A world-premiere drama spans 50+ years of American tumult, a thriller author returns with his latest conspiracy tome, and Boca Ballet Theatre readies its star-studded gala. Plus, “Fela! The Concert,” “Anything Goes” and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Anything Goes”
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org
A frothy musical confection set aboard a luxury ocean liner, Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” premiered as a bubbly balm to a Depression-era Broadway in 1934, and has enjoyed nearly 90 years of revivals and adaptations. Expect madcap characters, witty repartee and such Porter standards as “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and the title song. The Wick’s production, directed by Broadway veteran Norb Joerder, runs through Feb. 12, and features an all-star cast including Aaron Bower, Broadway performer Jeremy Benton, and Barry Pearl, who starred in the 1978 film version of “Grease.”
What: Opening night of “American Rhapsody”
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
This world-premiere drama from prizewinning South Florida playwright Michael McKeever only runs 90 minutes, but its story spans more than 60 years. Beginning in 1969 and projecting ahead to 2032, “American Rhapsody” charts the American zeitgeist through the prism of one family, the Cabots, who survive the tail of the Civil Rights Movement through the rise of feminist, the unshackled capitalism of the 1980s, 9/11 and its aftermath, the legalization of same-sex marriage, the COVID-19 pandemic and whatever future cataclysms McKeever imagines for us next. Produced by Zoetic Stage, with Carbonell winner Stuart Meltzer directing, “American Rhapsody” may be the playwright’s most ambitious project to date. It runs through Jan. 29.
What: Opening day of “Broker”
When: Show times pending
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
I suppose I’m not getting out enough, because I’d never heard of the concept of a “baby box” until screening Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new movie, “Broker.” Baby boxes are places where women can safely deposit unwanted newborn babies, consigning them to the care of the state. In Kore-eda’s story, the owner of a laundromat and his younger friend, who works at a nearby church, conspire to steal infants from the church’s baby box and sell them to adoptive parents on the black market. When the mother of their latest bit of “cargo” discovers their scheme, she confronts them and ultimately joins them on their journey to sell their human property. Kore-eda’s rich filmography, spanning from ‘90s classics like “After Life” to the 2008 masterpiece “Still Walking” and 2018’s “Shoplifters,” includes some of the most humanist and transcendent pictures of this century, and the emotionally complex “Broker” is cut from a similar cloth.
What: “Fela! The Concert”
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Not to be confused with the complete Broadway musical “Fela!” but pulsing with a similar groove, this one-night-only concert performance commemorates Fela Kuti, composer, activist and Afrobeat pioneer. The late Nigerian legend, whose music inspired everyone from Mos Def and the Roots to Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend, is reborn in this celebration of his legacy, honoring both his joyous, danceable songwriting and the confrontational politics that undergirded it. It is performed with a live Afrobeat band, singers and dancers whose rhythms replicate Kuti’s own, and vivid projected images complementing every note.
What: Brad Meltzer
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Barnes & Noble, 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton
A studious historian of some of history’s most documented conspiracies, author Brad Meltzer returns with yet another barn-burner. In this appearance, he’ll be reading from his latest book The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill, whose title alone is enough to tingle the spines of WWII buffs. In 1943, these three Allied leaders came together for a strategy summit in Tehran, Iran, and when Germany allegedly discovered this meeting, the Nazi regime hatched a plot to take out all of them. Like any great thriller, The Nazi Conspiracy opens on a high note, with Roosevelt’s body double cruising in a public presidential motorcade while the Real McCoy is hunkered down in a nondescript private car en route to Iran’s Soviet Embassy, and the action only picks up from there. Listen to the drama straight from the author’s mouth, and then purchase a signed copy if you like what you hear.
What: “Stars of Dance” Gala
When: 3 p.m.
Where: University Theater at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
Cost: $75 performance, $375 performance and VIP Dinner
Contact: 561/995-0709, bocaballet.org
Organizers of Boca Ballet Theatre’s 32nd-annual gala weren’t kidding when they named it “Stars of Dance;” the performers taking the stage at 3 p.m. at FAU include principals from American Ballet Theatre (Aran Bell, Isabella Boylston, Catherine Hurlin, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher, James Whiteside, Roman Zhurbin and soloist Chloe Misseldine), Joffrey Ballet (soloist Lucas Segovia) and Philadelphia Ballet (Sterling Baca and Oksana Maslova), the latter of whom will perform at excerpt from Boca Ballet Theatre’s forthcoming production of “Giselle.” Following this smorgasbord of performances, attendees who opted for the $375 option will continue their evening at The Boca Raton, where they will enjoy cocktails in the Cloister Garden and dine alongside the dancers in the Cathedral Room. During the dinner, local celebrity, former dancer and eminent dance photographer Steven Caras will receive BBT’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award.