Friday, April 19, 2024

The Week Ahead: Jan. 17-23

Miami City Ballet visits the early computer age, the Palm Beach Jewish Film Fest is a slam-dunk, and the Titanic cruises again in Broward. Plus, Mike Doughty, Bobby Slayton and more in your week ahead.


What: Opening night of Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival

PalmBeachJewishFilmFest-ON THE MAP with Tal Brody

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

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20-$25

Contact: 877/318-0071,

Palm Beach’s oldest film festival will, for the 27th consecutive year, illuminate the Jewish and Israeli experience with a series of 30 eclectic films sprawled across four Palm Beach County theaters. It all begins with Thursday’s regional premiere of “On the Map,” an inspirational documentary about Israel’s 1977 European Cup basketball team, a scrappy collection of underdogs who defied expectations and mended spirits in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. Director Dani Menkin will attend the screening, along with basket-baller Tal Brody, who will participate in a post-film discussion. Major films on the Jewish festival circuit will continue at Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton from Jan. 21-27, including “The Midnight Orchestra,” “The Tenth Man” and “Fanny’s Journey.” Visit the website for the complete schedule.


What: Opening night of “Titanic the Musical”


Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $47-$60

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Spoiler alerts are hardly necessary for this musical tribute to the star-crossed ocean liner. Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s Broadway production opened in 1997, six months prior to James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film, and it also accrued formidable awards, thanks to its compassionate understanding of the class structure of the ship’s passengers, each strata democratically doomed by the pitiless iceberg. Expect this to be the most lavish production of Slow Burn Theatre’s season. It runs through February 5.


What: Opening night of “Sunday in the Park With George”


Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 305/949-6722,

On the heels of his acclaimed productions of “Assassins” and “Passion,” Zoetic Stage director Stuart Meltzer will continue his annual modernist production of a Stephen Sondheim classic. “Sunday” is the composer-lyricist’s tribute to French post-Impressionist Georges Seurat, chronicling his perfectionism, insecurities and romantic foibles as he tries to complete his masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jetee.” The production runs through February 12.


What: Bobby Slayton



Where: Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$40

Contact: 561/483-9036,

It’s always a bit jarring for journalists when they’re tasked with interviewing comedian Bobby Slayton, because he’s inevitably a nice guy. Not so much onstage: Slayton, a comedian’s comedian and one of standup’s road warriors, delivers jokes with a no-holds-barred intensity and a political incorrectness that spares no demographic — women, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, gays and lesbians, the uptight and the sexually promiscuous alike. His insult comedy often targets the poor souls brave enough to sit in the front tables of his venues, and this reputation has led to his longstanding nickname, the “Pitbull of Comedy.” He does bite, so proceed with caution.


What: Opening night of “20th Century Women”


Where: Theaters across South Florida

When: Varies

Cost: Varies

Contact: n/a

Like “Almost Famous” and “Boyhood,” “20th Century Women” is a sweeping, witty and painfully honest bildungsroman — but with female energies dominating both the frame and its male identifier’s emerging consciousness. Writer-director Mike Mills’ semiautobiographical indie is set in 1979, a pivotal year for 15-year-old Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), whose divorced mother Dorothea (Annette Bening) has enlisted a pair of confident younger women — countercultural photographer and Baby Boomer Abbie (Greta Gerwig), who rents a room in her house, and Julie (Elle Fanning), Jamie’s best friend and a promiscuous Gen-Xer two years his senior — to help raise him. Capturing an exciting era when punk rock, metaphysiscs and feminism were still radical, “20th Century Women” is not least an education in women’s health — mental, emotional and physical — and a fierce argument for speaking bluntly about the elements that comprise the “feminine mystique.” “20th Century Women” contains truths to which every generation can deeply relate, but it saves its best observations for Dorothea’s increasingly untethered connection to her son: “I know him less every day,” and, to Julie, “You get to see him out in the world, as a person. I never will.” The objective healthiness of this distance doesn’t make the grievances any less sincere. The film opens across South Florida Friday.


What: Mike Doughty


Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $29

Contact: 954/564-1074,

Mike Doughty is a testament to perseverance. The singer-songwriter rode the post-Nirvana alt-rock wave in the mid-‘90s with his band Soul Coughing, a slack-tastic group of road warriors whose acoustic, hip-hop and jazz concoctions treated genre like so much Silly Putty. When he grew weary of the band, circa 2000s, the resultant downfall was Rock Excess 101: drug and alcohol addiction, dropped by his record label, traveling by rental car and living show by show. But fans continued to attend Doughty’s concerts, where he played Soul Coughing songs and new experiments alike, and they would buy his self-released albums, which were then released on plain CD-Rs without cover art. One thing led to another — Dave Matthews met Doughty and professed his fandom, releasing his music through Matthews’ record label, which in turn led to renewed interest on late-night talk shows — and Doughty became in vogue again in the 21st century. His comeback continues to inspire: Doughty is as prolific and consistent as ever, with some 18 solo records to his credit, and he even releases a pair of new songs each through the Patreon subscription service. Doughty, who just completed an intimate tour of record shops, will play a full, proper set — including some of those cherished Soul Coughing songs — in Fort Lauderdale this weekend.


What: Miami City Ballet: Program II



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

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $20-$99

Contact: 561/832-7469,

This season, Lourdes Lopez’s dance career has come full circle. In 1983, she was part of the original New York cast of Jerome Robbins’ “Glass Pieces,” a mesmerizing paean to the emerging computer age, with music by virtuoso Philip Glass. Thirty-four years later, Lopez is producing the company premiere of “Glass Pieces” for Miami City Ballet. The work, with its giant graph-paper backdrop, is one of four eclectic pieces in Program II’s delightful smorgasbord of material. It will be complemented by “Calcium Night Light,” the ultra-modern, magnetic first ballet by Peter Martins; “Carousel Pas de Deux,” excerpted from Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Tony-winning choreography in the 1994 London revival of “Carousel;” and “Serenade,” George Balanchine’s first American ballet, with its 17 female dancers creating kaleidoscopic patterns of movement and color.

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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