Miami City Ballet opens its bejeweled season at the Kravis, Frank Stella gets a 300-piece close-up in Fort Lauderdale, and a punk pioneer brings atonal howls to Miami. Plus, Waxahatchee, Wallace Shawn, the Bumper Jacksons and more in your week ahead.
What: “Dog Years”
Where: Cinema Paradiso, 2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
When: 1 p.m.
Contact: 954/342-9137, fliff.com
As the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival wends to a close, this may be your last opportunity to catch this Burt Reynolds drama on the big screen. He plays a version of himself—a former A-list movie star in purgatorial retirement, wiling away his days with his loyal dog and lunch dates with his friend Sonny (Chevy Chase). Things seem to turn around for Reynolds’ character when he’s offered a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nashville Film Festival. The plot of “Dog Years” is remarkably similar to an earlier 2017 movie, “The Hero.” But the promise of Reynolds, one of Palm Beach County’s preeminent arts ambassadors, in his first meaty role in many years is too enticing to pass up.
What: An Evening With Wallace Shawn
Where: Chapman Conference Center at Miami-Dade College, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/237-3258, miamibookfair.com
Wallace Shawn has made more money voicing a T-Rex in “Toy Story” and drinking the poison in “The Princess Bride” than on any of his more earth-shattering projects, but that’s just the nature of the biz. Anyone who’s seen his cerebral cult classic “My Dinner With Andre” or his shattering performance in the Ibsen adaptation “A Master Builder” knows he’s capable of more than commercial comedy. In fact, when he’s not acting, he’s a deep thinker, playwright and book author. At this Miami Book Fair appearance, he’ll be discussing his 2017 tome Night Thoughts, in which he tackles, per the Book Fair’s website, “the most essential questions about our world, including civilization, morality, Beethoven, 11th-century Japanese court poetry, and his hopes for a better world.” You know—shallow stuff like that.
Where: Gramps, 176 N.W. 24th St., Miami
When: 9 p.m.
This Birmingham four-piece represents the best of indie rock, or at least the way indie rock used to be in its guitar-driven ‘90s heyday. Across four albums of fuzz, chime and bone-scraping vulnerability, songwriter and bandleader Katie Crutchfield has evoked the best artists of a bygone era of female-fronted rock ‘n’ roll—Liz Phair, Velocity Girl, Helium—with confessional lyrics to match. The band’s production values have increased since its 2013 breakthrough Cerulean Salt, and it has navigated this evolution better than most lo-fi bedroom rockers. The group’s fully produced 2017 LP Out in the Storm is one of this year’s best records, losing none of Crutchfield’s brutal, damning and occasionally self-critical dissections of relationships, which has made her one of today’s top lyricists.
What: Bumper Jacksons
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
The founding members of the Bumper Jacksons discovered their sound on “the lawn of a radical bike house in Washington, D.C.,” whatever that is. It served this adventurous septet well. Its players hail from nowhere and everywhere, combining disparate genres from distinct regions into a trailblazing goulash of melody all their own. Most specifically, the Bumper Jacksons marry the brassy pomp of New Orleans jazz with the rustic front-porch harmonies of Appalachian bluegrass, a sound more influenced by the crackle of vintage 78s than the glistening sheen of contemporary pop. Banjoist Chris Ousley, boasting a lumberjack beard and hip-to-be-square suspenders, and washboard virtuoso Jess Eliot lead the group’s three albums of re-imagined roots music. Their bandmates contribute upright bass, percussion, pedal-steel guitar, trombone, trumpet and other instruments that sound equally great around campfires and bayous, cities and hollars.
What: Frank Stella: “Experiment and Change”
Where: NSU Art Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 954/525-5500, nsuartmuseum.org
Care to brush up on the work of Abstract Expressionist pioneer Frank Stella? This massive retrospective in downtown Fort Lauderdale is as comprehensive a starting point as I can conjure. Stella emerged in the late 1950s favoring bright colors, flat planes and negative space, honing a singular style across various traditional and digital media, and outlasting most of his peers from the Expressionist movement. “Experiment and Change,” curated by NSU’s own Bonnie Clearwater, features approximately 300 paintings, sculptures and drawings—including “Deauville,” his 45-foot-long replication of a thoroughbred racetrack—plus never-before-seen notes, sketches and maquettes. This may very well be the exhibition of the season. It opened last weekend, and it runs through July 8, 2018.
What: Lydia Lunch
Where: Churchill’s, 5501 N.E. Second Ave., Miami
When: 9 p.m.
Contact: 305/757-1807, churchillspub.com
Lydia Lunch is one of the undisputed queens of anti-establishment noise music, having established her bona fides leading the tuneless but exhilarating New York No Wave band Teenage Jesus & the Jerks in the late ‘70s. Lunch’s thrilling, atonal howl could—and did—inspire anyone to pick up a guitar and exorcise their torment, but few have forged such iconic careers off its unlikely success. Lydia Lunch has enjoyed collaborations with Sonic Youth, Nick Cave and members of Wilco and the Thrill Kill Cult, always releasing her work independently and with an absence of mainstream support. As she told an interviewer in 2009, “I want to be a voice of articulation which summarizes all the frustrations that a minority of people share—a sexual minority, a political minority, an intellectual minority.” See her preach to the minority choir at this rare South Florida appearance, which includes material from her solo career as well as her previous projects.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: Miami City Ballet: Program I
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 305/929-7010, miamicityballet.org
Miami City Ballet opens its season on a sparkling note with George Balanchine’s three-act ballet, “Jewels.” The individual parts—“Emeralds,” “Rubies” and “Diamonds,” set to the music of Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively—showcase dancers dressed like shimmering gems. In particular, Balanchine was inspired by the brilliance of Claude Arpels. “Jewels” is widely regarded as the first full-length plotless ballet, a landmark work in design, orchestration and choreography that traverses jazzy wit and imperial Russian-style grandeur alike.
MONDAY (NOV. 20)
What: Screening of “Jungle” and Q&A with Yossi Ghinsberg
Where: Levis JCC, 9901 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/558-2514, bocajff.org
The Levis JCC, in conjunction with the forthcoming Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival, is hosting the regional premiere of “Jungle,” a fact-based adventure movie about Israeli explorer Yossi Ghinsberg—who, to his family’s dismay, embarked on a quest for a lost Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest following his mandatory military service. Daniel Radcliffe, of “Harry Potter” fame, portrays Ghinsberg in the movie, but this special event allows attendees converse with the man behind the movie about his harrowing jungle ordeal, and any liberties the filmmakers may have taken with his story.