Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Week Ahead: May 5 to 11

TUESDAY

What: Carol Prusa Art Salon

Where: Armory Art Center, 1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 561/832-1776, armoryart.org

In her day job, Carol Prusa teaches painting at Florida Atlantic University. On her own time, as a working artist, Prusa contemplates the universe. Situating her work on the tenuous border between scientific inquiry and artistic expression, Prusa is most known for her acrylic hemispheres, some reaching five feet in diameter, created with silverpoint drawing and graphite, and illuminated by patterns of fiber optic lights. Inspired as much by Galileo and Hawking as any visual artist, Prusa explores what it means to create something from nothing, and her mesmerizing, greyscale spheres explore the infinite void of the astronomical unknown. She will discuss “the evolution of my visual language from inner space to expression in outer space” in this special artist’s salon titled “Fearful Symmetry: Sensing Space Inside and Out.”

WEDNESDAY

What: Neutral Milk Hotel

Where: Olympia Theatre, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $46

Contact: 305/374-2444, olympiatheatre.org

I’m still pinching myself about this one. Like most indie-rock fans, I thought I would never have the opportunity to see Athens, Ga. psych-folk legends Neutral Milk Hotel perform live. Shortly after the group’s dark and astonishing sophomore album, 1998’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” became a cult sensation, founder Jeff Mangum had something of a nervous breakdown and disbanded Neutral Milk Hotel, satisfying fans only through esoteric field recordings and session work with his musician friends. A few reunion dates began to appear at hipper cities than ours a few years ago, and now, nearly 20 years after the release of its debut album, Neutral Milk Hotel is playing its first and last South Florida show. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Whether or not you’re an aficionado of Mangum’s fuzzed-out, unconventional musicianship, surreal lyrics and oft-imitated warble, you owe it to yourself to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event; a few scant tickets still remain at the time of this writing.

THURSDAY

What: Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis

Where: Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $50-$70

Contact: 305/673-7300, fillmoremb.com

One of the most respected musicians of the 2000s, Ryan Adams is also one of the new century’s prickliest and most prolific performers, an alt-country rock star whose bad side you’d best avoid. But when he’s on, which is almost all the time, there are few singer-songwriters more captivating—not to mention capable of releasing everything from stripped-down acoustic ballads to heavy-metal concept albums. The former Whiskeytown frontman has released 14 LPs since 2000, including his self-titled latest from 2014, not to mention the songs he’s recorded under his black metal moniker (Werewolph), his hard-rock handle (Sleazy Handshake) and his punk-rock side project (Pornography). The versatile tunesmith will bring along a solid headliner in her right, Jenny Lewis, the siren behind the indie rockers Rilo Kiley, who is supporting her second solo album “The Voyager.”

FRIDAY

What: Delray Beach Craft Beer Fest

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

When: 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Cost: $35-$60

Contact: 561/243-7922 ext. 1, delraycenterforthearts.org

Budwesier, Coors and Miller may still dominate the American beer market, but it’s far from the oligopoly it used to be. The craft beer explosion has meant richer, fruitier, even chocolatier tastes for more-adventurous imbibers, to the point that drinkers now have a glut of options: At the end of 2013, there were 2,768 craft breweries in the U.S. When visiting a place like Vintage Tap or Boca’s Yardhouse, the options can seem overwhelming—which is where events like the Delray Beach Craft Beer Fest come in. Celebrating its fourth year as a fundraiser for the Center for the Arts, the event will feature an unlimited sampling of more than 100 craft brews, international beers and ciders from national and local breweries, with South Florida stalwarts Funky Buddha, Due South and Saltwater likely to participate. There also will be a wine tasting of nine distinct varietals, food vendors and music from a DJ and a live reggae/funk band. We recommend purchasing VIP tickets, which grant attendees a commemorative mug and an hour of advance access to the libations.

What: “Heroes of Hip Hop: The Lion Hero”

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $20-$40

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

First, it was a $987 million-grossing film; then it became the fifth-longest-running musical of all-time. Now, “The Lion King” has morphed into this new, and exclusively local, incarnation: a youth hip-hop dance extravaganza. The Weston-based Heroes of Hip Hop is a dance studio that teaches hip-hop dance to beginners, intermediates and advanced dancers, the best of whom receive the opportunity to showcase their talents at special events like this one, at the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater. Elaborate face paint and costumes will bring the Disney franchise to new, streetwise life in this family-friendly dance version, as the energetic youngsters will play Simba, Zazu, Rafiki, Pumbaa and Timon. Whether Elton John’s sentimental music will be reborn with Timbaland beats remains to be heard.

SATURDAY

What: Opening night of “Dames at Sea”

Where: The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $58–$62

Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org

“Dames at Sea” has been called “Broadway’s biggest little musical,” because its origins were indeed small. When the show premiered off-off-Broadway in 1966—starring a then-unknown Bernadette Peters—its venue was Caffe Cino, a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. With two pianos and a percussionist, a tiny stage and a cast of just six, the creators of “Dames at Sea” managed to parody and simulate a lavish blockbuster, taking as their inspiration the splashy, leggy, Depression-era entertainments of Busby Berkeley. As such, you’ll recognize the show’s deliberately shopworn archetypes, starting with the Broadway ingénue with “nothing but tap shoes in her suitcase and a prayer in her heart.” There’s also the temperamental diva, the sassy chorus girl, the Navy ship setting a la “Anything Goes,” the misjudged flirtations, and the wedding finale. “Dames at Sea” is an amusing homage best appreciated by those who have seen too many musicals, but in the decades since its inception, it’s managed to have its satire and transcend it too, becoming a genuinely expensive theatrical powerhouse. It runs through May 31.

What: Bill Philipps

Where: The Marriott, 4000 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $40-$75

Contact: billphilipps.ticketleap.com

When Bill Philipps visited South Florida a year ago, he performed at Palm Beach Improv; and while can be a funny guy onstage, he’s not a comedian: He’s a psychic medium, translating messages from the dead at special events like this one. Ranked as a top medium on the website Best Psychic Directory, Philipps’ abilities began as a child and manifested most significantly following his mother’s death, which struck her when Philipps was 14. He says she visited him that very night, when his room became illuminated with varied colors of light. Years later, he honed his gifts with mediumship classes, and these days his schedule is booked for more than a year in advance, at $250 for 30 minutes. Taking your chances at this lower-priced gallery reading sounds like the potential for a great spiritual bargain.

What: Opening night of “The Consul”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $25-$229

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

If you’ve never been to an opera—or if you don’t think you like opera—then you owe it to yourself to see “The Consul,” the season-closing production from Florida Grand Opera. The 1950 debut from composer Gian Carlo Menotti, “The Consul” is devastating in an accessible, relatable way that conjures George Orwell: It’s sung in English and is set in an unidentified totalitarian country in Europe, where a secret police force is searching for John Sorrel, political dissident. Much of the drama involves efforts by John’s family to obtain visas to leave the country. Tenor and supporting actor Jason Ferrante says, “It’s very unspecific, and I think that was very appealing to Menotti. It’s funny that a piece that was relevant in 1950 is relevant in 2015, especially here in Miami, where issues of coming and going from one’s country are a hot topic right now.” Ferrante plays a magician who hypnotizes the consul’s secretary in a bravura 20-minute scene, and the production also stars Kara Shay Thomson, who recently played Tosca for FGO; and Keith Phares, who starred in “Mourning Becomes Electra” last year. “The Consul” runs through May 16.

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