Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Week Ahead: March 29 to April 4


What: Opening reception of “Super Bowl, Super Pix: Inside Images of Super Bowl 50”

Where: Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 415 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/253-2600,

Even diehard pigskin enthusiasts must admit that this year’s defense-driven Super Bowl wasn’t the most exciting NFL finale in league history. But the still images of wire photographers Dick Druckman, Paul Kitagaki Jr. and Paul Kuroda paint a more exciting picture of the Panthers/Broncos matchup, finding the hi-def poetry amid the tackles, huddles and End Zone celebrations. The three syndicated photographers will share their work at this free exhibition at the Palm Beach Photo Centre, which runs through April 30. In addition, visitors can check out the Centre’s extended survey of the legendary sports photographer Walter Iooss Jr., recipient of this year’s FOTOmentor award. Iooss has shot more than 300 covers for Sports Illustrated, capturing the essence of athletes including Michael Jordon, Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods. This show also runs through April 30.


What: Opening night of “Smoke”

Where: Theatre at Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $45

Contact: 561/450-6357,

“What’s the most f***ed-up thing you’ve ever done?” One doesn’t pose such a question if one isn’t prepared for a provocative answer, and the questioner will receive one, and much more, in this edgy comic thriller from playwright Kim Davies. A 31-year-old intern with an uncertain future and a soon-to-be college dropout, only 20, meet in the kitchen of an uptown New York sex party. Kinky transactions are happening in the other rooms, but Davies keeps her action confined to the kitchen, where these outcast souls, connected by their predictions for leather, engage in carnal storytelling and sexual mind games. They play dangerously with knives, and they smoke too much—and with that smoke comes plenty of emotional, psychic fire. Nipping at the kinky heels of transgressive plays such “Venus in Fur” and “Trust,” “Smoke” examines shifting tides of power and sexuality, capping Keith Garsson and Genie Croft’s first libidinous season as the Theatre at Arts Garage’s co-artistic directors. It runs through April 17. 


What: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

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

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $25-$114

Contact: 561/832-7469,

This is the cherry on top of Miami City Ballet’s current season, the most exciting show of the year because it’s homegrown in the best way possible. The company will reimagine George Balanchine’s full-evening ballet “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” discovering new avenues to explore in Shakespeare’s timeless comedy of fairies, amateur actors and a sparkling marriage. In a statement, Lourdes Lopez calls Balanchine’s ballet, set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn, “perhaps the most brilliant narrative ballet of the 20th century,” and it will look both fresh and hyper-local in MCB’s hands. Two international artists with Miami ties will help to stage “Midsummer” as a reflection of South Florida: Costume and set designer Michele Oka Doner, and playwright/director Tarell Alvin McCraney, the latter known to GableStage audiences for his inventive “edits” of Shakespeare works like “Hamlet” and “Antony and Cleopatra.” When it premiered in New York in 1962, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featured a leading performance from future MCB founder Edward Villella, making this production both nostalgic and progressive—a fitting conclusion to its 30th anniversary season. 



What: Harid Conservatory 25th anniversary concert

Where: Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail

When: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/237-7000,

The Harid Conservatory currently specializes in a dance curriculum, but prior to that change of focus, it occupied the same prestigious role that the Lynn Conservatory of Music now holds: as a beacon of orchestral and chamber music for emerging talent the world over. The Harid will celebrate 25 years of providing tuition-free scholarships to the best and the brightest with this special performance by Harid’s music alumni from the classes of 1991 to 1999. Marking the second reunion of these orchestra professionals, the concert will gather 18 graduates from California, Colorado, New York, Uruguay, Canada and more, for a program that will include selections from Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart and others. Be sure to arrive early enough to snatch a good seat: The show is first-come, first-served. It will be followed by a light reception in the lobby.


What: Opening night of “The Passenger”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $21–$225

Contact: 305/949-6722,

This controversial opera by Mieczyslaw Weinberg is surely the only operatic work based on a radio play written by a concentration camp survivor. In 1959, Zofia Posmysz’s harrowing “Passenger from Cabin 45” premiered in Polish radio and was novelized a few years later. Weinberg, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, adapted the story as an opera in the late ’60s, but its provocative subject matter ensured that it remained unperformed for 40 years. “The Passenger” is set on a luxury ocean liner, where a diplomat’s wife, who was once a warden at Auschwitz, thinks she spots a survivor among the vessel’s passengers. The encounter resurrects memories of pain and shame, and, with the aid of a staggering three-tiered set, the time-shifting action rotates between the opulence of the cruise ship, the squalor of a death camp, and a male chorus in the middle attempting to make sense of the unimaginable. Sung in no less than seven languages, from English to Yiddish to Czech, this South Florida premiere with a 10-piece cast is being justifiably hyped as one of the don’t-miss musical events of the season. It runs through April 9. 


What: Rockfest ‘80s

Where: Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84, Sunrise

When: 1 p.m.

Cost: $99 per day, $169 for two-day pass


Eighties rock, in all of its cheesy arena-ready bombast, has aged better than its original detractors would have thought. In a 21st century pop soundscape of sterile electronica and pampered, Auto-Tune’d millennials, the idea of hair-sprayed middle-aged men in spandex turning their amps to 11 and receiving devil horns and bras from ecstatic audiences of the same age seems, in its complete lack of coolness, to be counter-culturally cool. None of the 20-plus acts in this inaugural celebration of ‘80s rock could headline the kind of mega-halls they played in their prime, but together, they constitute quite an assemblage of important, decade-defining acts you may not have realized are still alive and kick-drumming: Saturday welcomes Bret Michaels (pictured), Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Night Ranger, Warrant, The Romantics, John Waite, Firehouse and others; Sunday features Paul Rodgers, Ace Frehley, Ratt, Slaughter, Winger, Sebastian Bach, Quiet Riot and more. Attendees can also enjoy a vendor village, food booths, a muscle car show and an ‘80s Dance Party. 


What: Screening of “Written on the Wind”

Where: Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: $5

Contact: 305/284-4627,

Released in 1956 and sharing themes with that year’s more grandiose “Giant,” Douglas Sirk’s “Written on the Wind” has outpaced the James Dean classic among cinephiles thanks to the lurid frankness of its director’s bold style. Sirk’s films explored the seedy underbelly of American life in the economically prosperous but morally bankrupt ‘50s. “Written in the Wind” is certainly no exception, chronicling the downfall of Robert Stack’s impotent, alcoholic oil magnate, his long-suffering wife (Lauren Bacall), his childhood friend and present-day threat for his wife’s affections (Rock Hudson), and his nymphomaniac sister (Dorothy Malone). An exercise in censorship-baiting subversion from its choice of music to its double-entendre visuals, “Written on the Wind” is a film that is, as the narrator in its trailer suggests, “woven of the raw realism of life itself.” It will screen on 35mm as part of the Cosford’s ongoing Sirk retrospective.


What: Carbonell Awards ceremony

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25-$35

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Regional theaters from South Miami to Jupiter have been nominated for awards in 20 categories in South Florida’s answer to the Tony Awards. Among musicals, Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of “Les Miserables” (pictured) leads the nominations in its genre, vying for the top award against works such as Slow Burn’s “Big Fish,” Actors’ Playhouse’s “Ragtime” and the Maltz’s “Billy Elliott.” Among plays, Michael McKeever’s world premiere “Daniel’s Husband” garnered the most nominations, from Best New Work to Best Production of a Play to Best Actor in a Play; it will vie against productions such as Palm Beach Dramaworks’ “Buried Child” and the Maltz’s “Glengarry Glen Ross.” I was honored, once again, to be among the judging committee for this year’s awards, but with a cone of silence strictly enforced, I’ll be just as surprised as anyone when the winners are read. The ceremony, aka “theater prom,” always offers an entertaining theatrical love-fest, complete with comedic and dramatic renditions of songs from the five musicals nominated for Best Production.

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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