What: Jay Critchley
Where: FAU’s Performing Arts Building, room 101
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/297-2661, fau.edu/galleries
For provocative Massachusetts-based artist Jay Critchley, the world is his canvas. Pre-demolition roadside motels, septic tanks, the Provincetown Harbor and his own backyard are just a few of the venues that provided fodder for his site-specific artworks, most of them addressing urgent environmental concerns, from nuclear power to the car culture to the mass production (and then mass waste) of Christmas trees. His art often includes fake or repurposed corporate stickers, pamphlets, postcards and magazines promoting invented corporations, and his latest artistic mission targets Florida’s own controversial governor: Following Gov. Scott’s refusal to allow the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to use the term “climate change,” Critchley has launched a petition to have the phrase changed to “Mobil warming.” He will surely discuss this effort and more at his special FAU lecture, title “Don’t Be Crude: Art and the Energy Grid,” a year in advance of a full Critchley exhibition at FAU’s University Galleries.
What: “Concert for the Children” with Jay Leno
Where: Akoya Amphitheatre at Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/488-6980, bocawestfoundation.org
For more than 20 years, Jay Leno was the most affable voice on late-night TV, as popular and populist as David Letterman was clubby and esoteric. And during this time, the big-chinned, distinctively voiced “Tonight Show” host frequently dominated the late-night ratings, as well as the next morning’s water-cooler chat. Since retiring from television, he’s been able to devote more time to the passions he had cultivated before becoming a nationwide darling: cars and standup. And seeing his comedy act is a reminder that he’s even funnier outside the inherent restrictions of TV. He’s also another prominent “get” for this annual fundraiser for the Boca West Foundation, which last year hosted Diana Ross for a memorable concert. The Atlantic City Boys, a tribute to ‘60s pop and rock, will open the show, with funds benefiting at-risk children.
What: Freakers Ball
Where: Student Union Outdoor Stage at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $40 ($5 for FAU students)
Contact: 800/564-9539, fauevents.com
For hip-hop fans, it’s a good time to be an FAU student, with the university’s annual Freakers Ball showcasing national rap acts for an entry fee of virtually nothing. The rest of us have to throw a few shekels at the university, but the price is still a bargain compared to most arena shows. Headliner Big Sean, an underground cult figure recognized for his mixtapes in the late 2000s, emerged with his appropriately titled debut “Finally Famous” in 2011. The album featured contributions from Kanye West, Pharrell and John Legend and set him on a path to superstardrom; his latest album “Dark Sky Paradise” debuted at No. 1. Legendary English rapper Slick Rick, known for bringing novelistic lyricism to hip-hop, will open the show, along with the multitalented Doug E. Fresh, recognized as the pioneer of 20th century beatboxing.
What: Cesar Millan
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Chances are, Cesar Millan probably knows your dog better than your dog knows itself. The world’s most famous dog whisperer is a self-taught canine guru whose best-selling manuals have sold more than 2 million copies across 15 countries. His live shows will hope to prove that he can be just as compelling without the presence of anxious, erratic, soon-to-be-tamed four-legged friends. Millan, who has fought with issues of divorce, depression and attempted suicide in recent years, will address his values, principles and methods in conversations that have been described as more spontaneous than his rigidly formatted TV show. And perhaps you can even pick up some of his exclusive products, like the Funny Muzzle and Cesar’s Dog Backpack.
What: “Memory and Memorial: Music of the Holocaust”
Where: University Theater at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 800/564-9539, fauevents.com
FAU’s busy and eclectic week of events continues Thursday with a program that promises to be inspiring, heart-swelling and probably a little tear-jerking. The concert pays tribute to the Czech-born Alice Herz-Sommer, who, when she died in 2014, was the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor, at age 110. When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia, Sommer stayed behind to care for her ailing mother, who was murdered in a concentration camp; Sommer, in turn, was herded to the Theresienstadt camp, where her mastery of classical piano kept her alive: She performed more than 100 concerts for the prisoners and guards. This program will feature works from Sommer’s oeuvre, written by composers such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Władysław Szpilman and Earnest Bloch. Pianist Heather Coleman, violinist Michael Klotz and cellist Jason Callowy will perform.
What: Opening night of “Marfa Girl”
Where: Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Contact: 954/525-3456, fliff.com
More evidence that Cinema Paradiso’s programming is getting a bit edgier than it used to be—thanks in no small part to hiring Robert Rosenberg, formerly of the Coral Gables Art Cinema—is provided in the form of “Marfa Girl,” the latest polarization teensploitation flick from Larry Clark. Already earning comparisons to Clark’s early work—the docudramatic “Kids” and its prescient follow-up “Bully”—“Marfa Girl” is set in the titular Texas town, where an aimless 16-year-old (there’s no other kind in Clark’s universe) drifts through his life while maintaining relationships with his girlfriend, his teacher, a local artist and a lascivious Border Patrol officer. It’s Clark’s first feature film in 10 years but seems to pick up where his others left off, adopting their frankness regarding sexuality. Cinema Paradiso warns that the movie contains “highly charged sexual scenes, nudity, hard language and violence.” Viewer discretion, as they say, is advised.
What: “Legacy: A Kurt Cobain Tribute Concert”
Where: Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
When: 10 p.m.
Here’s a fact that will make you feel old: Kurt Cobain died 21 years ago this weekend! For Nirvana fans, April 5 and the days around it are always a bit melancholy, but there’s no better way to mourn Cobain’s death anniversary than by celebrating it—which in this case means knocking back a craft beer and rocking out to Smells Like Grunge, our area’s pitch-perfect Nirvana tribute act. This trio specializes in Nirvana’s B-sides and deep cuts in addition to its hits, often reviving Nirvana songs you probably forgot Kurt, Dave and Krist ever recorded. Close your eyes, and you’ll think you’re being transported back to 1992. The night also includes a performance by the “Anarchy Cheerleaders,” presumably paying homage to Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video.
What: Opening night of “Women Playing Hamlet”
Where: New Theatre at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
When: 8:30 p.m.
Contact: 786/573-5300, new-theatre.org
Revisionist versions of Shakespeare plays set in foreign countries, deserted islands and even outer space are fairly common in the hands of imaginative directors. But William Missouri Downs’ “Women Playing Hamlet” is something else entirely—a revisionist play about a Shakespearean play, in this case following the travails of a woman cast as Hamlet in an upcoming production of the iconic play. Just as she wrestles with how best to embody this timeless archetype, Downs also plays with concepts of gender in casting: “Women Playing Hamlet” features four women in 20 parts, including male parts, from pompous humanities professors to Freudian psychiatrists to, apparently, Patrick Stewart. Part of this year’s National New Play Network, this “Rolling World Premiere” will be staged by New Theatre just weeks after its first-ever production, in Kansas City. It runs through April 26.