A musical explores Hank Williams’ legacy, and an ‘80s pop tribute plays Mizner Amphitheater. Plus, a new Claire Denis film, a Kravis Center musical premiere and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Both Sides of the Blade”
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times pending
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
Any new film by Claire Denis (“White Material,” “Beau Travail” and about a dozen other classics), a giant of international cinema, is worth celebrating on the big screen, and her latest seems right in line with her finest work. Adapted from a novel by Christine Argot, who co-wrote the script, “Both Sides of the Blade” features two of French cinema’s finest actors of the modern era, Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon, as Sarah and Jean, a longtime couple still passionate in their love. Upon returning from a seaside vacation, Sarah spots an estranged ex-boyfriend, Francois, on the street, who has a work proposal for Jean but kindles buried emotions in Sarah. The love triangle tightens like a noose around the three characters, in an incendiary thriller that earned Denis the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
What: Back in Time, a tribute to the ‘80s
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/393-7890, mizneramp.com
In the immortal words of Huey Lewis, it is, and indeed always has been, hip to be square. This sentiment might well represent the pop music of the 1980s in general, when outsized coifs and indulgent synthesizers suddenly sounded like the coolest and most progressive-sounding music possible. And, of course, you could dance to it. Back in Time, a tribute act that specializes in the music of none other than Huey Lewis & the News, will expand its typical set list to include many of the decade’s genre-hopping chart toppers; it’s expected to include iconic songs by Journey, Billy Joel, Rick Springfield and others. Merchandise and food vendors will be available on site; rent a chair for $5 or bring your own seating.
What: Opening night of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Where: Actors Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/444-9293, actorsplayhouse.org
It’s easy to forget that Hank Williams died, of a failing heart compromised by alcohol and prescription drugs, at 29, because his music conveyed a veritable lifetime of emotional summits and sorrows. His fragile warble, flickering near its breaking point on “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” could have been that of an octogenarian bluesman’s front-porch swan song. Instead, it came from a young man whom some called the “Hillbilly Shakespeare,” and who all but invented—and most certainly mainstreamed—country music for a generation of listeners. This absorbing bio-musical by longtime musicians and admirers Randal Myler and Mark Harelik features 27 songs by Williams and his contemporaries, and charts his journey from his Alabama upbringing through his ascent to the Grand Ole Opry and his ravaged twilight. Actors Playhouse’s production runs through July 31.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: “Time Stops: A World Premiere Musical”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
For Emma Portman, the playwright protagonist of this new musical, time stopped some three years earlier, when she had to bury her only child, a daughter. She’s hoping to revive it by funneling her grief into the writing of a musical that imagines her daughter living past her premature decline. It’s a therapeutic solution, until the fantasy she crafts on the page and in musical notes begins to blur with the reality around her. “Time Stops” is the brainchild of Boca Raton playwright Bonnie Logan, who scripted the premiere of the dramedy “Boca Bound” at the Wick Theatre three years ago. The new show deepens her skills as a dramatist; she tackles dark subject matter with an often upbeat and whimsical touch, and with help from an ace cast and crew, including Broadway musical director Michael J. Moritz Jr. (“Hadestown”).
What: Steam featuring Bill Pascali
Where: Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/483-9036, bocablackbox.com
As far as one-hit wonders go, Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” has had awfully long and sturdy legs. It’s one of those songs that virtually the entire populace knows, even if they don’t know they know it. The rousing and catchy send-off catapulted to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart after its 1969 release, but it continues to be a staple at sporting events, political rallies, pro wrestling matches and any environment where sarcasm and competition commingle. Steam was a short-lived project, releasing just one album, but “Na Na” has kept this loose musical collective alive through the decades. At this concert, keyboardist Bill Pascali, of Vanilla Fudge and the New Rascals, joins members of Steam to perform hits from all three groups, including “Good Lovin’” and Vanilla Fudge’s famously epic cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”