Friday, April 12, 2024

The Weeks Ahead: Oct. 7-20

Note: This “Week Ahead” covers two weeks of arts and events, to accommodate for a vacation; other A&E blogs will continue to be posted regularly.


What: Screening of “Dirt: The Movie

Where: Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 188 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Donations requested

Contact: 303/570-0433

It sits under our feet every time we step outside, it feeds us, and it’s pretty much the foundation of homo sapien life … but what do we really know about dirt? This award-winning documentary, released in 2009, explores this fundamental building block of life—about how it’s been degraded by industrial farming, and how this degradation affects everything from climate change to overseas wars. Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, the movie will open Delray Beach’s second-annual Environmental Film Series, with each of its four selections addressing a natural element: earth, water, air or fire. Moviegoers are asked to provide a cash donation, which will support the cost of screening these movies, with the surplus benefiting the Swinton Community Garden, the Sow Share program, and the environmental justice efforts of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Green Team.


What: Opening night of Fright Nights

Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach

When: Opens at 7 p.m.

Cost: $10-$25


‘Tis the season of scares, and the South Florida Fairgrounds will once again produce Palm Beach County’s largest Halloween haunt. This year’s three haunted walk-throughs, each of them suggesting a future horror film in the making, include Flamingo Hotel (plenty of vacancies, but don’t expect to check out), New World Order (a totalitarian police state lurks around the corner) and Vile (a carful of reckless teenagers stops in the wrong middle of nowhere). Each of these hellish tours will be populated by heavily made-up scare-actors who have been working tirelessly to haunt your nightmares. Oh, and there’s cotton candy and rides, too! Fright Nights runs through Nov. 1.


What: Opening night of “X-Scream Halloween”

Where: G-Star Motion Picture Studios, 2030 S. Congress Ave., Palm Springs

When: Opens at 8 p.m.

Cost: $10-$15


Not to be outdone, G-Star School of the Arts brings its movie-production expertise to its own celebrated walk-through, dubbed one of the Travel Channel’s “13 scariest haunted attractions in America” in 2008. Smaller than Fright Nights but with professional studio equipment to give it an extra polish, the theme of its ninth year is “Rise of the Blood Moon,” a dystopia inspired by real astrological events. The fourth so-called “blood moon” in 18 months signifies a cosmological tetrad that allows genetically modified werewolves and vampires to spring to life and roam the terrified streets. New additions for 2014 include a carnival midway, a live music and stage show, and “Ghoulie Golf,” which costs just $2 a game. The fun continues through Nov. 1.

What: Opening night of “Peter and the Starcatcher”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 305/949-6722,

Kicking off the Arsht Center’s 2014-2015 “Theater Up Close” series is this fresh-from-Broadway fantasy, a multiple Tony winner enjoying its very first regional production anywhere in the country. Based on a best-seller co-written by Miami’s own Dave Barry, “Peter and the Starcatcher” is a swashbuckling origin story about Peter Pan and Captain Hook before they were Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Set on storm-ravaged ships, beaches, islands and grottoes, this adventure meta-play boasts what some in the cast have called the most elaborate set in the history of the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theatre. It’s also a service to the theatrical stars of tomorrow: As a coproduction with the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts, an ensemble of student actors join a pair of award-winning professional actors in the cast, all of whom play multiple roles; in all, 12 actors will play more than 100 parts, including elements of the scenery and furniture. It needs to be seen to be believed. “Peter and the Starcatcher” runs through Oct. 26.


What: Opening day of “Café Dolly”

Where: Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: Noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: $5-$10

Contact: 954/525-5500,

Three painters—a Danish symbolist, a French Dadaist, and an American neo-expressionist—walk into a bar … er, a museum. What would they say to each other? A better question might be: How would their works, divided across decades, cultures and movements, communicate to each other and to modern art audiences? The Museum of Art’s highly anticipated “Café Dolly” exhibition hopes to answer these questions and more as it groups together the provocative paintings of Francis Picabia, J.F. Willumsen and Julian Schnabel. Curator Bonnie Clearwater hopes that audiences will walk away with a new appreciation of these subversive artists, whose work is rarely shown in Florida museums. She tells Boca Raton, “This exhibition draws strong connections between Schnabel’s and Picabia’s philosophical approach to art and introduces obscure late 19th- and early 20th-century artist Willumsen to not only our local audience but to the international art world that descends on … Art Basel Miami Beach in December.”


What: Opening night of “Carrie: The Musical”

Where: Slow Burn Theatre Company at West Boca Performing Arts Theater, 12811 W. Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25–$40

Contact: 866/811-4111,

“Carrie” is proof that Broadway producers really can make a musical from any movie imaginable: It’s easy to foresee a time when a show called “Apocalypse … NOW!” blends napalm and jazz hands. In the case of Stephen King’s best-seller about a bullied high-school girl who develops telekinetic powers, the migration from novel to film to stage has been a bumpy one; after debuting in 1988, it garnered a reputation as one of Broadway’s most expensive disasters of all time, closing after five performances. But if there’s one thing West Boca’s Slow Burn Theatre Company loves, it’s finding the kernels of brilliance in misunderstood shows. For this production, director Patrick Fitzwater and his creative team will be working from a 2012 revival of “Carrie” that fixed many of the original’s problems, and they’ll likely find ways to improve on that one as well. Songs include “A Night We’ll Never Forget,” “The Prom” and its follow-up, “The Destruction”—and, yes, Carrie still gets her first period in the first act. “Carrie” runs through Nov. 2.

What: Soko

Where: Propaganda, 6 South J Street, Lake Worth

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $7 advance, $10 at door


Soko, the stage name for French singer/actress Stephanie Sokolinski, made a dramatic decision at age 16: She dropped out of school and left her home in Bordeaux, moving to Paris to pursue an acting career. She’s now 27, and it’s safe to say her decision paid off; she was nominated for a Cesar award in France for her role in 2009’s “In the Beginning” and rose to international prominence as the title character in the 2012 period piece “Augustine.” But more impressive, perhaps, is her acumen as a pop songwriter, a trade she’s been plying, in English, since 2007, and which has been borrowed or sampled by the likes of Cee Lo Green and fashion designer Stella McCartney. An intimate performer—she’s known to play small clubs without a set list, and for longer durations than most acts—Soko’s fragile, plaintive melodies, which dominated her 2012 debut album “I Thought I Was an Alien,” have given way to more lush and heavily synthesized sounds on her forthcoming sophomore LP. She will play tunes from both, and more, at this rare and special show at Propaganda, part of an intimate Florida tour for her growing fan base (she’s also opening for Foster the People on Oct. 16 at the Fillmore Miami Beach). See her up-close before she really blows up.


What: Lantern Festival

Where: Morikami Museum, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: 3 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $10-$15

Contact: 561/495-0233,

What better way to remember departed loved ones than to send them messages in paper lanterns and float them across a tranquil lake at nightfall, illuminating their spirits with a collective glow? This is the touching sentiment behind the Bon Festival, a Japanese ceremony that has been hosted every July for more than 500 years. Until recently, the Morikami Museum, Delray’s bastion of Japanese culture, hosted its version in July too, until the oppressive heat and seasonal patronage led to a change in schedule, not to mention its name: The former Bon Festival is now the Lantern Festival, and the paper tributes now set sail in October. But the festival’s beloved traditions remain the same. As with previous years, the Morikami’s five-hour fest will include a street fair with shopping, games and children’s activities; taiko drumming by resident percussionists Fushu Daiko; and vendors offering Asian and American delicacies.

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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