Saturday, July 20, 2024

The Week Ahead: Nov. 4 to 10


What: Start Making Sense

Where: Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $10-$25

Contact: 561/395-2929,

Lucky are the few people still alive who managed to see Talking Heads during the band’s seminal role in music history, from 1977 to 1988. Thinking about the group’s acrimonious breakup, circa 1991, still stings a little, given the eclectic dynamism of its swan song “Naked,” and the potential for greatness that could have extended into the new millennium. David Byrne’s solo records have never quite reached the heights of those wonderful and idiosyncratic albums. Lo and behold, Start Making Sense is a tribute act that prides itself on recreating Talking Heads’ music and live shows, note for note, providing nostalgia for those who did see the Real McCoy live and an exhilarating new experience for the group’s younger fans. Vocalist Jon Braun is a vocal doppelganger for Byrne, and his band ain’t too shabby either. These guys aren’t local to South Florida, so don’t expect another Start Making Sense show anytime soon.


What: Opening night of “The How and the Why”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $30-$45

Contact: 561/450-6357,

In a 2013 study, researchers at Yale helped quantify what we already expected: There is a tremendous bias against women in the sciences. They found that only 14 percent of physics professors in the United States were women, and that when presented with imaginary applicants with identical qualifications, survey recipients overwhelmingly chose the male candidate, and set the woman’s salary at $4,000 less. I bring this up because Sarah Treem’s play “The How and the Why” lives in the prejudiced and rarefied milieu of women in the sciences, where advancement is always an uphill battle. The two-character play centers on two evolutionary biologists, one long established and the other emerging, who meet for the first time at a national conference. They have more history than they think, as their personal lives begin to unspool aside their groundbreaking theories. Expect to be moved and stimulated in this intelligent work by one of the writers of “House of Cards” and “In Treatment.” The play runs through Nov. 23.

What: Diavolo

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: Starting at $25

Contact: 561/832-7469,

It’s been quoted and requoted hundreds of times, though its origin is still debated: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” While many scribblers have attempted, and succeeded, at the former, few dancers have tried the latter—but this is exactly what Diavolo, an inventive dance collective based in Los Angeles, has been doing for the past 24 years. Indeed, artistic director Jacques Heim is more architect than choreographer, constructing models of staircases, collapsing pyramids, rolling hamster wheels, extreme-sports quarter-pipes and giant spheres with more holes than the plot of “Battlefield Earth.” His dancers, who reportedly choreograph their own movements, perform on, under, above, around and inside the objects, which metamorphose during the show—a theme that has led to Diavolo’s tagline, “Architecture in Motion.” Their abilities to dance on the precipice of danger, and to do so with humor and innovation, have earned the group numerous awards, along with a slot on the coveted Provocative Entertainment at Kravis (P.E.A.K.) series.

What: Opening night of Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $30-$35

Contact: 954/525-3456,

In previous years, South Florida’s longest film festival would have been well into its run by the first of November. This year, for its 29th installment, organizers have shrewdly decided to push the festival back so it doesn’t compete with Halloween and the International Boat Show. Instead, we get a bonanza of regional and world premieres throughout most of November. Ellen Burstyn, still elegant at 82, will receive a lifetime achievement award and enjoy a screening of her Oscar-nominated 1980 drama “Resurrection.” Hong Kong sex symbol Nancy Kwan and South Florida’s own Man of Bronze, George Hamilton, will receive similar awards. Screenings include the critically acclaimed (and 196-minute!) “Winter Sleep,” from Turkey; the supernatural comedy “Frank Vs. God;” and “Traitors,” a Moroccan thriller about drug trafficking. And look out for a Bahamian-themed party, a “Chairman’s Cruise,” and an awards gala at the Westin Hotel Diplomat. It all starts Friday night with the madcap, opening-night comedy “Lucky Stiff” (pictured), whose co-star, Jason Alexander, will receive a Career Achievement Award. The ticket includes an after-party at nearby Off the Hookah.

What: Opening night of “Detroit”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $45

Contact: 305/949-6722,

How well do we know our neighbors? That’s one of the questions at the core of this Pulitzer Prize-nominated play by Lisa D’Amour. Another one might be, what’s the emotional, physical and mental fallout when you fall short of the American dream? Posing hefty questions with humor, insight and a few combustible surprises, “Detroit” is set, possibly, in the title city, or anywhere else blighted by the Great Recession. Two pairs of next-door neighbors—one middle-aged and trying to keep up appearances while struggling with a recent job loss, the other youngish and struggling with a history of drug addiction—meet for a backyard barbecue. And though they have little in common, they keep on meeting, despite—or perhaps because of—the fights and tragic accidents and revelations their rendezvous entail. Be prepared for a wild ride. “Detroit” runs through Nov. 23.


What: Gringo Star

Where: Propaganda, 6 South J Street, Lake Worth

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $8

Contact: 561/547-7273,

Hailing from Atlanta, the hard-working and hard-touring act indie rock act Gringo Star has recorded three albums in the Aughts, but its sound is planted most in ‘60s psych-rock, placing them not too far from the Beatle referenced in the band’s cheeky name. The Strokes and the Black Lips are perhaps closer references, bands that are themselves rooted in primitive garage rock and lo-fi recording techniques; it comes as no surprise that the group, which consists largely of brothers Nicholas and Peter Furgiuele, recorded its latest, superb 7-inch single “Long Time Gone” in Pete’s basement. This show’s promoter has assembled a stellar talent of local bands to open the show, including Wake Up, Sweet Bronco and Milk Spot, so the $8 cover is a hell of a bargain.


What: Delray Beach Wine and Seafood Festival

Where: East Atlantic Avenue, downtown Delray Beach

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free


Local restaurants will provide samples of their finest ocean-dwelling entrees at this third annual foodie event. The Delray Beach Wine and Seafood Festival suffered from a bumpy first year but has rebounded nicely, promising to expand its roster of delectable seafood dishes each year. Visitors can munch on lobster rolls, fried clams, gazpacho, conch ceviche, fish tacos and other pescatarian favorites while strolling the more the 150 exhibition booths and the festival’s official merchandise booth, all in the service of boosting business on Atlantic Avenue. More than 20 varieties of wine will be poured at two Wine Gardens, and those interested in attending food and wine pairing seminars can purchase tickets to these special events. And stick around for live music, day and night, on two stages.


What: The Magic of Cirque de la Symphonie

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

When: Show times vary

Cost: $62-$85

Contact: 954/462-0222,

If you skipped Cirque de la Symphonie at Festival of the Arts Boca last year, you missed a magical convergence of classical orchestration and high-flying cirque majesty. Now’s your chance to experience (or relive) this compelling hybrid of concert and circus. Symphony of the Americas, Broward County’s own professional orchestra, will perform masterpieces and contemporary scores, while aerial flyers, strongmen, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers and balancers will provide the dazzling front-of-the-stage entertainment.

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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