Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Week Ahead: July 7 to 13


What: Opening night of “Lookingglass Alice”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $55-$85

Contact: 305/949-6722,

Lewis Carroll was not known to be a drug user when he penned “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865. But the surrealist children’s novel has become the definitive trip of its generation, an ever-shifting haven of mind-altering words and imagery. Yet it’s possible to take this far-out classic about 10 steps further, as Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company has achieved with its “Lookingglass Alice,” a lavish kaleidoscope that alternates between tribute and spoof, low comedy and high wisdom, nostalgia and postmodernism. Originally produced in 2005 but improved in 2014, “Lookingglass Alice” is one of those experimental, circus-y playgrounds the Arsht Center presents so well every summer, sending its young heroine down the rabbit hole and onto a giant chess board, where she must reach the eighth square to become queen. Along the way, she swings on hoops, clouds and trapezes; negotiates elaborate scaffolding and trapdoors; and encounters characters even wilder than the creatures of Carroll’s imagination: among them, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as a hip-hop duo, the White Knight as a clumsy unicyclist, and a Red Queen clad in the most astonishing (and vertical) red dress you’ve ever seen on a stage. The production runs through Aug. 16.


What: Bastille Day celebration

Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 5 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free for Florida residents

Contact: 561/832-5196,

Fourth of July fireworks may have dissipated for another 363 days (your dog is doubtlessly thankful), but in France, revolutionary celebrations are just kicking into gear in anticipation of next Tuesday’s Bastille Day. For the Norton Museum of Art’s innovative Art After Dark program, this means a great excuse to indulge your inner Francophile. All of the usual Art After Dark activities will be presented with a French twist: a DIY art project cheekily titled “Let Them Paint Cake;” a series of short films by the surrealist French biologist-turned-filmmaker Jean Painleve; a French lesson courtesy of the Multilingual Language and Cultural Society of West Palm Beach; and live music from The French Horn (pictured), a hip local band led by French transplant Vincent Raffard. There will even be a guest appearance from Miami-based French Consul General Philippe Letrilliart, and special selection of crepes for sale.

What: Opening night of “Filmed in Broward” festival

Where: Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 and 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/525-3456,

Quick: What do “Striptease,” “Marley and Me” and “Donnie Brasco” have in common? Not much, except that you may have visited their shooting locations last week, last month or last year. These are three of the 24 titles comprising “Filmed in Broward,” a weeklong celebration of locally shot feature films compiled in honor in Broward County’s centenary. For some of the films, like “Where the Boys Are” and “Caddyshack,” familiar locations are constant and integral to the story. In others, like “True Lies” and “Body Heat,” the county makes a few spartan cameos. But all of them show that our tropical paradise continues to hold its own as a Silver Screen destination. The festival is presented entirely free of charge, and it begins Thursday at 5:30 with the indie comedy “Bart Got a Room,” followed by Martin Scorsese’s disturbing remake of “Cape Fear” at 9 p.m. Visit for the complete schedule.


What: Barenaked Ladies, Violent Femmes and Colin Hay

Where: Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 20405 Amphitheater Circle, Boca Raton

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $40 advance, $50 day of show

Contact: 561/488-8069,

For my money, this concert is the go-to show of the summer music season in South Florida. Barenaked Ladies, those witty wags from Ontario, stop by our region often, but this time the group is supporting its best effort in 10 years: the fun, eclectic and infectious “Silverball,” an album hatched during frontman Ed Robertson’s isolated sojourn to his cottage retreat. Reviews of this tour have suggested the songs pair well with BNL’s bevy of roof-shaking alt-rock hits, singalong harmonies and impromptu raps. But wait, there’s more: Come early for opening acts that deserve to be headliners in their own right. The legendary Violent Femmes, the angst-driven alt-rock pioneers behind “Blister in the Sun” and “Add it Up,” will perform their stripped-down college-rock anthems, and Men at Work’s Colin Hay will open up the show with an acoustic set, before most likely joining BNL for a song or two later.

What: “Hot Summer Nights” concert

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: Suggested donation at the gate

Contact: 561/243-7922,

Many of Palm Beach County’s cultural venues have settled into extended hibernation for the summer, but Delray Center for the Arts is keeping the city poppin’ through at least the end of July with its “Hot Summer Nights” series. The festival takes place every Friday this month at the Center’s Outdoor Pavilion stage, with a cash bar and food trucks providing the drinks and nosh. Delray’s own Mike Mineo (pictured), a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose diverse sound has earned comparisons to Frank Zappa, will perform his feel-good mix of folk, funk, soul, pop and avant-garde music this Friday, with his two-piece band. The festival continues July 17 with the Top 40 dance music of Flavor, July 24 with the dance party music of Libido, and July 31 with the eclectic hits of The Clique.

What: Opening night of “Tommy”

Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $38

Contact: 561/586-6410,

“Tommy” is justifiably regarded as one the pinnacles of the rock opera, a genre of epic storytelling that its creators, The Who, helped to pioneer. The 75-minute masterpiece has sold 20 million copies, with a legacy that extends far beyond guitar, bass, drums and vocals. “Tommy” was adapted into a traditional opera in 1971, a flamboyant film musical in 1975 and, inevitably, a Broadway musical in 1993, which went on to win five Tony Awards. Naturally, the tone of the musical isn’t quite as dark and ambiguous as The Who’s album, but with Pete Townshend responsible for the music, lyrics and book, the major plot points are retained: Convinced he can no longer see, hear or speak after he witnesses the death of his father, a young boy named Tommy uses his remaining sense of touch to become a expert pinball player, while suffering abuse and molestation from his elders and eventually becoming a celebrity and cult leader. This musical is rarely produced in South Florida, offering attendees a rare chance to hear hits like “Pinball Wizard,” “See Me, Feel Me” and “Tommy, Can You Hear Me” on a proscenium setting. “Tommy” runs through July 26 in this community theater production.


What: Laser concert

Where: Dekelbaum Planetarium at South Florida Science Center, 4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach

When: 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $8 members, $10 nonmembers

Contact: 561/832-1988,

The South Florida Science Center’s laser concerts are already the only place in Palm Beach County to stare up at a curved cosmos and watch squiggly lines take the form of zombies, dancers, monstrous mothers and strawberry fields forever. And this year, they’ve made things even more interesting: For $25, attendees can send a laser message to a friend or loved one right in the middle of a show. What better time to propose to your lover than during Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” or the Fab Four’s “All Your Loving?” Personalized message or not, this summer’s programming, which continues through September, offers plenty of opportunities to tune in and veg out without the use of medical enhancements, on the second Saturday of each month. July 11 is a particularly strong lineup, beginning with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album at 6:30 p.m., continuing with Laser Beatles at 7:30 and ending with Bob Marley at 8:30.

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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