Delray “witches” jettison brooms for bikes in a charity ride, mystery authors share horror stories at Murder on the Beach, and Surfer Blood headlines a harrowing Moonfest. Plus, Macbeth, the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, new art at the Norton and more in your week ahead.
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Where: Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, 18900 N.E. 25th Ave., North Miami Beach
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 305/935-4200 ext. 130, jcctheatre.com
This community theatre production examines the repercussions of the kindertransport program—which shuttled nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi Germany and into England following the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938—on a family of three generations. The narrative oscillates between 9-year-old Eva, a German Jew dispatched on one of the original kindertransport trains; and an assimilated, middle-aged Eva in 1980s Britain, who is forced to confront her traumatic childhood when her own precocious daughter discovers her secret. As it is with much community theatre, the quality of acting varies, but director Michael Andron has elicited standout performances from his two youngest actors, and the lighting design is dynamic and evocative. Most of all, “Kindertransport” is worth seeing on the strength of its powerful subject matter, illuminating an important and under-explored aspect of World War II history. It runs through Nov. 5.
What: Opening day of “BRILLIANT: Recent Acquisitions”
Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach
When: noon to 9 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org
In lieu of large-scale exhibitions—which the museum is largely unable to mount while it undergoes its epic facelift—the Norton is continuing its commitment to stellar, intimate, single-room shows including this week’s opening of “BRILLIANT.” The exhibition will showcase works with vivid and intense color, courtesy of an international stable of artists including Dale Chihuly, Arturo Herrera and Michael Craig-Martin. The best time to check it out is at Thursday’s opening during Art after Dark. Curator Glenn Tomlinson will host a conversation about “BRILLIANT” at 6:30 p.m., and FAU’s Chamber Music Ensemble will perform its original takes on alternative rock hits from the likes of Radiohead and Coldplay at 7:30 p.m. Happy hour specials, an art workshop, and Spotlight Talks round out the evening’s festivities.
THURSDAY TO SATURDAY
Where: Evening Star productions, 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/447-8829, eveningstarproductions.org
“Macbeth,” aka Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play,” is considered the Bard’s shortest tragedy. But in theatre, “short” is relative: Shakespeare’s five acts typically clock in at two and a half hours. This adaptation from Evening Star Productions, however, lives up to “Macbeth’s” diminutive reputation, condensing the harrowing story of greed, power, bloodlust and civil war into a lean one-act production. This special, three-night-only, budget-friendly show is the inaugural entry in Evening Star’s “Sol After Dark” series, whose performances are supplemented each night by refreshments and talkbacks, which are included in the admission. Sara Elizabeth Grant will direct a cast of four in this uniquely intimate take on “Macbeth,” whose murderous narrative makes it an ideal selection for pre-Halloween entertainment.
What: Opening day of “Lucky”
Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 709 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
When: 3 p.m.
Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org
The death of 94-year-old character actor Harry Dean Stanton, just over a month ago, has heightened the focus on “Lucky,” his final starring role, whose very subject is the encroachment of death. Stanton cuts a gaunt, spectral figure in his small town in the arid Southwest—his cowboy hat, pack of smokes and salty demeanor blending into the topography around him. A daily presence at the local diner, bar and convenience store, Lucky’s routine is interrupted by an inexplicable mid-morning tumble that leads to a doctor’s visit and the realization that sometimes, “the body just breaks down.” This prompts an existential crisis and spiritual re-evaluation, in what gradually evolves into a character study of profound depth. Thanks to a screenplay studded with Zen koans and poetic subplots—including a touching fable about a local barfly (David Lynch) and his runaway tortoise—“Lucky” soothes as well as haunts. Deftly balancing humor and raw insight, it’s the sort of film I’d watch for comfort when it comes time to shed my mortal coil and gaze into the void. You can also catch it Friday at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.
What: Opening night of Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Where: Various venues, including Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood and Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale
When: Various show times
Contact: 954/525-3456, fliff.com
This longtime festival’s 32nd annual incarnation is arguably its most star-studded lineup in years, with multi-hyphenate South Florida legend Burt Reynolds and award-winning actors Karen Allen and Graham Greene appearing live to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. In total, 160 films from 48 countries will screen over three jam-packed weeks. There’s also a strong contingency of locally shot films, including Friday’s opening-night premiere of “The Girlfriend Killer” (pictured), a stylish thriller. Throughout the festival, FLIFF will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the European Film Awards by screening those awards’ top film from each year from 1988 to 2016. These classic titles begin Friday afternoon with a triple feature of “A Short Film About Killing,” “Landscape in the Mist” and “Kids.” For the complete schedule, visit fliff.com.
What: Sixth-annual Witches of Delray Beach Bike Ride
Where: Atlantic Avenue, from A1A to the Delray Beach GreenMarket
When: Oct. 28, bright and early
Cost: $25 in advance/$30 day of the ride
Local witches gather each year to raise money for the Achievement Centers for Children and Families, a nonprofit organization serving the area’s most vulnerable children and families. Rather than brooms, they ride decorated bikes along a designated route stretching from the beach to Old School Square Park, which will be welcoming the return of the Delray Beach GreenMarket. At the end of the charity ride, prizes will be awarded for Best Decorated Bike and Best Witch Costume. (A competition for Best Witch Cackle will be held during the “Witches Brew” happy hour at Tim Finnegans Irish Pub on Friday.) If you head downtown to hang with the witches on Saturday morning, plan to stick around. There’s more spooky fun to be had downtown, from trick-or-treating along the Avenue to the Halloween Parade and Halloween Kids Fest, a free family event sponsored by the city featuring live entertainment, a bounce house, food vendors, a make-and-take craft area and more.
Where: Downtown West Palm Beach at Clematis Street
When: 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Cost: $10 ($75 for VIP tickets)
Break out your most frightening zombie, vampire, witch or Trump costume at West Palm Beach’s biggest Halloween bash. Surfer Blood (pictured), arguably the most famous indie band to form in West Palm, will headline a high-energy lineup of live music, along with 14 other Florida bands and DJs on three stages. (Surfer Blood even has a bona fide Halloween hit, in 2013’s “Demon Dance”!) But Moonfest offers a lot more than tunes: For an additional $8, you can test your nerves of steel at a haunted house on the 500 block of Clematis, next to Subculture Coffee. There’s also an art village, a laser light show, 3D projections, food trucks and a costume contest, with the winner taking home $1,000.
MONDAY, OCT. 30
What: 2017 Day Before Halloween Party
Where: Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach
When: 6 to 8 p.m.
Spend the day before Halloween with wordsmiths who specialize in macabre tales of horror and mystery at this longtime tradition of downtown Delray’s independent bookstore. Discuss the dark literary arts with guest authors Charles Todd, Nancy J. Cohen, Sue Cox, M.C.V. Egan, Prudy Taylor Board, Victoria Landis, Carol White, Randy Rawls, D.J. Niko, Sharon Menear, Fred Lichtenberg and Laura Burke. Attendees can enjoy “Scary Snacks” and “Revolting Refreshments.” Costumes are optional and encouraged, and you’ll receive a free gift with every store purchase. And the event ends early, allowing plenty of time to extend your night at one of Pineapple Grove’s great restaurants.