Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Week Ahead: Jan. 3-9

The Kravis dances dirty, the Morikami welcomes 2017, and Miami Shakespeare visits Venice in Boca. Plus, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Malpaso Dance Company, Save the Panther 5k run and more in your week ahead.



What: Opening night of “Dirty Dancing—The Classic Story On Stage”


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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: Starting at $27

Contact: 561/832-5469,

When “Dirty Dancing,” a low-budget movie with no bankable stars and a distributor with an unproven track record, premiered in 1987, it generated the sort of lightning in a bottle that handsomely paid studio heads could never predict. The film has become one of the decade’s touchstones, both for its music as well as its images, earning $214 million on its $6 million investment. Rather than leave this fluky success well enough alone, the entertainment industry has only tarnished its memory with inferior spinoffs: a short-lived television series, an uninspired 2004 prequel, even a video game. So the makers of the stage musical “Dirty Dancing” are making a statement with their show’s subtitle: “The Classic Story Live On Stage.” They’ve cast the closest replicas they could find of Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze to re-recreate the magic of the original film, staging the live dialogue and choreography to the original soundtrack, with its iconic hits by Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, The Drifters, Marvin Gaye, and more. Audiences have had hungry eyes for the show since it premiered in Australia in 2004. Expect the kind of libidinous dance moves you’re just not going to see in “The Sound of Music” or “South Pacific.” The Kravis on Broadway tour runs through Sunday.


What: “Mia Madre” screening

Shots from "Mia Madre"
Shots from “Mia Madre”

Where: Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 N.E. 188th St., Aventura

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $11

Contact: 954/462-0222,

This sublime film from Italian director Nanni Moretti is one of the most observant movies I’ve seen about the deleterious ways we deal with negative information. Celebrated actress Margherita Buy plays a testy, exacting director also named Margherita, who is in the process of shooting a film about an organized labor strike by workers who won’t accept the loss of their livelihood. Off the set, Margherita is coping, poorly, with her own setback: Her hospitalized mother, Ada (Giulia Lazzarini), is dying of cancer, though neither Margherita nor her brother Giovanni (Moretti) have the gumption to admit this—to themselves or, more importantly, to their parent. Avoidance and denial, disconnection and projection become Margherita’s emotional crutches as she navigates both her mother’s inexorable decline and her increasingly wayward movie, whose progress is derailed upon the arrival of a short-circuited, confabulating Hollywood actor (John Turturro, adding welcome comic relief). “Mia Madre” is an unsentimental portrait of wounded human behavior—the kind of mirror to the soul that reflects our deepest selves, even when we don’t like what we see.



What: Lunch and Learn: Dr. Ruth Westheimer


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

When: 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $89 (includes lunch by The Breakers)

Contact: 561/832-5469,

What better time to have a frank conversation about sex than a Thursday brunch date with one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject? A German-born, Sorbonne-trained psychologist, Ruth Westheimer’s career as the nation’s premier sex therapist and advocate began with a 15-minute program that aired on a single New York radio station at midnights on Sundays. After two months, the show expanded to an hour and included audience phone calls; “Sexually Speaking” was eventually syndicated, along with her television show of the same name, and Westheimer emerged as a gregarious pop culture icon whose personality has been described as “Henry Kissinger meets Minnie Mouse.” In this illuminating conversation, Steven Caras will discuss Westheimer’s influential career, from escaping the Holocaust at age 10 to being ranked among Playboy’s all-time top 20 most important people in sex.



What: Malpaso Dance Company


Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$95

Contact: 305/949-6722,

Founded in 2012, this youthful contemporary dance company from Havana has seen its profile, and touring regimen, increase in recent years, thanks to thawing U.S.-Cuban relations. This is a gift for modern dance enthusiasts looking for something different—or in the words of the Miami Herald, a “new side of Cuban dance beyond folklore and ballet.” Malpaso, which ironically translates to “misstep,” will showcase its repertory, which includes “24 Hours and a Dog,” choreographed by Malpaso Artistic Director Osnel Delgado; “Under Fire,” a commissioned work by eminent American choreographer Trey McIntyre; and “Despedida,” a Delago-choreographed dance inspired by the poem of the same name by Jorge Luis Borges.



What: Shakespeare in the Park: “The Merchant of Venice”


Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/393-7807,

Boca will have first dibs at Shakespeare Miami’s annual mainstage production, a week before it tours Miami, Pinecrest and Hollywood. “The Merchant of Venice,” initially conceived as a comedy but now more remembered for its tragic scenes, is one of the Bard’s most controversial works. Dramatizing the events that lead a merchant in 16th-century Venice to default on a significant loan granted by a miserly Jewish moneylender, the play still battles accusations of anti-Semitism for its seeming perpetuation of Jewish stereotypes. The director of this production, Colleen Stovall, doesn’t find the work offensive: Shylock, the moneylender, is an abused victim, after all, and she sees him as a three-dimensional character. Her director’s notes cite this past year’s tumultuous election season, which has seen hate speech become accepted in the highest levels of government, as the perfect context for the play’s powerful examinations of prejudice. Bring a low-profile lawn chair and blanket, and join the conversation.



What: Save the Panther 5k


Where: Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 a.m.

Cost: $20-$35

Contact: 561/547-9453,

Runners can enjoy the picturesque locals and animal-filled pathways of the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park at the first race in the organization’s 2017 Big Cat Race Series. As always, the run supports a vital cause for species propagation, in this case the endangered Florida panther. An estimated 100 to 180 Florida panthers exist in the wild, and net proceeds from this 5k will fund the Zoo’s partnership with Florida Wildlife Corridor, which protects the panther and its dwindling habitat. Runners receive a free T-shirt commemorating the event and free zoo admission for the day, along with half-price admission for up to three guests per runner.



What: Oshogatsu 2017


Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $6-$35

Contact: 561/495-0233,

Legend has it that the Japanese zodiac, borrowed from the Chinese, came into being when the Buddha invited all of world’s animals to come to him on New Year’s Day for a special gift. He could’ve learned something from Noah: Only 12 animals showed up, but each of them was granted its own calendar year in a 12-year cycle. In January, the Morikami Museum celebrates the calendar’s transition to the Year of the Rooster with its 39th annual Oshogatsu celebration, which brings a lively, festive atmosphere to traditionally quiet Japanese New Year customs. Enjoy Japanese fortune telling; taiko drumming and open-air koto musical performance (koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument); bonsai demonstrations; a Mochi pounding demonstration; hands-on-children’s activities; and more. Libations will be provided by the Sake Station and Kirin Beer Garden, with food available from the museum’s Cornell Café and special vendors.

Jason Clary
Jason Clary
Jason is a graduate of the University of Central Florida where he studied journalism and creative writing. He is currently the web editor at Boca Raton Magazine.

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