Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Week Ahead: April 28 to May 4


What: Opening night of “Pippin”

Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25 to $85

Contact: 561/832-7469,

When it’s done right, theatrical drama and Cirque du Soleil spectacle find perfect harmony in “Pippin,” Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical about a restless young prince searching for the meaning of life. Originally choreographed by Bob Fosse, the show’s wafer-thin plot is secondary to the legendarily ravishing choreography and the carnivalesque ambience. The tour of the 2013 Tony-winning revival captures much of the exciting pulse that drew audiences to the first “Pippin,” before the show become watered down by decades of unlicensed and amateur productions. There are pole dancers, hoop spinners, jugglers, contortionists, acrobats and knife throwers, not to mention romance, meta-theatrical comedy and an endless phalanx of inventive costumes, in a show that needs to be seen to be believed. It runs through May 3 only.


What: Piano Slam 7

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, but reservations recommended

Contact: 305/949-6722,

The streetwise tradition of slam poetry receives a jolt of concert-hall elegance at this exceptional youth program, now in its seventh year at the Arsht Center. The concept is this: Aspiring middle- and high-school poets listened to a piano composition, then wrote a poem inspired by the music. The best pieces, selected by an acclaimed literary jury, will be performed by their writers onstage, this Thursday, backed by a live music mash-up: Piano duo Yoo & Kim will mix Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Bach with hip-hop beats by DJ Brimstone 127. Teo Castellanos, one of Miami’s most talented theatrical exports, will direct the production.


What: Opening night of “Adult Beginners”

Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50 to $9.50

Contact: 561/549-2600,

A dynamite cast will, hopefully, help this independent comedy explode. Writer/actor Nick Kroll plays a narcissistic entrepreneur who crashes and burns, loses boatloads of money for his clients, and finds himself bunking with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and their 3-year-old son, who supposedly have it all together, whatever “it” is. The movie has been called “holistic,” “insightful” and “sensitive” in early reviews, tapping the same family-centric, seriocomic vein as last year’s “The Skeleton Twins.” That terrific cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Joel McHale, Jan Krakowski, John Charles, Bobby Moynihan and Mike Birbiglia.

What: Gilbert Gottfried

Where: Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $50 ($100 for VIP tickets)

Contact: 561/243-7922,

Last season, on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Gilbert Gottfried had the hilarious, unmitigated audacity to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler … to Donald Trump’s face! It should come as a surprise to no one that Gottfried didn’t last much longer on the hit NBC series; getting fired for un-P.C. barbs is kind of his thing. Just ask Aflac, which ended Gottfried’s lucrative tenure as its spokes-duck after he tweeted off-color jokes about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But for fans of the screechy-voiced comic, his ruthlessness at pillorying such sacred cows continues to ensure packed comedy clubs wherever he performs, in an act that is old-fashioned in its approach and cutting-edge in its content. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

What: Opening night of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 954/462-0222,

For a man who appears on our $20 bills, you may not know a lot about Andrew Jackson. But if you believe the 2009 cult musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” our seventh president was a complicated bad-ass with a wicked temper, a populist streak, a rather unfortunate relationship with Native Americans, and an ability to tell an intransigent Congress to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine (the White House’s current occupant could learn a thing or two from this latter tendency). Somewhat embellished and purportedly a lot of fun, “Bloody Bloody” includes such songs as “Populism, Yea Yea!” and “Crisis Averted.” It’s driven by a propulsive emo-rock score played by a band that performs on the same stage as the actors, and it should be a perfect fit for Outre Theatre Company, which specializes in challenging, offbeat work. It runs through May 17.


What: Boca Ballet Theatre’s “The Sleeping Beauty”

Where: FAU’s University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $25-$35

Contact: 561/995-0709,

Back in 1890, it was hard to go wrong with “The Sleeping Beauty,” a ballet that married the talents of heavy hitters in music composition (Tchaikovsky), choreography (Marius Petipa) and storytelling (it’s based on the classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault). By 1903, it had become the most popular ballet in the Imperial Ballet’s repertory, having been performed 200 times in just 10 years. The three-act epic is centered on the eternal struggle between good and evil, as represented by the Lilac Fairy and Carabosse, respectively, and each of them dances a signature leitmotif. Other characters include the Queen, King Florestan and Aurora. See why this ballet continues to enchant generations young and old at this Boca Ballet Theatre production staged by Co-Artistic Director Dan Guin. The production will feature guest artists Bridgett Zehr of the National Ballet of Canada and Nehemiah Kish of the Royal Ballet of London.


What: Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival

Where: Broward College’s Willis Holcombe Center, 111 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: Noon to 10 p.m.

Cost: $5 to $10 per play

Contact: 954/201-6884,

It’s hard to believe, with its rich tradition of art fairs, book fairs, film festivals and music fests, that South Florida has never had a fringe festival—a collective showcase of original plays, running from 15 minutes to an hour or more, presented in an unjuried, uncensored, cost-effective manner. Broward College has finally taken the initiative to launch the inaugural Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival, offering one-day-only productions of more than 20 plays featuring top theater professionals, and artist-directed by Carbonell nominee Vanessa Elise. The plays run a fascinating gamut from small ensemble comedies to solo shows (like Casey Dressler’s “The Wedding Warrior,” pictured) about real-life experiences, from dance productions to improv comedy shows—there’s even a Spanglish musical and a play performed in the style of Japanese Noh theater. The works will be performed on three black box-style indoor theaters, while outside, musicians will play for tips at a free street fair, which includes food trucks and vendors. Support this event and, with any luck, it will expand to more days and more artists in the years to come.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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