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.



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,

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.



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,

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.



What: Opening night of “Past Life”

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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $10-$13


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.


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,

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.”


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,

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.


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


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.


Style: "Standard Look"

What: Stonewall Festival

Where: 2345 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

When: 3 to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/621-1350,

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.


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,

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, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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.



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


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.


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,

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.”


Eliot Lewis2_4C

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,

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.


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,

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.



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,

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.


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,

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.



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,

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, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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.



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,

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.


beatles 5

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,

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.


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,

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.


What: Opening night of Summer Shorts

Where: 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

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

Contact: 305/949-6722,

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.



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,

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.



What: Trevor Noah

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $39.50-$100

Contact: 561/832-7469,

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.”



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,

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, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
kinky boots

Review: Kinky Boots at the Kravis Center


kinky boots

The closing bows for this show were unlike any I’ve ever experienced.

The show ended at the plot’s climax. The characters were still singing and dancing, and I found myself suddenly standing and clapping, not in applause, but to the beat of the music.

That’s what makes “Kinky Boots” such a wonderful show. It lifts you up—literally and figuratively.

The Broadway show, based on the British movie “Kinky Boots,” follows the hilarious and unlikely intersection of the lives of Charlie Price, who unwillingly inherited his father’s failing shoe company, and the drag queen Lola, who has been obsessed with sparkle, theatrics, the color red, and especially shoes, since childhood. Charlie meets Lola at a precarious time in his life, and Lola, a man who dresses like a woman for a living, teaches Charlie big lessons on what it means to truly be “a man.” You likely won’t be too surprised by this story as it follows a typical story arc. Nevertheless the acting and plot are brilliant.

Charlie and Lola attempt to save Price & Sons by changing the product, which was a line of well-made men’s shoes, into well-made shoes for men—who dress like women. The story is about acceptance, transformation, empathy, tolerance, passion and self expression. It’s fitting that the high heeled-boot is a metaphor for “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

What made “Kinky Boots” so compelling to me and my co-worker who joined me was the dancing and choreography (by Jerry Mitchell), almost entirely performed in really high heels. We’re talking 5-6 inches, and the female characters and male characters wearing those heels equally pulled off the stunts (splits, jumps, twirls) flawlessly. This was exhibited perfectly in the final song in Act 1, “Everybody Say Yeah,” which included technical choreography on treadmills.

You can’t talk about this show without talking about the music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. The pop beats kept the show upbeat and zany, and the slowing of pace changed things up and piqued my interest. Lola’s solo “Hold Me in Your Heart” was beautiful, and actor Timothy Ware conveyed deep emotion—the kind that brings a lump to your throat. My favorite song was “Sex is in the Heel.” It was just so fun and such a celebration of human sensuality and self expression. It’s important to note that after the show, I desperately regretted not wearing heels that night.

Since its first show in 2012 “Kinky Boots” has only become more relevant. In February, President Donald Trump rescinded Obama-era protections for transgender students in schools that allowed them to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. The messages of love and acceptance in “Kinky Boots,” delivered via comedy, lyrics, fashion and of course drag queens, should be listened to with open ears. What’s great about “Kinky Boots” is that it teaches us that whether you’re a “trans veteran” or just a burly dude, you are what you say you are, and no one else has a right to define you.

Can you tell I loved it?

Kinky Boots plays at the Kravis Center through April 23. For tickets go to

Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida’s greatest asset: nature.
phantom of the opera

Review: Phantom of the Opera at the Kravis Center


phantom of the opera

“Phantom of the Opera,” Broadway’s longest-running musical, is showing at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach until Friday, April 1. With a reboot from producer Cameron Mackintosh and under the direction of Laurence Connor, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit production is back and better than ever. Mackintosh is no stranger to breathing new life into classic shows—he’s already redone “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon.”

But “Phantom” is special. Its literary beginnings date back to 1909, when Gaston Leroux first published the story. This gothic French novel draws on themes of tragedy, darkness, alienation, unrequited love, and of course, the supernatural.

In its original American stage production (starting in 1988), Lloyd Webber touches on these themes, especially the unrequited love and the supernatural. However, his version fails to marry the humanity of the phantom with the rest of the characters, which is something that Mackintosh does well, among other details.

Here’s an overview of noteworthy changes in Mackintosh’s overhaul of “Phantom of the Opera”:

The chandelier

“Lot 666, then, a chandelier in pieces …” This opening line, which originally introduced the chandelier, hasn’t changed, but its animation and famous release are timed later in the performance. The placement now makes more sense and adds a more dramatic flair. Additionally, the chandelier itself shines and sparkles more brightly than before.

Masquerade ball

This is the scene that has changed the most. Spoiler alert: there’s no longer a grand staircase. Instead, the stage is full of mirrors (including a circular one hanging above the cast) to create an illusion of more dancers than are actually present. It redefines the haunting, mysterious undertones of the show and toes the fine line of reality and fantasy. The choreography by Scott Ambler is beautifully done. It’s longer than Lloyd Webber’s production, so take time to soak in the music and the original 19th-century costumes by Maria Bjornson.

Set design

Unlike past designs, the new set by Paul Brown takes audiences deeper into the world of the opera and its mad genius. The set rotates 360 degrees, and there’s a staircase down into the phantom’s lair that is steep and dangerous, just as one would imagine. And the lair itself is darker and dingier, despite a few candelabras scattered on and around the organ.

The changing room for the corps de ballet is relatively the same, as is the opening at the auction and the manager’s office. However, the numerous backdrops for each opera house rehearsal and performance (“Hannibal,” “Il Muto,” and “Don Juan Triumphant”) are more detailed and colorful than in the past, along with extra props and furniture. It helps bridge the gap between imagination and reality of the stage to form a more complete understanding of each scene.

Phantom’s human interactions

Previously, the phantom felt somewhat detached from the rest of the cast, with the exception of Christine Daaé. He hid in the shadows and watched people from high above or down below. But Mackintosh’s phantom, played by Derrick Davis, is different. His presence is more palpable throughout the play. He reads letters to the new opera owners, speaks directly to masquerade attendees and cast when he drops off his score for “Don Juan Triumphant.” Such inclusion makes the phantom seem relatable, rather than an unknown being to be feared.

Special effects

Gunshots, fire and shadows projected on stage are only a few of the numerous special effects that bring “Phantom” to life. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Keep an eye out.

Overall, Cameron Mackintosh’s changes are definitely beneficial for “Phantom.” They add depth, not distraction, to a timeless classic, without being too much or too over-the-top. And the most important aspect, the music, hasn’t changed at all.

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

Your Week Ahead March 28 – April 3

Mizner Park hosts spirited mix-masters, the Carbonell Awards honor South Florida theatre, and local politicos search for civility at Lynn. Plus, Chris Rock, Dinosaur Jr., Bravo Amici and more in your week ahead.


What: Dinosaur Jr.



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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/564-1074,

Dissonance has always been embedded into the fabric of Dinosaur Jr., the Amherst, Mass., trio whose 1980s emergence laid foundational stones for alternative and college rock. It was there in the music, which married crank-it- to-11 arena-rock volume with lo-fi punk distortion and singer J. Mascis’ incongruous vocal drawl, with its country-slacker disaffection. And it was certainly there in the mercurial musicians themselves, whose personalities and creative visions clashed enough to warrant a 10-year hiatus between albums. Since 2007, Dinosaur Jr. seems to have mended its fences without losing the healthy juxtapositions of its influential music. Its 2016 release “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not,” represents the band’s best work in nearly a decade.


What: Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Where: Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $65-$180

Contact: 800/745-3000,

It’s been more than 20 years since Chris Rock’s breakthrough HBO special, “Bring the Pain,” established him as a megastar. That standup show—and its follow-up, “Bigger and Blacker”—created the perception of Rock that still holds: as a brash, un-P.C., black-leather- jacketed truth-teller, the anti-Cosby. But in the nine years since his last standup tour, he’s become less of a provocative outsider and more of a multihyphenate mogul—executive-producing documentaries, acting on Broadway, hosting awards shows, and writing and directing feature films. How this time in showbiz and off the comedy-club stage will affect Rock’s “Total Blackout Tour” remains to be seen, but there’s only one way to find out.


What: “Mixology: The Craft Spirits Event”


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

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

Cost: $45


It has taken the craft cocktail movement a little longer to catch fire than its now-ubiquitous craft beer colleagues. But for the second year in a row, Boca Raton magazine is helping to stoke the flames of this exciting movement with “Mixology,” one of our signature annual events. The $45 cover grants unlimited tastings from 25 of Florida’s finest purveyors of craft spirits—brands with punchy names like Slaughter House, Death’s Door and Wicked Dolphin. You can expand your culinary horizons, too; the ticket charge also includes offerings from Tanzy, Café Med, Villagio, Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar, M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom and more. Live music rounds out the spirited evening.


What: “Dialogues in Civility: In Conversation With Congress”

dialogues in civility

Where: Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

When: Noon

Cost: Free, but registration required

Contact: 561/237-7000,

Civility in politics sounds like a quaint relic of the 20th century: principled congressional leaders air passionate but respectful disagreements, then perhaps share a beer after the session and work constructively on a compromise. These days, fueled by a balkanized media and constituents who, understandably, would rather see the system burn to the ground than to see their side commune with the sworn enemy, the very concept of civil behavior is under serious endangerment. This free lecture at Lynn will hope to change that perception and forge a new reality, with a bipartisan panel of well-behaved Florida political all-stars. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel (pictured), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Tom Rooney will discuss the causes and solutions to political incivility in a panel discussion led by Lynn’s own Robert Watson.

What: “Grounded”


Where: Thinking Cap Theatre at the Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/610-7263,

Drone warfare has become something a topic du jour in contemporary storytelling, from the play “Leveling Up” to the film “Eye in the Sky.” But George Brant’s“Grounded,” which opened last weekend at Thinking Cap Theatre, offers an innovative stylistic choice to accompany its timely subject matter: It’s a solo show, planting us entirely in the headspace of an Air Force pilot forced into drone duty when she becomes pregnant. Actress Niki Fridh, in her first one-person production, takes the controls for 80 nonstop minutes, in a show that she says explores the “struggles of motherhood, marriage and a career in the military.” “Grounded” also provides a deep dive into the morality of today’s remote-war technology, in which a bad guy—or an entire village of civilians—could be decimated at the punch of a button. Friday’s unique matinee will be followed by a happy hour; traditional 8 p.m. evening performances and 5 p.m. Sunday matinees will continue through April 15.

What: Opening night of “Frantz”


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

When: Show times pending

Cost: $10-$13

This period drama from celebrated French director Francois Ozon (lately of the gender-bending “New Girlfriend”) is full of secrets and lies in black and white. In the immediate aftermath of the First World War, French soldier Adrien appears in the German mountain town of Quedlinburg, ostensibly to pay his respects to a fallen German warrior named Frantz, and encountering the fresh rancor of a divided continent. Few are willing to accept Adrien’s genuine presence in the country, but among them is Anna, Frantz’s widowed fiancée. Ozon’s narrative, based on Ernest Lubitsch’s lesser-known 1932 drama “Broken Lullaby,” throws a couple of effective curveballs, holding our interest even when the director’s approach grows unnecessarily maudlin. As a study in shared melancholy, “Frantz” has much to say about the fictions we spin to comfort ourselves and loved ones in times of grief, and its monochrome photography—transitioning occasionally into pointed color—is luminous. “Frantz” also opens at Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton, Movies of Delray and Movies of Lake Worth.


What: Bravo Amici

bravo amici

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 561/243-7922,

Shattering the misconception that the best opera singers boast wide-girthed proportions, these dashing young turks have the goal of introducing classical musical forms to pop audiences. Bravo Amici’s compelling ensemble of tenors and divas croons classics in Italian and English, crafting a crossover cultural stew of polished musicality. It’s no wonder they’ve sold more than 3 million albums, counting Sir Elton John and Queen Elizabeth among their rapidly growing fan base. Expect to hear classic and contemporary arias that move fluidly between genres and styles. The outdoor concert will be presented under a tent with provided seating; popcorn, ice cream, candy and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.


What: Carbonell Awards



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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 advance, $30 day of show

Contact: 954/462-0222,

It’s time once again for “theatre prom,” the night South Florida’s theatre community dresses to the nines to celebrate the best work produced on tri-county stages the previous year. Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the north county powerhouse, leads regional companies with 18 nominations, many of them for its sensational production of the classic musical “Me and My Girl.” Among plays, Michael McKeever’s shattering ensemble drama “After,” from Miami’s Zoetic Stage, received the most nominations.Regional companies such as GableStage, Slow Burn Theatre and Thinking Cap Theatre also received a number of nominations in important categories. See the winners accept their statues at this local version of the Tonys, which includes performances from the five Carbonell-nominated musicals. Then hobnob with nominees at the onsite after-party.

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

The Week Ahead March 14-20

Jazz in the Gardens returns with a star-studded lineup, Florida Grand Opera puts poetry in motion, and Slow Burn Theatre ventures down the Mississippi. Plus, Carol Burnett, City and Colour, George Packer and more in your week ahead.


What: George Packer


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

When: 3 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 561/655-7226,

Investigative reporter George Packer is bestowed with a distinct gift for digging beneath the headlines and discovering observations that help us make sense of the world. This is evident every week he publishes an opinion piece or in-depth feature for The New Yorker, and even more so in his award-winning, nonfiction page-turner The Unwinding: The Inner History of the New America, a novelistic 2013 book whose threads of division and economic unease grow more relevant by the day. His blunt, left-leaning opinions may irk some in the Four Arts membership, but I can think of few more sober voices to help us understand our radically shifting political landscape.


What: Opening night of “Big River”


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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $47-$60

Contact: 954/462-0222,

“Big River” has been one of the “bucket list” musicals for Slow Burn Theatre Artistic Director Patrick Fitzwater, and he’ll finally get to fulfill the wish on the stage of the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theatre. An adaptation of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the sweeping adventure narrative was a different animal from its contemporaries when it debuted on Broadway in 1985: Eschewing the symphonic bombast of so many of the hit, U.K.-conceived musicals, it boasted a country and bluegrass score by honky-tonk royalty Roger Miller. A moving injection of rich, literary Americana, “Big River” won three major Tony Awards. Watch the Mississippi flow to life with a South Florida cast and under Fitzwater’s direction, in a production that runs through April 2.


What: “Brigadoon”


Where: Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

When: 2 p.m.

Cost: $50-$70

Contact: 561/237-7000,

Forecast to be Lynn University’s premier musical event of the season, this single-afternoon staging of Lerner and Loewe’s time-traveling classic will be mounted with a full, professional cast, new and original choreography, and live music under the baton of Terence Kirchgessner. You likely know the story—a pair of New York tourists stumble upon the titular village in the Scottish Highlands, which materializes only once in a century, and begin to fall under its romantic spell—but familiarity hardly lessens the impact of this magical musical, whose standards include “Almost Like Being In Love.” There’s a reason it’s produced so often.

What: City and Colour

City A

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $36.80-$38

Contact: 954/449-1025,

Singer-songwriter Dallas Green’s five albums recorded under the alias City and Colour have always ebbed and flowed based on their creator’s fragile and mercurial emotional state—or at least that’s how they come across. This is also the best way to explain “The Hurry and the Harm,” Green’s wrist-slitting 2013 release, a comedown that made his tours from that period something of a slog. This surely won’t be the case in 2017, with this tireless road warrior still supporting 2015’s exceptional If I Should Go Before You, with its slow-building rock barnburners, folk earnestness and jazzy detours, each track a self-contained work of art. Green’s lyrics remain complex, poetic and soul-searching, but the sonic result is arguably more engaging than ever.

What: Florida Grand Opera’s “Before Night Falls”


Florida Grand Opera’s “Before Night Falls”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $25-$229

Contact: 305/949-6722,

Cuban composer Jorge Martin’s fiery adaptation of exile poet and dissident Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir of the same name premiered in 2010 to wide acclaim. The story, which was also adapted for film in 2000, follows Arenas’ evolution from poverty-stricken child in the Cuban countryside to his emigration to the States in the 1980 Mariel boatlift to his final years in New York City. It’s fast-paced, politically potent and imbued with Latin dance rhythms, and it runs through March 25.


What: Jazz in the Gardens

Jill Scott

Jill Scott

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Shula Drive, Miami Gardens

When: Starts at 4 p.m.

Cost: $69-$244

Contact: 800/745-3000,

Returning for its 12th year, this celebration of all things jazz, hip-hop and R&B has once again corralled an impressive docket of headliners. More than 70,000 attendees are expected to line up for Jill Scott, the triple-hyphenate singer-songwriter, actress and poet; Robin Thicke, the soulful “Blurred Lines” auteur; Herbie Hancock, the inimitable and chameleonic jazz pianist; and Morris Day & the Time, the vintage funkmasters. And that’s just Saturday alone: On Sunday, turn out for LL Cool J, Common, The Roots, Esperanza Spalding and more, and be sure to check out the vendor booths and local art on display.


What: Opening day of Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival


From “Wounded Land”

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

When: Begins at 11 a.m.

Cost: $10 per screening

Contact: 561/852-3237,

Just a month and a half after the venerable Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival wrapped up its annual event, this newcomer hopes to harness its energy for an equally eclectic showcase of 27 films from around the world that illuminate aspects of the Jewish experience. The Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival opens Sunday morning with “Children of Chance,” a fact-based historical drama from France about a tubercular child sheltered from the Nazi occupation; and at 1:15 p.m., the award-winning Israeli drama “Wounded Land” follows a night in the lives of two police officers put at odds when they’re forced to safeguard an alleged terrorist over the course of a fraught night. For the entire schedule of films, which runs through March 26, visit the website.

What: Carol Burnett


Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 4 p.m.

Cost: $31-$170

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Back in the golden age of the comedy-variety genre, “The Carol Burnett Show” averaged 30 million viewers a night. To put that into perspective, today’s top-rated comedy, “The Big Bang Theory,” attracts just 20 million—no inflation adjustment necessary. Burnett’s proto-gender-bending humor, which satirized everything from fairy tales and soap operas to Hollywood and the royal family, holds up just as well as its indefatigable creator, who at 83 remains a sharp, gregarious and productive road warrior. On this spontaneity-filled tour, titled “An Afternoon of Laughter and Reflection,” Burnett will share video clips from her storied career and will field questions from the audience.

For more of the latest A&E news, visit our Arts & Entertainment page, and subscribe to the magazine for a comprehensive calendar of the best events in Boca and beyond. 

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

A&E Week Ahead March 7-13

A New Wave legend tours the Hard Rock, an LGBT icon speaks in Fort Lauderdale, and the Wick Theatre hits the craps tables. Plus, The English Beat, “Rigoletto,” ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and more in your week ahead.


What: Bryan Ferry


Where: Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $40-$85

Contact: 866/502-7529,

One of the New Wave movement’s preeminent crooners and a glam-rock sex symbol second only to David Bowie, the eternally young Bryan Ferry is now an unfathomable 71 years old, making him one of the hippest septuagenarians roaming this or any fruited plain. The voice behind Roxy Music and its trio of No. 1 albums, Ferry has also released more than a dozen eclectic solo albums, from brooding cabaret pop to a Bob Dylan covers album. Those enduring Roxy Music songs, like “Love is the Drug” and “More Than This,” still blessedly dominate his set lists, but who knows what he’ll play in his South Florida show: We’re treated to his very first concert of 2017.

What: The English Beat & the Skatalites



Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $20

Contact: 954/564-1074,

For a band with only three albums to its credit—the last one released in 1982—the English Beat has enjoyed a remarkable, if fraught, longevity. Fractures within the British ska-pop hitmakers have splintered the English Beat into two confusing projects that continue to tour, but this group, which visits Fort Lauderdale frequently, is the only English Beat featuring original vocalist/guitarist Dave Wakeling performing classics like “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Save it for Later,” along with a smattering of skankable covers. This English Beat gig is particularly special because of its equally impressive opening act: Jamaica’s the Skatalites are true pioneers of the brassy, rhythmic ska sound, originating in 1963 with defining cuts like “The Guns of Navarone.”


What: Paul Zerdin


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

When: Various show times

Cost: $25

Contact: 561/833-1812,

If you think, as I usually do, that ventriloquism is a dead and cheesy art, a relic of children’s theater and “The Twilight Zone,” then you’ve never seen Paul Zerdin’s act. The U.K. comedian and ventriloquist began staging puppet shows at age 10 and mastering speaking without moving his lips in his teen years. By the time he debuted on “America’s Got Talent” in 2015, he had cultivated a brilliant repertoire with his puppet friends that both celebrated and deconstructed his crusty medium of choice. His lighting-fast transitions between voices and his protracted setups and witty payoffs are second to none, earning him the top prize in that “AGT” season.


What: Opening night of “Guys & Dolls”

guys and dolls

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $75-$80

Contact: 561/995-2333,

The Wick’s most requested show of the season, this indelible Frank Loesser musical originally ran for 1,200 Broadway performances and won the 1950 Tony for Best Musical. Inspired by the mythical New York underworld of journalist Damon Runyon, the musical’s outsized characters and songs have become synonymous with big-city glamour and romance, from the title song and “Luck Be a Lady” to “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”

What: Opening day of “Roar”

A still from the film "Roar."

A still from the film “Roar.”

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

When: 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382,

If you’re unfamiliar with this 1981 feature film, you’re not alone. “Roar” has been called “the most dangerous movie ever made,” a selling point that’s hard to argue: More than 70 cast and crewmembers, including its main stars, were injured during the 11-year-long shoot, sustaining injuries from bone fractures and scalpings to gangrene. As the legend goes, none of the culprits—the two elephants and 110 lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, cougars and jaguars—were hurt during the making of the film. Director Noel Marshall starred alongside Tippi Hedren (The “Birds” star, who never had much luck with animal-centric movies) and Melanie Griffith, in a story about a wildlife preservationist who lives among a menagerie of untamed beasts. A cinematic curio unseen by most audiences for more than 30 years, “Roar” finally saw its first American audience in 2015, and is only now receiving a belated theatrical run. That blood onscreen is real: Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

What: “An Evening With Larry Kramer”


Where: Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 S.W. Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/390-0550,

One of the most outspoken and inspirational civil-rights icons of his time, Larry Kramer has spent decades in the nexus of art and activism—and he’s still fighting at 81. The founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City and the direct-action AIDS awareness organization ACT UP, Kramer most famously penned “The Normal Heart,” a shattering play about the impact of HIV on the gay community. He finds much fear and outrage in the current presidential administration, which makes this Fort Lauderdale appearance as timely as it is reflective. Kevin Sessums, a New York Times best-selling author, will interview Kramer about the current political landscape, along with his 35-year battle over gay men’s health and the evolution of LGBTQ rights.


What: WLRN Radio Theater: “Strangers on a Train”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Alfred Hitchcock loved trains: The chugging movement, the cloistered interiors and the punctuating sounds all made for an atmospheric milieu for the Master of Suspense to play us like one of composer Bernard Herrmann’s fraught strings. Trains play predominant roles in “The Lady Vanishes,” “North by Northwest” and especially “Strangers on a Train,” Hitch’s 1951 suspenser about a pair of avaricious psychopaths who agree to “swap murders” aboard a locomotive, in a perfectly imperfect plan to dispose of problematic relatives. WLRN Radio Theater returns to the Broward Center to revive “Strangers on a Train” the way pre-television audiences experienced it way back in the ‘50s—in a visual theater of the mind, supplemented by vintage sound effects, old-timey mikes, and professional actors generating thrills from a veritable vacuum.


What: “Rigoletto”



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

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $20-$150

Contact: 561/832-5469,

It’s been reported that the morning after its sold-out premiere in Venice in 1851, audiences were singing “La donna e mobile,” one of the great arias of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” in the streets (Imagine that!). The three-act opera, which lifts its tragic narrative from a controversial Victor Hugo tome, may not have that sort of mass appeal in 2017, but it remains an indelible standard in the operatic canon. Lust and vengeance share the bold canvas of “Rigoletto,” with its hunchbacked title character, licentious duke and supernaturally endowed courtier spearheading the emotional tempest. In this Palm Beach Opera production, 11 singers will make their regional debuts.

For more of the latest A&E news, visit our Arts & Entertainment page, and subscribe to the magazines for a full calendar of upcoming events. 

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