Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Your Week Ahead: May 22 to 28

Nineties rap and alternative stars go “Old School” at Mizner Park, Broadway’s subversive puppet show comes to West Palm, and the Broward Center dances through 70 years of Israeli history. Plus, Herbie Hancock, Jon Meacham and more in your week ahead.



What: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Jazz Band with Herbie Hancock

Where: Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20-$40

Contact: 954/344-5990,

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock’s 2018 tour doesn’t commence until mid-June, but he’s making an early, low-key appearance on Tuesday at this one-of-a-kind benefit concert for the Alex Schachter Scholarship Foundation as well as the MSD and Coral Springs Middle School band programs. The 14-time Grammy winner and composer behind “Watermelon Man,” “Maiden Voyage” and countless jazz staples will perform alongside the MSD jazz band students in what promises to be an emotional performance—one that arrives, tragically, just four days after another school shooting that has captured national attention. Hancock isn’t the only special guest to take the stage Tuesday: the students will also play with Lincoln Center jazz artist Wycliffe Gordon and Paquito D’Rivera, another 14-time Grammy winner.


What: Jon Meacham

Where: Miami-Dade Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $30 admits two, and includes a signed copy of the book

Contact: 305/442-4408,

A voice of studious calm in a raging media tempest, Jon Meacham has been everywhere of late—the morning shows, the evening shows, the late-night shows, the weekend shows and the Sunday shows, bruiting the message of his new book, which is essentially, “we’ve been here before, and we’ll make it through.” Borrowing Lincoln’s famous verbiage for his subtitle, Meacham’s The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angelsis the renowned presidential historian’s eighth book. It’s arguably his most sweeping tome, covering political and cultural setbacks and subsequent national rebounds from the Civil War and Reconstruction to the McCarthy hearings and the Jim Crow era. Donald Trump’s supposedly unprecedented nativism looms in the shadows of the book, with Meacham reminding us that the 45th president is not such an outlier after all. He’ll discuss the book and current events at this “Evening With…” appearance in Miami.



What: Screening of “The Body Collector” with special guest

Where: Levis JCC Sandler Center Beifield Auditorium, 21050 95thAve. S., Boca Raton

When: 1 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 561/558-2520,

If you missed the historic Dutch drama “The Body Collector” at the Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival this past March, Levis JCC is offering a second chance during its monthly series of encore presentations. Art, journalism and Nazi war crimes are among the subjects of this fact-based saga, which centers on the hunt for slippery ex-Nazi Pieter Menten. Retired in the Amsterdam high life, Menten decides to auction off his collection of stolen art, which leads ace reporter Hans Knoop to ferret around Menten’s past and reopen the wounds of the Holocaust in a dogged effort to finally prosecute this seemingly untouchable fascist. If you’re wondering just how much of the movie was fact and how much was embellished for dramatic effect, you’re in luck: Hans Knoop himself, now 75, is the JCC’s special guest for this screening.


2. Kate Ryan

What: Opening night of “Avenue Q”

Where: Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $55

Contact: 561/832-7469,

The descriptor “an adult Sesame Street” doesn’t do justice to this most durable of 21st century stage hits, which ran for more than 2,500 performances during its six-year Broadway run, making it the most popular puppet show in musical-theatre history. Featuring 11 felt puppets hand-operated and voiced by unconcealed, black-clad actors, the “monsters” in question are recent college graduates and other underpaid millennials searching for their purposes in the big, scary city, addressing themes of economics, romance, inclusion, sexuality and other resonant themes alongside spirited puppet coitus and now-classic songs such as “The Internet is for Porn,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “It Sucks to Be Me.” This entirely South Florida-designed and cast production from MNM Theatre Company runs through June 10.


What: Opening day of “Sid Grossman” exhibition

Where: Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: $12-$16

Contact: 305/375-3000,

The photography world lost Sid Grossman far too early when he died of a heart attack, at 55, at age 42. But he accomplished a great deal in his short time in the New York art world, despite being persecuted by the U.S. government for much of it. Grossman’s legacy is tied up with the Communist Party, and he was most certainly a people’s photographer: In 1934, he started the Photo League, an activist photography organization with a mostly Jewish-American membership, and many of his most famous works document the squalid living conditions and substandard tenements that housed New York City’s poorest residents. But he was more than a point-and-shoot realist; while serving in Panama as an enlistee in the U.S. Army in 1943, his approach changed, becoming less dogmatically political and more aesthetically experimental. Both sides of this impassioned photographer will be on display in this PAMM exhibition, which runs through Oct. 28.



What: LOTOS Music Festival

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

When: 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $49.50-$275

Contact: 800/745-3000,

There will be an abundance of hands in the air and booties shaking at Mizner Park’s annual LOTOS music festival, which, for the uninitiated, stands for “Legends of the Old School.” Previous LOTOS gatherings have brought together bands from the ‘80s New Wave movement, but this year’s eclectic lineup is driven less by keyboards, synths and misguided haircuts than by thumping bass, infectious beats and more than a few outrageously sexualized lyrics. Rhymin’-n-Stealin’, a note-perfect Beastie Boys tribute, opens the festival, followed by Miami’s onetime controversy magnets 2 Live Crew, the Pharcyde, Slick Rick, Inner Circle, Everlast and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. They all pave the way for headliners Cypress Hill, the weed-worshipping “Insane in the Membrane” hit-makers.


What: Israeli Dance Festival

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

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $18-$50

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Now in its 22nd year, Festival Yachad’s Israeli Dance Festival welcomes more than 500 young dancers, with local groups joining dance companies from Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Panama and Israel, for a nostalgic revue of Israeli folk music. Elaborate costumes, scenery and lighting designs will enhance the performance, with each choreographed routine designed to evoke a difference rhythm and cultural component. This year’s gala theme is a powerful one, celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary.

John Thomason
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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