Note: After today, The Week Ahead is taking a rest until 2014, but check for more blogs during the holiday break, including a countdown of our 10 most anticipated New Year's Eve events.

Thursday, Dec. 19

Opening day of “The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation” at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; $5 to $12; 561/832-5196 or

There was a time, long before any shameless politician could use his phone to text snapshots of his genitals to anyone across the globe in seconds, when the Polaroid camera must have seemed like magic. You gazed into the lens, pressed a button and, like a cash register emitting a receipt, out popped the white-framed image, developing right before your eyes. As unimpressed as today’s generation may be of such a feat, artists worldwide have continued to embrace this early form of instant photography, preserving its accoutrements long after Polaroid itself stop making the film, in 2008. This exhibition traces the experimental approaches to photography that the boxy cameras have engendered over a 40-year-period, from early adopters like Ansel Adams and Walker Evans to emerging artists such as Anne Collier. The exhibit runs through March 23.

Friday, Dec. 20

Chris Isaak Holiday Show at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; starting at $15; 561/832-7469 or

There’s something a little disconcerting, perhaps, about the occasional actor and soul-rock bad boy who gave us “Wicked Game” and “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” performing a set of ostensibly innocent yuletide favorites. But Chris Isaak is nothing if not unpredictable–his last album, which went gold in Australia, was a collection of Sun Records covers from the ‘50s and early ‘60s – and perhaps he’ll bring some of his signature naughtiness to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Let it Snow.” Expect to hear his greatest hits thrown into the mix.


James Sheehan signing at Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach; 7 p.m.; free; 561/279-7790 or

Before he became a trial lawyer for more than three decades, James Sheehan held many salt-of-the-earth jobs that don’t exist much anymore: paperboy, shoeshine boy, ion worker and grocery boy. These hardworking street jobs, in addition to his 30-plus years in the legal business, no doubt contributed to his thrilling mystery novels, which have been called “mesmerizing,” “compelling” and “exciting” by sources ranging from The Washington Post and The New York Times Book Review to best-selling author Nelson DeMille. He’s also a prolific writer: His presentation at Murder on the Beach will support his second novel of 2013, the newly released The Alligator Man, about the investigation into the murder of a much-despised corporate criminal.


Y100 Jingle Ball at The BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 7:30 p.m.; $74.50 to $292; 954/835-8000 or

As usual, South Florida’s biggest hits station has gathered a star-studded lineup that promises to be the area’s most danceable holiday gathering. Somehow, 12 acts that could probably headline their own stadium tour will perform in one night, before the bedtimes of their primary demographics, with the headliner none other than Miley Cyrus, that subversive pop tart. Other acts include her sometimes partner in lascivious crime, Robin Thicke; Boca Raton’s own pop sensation, Ariana Grande; Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias; pop-rockers Fall Out Boy; and R&B star Flo Rida. One dollar from each ticket sold will benefit this year’s charity, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, which will support new designer jeans for Ryan … er, I mean, programs to inspire youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives.

Friday to Sunday, Dec. 20 to 22


“Home for the Holidays on Ice” at Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday; $45; 561/243-7922 or

The Boca Raton Resort & Club’s debut of its new pink rink isn’t the only place to witness ice-skating this month. You can catch skating of a more theatrical persuasion at this holiday production courtesy of Delray Beach Center for the Arts, where world-class professional skaters will join a panoply of variety acts for a fun-filled night on the ice. The evening will include a tribute to American troops and, because it’s a holiday show, the inevitable dancing penguins, moving their happy feet to Christmas tunes. You shouldn’t try any of this at home, of course; for personal ice dancing, the pink rink is your better option, and it allows plenty of ground on which to fall on your posterior.


“The Bell” at Eissey Campus Theatre, 11501 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens; 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15 to $18; 561/207-5900 or

The 2004 holiday film “The Polar Express” achieved a number of cinematic firsts, accruing a Guinness record for the first “all digital-capture” movie and becoming the first animated film to use performance capture technology. Now, the landmark movie has inspired another honor: its first dance adaptation, in the form of “The Bell.” Dance Theater of Florida, the nonprofit arm of the Florida School for Dance Education, is presenting this ballet re-imagining of the Robert Zemeckis animated movie, about a young boy whose disbelief in Santa Claus is tested across a wild train ride to the North Pole. Expect gorgeous costumes, top-notch choreography and plenty of Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, Dec. 24

MatzoBall at Il Baccio, 29 S.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach; 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $30; 561/300-4222 or

If you’re of the Jewish faith and Dec. 24 and 25 roll around, it’s easy to feel neglected, not to mention bored: Nothing is open but movie theaters and gas stations, and, in many cases—like this year for instance—your own holiday has long passed. But for 27 years, around the time bleary-eyed parents are huddling under trees to assist Santa Claus, Jewish locals have been congregating, partying and networking at the MatzoBall, an event launched by Boca resident Andrew Rudnick that has been billed as the nation’s largest Jewish singles event. This year, singles ages 21-49 are welcome to attend the bash at Il Baccio, with the hope that it will generate friendships, business opportunities and romance, in a gathering co-sponsored by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals and JDate.

Saturday, Dec. 28

“Bark to the Future” at Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, 4271 Davie Road, Davie; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; $10 children, $15 adults;

There are no “stupid” pet tricks here: This dog show presents canines of the most talented order, some of them nationally televised. Owner Kelsey and her beloved bichon Bailey, fresh from the 2013 quarterfinals of “America’s Got Talent,” are among the scheduled performers for this nationally recognized pooch production courtesy of American Idog. Among the other running, jumping, high-fiving dogs include a team of racing Dachsunds and a sheep-herding border collie. The event also functions as a dog expo, a pet adoption day and a fundraiser for local rescue organizations and shelters.