Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Your Week Ahead: April 30 to May 6

An air-travel disaster inspires harrowing theatre, the Morikami’s new exhibit flies high, and Freddie Mercury is reborn in Fort Lauderdale. Plus, E.L. James, Food Truck Fridays, the Overnight Theatre Project and more in your week ahead.


What: “One Night of Queen”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $38-$58

Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com

Freddie Mercury may be an inimitable iconoclast, but if there’s anybody that can rightly claim to carry his torch, it’s Gary Mullen, a singer-songwriter who rose to fame with his show-winning impersonation of Mercury in the British competition series “Stars in Their Eyes” in 2000. For the past 17 years, he’s been touring with his band, The Works, in the theatrical tribute “One Night of Queen,” in which he marries the late rocker’s range, pitch and onstage flamboyance with an already uncanny resemblance to Mercury. The result is the closest thing we’re likely to get to a Queen concert circa 1985, with all the hits—“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” et al—turning up in the two-hour concert. Mullen even employs a modified, custom-built lighting rig set to the exact specifications of Queen’s mid-80s performances.


What: An Evening With E.L. James

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$55

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

With such purple and indecisive prose as “his voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something,” E.L. James’ Fifty Shades series was never going to be shortlisted for Pulitzers. But with 150 million copies sold worldwide, and more than $1 billion grossed at the box office, James’ franchise, which mainstreamed BDSM for readers worldwide, is a cultural phenomenon with mass appeal. James’ latest book The Mister,released this month, begins a new series charting the mysterious romance of an aristocratic Englishmen and a mysterious traveler in modern-day London, and it follows in the erotic footsteps of her predecessor. At this appearance, she’ll discuss the novel and her legacy in an exclusive conversation with Mitch Kaplan, Books & Books founder and the literary face of Miami. Each full-priced ticket includes a copy of The Mister.


What: Food Truck Fridays

Where: Countess de Hoernle Park, 1000 N.W. Spanish River Blvd., Boca Raton

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/367-7073, myboca.us/specialevents

As spring melts into summer, the city of Boca Raton’s activities slate will undergo its seasonal shift, jettisoning some events and adding others. With that in mind, we have just two more Food Truck Fridays, in May and June, before it’s wheels up and away until next season. This Friday’s lunchtime cuisine will feature mobile offerings from Taco Inn, Empanada Top, Churrasco Grill, Las Mexicanas, Tacos Veracruz, Reggae Beets Vegan and Tikiz Ice Cream. Victoria Cardona, a hardworking “one-woman jam band” from West Palm Beach, will provide live music, looping her rhythm section for a groovy, hypnotic sound.

What: Opening night of “The Beach Bum”

Where: Savor Cinema, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

When: Show times pending

Cost: $9-$12

Contact: 954/525-3456, fliff.com

“The Beach Bum,” director Harmony Korine’s first feature since 2012’s cult hit “Spring Breakers,” follows that movie’s hedonistic vapor trail. The title character, also known as Moondog, is a pot-smoking, beer-drinking, hard-partying, free-loving poet in the Florida Keys who, despite his ever-creeping middle age, still acts like an adolescent forever on holiday. Could Moondog be portrayed by anyone butMatthew McConaughey? Of course not, and so the star of “Dazed and Confused,” “Surfer, Dude,” “Magic Mike” and many an existential car commercial dominates the sun-kissed canvas of “The Beach Bum,” playing plays a kind of Jimmy Buffett-meets-Ernest Hemingway-meets-Hunter Thompson type who is finally forced to get his act together and finish his endless Great American Novel. Buffett himself appears in the movie’s eclectic supporting ensemble, which also includes Snoop Dogg, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher and Martin Lawrence. An Academy Award contender it probably isn’t, but the laughs could be as copious as the bong hits.


What: Opening day of “Falling Water, Soaring Kites”

Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $9-$15 museum admission

Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org

The Japanese knew there was something to the shape of water long before Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar-winning exploration of piscine intercourse. To spiritualists in 18th century Japan, water’s elusive shape signified the transience of life, and ancient waterfalls served as the best visual shorthand for it. This is just one facet of the “Falling Water” part of the Morikami’s new exhibition, which features two centuries’ worth of prints, paintings and lacquerware showcasing Japanese peoples’ ritualistic and reverent appreciation for waterfalls. The “Soaring Kites” half is perhaps more playful but just as grounded in history and culture. An array of colorful kites acts as a testament to both the whimsy and sophistication of what was more than a pastime during Japan’s Edo period (1600-1868). Kite flying was also associated with religious and ceremonial rites, and was used to predict weather, send gratitude to Buddhist deities, and symbolize hope during the transition to a new year. The exhibition runs through Aug. 11.

What: Opening night of “United Flight 232”

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $55

Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org

Like “The Laramie Project” before it, “United Flight 232” is a prime example of documentary theatre, which yields humanistic insights and bravura artistry from real events. In this case, the House Theatre of Chicago, which premiered the play in 2016, took inspiration from the fatal DC-10 service flight from Denver to Chicago on July 19, 1989—which, due to a technical glitch so minor it was nearly invisible, caused an engine failure and an emergency crash-landing in the Iowa cornfields. Astoundingly, 184 of the 296 passengers and crewmembers survived, and it’s their stories of cheating death aboard a metal fireball that led first to Laurence Gonzalez’s acclaimed book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival, and then this theatrical adaptation. A harrowing and poignant celebration of ordinary humans in an extraordinary situation, this touring production arrives at a time when fatal technical flaws have once again caused fear and panic in the air travel industry, rendering it both historical and all too contemporary. It runs through May 19.


What: Overnight Theatre Project

Where: Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $24

Contact: 561/297-6124, fauevents.com

It’s time again for Theatre Lab’s grueling, sleep-deprived, race-against-the-clock fundraiser, in which up to nine playwrights receive the names of their directors and four cast members at a live drawing Sunday night, and then must write a play for them over the next, oh, eight hours or so. By Monday morning, it will be time for the director and his/her ensemble to memorize their lines, work out the blocking, and produce a professional production of each short play by that evening, the ink not yet dry on the source material. Because South Florida theatre professionals are crazy talented—and crazy, period—it somehow works out every year, with comedies and dramas that rival, and sometimes surpass, the plays of the more traditionally selected and rehearsed “Summer Shorts” a month later.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Related Articles

Latest Articles