We hope you enjoyed my top 10 plays and concerts of 2011, posted here last week. Visit us on Wednesday for my top 10 movies of 2011.
Orion Weiss at Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State Colleg
e, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth; 3 p.m.; $25; 561/868-3309 or www.duncantheatre.org
The Duncan Theatre launches its 2012 Classical Café series this afternoon with the ridiculously accomplished pianist Orion Weiss. At 30 years old, the Juilliard graduate has already accrued a lifetime of achievements, including five awards/grants, performances at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and a legendary tour of Israel alongside Itzhak Perlman. He caught his first big break while still in teens, when he was asked to replace Andre Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra – with only 24 hours notice.
Dennis Miller at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; starting at $25; 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
Comedian and syndicated talk-radio host Miller brings his snarky, caustic observations for this one-night Kravis engagement. A 30-year-veteran of standup comedy, Miller is one of today’s reigning titans of the form, boasting nine HBO specials. The alum of “Monday Night Football” and “Saturday Night Live” once had a more liberal bent, but he swung right after 9/11 and has remained there since, taking great glee in roasting the president and the Democrats. But his propensity to reference arcane historical and cultural figures remains a staple of his act.
Opening night of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; $55; 561/514-4042 or www.palmbeachdramaworks.org
Despite – or perhaps because – of a title too long for marquees and too esoteric to be initially understood, Paul Zindel’s “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” has had a strong shelf life. It was written in 1964 and finally won a Pulitzer in 1971; the 1973 film adaptation, directed by Paul Newman, scored his wife Joanne Woodward a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Reminiscent of Tennessee Williams’ lyrical dramas, it’s about the fraught relationship between a shy student and her abusive, mentally unbalanced mother. A cast of five performs the lyrical drama in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ still-new, still-exciting
Don and Ann Brown Theater. It runs through Jan. 29.
George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners at Bamboo Room, 25 South J Street, Lake Worth; 9 p.m.; $23.32; 561/585-2583 or www.bamboorm.com
Back in the early ‘70s, George Porter Jr. rose to prominence as the bass player and vocalist in The Meters, a moderately famous but endlessly influential touchstone in the development of funk music. Now 63, Porter still records with his old band (now called the Funky Meters) when he’s not performing session music for countless A-listers – Tori Amos, David Byrne, Paul McCartney and Robbie Robertson, among others, have employed his services. He also tours under his newer act, the Runnin’ Pardners, who will support Porter’s latest release, “Can’t Beat the Funk,” at this special Bamboo Room performance.
Friday to Sunday
Miami City Ballet’s Program II at Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $19 to $169; 305/949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org
You can’t go wrong with any Miami City Ballet production this season, but if you can only take in one, make it the second program. It presents a tremendous coup for the South Florida cultural scene: the first American ballet choreographed by Liam Scarlett, one of the United Kingdom’s hottest dance properties and the youngest nominee ever for a UK Dance Award (Scarlett is in his early 20s). Working primarily in abstract, non-narrative dances, Scarlett will premiere a still-untitled piece commissioned by Miami City Ballet. Leading in to Valentine’s Day – the production runs at the Broward Center at the beginning of February – the program also includes Jerome Robbins’ “In the Night,” a 1970 romantic ballet set to Chopin’s piano music, and “Ballet Imperial,” Balanchine’s tribute to Petipa and Tchaikovsky.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo at Florida Atlantic University Theater, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 4 p.m.; $15; 800/564-9539 or www.fauevents.com
Expected a packed theater of peace-seeking patrons for this special event organized by FAU’s Peace Studies program. In Tibetan Buddhism, the title “Jetsunma” translates to “venerable master,” which is exactly what this renowned woman has become. Born in England before emigrating to India, Tenzin Palmo is one of a select few western women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. A shining beacon of goodness, tranquility and positive energy, Palmo is a much sought-after speaker whose lecture to FAU students and the visiting public, titled “Into the Heart of Life,” will focus on “cultivating a peaceful mind amidst the chaos and stress of everyday life.”
Opening night of “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” at GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 8 p.m.; $37.50 to $50; 305/446-1116 or www.gablestage.org
Then again, not everyone gives peace a chance. Weeks after closing its critically acclaimed production of “Red,” GableStage unveils one of the past year’s most irreverent shows, “The Motherf**ker With the Hat,” whose six Tony nominations last awards cycle included Best Play. All of this was accomplished despite a brazen title nobody could say aloud on television. The play follows a drug dealer, newly released from prison, who suspects his girlfriend has cheated on him when he discovers another man’s hat on her nightstand. So begins a witty and cerebral exploration of moral relativism. It runs through Feb. 5.
Oshogatsu Festival at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $4 to $8; 561/495-0233 or www.morikami.org
One of the Morikami’s signature events, the Oshogatsu Festival remains one of the most inexpensive and fulfilling ways to kick off the new year. Wisely scheduled seven days after the hectic New Year’s weekend, this Oshogatsu festival celebrates the Year of the Dragon, and it features a variety of family entertainment and food options, including the pounding and devouring of rice cakes, hands-on calligraphy workshops, Japanese fortune telling, a traditional badminton-like Japanese game, crafts activities and a bounce house, and a Kirin Beer Garden.