Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Weeks Ahead: June 27 to July 10, 2023

Fireworks rain over Delray Beach, the Wick hosts a patriotic spectacular, and free concerts return to Old School Square. Plus, The Smile, a podcast-turned-play, and more in the weeks ahead.

Editor’s note: This Week Ahead column covers two weeks of activities to account for a staff holiday next week.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29

What: The Smile

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $37.50-$67.50

Contact: 305/416-5978, jlkc.com

Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s Radiohead side project is an adventurous beast all its own—less moody and crystalline than late Radiohead but openly embracing both their straight-ahead rock roots and heady, proggish math rock, complete with unusual time signatures. Not for nothing was the Smile invited to play the esteemed Montreaux Jazz Festival in 2022, a testament to a sound that seeks to transcend the parameters of any one genre. Hence the cerebral post-punk of The Smile’s breakout single “You Will Never Work in Television Again” sits comfortably with such ambient explorations as “Free in the Knowledge.” Much of The Smile’s music-geek appeal fuses in the band’s latest single, the astonishing “Bending Hectic,” with its spiritual jazz groove churning into a delirious explosion of noise. Arrive early for a no less innovative opening act, U.K. multi-instrumentalist Robert Stillman.

FRIDAY, JUNE 30

What: “The Pink Unicorn”

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach

Cost: $20-$25

Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org

In the decade since it premiered, in 2013, this off-Broadway hit by Elise Forier Edie has only increased in relevance. A solo theatre piece, its character is Trisha Lee, a widowed mother in a small—and small-minded—Texas suburb who transforms into an unwitting advocate for gender liberation. Her cultural awakening is rooted in family: Her 14-year-old daughter Jolene has suddenly declared herself to be genderless. And also genderqueer. And pansexual. And an androgyne, rebelling against the “fascist empiricism of the two-gender model.” Following her daughter’s announcement, Trisha encounters intolerance everywhere from her church to her own family. Sensitive to the nuances of cultural change, “The Pink Unicorn” ultimately embodies the hope that with a little education about, or first-hand experience with, the Other, lasting enlightenment is possible.

TUESDAY, JULY 4

Mallory Newbrough in “Million Dollar Quartet”

What: “A Star Spangled Tribute”

When: July 4, 2 p.m. (picnic at 11:30 a.m.)

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

Cost: $75-$85 (picnic tickets priced separately)

Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org

If you enjoyed the Wick’s acclaimed production of “Million Dollar Quartet,” then the theatre’s Fourth of July spectacular should tickle a similar musical palate. Bill Scott Sheets, who played Johnny Cash in the production, and Mallory Newbrough, who played Elvis Presley’s jazz-singing girlfriend Dyanne, headline a special concert of patriotic favorites backed by Alex Swindle and fellow “Million Dollar Quartet” alums Aaron Krings on bass and St. Rose on drums. For a separate ticket price, enjoy a buffet brunch at 11:30 a.m. conceived by Chef William Walden, which will include a watermelon-mango gazpacho salad, chicken and shrimp brochette, Waldorf salad, corn on the cob, macaroni salad and other Fourth of July favorites.

What: July Fourth Festival and Fireworks

When: July 4, 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: East Atlantic Avenue and A1A, Delray Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/243-7922, downtowndelraybeach.com

A local institution for more than 50 years, one of the preeminent Independence Day celebrations across the tri-county area returns for another spectacular display of fun and patriotism. It begins at 5 p.m., as always, with the raising of an enormous 60-foot American flag and singing of the National Anthem, and culminates promptly at 9 p.m. with a fireworks display over the Atlantic Ocean. Beachfront activities continue in the four hours in between, including food trucks, merchandise vendors, a children’s play area, a cheeseburger eating contest from BurgerFi, and two sets from K-Luv and the United Funk Foundation (7 and 8:15 p.m.). Additionally, DJ Smile will perform at 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

THURSDAY, JULY 6

What: Sunset Concert Series

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Old School Square Amphitheater, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/243-7922, downtowndelraybeach.com

The return of regularly scheduled free concerts at Old School Square is the latest sign that the tumultuous past few years of arts and culture in Delray Beach are turning a corner. Enjoy this throwback to festive normalcy all summer beginning next Thursday and continuing on the first and third Thursday of each month, through Sept. 21. Dust off the bell bottoms on July 6 for Studio 54, which performs, as its name suggests, disco favorites from the ‘70s and ‘80s. On July 20, you can catch the Spanish guitar, classical and jazz sounds of Eric Hansen & Pieces of Work; on Aug. 3, return for the New Orleans-style jazz of the Big Apples Brass Band.

Elizabeth Price in “Little Montgomery”

What: Opening night of “Little Montgomery”

When: 8 p.m.

Where: New City Players, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

Cost: $20-$35

Contact: 954/376-6114, newcityplayers.org

New City Players’ summer production has a quintessentially 21st century origin story: It started as a podcast. Seeking a way to produce distanced entertainment during the 2020 quarantine, New City Players Artistic Director Timothy Mark Davis worked with playwright Stephen Brown to develop a scripted podcast series called “Little Montgomery.” The six-episode narrative followed a pair of felonious teenage girls who decide to steal the expensive guitar of a pill-popping country music singer—which turns into an act of kidnapping, with the captors and their quarry being pursued by inept cops. A comedy with heart, “Little Montgomery” is still available as a free podcast, but if you don’t enjoy spoilers, just attend the story’s premiere as a fully produced play and bask in its many surprises. It runs through July 16.


For more of Boca magazine’s arts and entertainment coverage, click here.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, 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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