by Lin-Manuel Miranda starting this weekend at the Arsht Center’s annual Summer Shorts festival of acclaimed short plays. Miranda’s micro-musical “21 Chump Street,” written prior to his success with “Hamilton,” and set in Boca no less, is the main draw at this always-popular collection of eight-to-15-minute works. The seven other plays, which lean heavily in the comedy direction, address topics ranging from Internet trolls and storefront psychics to Girl Scout cookies and the art world. Paul Tei, Jessica Farr, David Nail and new Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford will lead a multifaceted cast of eight through the wacky and poignant material. Summer Shorts runs through July 2.

FRIDAY

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What: Opening day of “Colossal”

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

When: 2 and 6 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org

This peculiar sci-fi comedy is just the sort of inventive idea that could breathe new life into both genres. At first, “Colossal” seems like a conventional domestic dramedy about a wayward, bender-prone New Yorker (Anne Hathaway) whose comically endearing bad habits have cost her a job and relationship. No sooner do we establish a tone and texture to “Colossal” does the story toss us a car-crushing, building-incinerating curveball, in the form of a giant monster terrorizing Seoul, South Korea. How are these twin narratives related? See the film and find out, or start by watching the crazy trailer.

SATURDAY

Trevor-Noah

What: Trevor Noah

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $39.50-$100

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

In 2015, a largely unknown comedian named Trevor Noah was appointed to the most plum job in political humor: host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Noah is not Jon Stewart—in some ways, he’s a better presence, less prone to tiresome camera mugging—but his star has risen nearly as high in two short years. He recently debuted his third standup special for Netflix, and his award-nominated 2016 memoir Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood introduced a global readership to his alternately hilarious and shocking childhood in apartheid South Africa: The guy who now dates a supermodel and rakes politicians over fires for a living once subsisted on caterpillars for nutrition, and was thrown out of a speeding taxi by gangsters. Noah’s boundary-pushing standup reflects hard, inconvenient realities, which helps explain the title of a documentary about his formative years: “You Laugh But it’s True.”

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

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What: Florida Classical Ballet Company Spring Gala

Where: Pompano Beach Cultural Center, 50 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach

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

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/839-9578, ccpompano.org

South Florida’s newest performing arts venue is not wasting any time in bringing exciting cultural programming to underserved Pompano Beach denizens. One of its resident companies, Florida Classical Ballet specializes in the fusion of Cuban dance technique with American styles, thanks to the vision of ballet mistress, choreographer and company founder Magaly Suarez. This weekend’s spring gala is great opportunity to discover this dynamic company, whose program features classics and newer works alike. Attendees will experience the dramatic Act II dance of “Swan Lake,” the grand pas de deux from “Don Quixote,” and the exotic “La Bayadere” suite, all featuring choreography by the legendary Marius Petipa. Jorge Garcia’s Cuban divertissement “Majismo” and Edwaard Liang’s 2009 “Wunderland,” featuring a Philip Glass score, round out the program.

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.