[NOTE: I will be on vacation for four days this week and next, so this column covers the next two weeks of arts and events in and around Boca.]
Thursday, July 18
Quilted Artist Books lecture at Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 2 p.m.; museum admission of $10 adults, $6 seniors and students and $3 children; 561/243-7922 or delraycenterforthearts.org
All summer, the Delray Beach Center for the Arts’ Cornell Museum has been showcasing nearly 100 traditional and art quilts from the Gold Coast Quilters Guild as part of its “Quilting Evolution” exhibition. Designed to elucidate the breadth and talent of this underrated art form, the two-pronged exhibition also introduces Delray museum-goers to one of Boca Raton’s best-kept secrets: The Jaffe Center for the Book Arts, the FAU-nestled sanctuary for books as art objects. Today’s lecture will focus on the selected quilted books from the Jaffe Center collection and will be hosted by John Cutrone, the center’s current director, and its founder Arthur Jaffe, who happens to be 92 years old –and who has a problem staying retired.
Saturday, July 20
“Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall” at Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach; 2 p.m.; $30 to $40; 561/450-6357 or www.artsgarage.org
Working from July Garland’s own proclamation that the “history of my life is in my songs,” the acclaimed musical revue “Beyond the Rainbow” structures itself around a Grammy-winning Garland concert at Carnegie as a way to extrapolate on the singer’s rich and dramatic biography. Conceived in 2005, this regional premiere, courtesy of the Theatre at Arts Garage, reunites at least four of the original performers, including Jody Briskey, as the Carnegie concert-age Garland, and Norah Long, as the younger Judy working her way through Hollywood. Other actors portray figures important to Garland’s life and career, such as Louis B. Mayer, Vincente Minnelli and Sid Luft, who interact with the star in between performances of “Get Happy,” “Over the Rainbow,” “That’s Entertainment” and many other hits. Get your tickets fast: Friday’s opening night is already sold out. The show runs through Aug. 11.
Kirk Green at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 8:13 p.m.; free; 561/544-8600 or www.mizneramphitheater.com
The City of Boca Raton’s Sunset Music Series launched last month with a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, and it will continue in August with a tropical salsa crossover act. As for this month, the eclectic music series will feature Kirk A. Green, a multifaceted jazz bassist who will begin performing immediately at sunset (hence the concert’s unusual starting time). Visitors are recommended to bring their own blankets and chairs, and food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event. You can also stick around to catch a free show from Green at 11 p.m. inside Jazziz Nightlife, enjoying the venue’s superlative sound system for the right price.
Opening night of “Good People” at GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 8 p.m.; $50; 305/445-1119 or www.gablestage.org
In a summer theater season light on hard-hitting dramas and provocative black comedies, GableStage’s production of this award-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire (of “Rabbit Hole” fame) is your perfect antidote. Lindsay-Abaire excels at finding the humor in uncomfortable and bracingly real situations, and “Good People” is no exception: Set in South Boston, it’s about a dollar-store cashier, fired from her low-paying job, who attempts to ingratiate herself with an old flame, who happens to be a successful bourgeois doctor. Sensitive to the differences between classes and cultures, “Good People” is a timely and moving dramedy from one of playwriting’s modern masters, produced by one of the best companies in the region. And it’s hard to go wrong with GableStage’s dynamite cast of Stephen G. Anthony, Barbara Bradshaw, Clay Cartland, Elizabeth Dimon, Renata Eastlick and Laura Turnbull. The show runs through Aug. 18.
Sunday, June 21
Julian Marley & Uprising Band at Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 7:30 p.m.; $18 to $20; 954/449-1025 or jointherevolution.net
Julian Marley was born in England, but his style is pure Jamaican Rastafarianism, a talent and culture influenced by his legendary father, Bob. Along with his brothers Ziggy and Stephen, Julian has continued to carry Bob Marley’s torch, often playing his songs at live shows, from ubiquitous hits like “Get Up, Stand Up” to less familiar numbers such as “Rainbow Country” and “Easy Skanking,” alongside his Uprising Band of young Jamaican musicians. But his own material can be just as compelling, as evidenced by the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album he took home for 2009’s “Awake.”
Tuesday, July 23
The Saturday Giant at the Funky Buddha, 2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 9:30 p.m.; $5; 561/368-4643 or www.thefunkybuddha.com
In a phone interview with me, Ohio’s Phil Cogley, who performs under the stage name The Saturday Giant, said, “I’m pretty much a four- or five-piece band distilled into one person.” He toyed with the band thing for a while, but his vision was so specific that he decided to only micromanage himself. Cogley makes precise, layered, atmospheric indie pop in which he sings and plays everything, often switching from guitar to bass and keyboards at his dynamic live shows when appropriate. Witty, lyrically gifted and prone to esoteric subject matter like reptilian humanoids, past lives and anti-choice legislation, Cogley has released two EPs and a single since 2010, and he’s currently at work on his debut album. See him at this ridiculously reduced price (he’s also playing Dada in Delray Beach on Thursday, July 25) before his music blows up and you won’t be able to afford his shows.
Saturday, July 27
Opening day of “Create” at Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; noon to 5 p.m.; $8 to $15; 561/392-2500 or www.bocamuseum.org
“Is it art?” has probably been asked since the Chauvet cave paintings. However, in its new exhibition, “Create,” Boca Raton Museum of Art is hoping to explore a subset of this debate by asking, “Is it outsider art?” The term has undergone a few thorny revisions and expansions over the years, originally coined to describe art created outside the establishment, such as by children or patients of insane asylums. As developmental disabilities have become more manageable, more artists who suffer from them have been able to develop extraordinary abilities, and the outside is starting to look a bit like the inside. “Create” presents the work of 20 artists with mental or physical disabilities, in a broad range of media, who are connected to three pioneering nonprofits. The works are stunning and the stories behind them are inspiring; let the dialogue begin.
Swede Fest 2 at Borland Center for the Arts, 4801 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 7 p.m.; $6; 561/282-4623 or swedefestpalmbeach.com
Last year, Palm Beach County became only the latest region to cash in a growing trend in amateur moviemaking: the “swede,” which stands for a short, poorly made parody of a major studio movie. Originating from the brilliant, underrated comedy “Be Kind, Rewind” (remember Jack Black and Mos Def’s no-budget take on “Ghostbusters,” among other titles?), sweding has become a popular phenomenon for armchair filmmakers, and tickets for last year’s debut Swede Fest in Palm Beach Gardens sold out. Anticipation is high for this year’s festival, in which every title submitted will be screened – including “Life of Pi,” “The Exorcist,” “The Dark Night Rises” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” The event also will include comedian Will Watkins riffing on swedes live in between shorts, a la “Mystery Science Theater 3000;” libations from Potions in Motion; a live DJ set; food and drinks from Oceana Coffee; and an after-party at nearby Cantina Laredo.