Mizner Park gets jazzy (and brunch-y), the Morikami celebrates a new year in style, and legendary Jewish composers get their own stage sequel. Plus, Catherine Zeta-Jones, the regional premiere of “American Son” and more in your week ahead.
What: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Where: Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $35, limited tickets available the day of lecture
Contact: 561/655-7226, fourarts.org
There was no learning curve for Catherine Zeta-Jones: In her very first screen in appearance, in 1990, she played the lead, Scheherazade, in a loopy French send-up of “1,001 Nights.” A few years later she starred as the title character in a biopic of Catherine the Great, solidifying her capacity to carry a picture on her elegant shoulders. But it wasn’t until she broke out in Hollywood that the Welsh actress became one of world cinema’s indomitable beauties, burnishing her striking image in iconic projects from “The Mask of Zorro” to “Chicago” to “Traffic.” Now 50, Zeta-Jones has become more selective of her projects, most of which have critical cachet; she’s portrayed Olivia de Havilland in FX’s catty anthology series “Feud,” and she’s currently starring in “Queen America,” a darkly comic “Pygmalion” riff about a beauty pageant coach forced to transform a bedraggled competitor. Zeta-Jones, who is known for her candor in interviews, will kick off Society of the Four Arts’ 2020 Speaker Series.
What: Opening night of “American Son”
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
An interracial couple’s search for their missing African-American son leads to a 4 a.m. visit to a police station—and the subsequent revelations, biases and hard truths this nocturnal journey unveils. Conceived on the front lines of contemporary racial anxiety, this woke, South Florida-set drama from Miamian Christopher Demos-Brown premieres in his hometown not long after its celebrated Broadway premiere—and its subsequent adaptation into a Netflix movie. Catch Zoetic Stage’s production, starring Karen Stephens and Clive Cholerton, through Jan. 26.
What: Opening night of “To Life 2”
Where: Willow Theater at Sugar Sand Park, 300 Military Trail, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/347-3948, sugarsandpark.org/willowtheatre
Last year’s Boca Raton regional premiere of the musical revue “To Life” turned out to be one of 2019’s sleeper hits. The show, celebrating the contributions of Jewish composers on Broadway, sold out its run at the Willow Theatre. Now, like any quality pop-culture franchise, it has spawned a sequel: “To Life 2,” featuring performances of additional iconic tunes from the canons of Marvin Hamlisch, Kander and Ebb, Dorothy Fields, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerry Herman and more. Director Shari Upbin will once again direct, and she has assembled an all-star cast to interpret these legends’ music, including Jeffrey Bruce, Wayne LeGette, Michael McKenzie, Amy Miller Brennan and Mallory Newbrough. The production runs through Feb. 2.
What: Opening night of “Tremors”
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times TBA
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
This moody Guatemalan drama is infuriating in all the important ways. It centers on Pablo, the prodigal middle-aged son of an affluent evangelical family, whose announcement that he is gay sends potentially terminal shock waves through his family and community. Director Jayro Bustamante appreciates the trauma that Pablo’s coming-out has on his wife and children, while acknowledging that his protagonist is the ultimate victim—of fundamentalism’s iron grip. Exiled from his kids, and forced to undergo conversion therapy that would be absurd if it wasn’t so destructive, Pablo undergoes one inhumanity after another from an institution that purports to follow Jesus’ teachings. Guatemala’s church leaders may view the rumblings of the Earth as God’s punishment, but Bustamante’s goal is to shake a nation out of its blinkered complacency. “Tremors” runs at least through Jan. 16.
What: Sunday Jazz Brunch
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact: 561/367-7070, mizneramp.com
Eclectic Boca-bred singer Chloe Dolandis, whose oeuvre encompasses originals and covers, Songbook standards and contemporary favorites, will provide the live music at Mizner Park’s first Jazz Brunch of 2020. Dolandis, whose work has appeared everywhere from CMT to Nickelodeon, will perform two eclectic “Brass + Beats” sets, while brunch food trucks will serve up dishes conducive to everybody’s favorite in-between meal. Mimosas and Bloody Marys will be available for purchase, along with unique shopping options from select vendors.
What: Oshogatsu Festival
Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $15 adults, $10 children
Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org
Rats may not be Americans’ favorite rodents, but they’re valued animals in the Japanese zodiac. The year 2020 marks the first Year of the Rat in 12 years. At Oshogatsu, its annual New Year’s festival, the Morikami toasts those born in the Year of the Rat—1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020—but all are invited to enjoy the distinctly Japanese festivities that will keep celebrants busy, entertained and sated all day. The main stages feature the venue’s resident taiko drummers, Fushu Daiko, who bring the percussive thunder alongside Shishimai, a playful lion dancer; and musical performances from Friends of Koto, masters of Japan’s national instrument, the 13-string koto. There also will be rice pounding ceremonies—the first step in making rice cakes, a New Year’s tradition—tea ceremonies and introductions to the Morikami’s six historic gardens. Food vendors, a beer garden and a sake station aim to please palates, and the most serious liquor enthusiasts can purchase Tasting Room tickets for $30-$40, which include rare, high-end sake and beer samples and a Q&A with a certified sake specialist.