Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Week Ahead: Jan. 27 to Feb. 1


What: Megan Hilty

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $45

Contact: 561/243-7922,

NBC’s series “Smash,” about the development of a Marilyn Monroe stage musical from its inchoate spark to its first Broadway curtain, started to go downhill around the time its should-be Monroe, Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), became relegated to the chorus and then developed a drug addiction. These plot points strained credulity, because Hilty was born to play Marilyn: She’s a beautiful, curvy, husky-voiced bombshell who can single-handedly reinvent a standard or forge her own path with original songs. She’ll receive the chance to do a bit of both when she dominates the Crest Theatre spotlight at this cabaret performance. The Broadway chanteuse, celebrated for her award-nominated performances in “Wicked” and “9 to 5: The Musical,” will likely perform pop classics like “Get Happy” and “The Man That Got Away,” as well selections she originated on “Smash,” such as “Second Hand Baby Grand.” If reviews of her previous shows are any indication, expect plenty of warmth and laughter, too.


What: Opening day of “Surrealism and Magic”

Where: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $10-$12

Contact: 561/392-2500,

If you ever wondered what inspired the adventurous, rule-shattering surrealist art of pioneers like Marcel Duchamp, André Breton and Max Ernst, one clue resides in our culture’s darker corners. From the ancient world through the Renaissance and now into the 21st century, creative thinkers of all stripes have been drawn to magic, to the occult, to the paranormal, and to the so-called “Black Celebrations” found in indigenous spiritual practices. Figures as mainstream as William Blake and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were self-professed occultists, and it’s only natural that the creators of some of the weirdest art of the past couple of centuries were also drawn to the realm of the mystical arts. The inextricable link between magic and surrealist art will be explored in depth at this unique exhibition, which draws much of its material from the eccentric personal library of artist Kurt Seligmann. One hundred objects will be on display, from rare books on magic and witchcraft from the 15th through the 20th centuries, to the artists’ related ephemera and an illuminating collection of drawings, collages and paintings influenced by everything from Native American shamanism to Caribbean Vodou. The exhibition runs through April 5.

What: Opening night of “Celebrity Autobiography”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $38

Contact: 561/832-7469,

It’s hard to believe anybody ever needed to hear the innermost thoughts of Kenny Loggins, David Cassidy and Vanna White. But they, among countless other B- and C-list (and even some linguistically challenged A-list) celebrities have written vacuous tell-alls that have become immovable staples at Goodwills across the country. This award-winning Off-Broadway hit is reviving them: In “Celebrity Autobiography,” comedians and actors read choice passages verbatim from these supposedly sincere memoirs. Only their versions drip with sarcasm and mirth, cutting these figures down a peg and having plenty of fun at their expense. Tonight’s lineup of readers includes some bona fide celebs themselves: Lainie Kazan and Gary Beach, along with creators Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel and local actor Stephen Anthony. “Celebrity Autobiography” runs through Feb. 1.

What: “Science Meets Music: Building Brains”

Where: Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience, One Max Planck Way, Jupiter

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/972-9000,

One may be accomplished primarily through right-brain usage and other may be the purview of the left brain—or so we think. But this series, which premiered in 2014 at Max Planck, is out to prove that the rigor of scientific inquiry and the creative expression of music have more in common than we might assume. Each program in the monthly series will feature a live classical-music performance and an illuminating lecture from a Max Planck scientist; for the opening program, Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Max Planck’s scientific director and CEO, will speak about unraveling the mysteries of the human brain, while violinist Niklas Liepe (pictured) and pianist Tao Lin will perform compositions by Bach, Schubert and Sarasate. Best part of all? It’s free—but seating is limited, so try and arrive by 5:30.


What: “Sounds of the Times: New Work”

Where: New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $20–$40

Contact: 305/673-3330,

Back in the primitive days of silent cinema, city symphonies—explorations of a metropolis’ denizens, customs and its literal nuts and bolts, scored to classical music—were common. These days, experimental film artist Bill Morrison has kept the tradition of alive, producing city-specific works about Los Angeles and New York with colleague and composer Michael Gordon. This month marks the world premiere of their latest collaboration, a city symphony of Miami Beach commissioned by the New World Symphony. Gordon emerged from New York’s underground punk scene and embraces dissonance and minimalism in his rhythmic compositions, while Morrison is an award-winning artist whose work often employs decaying film stock. Specific details about the program are scant, given the project’s in-development nature, but it expect it to be the highlight of this showcase of brand-new work conducted by NWS artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas—one that fully integrates the venue’s immersive projection wall.


What: Opening night of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”

Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $62 ($77 for opening night w/reception)

Contact: 561/514-4042,

When 18th century aristocrats in movies and plays become bored—which is often—they don’t just sit down for a pint and a game of cribbage like the rest of us. These moneyed elite have their fun by wielding sex as a weapon, and playing with the emotional and mental lives of those beneath them—which is everybody. That’s the case with this oft-staged classic adapted by Christopher Hampton from the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos—and perhaps better known on our Anglofied shores as “Dangerous Liaisons.” Two such restive aristocrats play cruel games until love gets in the way in this dynamic period piece, which should be right up Palm Beach Dramaworks’ historical alley. Lynette Barkley will direct a terrific cast including Jim Ballard, Clay Cartland, Nanique Gheridian, Harriet Oser and Brian William Sheppard. The production runs through March 1.

What: Opening night of “Magician”

Where: Cosford Cinema at University of Miami, 5030 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables

When: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $7-$9

Contact: 305/284-4861,

“I always liked Hollywood very much. It just wasn’t reciprocated.” This quote from Orson Welles epitomizes his love-hate relationship with Hollywood: He loved the moviemaking process, but the moviemaking industry hated him. Or at least it spent decades marginalizing one of the medium’s foremost artists after his debut “Citizen Kane”—completed when he was an unfathomable 25 years old—broke too many rules for its studio, RKO, to support. Hindsight has proven Welles the victor in the film history books, but it didn’t help his career when he was alive, panhandling for European money and resorting to shooting pea commercials to fund his eccentric, groundbreaking pictures. In “The Magician,” award-winning documentary filmmaker Chuck Workman explores Welles’ tragic, influential story, with help from colleagues and today’s major filmmakers. It’s a must-see prelude to the painstaking, belated reconstruction of Welles’ final film “The Other Side of the Wind,” which will premiere in March at the Miami International Film Festival.


What: Billy Joel

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $38-$147

Contact: 786/777-1250,

In its profile of Billy Joel last year, The New Yorker headlined its story “Thirty-three Hit Wonder,” which is both a respectful and cheeky way of expressing the Piano Man’s propensity for crafting pop gold from 88 keys and memorable, irony-free lyrics. Of course, he hasn’t written a hit in 21 years, making his live shows something of a nostalgia act, but he hasn’t lost an iota of his performance flair. And judging by the reactions at his usually sold-out concerts, his songs have aged as well as his still-sonorous voice. As an added bonus, his current tour will feature, in part, fan-voted selections of lesser-known Joel songs to accompany the megahits, making each performance unique and interactive.

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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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