The Estefans’ musical journey congas through the Kravis Center, a hip-hop musical goes back to its Roots, and more than 150 artists have a Boca Fest at Town Center. Plus, Walter Isaacson, Palm Beach VegFest, a “Vertigo” re-imagining and more in your week ahead.
What: Walter Isaacson
Where: Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach
When: 3 p.m.
Contact: 561/655-7226, fourarts.org
Steve Jobs was “the ultimate icon of inventiveness, imagination and sustained innovation.” Albert Einstein was “the paramount icon of our age. … a locksmith blessed with imagination and guided by a faith in the harmony of nature’s handiwork.” The personality of Henry Kissinger is “brilliant, conspiratorial, furtive, sensitive to linkages and nuances. … charming yet at times deceitful.” These are few of the observations of Walter Isaacson, one of the preeminent biographers of our time, whose hulking explorations of the most influential figures in politics, science, technology and art help us understand them in new ways—and assist us little people, too. That’s certainly the case with his latest achievement, Leonardo da Vinci, a painstaking exploration into the provenance of genius. In his appearance at the Four Arts, he’ll explain how Da Vinci’s gifts can help the rest of us improve ourselves.
TUESDAY TO SUNDAY
What: “On Your Feet!”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $115 and up (very limited tickets available)
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Gloria and Emilio Estefan are the closest people Miami has to royalty. Cuban-born and Miami-bred, they personify the American dream: fleeing Communist oppression, forging a legacy in the city’s burgeoning Latin pop scene, and winning 26 Grammys between them. So it’s wholly appropriate that the city that hatched their fame will be the first national tour stop of “On Your Feet!,” the zesty and heartfelt musical based on their vertiginous life. The tunes the Estefans immortalized, including “Conga,” “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Get on Your Feet,” complement a narrative that addresses the their uphill battle in an Anglo-centric music industry as well as the car accident that nearly ended Gloria’s career. With the creators of “Kinky Boots,” “Jersey Boys” behind the scenes, this power couple’s story is in good hands … er, feet.
THURSDAY TO SATURDAY
What: “Henry Box Brown”
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: Jan. 10-12
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
This hip-hop musical, on tour following its world premiere in 2018, is about slavery, survival and the postal system. It charts the real-life journey of Henry Brown, born into bondage in antebellum Virginia, who mailed himself in a stifling dry-goods box to the free state of Pennsylvania. Brown, who burned his hand with sulfuric acid to get out of work, climbed into the box and, with the help of stealth abolitionists, spent 27 days traveling on wagon, railroad, steamboat and ferry, breathing through a single discrete hole. His story has become legend, aided by his exploits later in life: As a refugee slave, Brown became a touring magician and lecturer. In “Henry Box Brown,” the Roots’ Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins raps his way through Brown’s extraordinary story alongside three actors, six dancers and a score that blends symphonic sounds with urban beats.
What: Opening night of “Having Our Say”
Where: Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Bessie and Sadie Delaney were both centenarians before their remarkable story came to national attention. Discovered by a New York Timesreporter in 1991, the sisters—then 103-year-old Sadie and 101-year-old Bessie—had extraordinary lives to share. Born to a former slave, they went on to achieve trailblazing scholastic and professional success: Sadie helped integrate New York City’s public school system by becoming the first African-American permitted to teach domestic science; Bessie became just the second black woman to practice dentistry in New York. Spiked with wit and wisdom, this theatrical adaptation by Emily Mann celebrates the trials and tribulations the Delaneys had to overcome, and serves as an enlightening oral history of two unsung civil-rights warriors. Karen Stephens and Avery Sommers will transform into the century-old characters, and we’re expecting tour-de-force performances from both. The show runs through Feb. 3.
What: Opening night of “The Green Fog”
Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
When: 2 and 6 p.m.
Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org
Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, no stranger to archaic or experimental form—he’s one of the few contemporary directors who regularly makes black-and-white and silent films—tries his hand at a collage film. “The Green Fog,” initially intended as a valentine to San Francisco, is comprised entirely of repurposed clips from movies and television shows shot in the Bay Area. Manipulated clips from some 98 movies, from “The Lady From Shanghai” and “Confessions of an Opium Eater” to “Basic Instinct” and “Sister Act,” made the cut. It wasn’t until Maddin began compiling the footage that the films’ recurring themes began to merge with that of San Francisco’s most iconic movie: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” Thus, “The Green Fog” has become a loose revision of Hitch’s voyeuristic masterpiece; sounds like a cinephile’s nirvana. See it through Jan. 17.
What: Palm Beach VegFest
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As vegan diets have become mainstream, events like the Palm Beach VegFest have become regular occasions: semi-annual bazaars and healthy-living confabs where proprietors of Florida-made vegan delicacies gather to educate the public—and sell a goodly amount of their delicious inventory in the process. I’ve attended VegFest a couple of times, and I never leave empty-handed; this is a market that puts a lie to the old saw that vegan food tastes like cardboard. Vendors also offer yoga apparel, teas, essential oils, jewelry and skin care products aimed at health-conscious attendees; lawn games and live DJ music supplements the festive atmosphere.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
What: Boca Fest
Where: Behind the Town Center mall, 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 561/746-6615, artfestival.com
Earthy clay pottery, vibrant glass art, semi-abstract pencil drawings and mixed-media jewelry are among the many mediums on display at Boca Fest, celebrating its 32nd year from its accessible and customary spot behind the Town Center mall. These styles, from artists Matthew Smith, Ronnie Hughes, Aaron Reed and Alex and Gail Marksz, respectively, will be represented alongside more than 170 of their fellow-artists. Juried art of all styles and price ranges will be offered, and this year, the venerable art fair is launching a new component: the Live Well Be Well Tour, presented as a “festival within the festival.” It features vendor booths dedicated to healthy living, focusing on current health and medical practices, sustainable energy alternatives, organic foods, homeopathic treatments, exercise equipment and more.