A cinema honors a late horror legend, The “Real Kramer” visits Boca, and a Sondheim masterpiece opens at the Kravis. Plus, Bryan Norcross, “Bad Jews,” a Talking Heads tribute and more in your week ahead.
What: “Kramer on Seinfeld”
Where: Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/483-9036, bocablackbox.com
For “Seinfeld” creator Larry David, art imitated life. For six years, in an apartment complex in Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., he lived across the hall from an eccentric guy named Kramer—first name Kenny, not Cosmo—who would develop strange ideas and inventions, and share his obsessions with golf, hot tubs and other tropes that would later be alchemized into sitcom gold. Kenny Kramer, aka the “real Kramer,” has made a career of this association. A former standup comedian himself, the 74-year-old entertainer’s multimedia presentation, “Kramer on Seinfeld,” features anecdotes from the show’s history, focusing on how his own life stories became fodder for one of the ‘90s most iconic characters. Look for a review of this tour on Friday here at bocamag.com.
What: Art After Dark: “Happy Birthday, Edgar Degas!”
Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach
When: 5 to 9 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-5196, norton.org
The Parisian master Edgar Degas died at 83 in 1917, which would make him—bear with me, as math isn’t my strongest suit—183 this year. (OK, that’s an easy one.) In honor of this birthday centennial, the Norton is dedicating a portion of this week’s Art After Dark to his legacy. Degas was famous for his influential sculptures of dancers, and at 6:30 p.m., members of Ballet Florida (speaking of blasts from the past!) will perform site-specific works that reference Degas’ iconic paintings and sculptures. Also at 6:30, violinist Lisa Fearon will perform 19th century music, complementing Art After Dark’s usual array of spotlight talks, art activities, Happy Hour drink specials and more.
What: Bryan Norcross
Where: Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com
Anyone who lived in South Florida in October 1992 probably has a Hurricane Andrew horror story. Many involve huddling in bathtubs, all ears tuned to the voice of God—aka CBS’s Bryan Norcross—on battery-powered or hand-cranked radios. Norcross famously talked South Floridians through the Great Hurricane of 1992, a disaster that established a national reputation for the Miami meteorologist. In honor of the storm’s 25th anniversary, Norcross will speak about his new book My Hurricane Andrew Story. Now employed by the Weather Channel, where he’s still the nation’s go-to voice on hurricanes, Norcross reflects on the killer ‘cane and offers lessons we can learn when the next superstorm blows our way. See him discuss these topics and more, and pick up a copy of the book while you’re there.
What: Opening night of “Company”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical comedy turned out to be a watershed moment in Broadway history. Much like Woody Allen elevated the romantic film comedy seven years later, with “Annie Hall,” Sondheim uncrated a (mid)life’s worth of marital strifes and peccadillos into a 16-song concept musical that was as bold in themes as it was in plotlessness. Centering a commitment-phobic single man and expanding outward to three girlfriends and the five married couples with whom he spends the most time, “Company” broached heretofore unexplored topics with scathing wit and honesty. Featuring iconic Sondheim numbers like “Getting Married Today,” “Side by Side by Side” and “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Company” justifiably netted six Tony Awards. MNM Productions’ rendition at the Kravis features an all-star cast including Robert Johnston, Amy Miller Brennan, Clay Cartland, Laura Hodos, Wayne LeGette and Leah Sessa, and it runs through Aug. 6.
What: Opening night of “Bad Jews”
Where: Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main St., Miami Lakes
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/558-3737, mainstreetplayers.com
In dramatizing a family conflict over a priceless Jewish heirloom, this bold, provocative, shockingly funny play by Joshua Harmon addresses such subjects as religious versus cultural Judaism, fidelity to family, Israel/Palestine, the Holocaust, the Jewish diaspora, and the specter of hypocrisy. These are weighty, sensitive themes, especially for South Florida audiences, but “Bad Jews” expresses them with humor and sympathy for all. Featuring a ferocious role for a leading lady, along with rich roles for her three supporting actors, this is a play that will have you discussing and debating its implications long after the curtain rises. Check out Main Street Players’ production, starring Hannah Benitez in the lead role, through Aug. 13.
What: Opening day of “Haroon Mirza: ACIDGEST”
Where: Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact: 305/375-3000, pamm.org
Those of us who have never experienced the sensorial confusion of synesthesia—i.e. “hearing” colors and “seeing” sounds—might be able to simulate the next best thing at “ACIDGEST,” the latest multimedia exhibition from London-born artist Haroon Mirza. Consisting primarily of speakers and LEDs that communicate via corresponding frequencies, the exhibition will impact its viewers visually and aurally through electrical current and a concrete poem the artist created. Mirza seeks to redefine and distort relationships between optics and acoustics, and this complex new work, which must be seen to be believed, is surely a prime example of it. It will run all the way through May 20, 2018.
What: “Night of the Living Dead”
Where: O Cinema Wynwood, 90 N.W. 29th St., Miami
When: 11:45 p.m. Cost: Free
Contact: 305/571-9970, o-cinema.org
Cinema fans, still reeling over the passing of Jonathan Demme this year, lost another titan of the medium this past weekend, when George A. Romero died after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” per his producing partner. Romero is universally acknowledged as the creator of the modern zombie film, and in tribute to the late horror maestro, O Cinema and the Popcorn Frights Film Festival will host his most groundbreaking feature, 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead.” The black-and-white midnight-movie benchmark was shot on a miniscule budget of $114,000, and it earned more than $30 million in return. Romero’s genius was to merge visceral B-film scares with the thoughtful subtext and adult themes of art cinema, a deft combination will be on display in full flower at this weekend’s memorial screening.
What: Talking Dreads
Where: Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/395-2929, funkybiscuit.com
Island sounds were never far from singer-songwriter David Byrne’s consciousness as the lead singer of Talking Heads, the pioneering Rhode Island new wave act that married jagged punk with an increasingly prominent Caribbean influence. The tribute band Talking Dreads imagines what Byrne’s groundbreaking act would sound like if you excised the punk angst and replaced it with reggae grooves, reinterpreting the Talking Heads canon with a Rastafarian vibe. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Talking Dreads singer Mystic Bowie, whose connection to the original act is only once removed: He sang for, and recorded with, Tom Tom Club, the Talking Heads spinoff, for nearly 20 years. At this intimate performance, check out the group’s mellowed takes on “Psycho Killer,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House” and many more.