Friday, July 19, 2024

The Week Ahead: May 23 to 29

West Palm Beach hosts art fair and food walk, alternative bands ride the Undertow Jam, and Boca Ballet Theatre dances a family classic. Plus, Idina Menzel, Richard Dawkins, John Kasich and more in your week ahead.



What: Idina Menzel

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $69-$189

Contact: 954/462-0222,

One of the undisputed powerhouses of musical theatre, Idina Menzel has created benchmark performances in at least two of the most acclaimed and attended musicals of the past quarter-century: She was the original Maureen in “Rent,” and the original Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, in “Wicked.” But this multitalented mezzo-soprano has also captured hearts on screens large and small—as Elsa in “Frozen,” and in a recurring role on “Glee”—and is an accomplished recording artist. Menzel’s world tour continues to support her 2016 self-titled album, “idina,” with its mix of personal confessionals and uplifting inspirational songs. Her powerful live performances are a multimedia smorgasbord of original tunes, Broadway numbers popularized frin her stage career, and pop covers from the likes of the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.



What: “Pairings”

Where: Downtown West Palm Beach

When: 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $25


West Palm Beach’s answer to the long-lost Tastemakers of Delray Beach, this sixth-annual food and wine stroll offers visitors bite-sized introductions to one of the county’s hottest culinary scenes. Presented by SunFest and the West Palm Beach DDA, “Pairings” features free samples of food and drinks at participating restaurants including Ganache, ER Bradley’s, Leila, Bistro 1001, Clematis Pizza and Banko Cantina, along with specials at Palm Beach Dramaworks, Ultima Fitness, Run & Roll and more. A portion of proceeds will benefit Best Buddies of Palm Beach.


Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivers his State of the State address at the Performing Arts Center, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Medina, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

What: John Kasich book signing

Where: Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables

When: 5 p.m.

Cost: $27.99 book purchase

Contact: 305/442-4408,

During his admittedly overextended run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, John Kasich seemed a man out of time: a polite, baby-kissing, old-school politico in an era of cruel browbeating and pitchfork populism. Yet by refusing to roll in the muck of a disgusting campaign cycle, Kasich attracted moderates on both sides to his message of civility and unification; Republicans see him as a welcome return to the hopeful, “Shining City on a Hill” party ethos, and Democrats see him as one of the good ones—a G.O.P. politician not bought and sold by the Freedom Caucus. He’ll likely pump fists and share ideas with both demographics at this evening appearance at Books and Books. Kasich won’t speak—it’s an autographing only—and a purchase of his new book Two Paths: America Divided or United is required for a spot in line.


What: Opening night of “Chuck”

Where: Regal Shadowood 16, 9889 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $10-$13

Contact: 844/462-7342 ext. 175,

When I think of the versatile actor Liev Schreiber, I don’t necessarily think “boxer”—which is partly what makes this star vehicle so intriguing. Schreiber disappears into the part of real-life Bayonne, N.J. pugilist Chuck Wepner, whose famous 1975 spar with Muhammed Ali inspired the character of Rocky Balboa. But this rough-and-tumble, humor-laced biopic by director Philippe Falardeau focuses less on Chuck’s prizefighting acumen and more on his 15 minutes of fame, post-“Rocky,” which involved, among other pay-per-views novelties, boxing a bear. Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan and Ron Perlman round out the all-star cast. The film also opens Friday at Movies of Lake Worth and AMC CityPlace in West Palm Beach.



What: West Palm Beach Spring Art Festival

Where: Danieli Art World, 925 N. Railroad Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/537-1135,

The atmosphere of a hip arts districts meets the high culture of an international art fair at this inaugural three-day affair spearheaded by local super-collector Daniel Bouaziz. With expert curatorial assistance from Boynton Art District guru Rolando Chang Barrero, the festival features 50 European and American artists creating makeshift galleries inside decorated shipping containers in Bouaziz’s sprawling Danieli Art World venue. Artists like Iena Cruz, Giants in the City and Beju will create sculptural installations at the event, which also features live entertainment and food from Islander Grill on Singer Island.



What: Richard Dawkins in Conversation With Dave Barry

Where: Olympia Theater, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $29

Contact: 305/374-2444,

Now here’s an odd pair to share a stage: Richard Dawkins, the English evolutionary biologist and strident forerunner of the New Atheism; and Dave Barry, the Miami comic essayist for whom seriousness is a career risk. Point of fact, both of these high-profile writers frequently inject humor into their writings, both are gregarious media personalities, and both seek the truth through their polemics and/or journalism, albeit in divergent ways. But it’s their differences in tenor and tone that make this conversation, part of Dawkins’ American speaking tour, so fascinating and unpredictable. The two will discuss science, secularism and current events on the Olympia stage, following by an audience Q&A and book signing of Dawkins’ latest collection, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist.


Boogie Woogie

What: Boca Ballet Theatre’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Other Ballets

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/995-0709,

“Peter and the Wolf,” the gold standard of educational story-compositions in the classical music canon, will headline this program by Boca Raton’s premier ballet company. At this free community event, Boca Ballet Theatre’s dancers will enact Prokofiev’s adventurous narrative of wolves, ducks, birds, cats and more, along with selections from another fairy tale ballet, “Enchanted Garden,” and the nostalgic “Just Swinging.”


What: Undertow Jam

Where: Pompano Beach Amphitheater, 1806 N.E. Sixth St., Pompano Beach

When: Noon to 10 p.m.

Cost: $30-$95

Contact: 954/519-5500,

Since its stratospheric launch just under two years ago, 104.3-FM The Shark has tapped into the growing market for alternative music locally, while “breaking” countless new bands for eager South Floridian ears. A handful of these up-and-coming alt-rockers will join well-established headliners Grouplove (pictured) for the rock station’s annual Undertow fest, a rollicking survey of an average hour of Shark listening. Lo-fi hip-hop sensation K. Flay (“High Enough”), German indie-folk duo Milky Chance (“Stolen Dance”), danceable rockers Dreamers (“Sweet Disaster”) and COIN (“Talk Too Much”) and Fort Worth’s infectious Unlikely Candidates (“Follow My Feet”) are among the stellar opening acts.

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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