What: Kyle Eastwood Band
Where: Jazziz Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 7 and 9 p.m.
Contact: 561/300-0730, jazziznightlife.com
Chalk up another one for Jazziz Nightlife, which has once again booked an important jazz act that wouldn’t have a proper South Florida venue otherwise. For Eastwood, his last name is a sort of blessing and curse; Clint’s son has seen countless doors in the entertainment industry open as a result of his father’s fame, but at the same time, the challenge of being accepted as his own artist—divorced from his dad’s influence—has taken years. Lord knows he looks remarkably like Clint: His steely eyes could captivate an entire CinemaScope frame. But with every album from his 1998 debut onward, the quick-fingered bassist has come closer to realizing his own individual identity. And in jazz circles, his heritage has little bearing on his current reputation as one of the best stand-up bassists around. His current tour supports his latest release “From Here to There,” which pays homage to the eclectic jazz sounds he discovered as a youth.
What: Jane Green
Where: Wellington Public Library, 1951 Royal Fern Drive, Wellington
When: 2:30 p.m.
British writer Jane Green became an overnight sensation in the early 2000s upon the publication of her first novel, Straight Talking, about the romantic travails of a single career girl. Breaking out at the crest of the “Sex & the City” wave, Green’s honest and heartfelt novels earned her the designation as the queen of women's fiction—some refer to it as 'chick lit'—helping to inspire what has become an all-too-familiar genre. As Green has matured as a writer, so have her novels uncovered more complex facets of the human female condition. Her 15th novel, Tempting Fate, which will be released at bookstores next week, explores a long-married woman’s midlife crises and a deleterious decision that puts her life in perspective; like her 14 previous books, expect it to be a New York Times best-seller. The Connecticut resident will read from and sign copies of Tempting Fate at this local, 90-minute appearance, part of Palm Beach County Libraries’ “Writers Live!” series.
What: Opening night of “Clark Gable Slept Here”
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Despite its title, local playwright Michael McKeever’s “Clark Gable Slept Here” is not a nostalgic journey to classic Hollywood; rather, it’s a caustic satire of contemporary filmdom, expressing how far we’ve come—and how far we’ve not come—in our definitions of silver-screen masculinity since the days Rock Hudson lived a lie. The play orbits around a macho Hollywood action star accepting a career-changing Golden Globe Award. We never encounter the actor, but we do shadow his frantic staff; while the actor is out collecting his statuette, his handlers are subjected to an inconvenient problem: the dead male prostitute on the floor of his penthouse suite. Sure to crackle with wit and insight about showbiz mores, “Clark Gable Slept Here” stars regional favorites Lela Elam, Clay Cartland and McKeever himself, who has called this one of his three best plays. It runs through April 6 courtesy of Zoetic Stage.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: “The Tales of Hoffmann”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Some people have all the luck. Others? Let’s just say they always seem to catch every red light when they’re late for work. Hoffmann, the titular protagonist in this romantic opera based on the stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann, is one of those people who, today, would arrive at the subway just as his train was leaving. In operatic terms, his bad luck is magnified to epic, life-and-death proportions: In the triptych of “Tales,” he first falls in love with the perfect girl ... except that it turns out she’s a mechanical doll. Then, he falls hard for a violinist’s daughter who will die if she sings. And she sings. Finally, he sidles up to a lovely courtesan who is under the thumb of a rival magician, so you know that won’t end well. Palm Beach Opera will bring all of this rotten luck to the stage in grand fashion, with six of the seven cast members making their company debuts.
What: Opening night of “Chess”
Where: Slow Burn Theatre Company, 12811 W. Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 866/811-4111, slowburntheatre.org
I know what you must be thinking: Nothing screams “Broadway pizzazz” quite like a couple of people playing a protracted, deliberate, cerebral game of chess. This 1984 musical is, of course, about much more than that, touching on Cold War strife between the U.S. and Russia in the context of a chess-centric love triangle. It was written by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and it spawned a couple of pop hits that transcended this jaunty tale of furrow-browed Russians and a black-and-white board: “One Night in Bangkok” and “I Know Him So Well.” Patrick Fitzwater, co-artistic director at Slow Burn, told Boca Raton, “It’s going to be a real fun, rocking night, and it will really pull in a cult audience.” One thing is for sure: I’d rather see this than the 73rd tour of “Mamma Mia!” The show runs through April 15.
What: William Close & the Earth Harp Collective
Where: Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth
When: 8 p.m.
‘New age’ sounds like old age next to the mystical magnificence of William Close, a “visionary” (according to Sharon Osbourne) who combines music and architecture with his signature playable sculptures. Watching a Close performance—and many tuned in to watch his musical experiments on “America’s Got Talent,” where he was a finalist in 2012—is like seeing a concert beamed in from the future or perhaps another dimension. Even the names of his invented instruments, like the Drum Orb, the Percussion Jacket, the Aquatar and the Drumbrella, seem like science-fiction jargon, and he’s developed more than a hundred of them. For his Lake Worth appearance, which caps an invaluable residency at Palm Beach State College, he’ll bring along his “Earth Harp,” which is regarded as the largest stringed instrument on the planet. It may have competitors on Jupiter.
What: Midtown Peace, Love and Wellness Music Festival
Where: Main Street at Midtown, 4801 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
When: 1 to 5 p.m.
Contact: 561/282-4623, midtownpga.com
Another week, another wellness festival! ‘Tis the season to be healthy, apparently, and this second-annual festival in Palm Beach Gardens follows on the heels of similar fests in Boca and Delray. Unlike the others, though, this festival focuses specifically on its live music element, hosting two bands that don’t often tour this area: Arden Park Roots, an award-winning surf rock/reggae act from Sacramento, and Xperimento (pictured), an eclectic Miami band whose sound fuses reggae, merengue, ska, salsa and funk with elements of rock, R&B, hip-hop and dancehall. These bands will provide the soundtrack for an afternoon of healthy food trucks, Megaformer demonstrations, hair blowouts, children’s activities, goody bag handouts and more. Attendees can also sample five different yoga disciplines for the first four hours (but bring our own mat!).