Friday, May 24, 2024

The Week Ahead: Jan. 12 to 18


What: Hal Linden

Where: Parliament Hall at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $100

Contact: 561/297-2337,

Hal Linden began his career as a big band musician in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until he was a septuagenarian than he released his debut album, a pop-and-jazz standards LP appropriately titled “It’s Never Too Late.” In the middle, the mustachioed personality established a verdant acting career on the stage and screen, winning a Tony Award for his role in 1970’s “The Rothschilds,” and earning seven Emmy nominations for his performance as the title character in the comedy series “Barney Miller.” At this appearance at FAU’s new Theatre Lab stage, Linden will share stories and recollections from his 65 diverse years in the entertainment biz. Business attire is required. Arrive early, at 6 p.m., for a reception with live music by the Jazz Roots. All proceeds from this event will benefit FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.

What: Mo Rocca

Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50.85

Contact: 954/462-0222,

If you don’t know who Mo Rocca is, you must not watch much television. He arrived on the radars of many when Jon Stewart inherited “The Daily Show” in 1998; as one of Stewart’s favored correspondents, Rocca was the white, liberal, bespectacled Catholic wiseacre who wasn’t Stephen Colbert. Few networks have turned down Rocca’s invitations since; the brainy humorist has quipped about pop-culture nostalgia for VHI’s “I Love the ‘80s,” provided levity on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” created the homespun culinary series “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” on The Cooking Channel, and like everybody with an IMDb page to their credit, appeared on a couple of “Law & Order” spinoffs. His most surprising TV appearance arrived last year, when he delivered the first reading at Pope Francis’ Mass at Madison Square Garden—in perfect Spanish! For an openly gay man, it was quite a statement. At this appearance, sponsored by Broward College, Rocca will combine comedy, commentary and biography, discussing his unique experiences as a media personality and journalist.


What: Opening night of “Wild”

Where: Crest Theatre at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Contact: 561/243-7922,

Conservation, art and politics have been in painter Alex Beard’s bloodline for as long as he remembers. His uncle, after all, is Peter Beard, the famed nature photographer, filmmaker and diarist, and his father staffed for Robert F. Kennedy. People like Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Jacqueline Onassis used to hang around his house. Now living in New Orleans with his wife and children, Alex supports the animal welfare causes his uncle championed through his Watering Hole Foundation, while painting semi-abstract paeans to nature in a style he calls “abstract naturalism.” The work is imaginative but grounded in the “golden ratio” geometrics of math, which has earned his paintings comparisons to M.C. Escher. But it’s Beard’s passion for protecting endangered wildlife that attracted Cornell Museum Curator Melanie Johanson to center her winter exhibition, “Wild,” around him. “His foundation directly affected elephants being saved from poachers,” Johanson says. “He’s taking money from himself to help with conservation and protection efforts. I wanted to support his foundation and show the beauty and wonder of the natural world.” The show’s other artists, including surrealist animal sculptor Ellen Jewitt, string artist Caitlin T. McCormack and Miami landscapist Ernesto Kunde, present their own contributions to nature-centric art, and each has agreed to donate a portion of sales from “Wild” to Beard’s foundation. The show runs through April 17.

What: Opening night of “The Will Rogers Follies”

Where: Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $55-$65

Contact: 561/575-2223,

I must admit that I’m unfamiliar with “The Will Rogers Follies,” which opened on Broadway in 1991. But that’s a good thing: It means Maltz Jupiter Theatre Artistic Director Kato is continuing to dig the Broadway archives for shows rarely performed in the region. This musical revue dramatizes the life and career of cowboy humorist Rogers—the actor who lassoed every medium from newspapers to stage and screen in the early 20th century—against the backdrop of a show he frequently hosted, the Ziegfeld Follies. Songs he popularized will connect to his larger-than-life biography, and Rogers even performs rope tricks and delivers homespun insights between numbers. Of all of this season’s Maltz productions, “Will Rogers Follies” will likely bring the most razzle-dazzle, with Carbonell winner Matt Loehr—star of Maltz’s unforgettable productions of “The Music Man” and “Hello, Dolly!”—performing the title role. It runs through Jan. 31.

What: Opening night of “The Golem of Havana”

Where: Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$65

Contact: 305/674-1040,

If you haven’t heard of Miami New Drama yet, chances are you will when reviews for “The Golem of Havana” start pouring in. The brand-new company, co-founded by Michel Hausmann and Moises Kaufman (the latter famous for bringing the world “The Laramie Project,” as part of his Tectonic Theater Project) aims to create stage experiences that better represent Miami’s cultural demographics. It starts with this dynamic, Brechtian musical set in Havana set in the twilight of the Batista regime, centering on a family of Hungarian Jewish expats that includes a tailor awaiting his big break, a matriarch haunted by memories of the Holocaust, and a teenage protagonist who escapes into realms of fantasy and folklore. Faith, community, irony and the human condition will be explored in this alternately funny and dramatic award-winner, in which all 12 actors remain onstage the entire time and provide sound effects when necessary. The music, meanwhile, is a distinctive stew of Cuban and Jewish influences. “The Golem of Havana” runs through Feb. 7.


What: Opening night of South Florida Fair

Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach

When: Opening ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $6-$15

Contact: 561/793-0333,

An institution for more than 100 years, the South Florida Fair is expected to attract upwards of half a million visitors to its 17 eclectic days of live music, midway rides, interactive exhibits and theatrical performances—that’s a lot of funnel cake. National acts slated to perform include Tenth Avenue North (Jan. 17), Hoobastank (pictured, Jan. 19), Emerson Drive (Jan. 20), The Guess Who (Jan. 21), Brothers Osborne (Jan. 27) and Starship with Mickey Thomas (Jan. 28). Other scheduled entertainment includes Vocal Trash, the environmentally conscious drummers, musicians and break-dancers who perform innovative covers on instruments made from repurposed scrap items; Kachunga, an alligator tamer whose appendages know their way around the 80-toothed Florida natives; stage hypnotist and comedian Tyzen; and the Rosstyn Ice Show, featuring world-renowned skaters. In addition, the fair is going hyperlocal this year, with a “Discover the Palm Beaches” themed exposition; Palm Beach County resident artists will showcase work designed from sand, flip-flops and palm fronds. It runs through Jan. 31.


What: Ani DiFranco

Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/564-1074,

For anyone still bemoaning the forced homogenization and major-label stranglehold of the music industry, Ani DiFranco is a perennial reminder that if you the talent, you should quit your bitchin’, start a label and make a record. That’s just what DiFranco did back in 1990, at age 19, releasing her self-titled debut on her own Righteous Babe Records after years of busking on street corners and honing her chops in coffee shops. She’s remained fiercely independent ever since, releasing 17 more albums on Righteous Babe, including her latest, 2014’s “Allergic to Water.” As an outspoken activist and entrepreneur, the folk and feminist icon is a singular presence in the world of popular music: a dogged outsider who is also a household name, and someone who has never needed radio play to cement her legacy, let alone provide a steady paycheck. She’ll likely sell out the Culture Room for this intimate acoustic set with bass and drum accompaniment and, if recent concerts are a clue, a different and eclectic set list every night.


What: Sunshine Music Festival

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 11 a.m.

Cost: $49.99–$189.99


One of our region’s most popular boutique musical festivals no longer has the blues—at least in its moniker. The former Sunshine Music & Blues Festival has dropped the genre signifier for its fourth annual performance at the Mizner Amphitheater, a smart move considering this year’s lineup is its most diverse yet. Headlined as always by founders Tedeschi Trucks Band—the 12-piece rock-n-soul powerhouse fronted by onetime solo artists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks—the daylong shindig also features The Indigo Girls, the Atlanta folk-rock duo that met in elementary school and released its 14th album in 2015; the eclectic New Orleans brass virtuoso Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue; The Hardworking Americans, a cover-song supergroup fronted by rabble-rousing folksinger Todd Snider; Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, a beloved jam band fronted by a jazz saxophonist; and more. Expect a generous selection of wine, craft beer and food trucks.

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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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