Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Your Week Ahead: June 12 to 18

A former president and a novelist team up for a page-turner, Kevin Smith’s chatty foil takes the comedy stage alone, and an art exhibit mirrors a butterfly’s remarkable journey. Plus, Audra McDonald, Andrew McMahon, a world-premiere play and more in your week ahead.



What: Bill Clinton and James Patterson

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $50-$375

Contact: 954/462-0222,

The latest thriller from the James Patterson fiction factory has a cachet shared by none of his other best-sellers: It was co-written with a former president. Bill Clinton is granted top billing on The President is Missing, a sizable (513 pages) slab of geopolitical intrigue centered a super-president protagonist in the mold of “Independence Day’”s Thomas Whitmore. In Clinton and Patterson’s telling, President Duncan is the rogue commander-in-chief who goes off the grid to save the United States from an immanent cybersecurity threat. Blending Patterson’s storytelling panache with Clinton’s insider knowledge of presidential procedure, The President is Missing, will surely be a boon for both men—it not necessarily the literary intelligentsia. Author Brad Meltzer, who knows his way around a political thriller, will moderate this discussion.


Audra McDonald (© Autumn de Wilde)

What: Audra McDonald

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25-$145

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Has Audra McDonald risen to the level of national treasure yet? She certainly deserves the distinction: As the winningest actress in Tony history, she’s secured statuettes in all four acting categories for women, excelling in work that is both tragic and comic, musical and dramatic, and almost always culturally significant. Her work has ranged from Broadway staples to television versions of the same, most notably a made-for-TV production of “A Raisin in the Sun” and her much-praised, transformative turn as Billie Holiday in HBO’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” At live tours like this one, her performances are full of both self-effacing humor and powerful vocal chops spread across show tunes, movie songs and eccentric contemporary pop tunes. Here’s hoping the hilarious “Facebook Song” from her new album Sing Happymakes the cut.


Michael McKeever and Samuel Maya Mr. Parker photo by George Wentzler

What: Opening night of “Mr. Parker”

Where: Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/519-2533,

A world premiere play by South Florida’s award-winning Michael McKeever is always something to celebrate. His latest, “Mr. Parker,” promises to be one of his most intimate plays to date. It begins as a dialogue between a 52-year-old gay man and his 27-year-old one-night-stand, who reflect on life, death and a rapidly evolving world in which, as McKeever told me in an interview last week, “it’s no longer normal to meet someone in a restaurant or bar and go on dates; now you just swipe left or right and you hook up.” But the story and its themes deepened as McKeever wrote the play. “It started off as being a two-person, one-scene, hour-long play about a one-night stand and evolved into what happens when you have to move forward and you’re too terrified to do so. It’s got much more weight to it now.” McKeever himself stars alongside Samuel Maya and Margot Moreland in the production, which runs through July 15.



What: “Monarchs” artist reception

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 N.E. 125thSt., North Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 305/893-6211,

Immigration, one of the signal issues of our time, is just one thread connecting the many disparate artists of “Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly.” Inspired by the dwindling population of monarch butterflies—insects prized for their distinct migratory phenomenon, which spans from Canada to Mexico, at up 2,800 miles of travel—“Monarchs” focuses on artists living and working in the monarchs’ remarkable path. The more than 35 artists run a gamut from indigenous to immigrant to assimilated Americans who incorporate their heritages in their methodology. Basket weaving, copper hammering, quilting and feathers are among the styles and materials on display. You can meet some of the artists at this reception, or you can check out the exhibition during normal museum operating hours through Aug. 5.



What: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness & Friends

Where: Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $27.50-$30

Contact: 954/449-1025,

Singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon has been a staple on alternative radio the past three or four years on the strength of at least three infectious singles—“Cecilia and the Satellite,” “High Dive” and “Fire Escape”—that play to his Ben Folds-like penchant for hooky piano-pop melody. He also has roots in the more ear-pleasing side of emo and college rock thanks to his former projects, Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, respectively. Expect to hear material from all of McMahon’s musical incarnations on this shaggy and loose-limbed “Pen and Piano” tour. Rather than an opening act, McMahon will join solo artist Allen Stone and other bandmates from his sonic history for a more than 30-song set list that also includes covers and obscurities, all performed as stripped-down acoustic renditions.


What: Jason Mewes

Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 10 p.m.

Cost: $22

Contact: 561/833-1812,

Any student of independent film in the 1990s has seen more than her share of Jason Mewes—the Penn Gillette to Kevin Smith’s Teller. Mewes played the chatty, oversexed character of Jay in six of Smith’s features, opposite Smith’s own wordless onscreen avatar, Silent Bob. While the film characters haven’t been completely retired, their makers have moved on to other ventures, most prominently the weekly cult podcast “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old,” in which Mewes muses (sorry) about anything on his mind, even using the platform to explore his history of substance abuse. This may come up on his Florida tour this weekend, though given the venue, he’ll more likely keep the focus on his comedic bread and butter, channeling a personality that has been called “Bugs Bunny with a boner.”



What: Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk

Where: Throughout Downtown Hollywood

When: 5 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/924-2980,

One of the many casualties of South Florida’s recent and unrelenting torrents of rain was May’s Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk, the outdoor bonanza hosted on the third Saturday of each month. Let’s hope Mother Nature takes a breather this Saturday for enough time for one of the region’s most popular art walks to commence. The lively event features a 6 p.m. guided tour of Hollywood’s Downtown Mural Project, which leaves from Anniversary Park on the corner of 20thAvenue and Hollywood Boulevard; a live painting event at 8 p.m.; and live music for much of the night. Be sure to leave time for the Artisan Market, featuring local purveyors offering one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry and gift items along 20thAvenue, between Harrison and Tyler streets.

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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