Finally, the world woke up, put on its shoes and walked outside again. Boca and Delray and the region were back in business, and we made it a year to celebrate. Here’s what happened, who made the news and why we think we live in the best South Florida place there is.
Best Arts/Cultural News
A first-rate historical society became elevated into a first-rate visitor attraction with the opening of the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. Its newly constructed exhibitions on subjects like IBM, Addison Mizner and World War II in Boca Raton provide an eye-popping, Insta-worthy way to engage with the city’s vibrant and eccentric past. Meanwhile, the Boca Raton Museum of Art scored a major coup as the world-premiere site for “Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru,” a blockbuster exhibition of cultural, historical and artistic significance. Some 200 sacred antiquities beckoned from the completely transformed museum grounds. But its most un-missable aspect was the VR room, taking museum-goers on a breathtaking, guided thrill ride over Machu Picchu’s mountains, canyons and rivers.
Top Three Events We Loved this Year
Real jazz, as opposed to the Muzak- y“smooth” kind, is hard to find in the Palm Beaches. But Terence Blanchard, perhaps best known as the composer on most of Spike Lee’s movies, brought a riveting set of hard bop-style jazz to the opening night of Festival of the Arts Boca. It was manna for adventurous ears.
At the Wall and Beyond concert at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 10 expert musicians from around the world interpreted Pink Floyd’s catalog from 1971 to 1983, complete with literal bells and whistles. Lasers pierced the haze-filled stage, curated videos enhanced the psychedelic vibe, and the surround-sound presentation featured speakers strategically placed throughout the amphitheater, resulting in an immersive audio imaginarium.
It was more than a treat to see director Werner Herzog, one of the giants of world cinema, appear in person at FAU. Herzog spoke with his trademark renegade candidness in discussing his gonzo classic “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” following a 50th-anniversary screening of the film.
Regional theatre companies in Boca Raton bounced back from two years of almost no work to produce some of their most urgent and affecting plays to date. Theatre Lab’s “To Fall in Love,” about a separated couple’s last chance at reconnecting after a shared tragedy, was rich in many ways: in depth and nuance, in emotional peaks and valleys, in tears and occasional laughter, in exposed viscera both figurative and literal. Its follow-up production, the postpartum psychological thriller “Overactive Letdown,” was a stunning cautionary tale about the mental health challenges that can accompany one of life’s miracles. Boca Stage’s haunting “The Sound Inside,” about a literature professor’s unsettling attachment to an enigmatic student, featured an award-worthy lead performance and superlative lighting, sound and direction.