What: Opening day of “Giverny: Journal of an Unseen Garden”
Where: Norton Museum, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach
When: noon to 5 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org
If cost ever was a barrier to visiting the Norton Museum, you no longer have that excuse: From now through December of 2018, the museum will offer free admission. For everybody. Every day. No questions asked. Pretty cool, huh? You can most likely thank the Norton’s forthcoming expansion plans, which will create the occasional untoward construction noises around the museum, but chances are you’ll be so transfixed by the art that you won’t notice. Video artist Mark Fox’s “Giverny: Journal of an Unseen Garden” promises just such a hypnotic exhibition. Based in Brooklyn, Fox spent three months living and working on the grounds of the Monet Foundation in Giverny, with the goal of revisiting Claude Monet’s iconic garden from a new perspective. So he videotaped the garden ceaselessly, marking hourly shifts of light and seasonal changes. The resulting exhibition projects Fox’s work on five screens, which run on an endless loop, surrounding museumgoers with what Monet originally called a “watery world.” It runs through Oct. 30.
What: Opening night of Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival
Where: Carlin Park, 400 Florida A1A, Jupiter
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/966-7099, pbshakespeare.org
When the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival began in Jupiter’s Carlin Park 26 years ago, founder Kermit Christman repeated a particular buzzword so many times it became a mantra among the staff: accessible. So Christman decided to mostly eschew doublets and jerkins for his Jupiter productions. In its second year, in 1991, the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival produced a “Richard III” inspired by the urban look and feel of “Miami Vice.” Christman would later produce an underground version of “Hamlet” with characters clad in black leather, and launch “Coriolanus” into outer space. This year, for the festival’s 26th annual play, Christman and his cast and crew will be re-envisioning the Bard’s “Taming of the Shrew,” in 90 clean minutes, at the Kentucky Derby. “It’ll be the wildness of the derby, the horse race itself and the costumes; the ladies must have hats, as they wear at the Derby so famously,” he says. “It’s always about rethinking the show—newer, fresher, better.” “The Taming of the Shrew” runs through July 17.
What: Opening night of “Cirkopolis”
Where: Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Filmmakers have long dreaded the emergence of metropolitan cities, with their monolithic skyscrapers filled with endless offices of worker drones anonymously pushing paper, their souls crushed by the machines of progress. Think “Metropolis,” think “Brazil,” think “1984.” Or think “Cirkopolis,” the latest touring production from Montreal’s Cirque Eloize, a company operating in the nexus of theatrical imagination, choreographic inspiration and circus showmanship. It begins in just such a totalitarian world, with office functionaries sequestered at desks with stacks of paper piling inexorably in front of them. But their future is hardly a bleak one: This summer spectacular is a veritable rage against the machine, thanks to the joys of movement, light and color. The workers rebel against the monotony of their existence by juggling bowling pins, performing impossible aerial splits, enjoying romantic duets with anthropomorphized objects, and dangling magisterially from the sky, while gears and cogs grind behind them. An original musical score and high-def video projections enhance this death-defying escape from the drudgeries of the modern world. The show runs through July 31.
What: Opening night of “Come and Knock on Our Door”
Where: Abyss Theatre, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors
When: 8 p.m.
Remember “Three’s Company,” the ‘70s sitcom about co-ed living? It was about as controversial as “The Price is Right,” but that’s about to change in this bloody parody from Infinite Abyss, the Fort Lauderdale company specializing in horror theater. Instead of clumsy gourmand Jack Tripper, the protagonist of Infinite Abyss’ version is Jack Ripper, a serial killer preying on his female roommates and avoiding the prying gaze (and more) of their landlord, Mr. Groper. Billed as “a ‘70s slasher sitcom,” “Come and Knock on Our Door” was conceived entirely by Infinite Abyss’ own Erynn Dalton and Fernando Barron, and like the company’s other productions, it is an immersive experience, with attendees serving as the live studio audience during a taping of the grisly sitcom. There’s even a warm-up comic from Boca’s Sick Puppies improv troupe to get us in the mood. The show runs through July 30.
What: Opening night of “The Innocents”
Where: The Classic Gateway Theater, 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
When: Show times pending
Contact: 954/763-7994, classicgateway.com
In the new film from French director Anne Fontaine, things aren’t going well in a post-WWII convent in Warsaw. One of its nuns is pregnant—fathered by a marauding Russian soldier at the tail end of the war—and we soon find out she’s not alone: Six other nuns were raped in this fact-based story that, in addition to its obviously tragic ramifications, threatens to bring guilt and shame upon a devout culture. It’s up to Mathilde (French cinema It Girl Lou de Laage), a French Red Cross doctor summoned clandestinely and in desperation, to examine the women and bring their babies to term, risking the safety of everyone involved. This grim, novelistic film is full of theological gravitas, addressing questions of God’s will and the conflict between maternal instinct and Church chastity. Fontaine directs an economical script with the necessary female sensitivities, and it’s her best film in years—if still lacking in the urgency and intensity its tale deserves. You can also catch its opening in Palm Beach County on April 15.
What: Modest Mouse and Brand New
Where: Bayfront Park Amphitheater, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 305/558-7550, livenation.com
Modest Mouse was weird before weird was cool. Emerging from Nowheresville, Washington, in 1992, the band’s earliest recordings, like “Sad Sappy Sucker” and “This is Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About” married the sweet with the abrasive, and rock with folk, swirling them around loopy, mesmeric guitar lines. Frontman Isaac Brock’s implacable shout-sing, with its own combination of backwoods and urbane, has been imitated by many future indie rock aspirants but never equaled. The world eventually caught up with Modest Mouse’s inventive musical stews; the band joined a major label in 2000 and, two albums later, enjoyed its first No. 1 success on the Billboard charts. It’s a dancier, slicker band than it once was, but it’s no less idiosyncratic, and in its live shows, the band pulls material from its entire storied career, changing the set list nightly. Modest Mouse will be joined by Long Island pop-punkers Brand New, a band that is very not weird; I wouldn’t pair them together, but what do I know?
What: Decades Rewind
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
A hybrid of rock concert, movie and stage musical, Decades Rewind premiered at the Orlando Fringe Festival back in May and is enjoying a busy Southeastern tour through next January. The show celebrates three of the most accomplished decades in pop music history, the ‘60s through the ‘80s—well, OK, at least two of those decades were pretty good—through medleys of hits from each era. This so-called “trip down melody lane” features six vocalists, three guitarists and two horn players performing, and often imitating, Stevie Wonder, Journey, Joan Jett, ABBA, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Gloria Gaynor and many more. There’s a story built into the music, and it will be projected on a screen behind the band. If you can’t make it this weekend, Decades Rewind will visit the Kravis Center July 22 and 23.