A gender-bending musical tours Broward Center, a soul vocalist pays tribute to the G.O.A.T. in her genre, and Affair of the Arts returns to Boynton. Plus, Erasure, Randy Brecker and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Tootsie”
Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
Sydney Pollack’s 1982 film “Tootsie” was a watershed moment in American comedy—a modern narrative of gender-bending whose characters were sympathetic, whose story was plausible, and that lent mainstream credibility to a culture then relegated to the shadows. We wouldn’t have “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Kinky Boots” without it. Now, like the latter, “Tootsie” has migrated from the Silver Screen to the Broadway stage, updating the story of a talented but difficult male actor who disguises himself as a woman to earn a coveted part. In the show, which won a Tony for its witty lyrics, the protagonist auditions for a musical, instead of the movie’s soap opera, and this allows “Tootsie” to double as a satirical critique of its own genre’s conventional tropes. This Broadway Across America tour runs through Jan. 23.
What: Ledisi’s “Nina and Me”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/83207469, kravis.org
Single-named vocalist Ledisi has come a long way since earning a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2008; she has received no less than 13 Grammy nominations over eight albums, and has literally filled the shoes of two of her idols: She played Mahalia Jackson in the Oscar-winning biopic “Selma” and portrayed Patti LaBelle in the BET series “American Soul.” For this appearance, she’ll be honoring another legend: the immortal singer, composer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. Like Simone, who famously took inspiration from sources ranging from Billie Holiday to Bach, Lidisi’s own diverse repertoire encompasses classical, jazz and R&B. In “Nina and Me,” she’ll perform Simone’s eternal classics reimagined with strings and a horn section, shaping the concert into a narrative about how an artist from one generation can imprint herself on another.
What: The Randy Brecker & Ava Rovatti Quintet
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Had trumpeter Randy Brecker’s career only included the eight albums he recorded with his brother Michael as the Brecker Brothers, he still would be enshrined in the halls of jazz-fusion royalty. But this man has a resume longer than the queue at Tin Roof on a Saturday night. Right out of the gate, in 1967, he landed a job with Blood, Sweat & Tears, then left after one album to join the Horace Silver Quartet—already exhibiting his prowess in both the rock and traditional jazz worlds. Since then, he’s played with everybody, and we almost mean it literally: From Charles Mingus to Lou Reed, George Benson to Yoko Ono, Carly Simon to Paul Simon. These days, he’s happy to combine business and pleasure, primarily playing and recording with his wife Ada Rovatti, an accomplished Italian saxophonist who is as comfortable blowing through Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as she as her inspired originals.
What: Opening night of “Almost, Maine”
Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
Cost: $94 for opening night, which includes a reception ($79 for subsequent performances)
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org
Dramaworks’ 2021/2022 season continues to mark the venerable playhouse’s 20th anniversary. To honor this milestone—and a year of new beginnings—the company will focus, for the first time in its history, solely on plays written in the 21st century. This includes “Almost, Maine,” John Cariani’s touching and reflective suite of nine short plays all set around the fictional town of the title. The show broke local box office records when it debuted in Portland, Maine in 2004, and it’s become something of a Northeastern institution. A chance encounter in a laundry room, the majesty of aurora borealis, and other tender stories of connection and loss have made Cariani’s genre-hopping play a tender audience favorite well beyond its northeastern origins. The production runs through Jan. 30.
What: Erasure: The Neon Tour
Where: Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/673-7300, fillmoremb.com
As the synthpop duo Erasure, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have been making clubs heave and Gen-Xers swoon since 1985. Early, rousing hits like “Oh, L’Amour” and “Sometimes” have become staples of British new wave, but the songwriters have never been content to rest on the laurels of their peak years. Their oeuvre consists of more than 200 songs, including 2020’s 18th studio album, Neon.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: Affair of the Arts
Where: Boynton Beach Mall, 801 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What began last year as a substitute for the pandemic-shuttered Delray Affair has quickly evolved into its own signature art fair in Boynton Beach—and another worthwhile opportunity for shoppers and artists to mingle over a variety of fine art, jewelry, funky housewares and more. Some 300 artists will set up through the weekend in the North Parking Lot of the Boynton Beach Mall, showcasing and sell work at myriad price points; food trucks and pop-up bars will keep attendees fed and hydrated.