An “explosive” comedy legend plays Delray, Almodovar’s acclaimed new film opens in Boca, and Beatle-strumming Al Di Meola tours across the universe. Plus, the Wick’s “Gypsy” and more in your week ahead.
What: “Bradley Theodore: Artist in Residence” and “Forms + Figures”
Where: Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, 253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-5328, ansg.org
Conjuring both the vibrant mysticism of Day of the Dead imagery and the rough-hewn street art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York painter Bradley Theodore creates motley and fearless work that reimagines sacred portraits—from British royalty to religious icons—as skeleton crews, blurring lines between their inner and outer forms. His high-intensity, eye-popping pastels have evoked figures from George Washington to Muhammad Ali to Karl Lagerfeld, and his celebrity collectors include Bryan Cranston and Salma Hayek. He’ll bring his work to Ann Norton for this unique residency, alongside the outdoor exhibition “Forms + Figures,” featuring the dynamic work of sculptors Patrick Hurst, Julian Wild, Tarik Currimbhoy and Jason Myers.
What: Jimmie “JJ” Walker
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
In 1974, up-and-coming comedian Jimmie Walker had the talent and fortune to land the role of JJ on CBS’ “Good Times,” a part that would enshrine Walker—and his iconic catchphrase, “Dyn-O-Mite”—in pop culture history. While this remains his most famous part, Walker has continued to be a fixture on screens large and small for 40-some years, and most recently he’s returned his roots and his passion, standup comedy. Christened Time magazine’s “Comedian of the Decade” for the 1970s, and once employing future headliners David Letterman and Jay Leno as his joke writers, Walker is bringing his talent to small and mid-sized clubs like Arts Garage, which launches its new “Art of Laughter” monthly comedy series this Thursday.
What: Opening night of “Gypsy”
Where: The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org
One of the crowning achievements of its popular art form, “Gypsy” riffs on the memoirs of real-life striptease entertainer Gypsy Lee and her overbearing stage mother, Rose (played by Laura Hodos, above), one of the titanic roles in musical theatre. With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book of exceptional (for a musical) verisimilitude by Arthur Laurents, the result is one of the most dramatic and complex musicals of its, or any, time, featuring standards from “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” to “Let Me Entertain You” to the kitsch classic “You Gotta Get a Gimmick.” As often as “Gypsy” is produced, it’s still no tired warhorse, because it still yields fresh insights into human psychology. The production runs through Feb. 13.
What: Opening night of “Parallel Mothers”
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times pending
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
Once the disobedient enfant terrible of world cinema, Spain’s Pedro Almodovar has embraced the wisdom and maturity of age in such late-career marvels as 2019’s “Pain and Glory,” and now the elegant “Parallel Mothers,” whose emotions swell in frame-filling close-ups infused with the flavors and textures of contemporary Madrid. Penelope Cruz plays Janis Martinez, a lifestyle photographer whose fling with a forensic anthropologist leads to an unexpected pregnancy, and a maternity ward shared with another unwed mother-to-be, the teenage Ana (Milena Smit). After their births, the women go their separate ways, until fate intervenes. What seems at first blush like a garden-variety soap opera—babies switched at birth in the incubator, realized months after the fact—is just one facet of Almodovar’s meditation on genealogy and parenthood, on separation and closure, on confronting the worst of our history. As Janis and her child’s father work to exhume the burial site of family members disappeared under Franco’s regime, these themes ripple across generations of characters, making the case that wrestling with ghosts of the past is necessary to move forward. “Parallel Mothers” runs at least through Jan. 13.
What: Al Di Meola
Where: The Parker, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
Guitar god Al Di Meola is the first to admit he wasn’t born with a golden pick clasped between his infant figures. His ascendance to just about every authority’s list of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the jazz and rock worlds came after a monastic study regimen of eight to 10 hours a day during his high school summers in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The labor has paid off in the form of some 38 releases since 1976, not to mention his earlier tenure with Chick Corea and jazz fusion pioneers Return to Forever. Known for his complex rhythm syncopation and lyrical, seemingly effortless precision, Di Meola has joined legends from Pavarotti to Paul Simon, and has lately returned to his formative musical love, the Beatles, on 2020’s Across the Universe, whose exhilarating covers further explore the possibilities of the Lennon/McCartney corpus.