A Broadway musical brilliantly riffs on Broadway musicals, one of today’s biggest political newsmakers visits Miami, and a classic French film director gets a brand-new biopic. Plus, Queens of the Stone Age, Kris Kristofferson, Ballet Palm Beach and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Something Rotten”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Musical theatre eats itself in this hilarious Renaissance-set comedy. It follows struggling actors the Bottom Brothers, who run an unsuccessful theatre company in 1595 England. Frustrated with continually being outshone by their rival, a blinged-up and egomaniacal William Shakespeare, they visit a psychic, who intuits a new genre—the musical—which will serve as their golden ticket. As the Bottoms develop their show, “Something Rotten” peppers dozens of references to Broadway musicals throughout its ingenious book, lyrics and choreography. It runs through May 6 only.
What: Queens of the Stone Age
Where: Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/358-7550, bayfrontparkmiami.com
California’s Queens of the Stone Age, a rock band formed by a bunch of dudes, took the “queens” name to tamp down any suggestion of macho swagger. Charismatic frontman Josh Homme once said, “Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls.” That just about nails the appeal of Queens of the Stone Age’s droney, sludgy but increasingly polished brand of indie metal, a heavy but accessible holdover from a more amplified era in music history. Homme’s crisp, incisive lyrics lay rugged poetry atop furnace blasts of repetitive guitar squall, achieving the kind of hypnotic escapism often reserved for electronic music. The band is self-effacing enough to allow Will Ferrell’s fictional cowbellist to perform with them on a now-iconic “SNL” appearance, yet serious enough about its music to spend years between albums perfecting each batch of songs. See the Queens jam out to their stellar ninth album Villains, as well as favorites from their 20-year history.
What: Kris Kristofferson
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
He’s a living legend now, but in the mid-‘60s, Kris Kristofferson was just a floor sweeper for Columbia Records in Nashville. As the story goes, he met June Carter there and gave her a demo tape to pass on to her husband. When weeks went by without a follow-up, he landed a helicopter onto Johnny Cash’s front lawn. This was typical of Kristofferson’s outlaw persona, establishing him as a rebel who would, over the next 50 years of recording and touring, expand the parameters of country music beyond the slick and overproduced Nashville sound. At 81, he remains indefatigable, performing set lists of nearly 30 songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Loving Her Was Easier” and other enduring classics.
What: James Comey
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Whether you view him as a self-aggrandizing opportunist or a vital check on presidential corruption, former FBI director James Comey is one of the most important public figures in media and politics in 2018. Thus, his appearance at the Arsht is, to paraphrase Joe Biden on another matter, a big effin’ deal. Not many touring authors would warrant a $45 admission price, but each Comey lecture has the potential to be newsworthy. Expect some tough questions from the audience, as Comey has accrued frenemies on both sides of the political aisle. Each ticket includes a copy of Comey’s new book A Higher Loyalty, currently No. 1 on the Times best-seller list.
What: Opening night of “An Accident”
Where: Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Playwright Lydia Stryk is a textbook example of transforming a personal tragedy into a work of art. In 2003, while on her bicycle, she was struck by a hit-and-run driver, the aftermath of which changed her in unforeseen ways. The trauma stayed with her for years until she channeled it into a play, which premiered in 2010. Titled “An Accident,” it’s set largely in the hospital room where a hit-and-run victim is recovering, but don’t let this potentially downbeat setting scare you away. Imagining a scenario in which the perpetrator of the felony stays by the victim’s bedside and begins a conversation, “An Accident” mixes suspense, eroticism and even humor, planting it firmly in the wheelhouse of edgy Fort Lauderdale company Primal Forces. Director Keith Garsson’s production, starring Elizabeth Price and Nicholas Wilder, runs through May 27.
What: Opening night of “Godard Mon Amour”
Where: Movies of Delray, 7421 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
When: Show times pending
Contact: 561/638-0020, moviesofdelray.com
One of world cinema’s brilliant curmudgeons, Jean-Luc Godard is arguably the most important director of the French New Wave movement, the renegade auteur behind ‘60s classics “Breathless,” “Contempt” and “My Life to Live,” who is still innovating well into the aughts. A visionary with little talent for conventional structure, he’s an unlikely subject for a straightforward biopic, so here’s hoping “Godard Mon Amour,” which dramatizes Godard’s period of cinematic, political and romantic turmoil in 1968 France, is imbued with some of the trailblazing imagination of its subject’s own movies. Certainly its director, Michel Hazanavicius of “The Artist” fame, knows a thing or two about transporting audiences to an earlier cinematic time. If nothing else, “Godard Mon Amour” looks awfully funny; it’s been prized by critics for its sly comedy. It also opens Friday at Movies of Lake Worth.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
What: Ballet Palm Beach
Where: Eissey Campus Theatre, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 561/207-5900, palmbeachstate.edu
Thanks to its magical, effervescent setting, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the Bard’s most appealing plays to adapt for the ballet. George Balanchine certainly thought so; when it premiered in New York City, his version of the story was the great choreographer’s first completely original full-length ballet. Deploying the original music Felix Mendelssohn wrote for Shakespeare’s “Midsummer,” Balanchine’s ballet eschews the play-within-a-play formalism of the original but captures its charming love triangles and pixie delights. It’ll close Ballet Palm Beach’s 2017/2018 season, and interestingly enough, it has a South Florida connection: Edward Villella, the retired artistic director of Miami City Ballet, danced the lead role in its 1962 premiere.