Delray is “Coco” for tennis, Thinking Cap Theatre brings absurdist theatre to Valentine’s Day, and the Norton hosts a romantic Art After Dark. Plus, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Patton Oswalt and more in your week ahead.
What: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Where: Kaye Auditorium at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 3:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/297-6124, fauevents.com
Presidential historian Goodwin, a regular on the cable news and Sunday talk shows, is the rare political pundit who takes the long view, framing current events through the lens of history. She certainly has a deep knowledge bank from which to draw, having written lively and exhaustively researched tomes about presidents Lincoln, L.B. Johnson and the two Roosevelts. Her latest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, draws renewed insights about how these wildly different commanders-in-chief handled global, national and personal crises during their presidencies. If you saw Goodwin’s last local appearance, at the 2019 Festival of the Arts, you know how riveting and edifying she can be. She will sign books following this lecture and Q&A.
What: Opening night of Delray Beach Open
Where: Delray Beach Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
When: Begins at 6 p.m.
Cost: Starting at $25
Starting this weekend, all of the tennis world’s eyes will be on humble Delray Beach for the city’s annual ATP Tour event. The Delray Beach Open will be televised nationally on the Tennis Channel, but it’s far more exciting to be there in person, providing your neck muscles with much-needed swivel exercise. As always, the Champions Tour of retired tennis greats from around the globe opens the festivities on Feb. 14-16, and includes such talents at Tommy Haas, David Ferrer, James Blake and Jesse Levine. Saturday night marks your first chance to see homegrown tennis great Coco Gauff play an exhibition match against NCAA tennis champion Estela Perez-Somarriba. The first round of singles and doubles in the ATP 250 event begins in earnest Monday morning. Special events throughout the tournament include tennis clinics, luncheons, parties, mixers and more.
What: Art After Dark
Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1540 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
When: 5 to 10 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org
Love is in the air, and on the walls, and in the piano keys, of this week’s Art After Dark. Lovebirds and singles alike are invited to enjoy the ambience and activities, which include a lecture from Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, whose identity-exploring work is featured in the Norton’s “The Body Says, I Am a Fiesta”; a 30-minute gallery tour of Old Masters work depicting love in mythology; a silent disco “mix and mingle” featuring three channels of music; and a triple piano concert from Kaleidoscope MusArt featuring work from Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven and Barber. During the festivities, buy your special someone a dessert from the Norton’s acclaimed restaurant.
What: Valentine’s Day opening night of “Happy Days”
Where: Thinking Cap Theatre at The Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/610-7263, vanguardarts.org
Despite its title, “Happy Days,” Samuel Beckett’s account of a day in the life of a long-married couple, is not the most obvious choice for a Valentine’s Day play opening. As with much of the Irish playwright’s provocative work, “Happy Days” is stranger and more tragic than the premise sounds, given that one-half of the couple, Winnie, is stuck in an ever-accumulating mound of earth for the entire play, allowing mobility only above her waist. Her absent husband, Willie, lingers behind the mound, out of view, speaking only sparingly. While the play’s themes are not spelled out for its audiences, its implications are deep and manifold. Leave it to Thinking Cap, Fort Lauderdale’s most radical and progressive theatre company, to cater to the envelope-pushing V-Day crowd. Opening-night attendees receive champagne upon arrival, and are invited to enjoy appetizers and conversation with the cast and crew following the performance. “Happy Days” runs through March 1, with later performances costing $35.
What: Opening night of Agnes Varda Film Festival
Where: Cosford Cinema at University of Miami, 5030 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables
When: 6:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/284-9838, cosfordcinema.com
Last March, movie lovers and film-industry professionals mourned the loss of one of world cinema’s greatest directors, Agnes Varda, who left us, at age 90, with an extraordinarily rich body of work that spans more than 60 years. The godmother of the influential French New Wave movement, Varda directed comedies and dramas, features and documentaries, and films that blurred the distinctions between these genres. At 6:30 Friday, the Cosford will open Varda’s final film, “Varda by Agnes,” an autobiographical summation of her idiosyncratic career that functions as the perfect introduction to her work. The theatre is inviting audiences to stay, for free, for an 8:45 p.m. screening of her moving debut, 1955’s “Le Pointe Court.” Highlights from Varda’s oeuvre will screen, in crystalline 4K digital projection, over the next two weeks, including “Cleo From 5 to 7” (6:30 p.m. Feb. 15), “Mur Murs” (6:30 p.m. Feb. 22) and “Vagabond” (6:30 p.m. Feb. 23).
What: GroundUP Music Festival
Where: North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
When: 1:15 p.m. Friday, 12:15 p.m. Saturday, 11:15 a.m. Sunday
Cost: $85-$170 for single day passes, $225-$450 for three-day passes
The GroundUP Music festival is returning this Valentine’s Day weekend with three days of expertly curated musical performances and experiences on the beach. The lineup features inimitable favorites like Snarky Puppy, the returning headliner and curator that will be performing all three days of the event, renowned singer-songwriter Michael McDonald, progressive funk collective Lettuce, saxophonist and artist-at-large Chris Potter, and many more. GroundUP is known not just for its singularly unique lineup, but also for its commitment to bucking the normal issues that music festivals so often suffer from. Limited daily capacity of 2,000 attendees ensures that regular festival claustrophobia is not a concern, and acts are scheduled to avoid any overlapping sets. In addition to dozens of performances across two stages, the festival also hosts workshops, interviews, and summits that allow attendees to interact with the artists they love in a new way. Look for a review of this year’s GroundUP festival on bocamag.com this coming Monday.
What: Patton Oswalt
Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
A renaissance man of American comedy, Patton Oswalt’s career is as variegated as it is illustrious. It consists of long-running sitcom roles and cameos, iconic voiceover work in TV series and video games, even dramatic work in movies like “Young Adult” and “Big Fan.” He’s also an author, cinephile and outspoken atheist, but standup remains his primary muse, with eight celebrated comedy albums to his credit. His most recent Netflix special, 2018’s Annihilation, is a landmark example of a comic unafraid to weave tragic monologues into his act; after all, it was Oswalt’s first special to air following the unexpected death of his wife, crime writer Michelle McNamara, in 2016. Now remarried, Oswalt’s current tour, hitting us the day after Valentine’s Day, bears the sunnier title “I Love Everything.” And we certainly love Patton back.