Opening night of “Jekyll & Hyde” at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; starting at $25; 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
Despite a four-year run on Broadway at the recent turn of the century, the New York premiere of this musical based on the two-faced scientist managed to lose money. It’s easy to imagine the desperation that set in when the producers hired David Hasselhoff to portray the titular characters. But the show has gained in esteem since, with a touring concert version and a major motion picture in the works. The Kravis tour, which runs through March 31, will run prior to the Broadway opening, giving us South Floridians the first scoop on what the esteemed New York critics will see later this year. Constantine Maroulis, of “American Idol” fame, will play Jekyll and Hyde, and Grammy nominee Deborah Cox will co-star.
Wednesday to Saturday
“Bare” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, with additional 3 p.m. performance Saturday; $35; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
Following in the footsteps of youth-oriented rock musicals like “Rent” and “Spring Awakening” – and, probably, the fictitious new musical being produced on the current season of “Smash” – “Bare” is subtitled as a “pop opera” set in the cloistered world of a private Catholic boarding school, that perennial hotbed of repressed desire. In this case, the narrative focuses on the tragic love story between a pair of gay students, whose religion permits them from sharing their life together. But gay or straight, the musical explores universal feelings of angst that the young and once-young will find easy to identify with, and with more than 35 songs, it promises enough to satisfy any musical theater buff.
Opening night of “Baby Whores and Other Political Commentaries” at ActivistArtistA Gallery, 422 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach; 7 to 10 p.m.; free; 786/521-1199 or www.activistartista.com
The implication in the above painting is resoundingly clear and provocatively accurate: The Democrats and Republicans are both mere puppets of the pigs on Wall Street. Thomas Nast couldn’t have said it, or sketched it, any better, and it’s just one of many works, from more than seven artists, that will explore political, cultural and social issues, past and present, at this group show in the heart of the Boynton Beach Arts District. The controversial title “Baby Whores” comes from an installation called “The Evolution of Oppression” by local artist Virginia Erdie, which was censored and banned from her previous studio. Get ready for a thought-provoking evening. The exhibition runs through April 19.
Screenings of “Shun Li and the Poet” at Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; 2:30, 5:15 and 8 p.m.; free for members or $5 nonmembers; 561/655-7227 or www.fourarts.org
To my knowledge, these one-day-only screenings mark the South Florida theatrical debut of the Italian culture-clash drama “Shun Li and the Poet,” a 2011 offering from the generous distributor Film Movement. It centers on a Chinese immigrant marooned in Italy, leaving her textile factory for a small-town existence on a Venetian lagoon, hoping to earn enough money in a small tavern to bring her Chinese son to her new country. She forms a delicate relationship with a grizzled Slavic fisherman known around town as “the poet,” though unforeseen violence threatens their bond. The lagoon location is like a character in and of itself.
Opening night of “Exit the King” at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; $70 ($55 non-opening night); 561/514-4042 or www.palmbeachdramaworks.org
Eugene Ionesco, the great Romanian playwright, has said that most of his plays originated in dreams, which can only explain their surrealist directions, laden with incomprehensible babble, onstage clutter and lapses in linearity. “Exit the King,” which is his third play in a cycle about a depressed everyman, is less dreamlike than its predecessors, and is practically classical in structure – i.e., easier to digest for audiences that might shy away from the term “avant-garde.” It’s about a solipsistic king, said to be over 400 years old, who refuses to acknowledge that he is finally dying and that his kingdom is crumbling with him. A sobering meditation on the acceptance of aging and death, “Exit the King” may not operate on the same absurdist plane as some other Ionesco plays, but it still looks to be one of the most adventurous productions of the theatrical season. It runs through April 28.
Spring Fling Nights at the Museum at South Florida Science Museum, 4801 Dreher Park North, West Palm Beach; 6 to 10 p.m.; free for members or $9 adults and $6 children for nonmembers; 561/832-1988 or www.sfsm.org
I, for one, am still struggling with the jet lag of having to jump my clock forward a few weeks ago – a minuscule sacrifice in the grand scheme of spring’s arrival, heralding one of the year’s most enjoyable seasons. Tonight, the South Florida Science Museum will stay open late to celebrate the occasion. Its “Spring Fling” festivities will feature a bee presentation by local apiarist Brendhan Horne, a crafting activity, a flower-planting and pot-decorating program, liquid nitrogen flower smashing, frog dissection (if you can do this, you’re braver than I was in high school) and stargazing in the observatory. Planetarium tickets, to see the show “Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure,” are included in the admission.
Maroon 5 at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 8 p.m.; $41.75 to $93.75; 954/835-8000 or www.thebbtcenter.com
Having scored hits with so many artists outside of their genre (like Cristina Aguilera, Wiz Khalifa and Gym Class Heroes), it sometimes take a tour like this one to remind everybody that Maroon 5 once was, and still are (when they want to be) a really good rock band. But with one Top 40 smash after another (“Payphone,” “Moves Like Jagger,” “One More Night”), Maroon 5 is now, as John Lennon once said of the Beatles, bigger than Jesus, and they can do whatever they want. Moreover, frontman Adam Levine’s star wattage has increased this year with a recent hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live,” in which he played everyone from Neil Diamond to Nev Schulman, of “Catfish” fame. The group’s set lists this tour have been chock-full of hits, and the opening acts are themselves worthy of the drive to Sunrise: hardworking Utah rockers Neon Trees and the electro-pop sensations Owl City.
The 37th Annual Carbonell Awards at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $25 to $35; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
As one of the dozen or so esteemed individuals to be a part of the Carbonells’ judging panel, I couldn’t be more excited to see which of our selections will take home the gold in the latest installment of South Florida’s answer to the Tonys. Theaters from the tri-county area will be awarded for their achievements in the 2012 calendar year, and as usual, South Florida’s unofficial north and south poles have dominated the nomination process, with the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s “The Music Man” and “Hello, Dolly!” (pictured) and GableStage’s “Ruined” favored to win many of the top awards in their categories. I also expect strong showings from Miami’s Zoetic Stage and from Palm Beach Dramaworks, whose year-end production of “A Delicate Balance” was a critics’ darling.