The Morikami’s latest exhibition is all smiles, a horse isn’t just a horse at Palm Beach Dramaworks, and the South Florida Science Center gets spaced-out and hopped-up. Plus, She Wants Revenge, a Bob Dylan birthday bash, “The Rider” and more in your week ahead.
What: “The Rider”
Where: Regal Shadowood 16, 9889 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 11:15 a.m., 1:50 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 8:20 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Fiction and documentary merge like the strands of a life-affirming double helix in this minor-key masterpiece from Chinese director Chloe Zhao. Shot in the badlands of South Dakota, it charts the drifting fallout of a near-fatal head injury on a champion rodeo rider named Brady Blackburn (Brandy Jandreau). Told by his doctors not to ride again, he’s forced to find a new purpose in the meager existence he shares with his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father, his Asperger’s-suffering sister, and his beloved equines—reminders of the life he’ll probably never live again. Zhao cast a real-life injured rider and his family as fictionalized versions of themselves, endowing the movie with a singular authenticity. Suffused with melancholy, sensitivity and insight, and buoyed by elegiac cinematography of a still-unspoiled northwestern territory, “The Rider” is both specific and universal, asking the challenging question, What would you do in life when forced to abandon your entire identity? The answer, it turns out, is moving beyond words. See this film before it closes: It plays at least through Thursday at Shadowood, along with Living Room Theaters at FAU and Movies of Delray.
What: Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration
Where: Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $7 advance, $10 day of show
Contact: 561/395-2929, funkybiscuit.com
Bob Dylan turns 77 next week, and to celebrate another year around the sun for the iconoclastic genius and controversial Nobel Prize winner, the Funky Biscuit has enlisted South Florida’s preeminent Dylan tribute act, Big Brass Bed, to perform a set of his favorites and deep cuts. Fronted by New York expat folkie Rod MacDonald, and named after a lyric in “Lay Lady Lay,” Big Brass Bed has an oeuvre of more than 50 Dylan tunes, from sing-alongs like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Maggie’s Farm” to lesser-known masterworks “From a Buick 6” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” and its sound captures the many genres and textures of Dylan’s still-thriving career.
What: Science on Tap
Where: Civil Society Brewing Company, 1200 Town Center Drive, Unit 101, Jupiter
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/370-7740, sfsciencecenter.org
Science on Tap is one of our favorite recurring events from the South Florida Science Center, because it combines two of our favorite things: craft brews and the expansion of knowledge. Uniting hops connoisseurs with science geeks, this month’s casual-education café will feature a presentation from Peter J. Chitko, a NASA Mechanical Systems Division Technical Integration Manager at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Chitko has worked for NASA for more than three decades, and his areas of expertise are manifold, not to mention super-cool: They include launch pad mechanical systems, environmental control systems, space shuttle solid rocket boosters and pyrotechnics. So take a break from binging the “Lost in Space” Netflix reboot for one night, and see what’s really going on in the cosmos.
What: Opening night of “Equus”
Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
When: 7 p.m. party, 8 p.m. show time
Cost: $90 ($74 for remainder of run)
Contact: 561/514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org
A horse is a horse, you say? Au contraire, as this equine-assisted psychodrama from playwright Peter Shaffer reminds us. Taking inspiration from a real-life crime in which a 17-year-old boy inexplicably blinded six horses in a small U.K. town, Shaffer’s 1973 mystery attempts to construct a motive. While plumbing the teenager’s mental recesses, the confounded child psychologist begins to explore his own existential unease. Themes of religious idolatry, ritual sacrifice, sexual perversion and Greek mythology roll around in the movie’s thematic hay, which may or may not include mechanized or pantomimed onstage horses. Though its Freudian ideas may sound a bit mothballed, “Equus” retains its hypnotic and provocative hold on audiences, as its 2008 Broadway revival—with a notoriously naked Daniel Radcliffe—reminded us. It plays through June 3.
What: Opening night of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Where: Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 N.W. Ninth St., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/272-12821 ext. 5, delraybeachplayhouse.com
Nobody could accuse Randolph Del Lago, artistic director of this community theater, of backing away from a challenge. For the closing production of the playhouse’s 2017/2018 season, his nonprofessional cast will take on one of the titanic achievements of the American stage, Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” At three acts and nearly three hours long, Albee’s chamber drama centers on a calcified middle-aged couple who air their drunken grievances over the course of a night, their insults stabbing like knives—much of them performed in front of two surprise visitors, a younger couple, whom they rope into their pathologies. Albee’s drama was a phenomenon in its 1962 premiere, when it was marketed as “the most talked-about, most exciting play of the year.” Expect it to have a similar impact more than 50 years later. See it through June 3.
What: Opening day of “Unexpected Smiles: Seven Types of Humor in Japanese Paintings”
Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org
Comedy has always been one of the most important responses to repressive regimes, serving as a comforting balm against the strict orders of the ruling class. So it was during Japan’s Edo period, where humor flourished despite the humorlessness of the shoguns in charge. This exhibition focuses on the “unexpected smiles” encouraged by the work of the wittiest Japanese artists of the time. Divided into seven categories—Parody, Satire, Personification, Wordplay, Fantasy, Exaggeration and Playfulness—these 48 paintings cover a spectrum of styles and subjects. While you’re there, check out the Morikami’s other exhibition opening Saturday, the similarly playful showcase of “Edo-Gama: Japanese Spinning Tops.” Both run through Aug. 5.
What: She Wants Revenge
Where: Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
When: 9 p.m.
Toiling in the bleak, black soundscapes of Joy Division, Bauhaus and the Cure, California’s She Wants Revenge briefly revived that seminal goth rock sound—one that peaked around 1982—with a handful of minor hits in the mid-Aughts. Leading with guitarist Justin Warfield’s factory-churned vocals and libidinous lyrics, She Wants Revenge had virtually disbanded by the time its 2005 single, “Tear You Apart,” played over a Lady Gaga sex scene in a 2015 “American Horror Story” episode, prompting renewed interest in the group’s three moody, twitchy albums. Just eight months after headlining Respectable Street’s 30th anniversary party last September, She Wants Revenge will play to the trenchcoat-clad crowd once again at this intimate appearance, along with opening acts Boston Marriage and Grinder 6.