Friday, April 12, 2024

Your Week Ahead: April 2 to 8, 2024

A jazz-guitar virtuoso honors a rock idol at Arts Garage, emojis take center stage at the Cornell, and Palm Beach Opera mounts a fiery tragedy. Plus, Alan Cumming and more in your week ahead.


What: Las Cafeteras

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

Cost: $35

Contact: 561/832-7469,

This six-piece Chicano band from East Los Angeles cuts a wide musical swath, with a style that coalesces spoken-word poetry with folk music, Afro-Mexican beats and traditional zapateado dancing. Las Cafeteras’ infectious sound has led to collaborations with everyone from the alternative band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Expect to hear unique instruments such as the cajon, jarana jarocha, glockenspiel and Native American flute, on songs that address such urgent issues as civil rights, immigration reform and labor struggles.


What: Opening night of “Emotional Intelligence: Sculpting the Language of the Digital Age”

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Cornell Art Museum, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/654-2220,

Like Andy Warhol before him, artist Matthew LaPenta works with the cultural argot of the zeitgeist, in his case elevating the ubiquitous symbols of the internet age to the hallowed mediums and spaces of fine art. Emojis, used by most of us as transient punctuation in online conversations, become, in LaPenta’s world, solid, three-dimensional fixtures in bronze, generally totaling one to five feet in height. “Emotional Intelligence” features many of the usual suspects—the angel and devil emojis, the lovestruck emoji, the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji—in all of their sleek Pop art permanence, in a show that harkens back to humanity’s pre-language forms of communication. Friday’s opening-night celebration will include a meet-and-greet with LaPenta, live music and refreshments. It’s part of Delray’s First Friday Art Walk, and is one of 19 downtown galleries staying open late to welcome visitors. “Emotional Intelligence” runs through June 30.


Photo by Philip Groshong

What: Palm Beach Opera: “Norma”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

Cost: $25-$180

Contact: 561/832-7469,

Vincenzo Bellini’s rarely produced bel canto masterpiece will close out Palm Beach Opera’s 2024 season on a shattering soprano note, in what will mark the company’s first mounting of “Norma” in 15 years. The opera is set against the backdrop of the Gallic uprising against their Roman occupiers. The title character, a druid high-priestess, broke her vows of chastity when she fell in love with the Roman proconsul Pollione, ultimately mothering two children. But, as true of toxic men in 100 B.C. Gaul as it is today, Pollione began courting a younger woman, Adalgisa. When Norma tries to convince Pollione to take her back, tragedy ensues—leading, literally, to a fiery conclusion.


What: Stanley Jordan Plays Jimi

When: 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach

Cost: $50-$55

Contact: 561/450-6357,

It took only three years into his recording career for Stanley Jordan to release what would become his landmark album: 1985’s Magic Touch introduced many listeners to the prodigious guitarist’s “touch technique,” an all-but-patented formula that allowed Jordan to play both chords and melodies simultaneously and open up new avenues for sonic richness. The album became a groovy cocktail-party classic, topping Billboard’s Jazz charts for 51 weeks. It even contained a surprising cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel,” which may have planted the seed for Jordan’s current venture. In “Stanley Jordan Plays Jimi,” the bandleader jettisons his typical acoustic guitar for an electric, raising the temperature from cool to searing while indulging in what he calls “a fantasy Jimi Hendrix concert if Jimi were still alive and playing today.” He even dresses the part, donning studded black leather and a red headband, with an ace rhythm section laying the foundation for his impassioned tribute.

What: Alan Cumming: “Uncut”

When: 8 p.m.

Where: The Parker, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: $45-$75

Contact: 954/462-0222,

A term like “renaissance man” only scratches the surface of Alan Cumming’s singularly diverse résumé. The puckish Scottish-born thespian got his start on the London stage, performing the work of Shakespeare, Beckett and Kander & Ebb, whose “Cabaret” eventually landed one of Cumming’s defining, Tony-winning roles, as the show’s mischievous Master of Ceremonies. But he hasn’t just stuck to the boards: He’s embraced all forms of new media and entertainment, appearing in movies both commercial and cultish, directing a podcast series, recording a duet with a Gaellic rapper, and even hosting a “Clue”-like murder-mystery reality series, “The Traitors.” He’s worked with legends from Stanley Kubrick to David Bowie and even conceived of a dance theatre piece inspired by Scottish bard Robert Burns. In this brand-new cabaret production, he’ll combine many of his talents—for musical eclecticism, cheeky humor and heartfelt storytelling.

For more of Boca magazine’s arts and entertainment coverage, click here.

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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