Thursday, May 16, 2024

Your Week Ahead: July 24 to 30

Nineties alt-rock legends bring long-awaited nostalgia to Miami, Actors’ Playhouse condenses all of world history into a one-act musical, and a Mizner Park comic has “Got Talent.” Plus, The Capitol Steps, Unsane, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and more in your week ahead.


What: Smashing Pumpkins

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $29-$99

Contact: 786/777-1000,

Some 13 years after the Smashing Pumpkins formally reunited, mercurial frontman Billy Corgan has finally given fans what they wanted back then: a full-on nostalgia tour celebrating the band’s ‘80s and ‘90s output. Intended as a golden opportunity to bring back the peak Pumpkins lineup of 1988-2000, this jaunt, annoyingly titled the Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, is absent original bassist/vocalist D’Arcy Wretzsky. But the rest of the gang is in top, indefatigable form, as indicated by the 31-set song list, which its generous traipses through Mellon Collie andSiamese Dream, which continue to elicit Pavlovian bliss among the Gen-X contingent. Complete with curated video interludes, special effects and absolutely nothing from the Pumpkins’ lackluster aughts, this should be a good one: Look for a review later this week on


What: Unsane

Where: Gramps, 176 N.W. 24th St., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $15


With a sound that can best be described as sludgy, molten, searing and bone-scraping—complemented by its blood-spattered album art—legendary New York City noise-rock band Unsane is a taste acquired by only certain ears. But for the band’s dedicated fan base, a South Florida tour is rare and exciting indeed. Sonic kin to abrasive avant-metal acts from Big Black to Melvins to Helmet, Unsane’s heavier-than-a-truckload-of-bricks sound almost became commercial in the ‘90s, when its brutal video for “Scrape” made the MTV airwaves and “Committed” made it onto the soundtrack of “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” Last year, Unsane quietly released its first new album in five years, and vocalist Chris Spencer still seems to blow out his vocal cords on every song. Bring earplugs, and prepare to stay out late: Gramps has booked four bands before them.


What: Screening of “En El Septimo Dia”

Where: Movies of Delray, 7421 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

When: 10:30 a.m.

Cost: $12 (includes beverage and pastries)


For one screening only, local cinema curator Shelly Isaacs will present the Delray Beach premiere of this deceptively simple and thematically resonant film about an immigrant food deliveryman in Prospect Park, Brooklyn in present day. Jose, the undocumented striver at this movie’s heart, would like nothing more than to join his soccer team of fellow Mexican migrants on Sunday: It’s the championship, and he’s the star player. But because of a fluke ceremony at his gentrified restaurant, he’s forced to work. If he quits his job, he loses his chance for a green card—his white employer has been dangling this prized possession like a carrot—and the opportunity to bring his pregnant wife to the States from Mexico. “En El Septimo Dia” travels with Jose for a week of contemplation, climaxing with his creative solution on the day of the game. Alternately amusing, tragic and revelatory about the plight of the undocumented in a period of heated anti-immigrant rhetoric, this docu-dramatic feature is one of the year’s must-see films.


What: The Capitol Steps

Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $39

Contact: 954/462-0222,

A nonpartisan political comedy troupe founded more than three decades ago by moonlighting Congressional staffers, the Capitol Steps are a relic of a less divided time—when a group of audience members of all ideological stripes could still gather in a room together and enjoy some gentle, good-natured, PG-13 ribbing of even their favorite presidents and policymakers. Does this era of community through laughter still exist? Find out during the collective’s latest tour of brand-new material, in support of its 2018 album Make America Grin Again. Expect song parodies, skits and spoonerisms that ding all sides of the political spectrum but, let’s face it, will save most of their roasting for the party in power.


What: Opening night of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $55

Contact: 561/832-7469,

Few musicals seem to be revived as often as this breezy, relationship-centered song collection from acclaimed lyricist Joe DiPietro and composer Jimmy Roberts. Performed by a versatile cast of four actors playing generic everymen and everywomen, the songs address everything from first dates to child-rearing, marriage to sex, funerals to unwanted relatives. As its tagline promises, the show reveals “everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.” Some of its references are mothballed, including one about channel surfing—in the age of Netflix and On Demand, who still does that that?—but “I Love You” has risen to become the second-longest-running Off-Broadway show of all-time for a reason: Millions have found common cause with its durable witticisms. Produced by MNM Theatre Company, it runs through Aug. 12 with a cast of Clay Cartland, Anna Lisa Jensen, Heather Kopp and Michael Scott Ross.

What: Opening night of “The Big Bang”

Where: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $64

Contact: 305/444-9293,

This whirlwind musical comedy is staged as a faux audition by two comedy writers, who attempt to pitch us—the audience—on their ambitious new project: a complete history of the world, in song. In 90 minutes, the actors condense and satirize history, from the Garden of Eden to Attila the Hun to the pyramids in Giza and Christopher Columbus, all the while transforming their Park Avenue apartment into a makeshift costume shop. Actors Ken Clement and Nick Santa Maria bring the madcap fun to life in Actors’ Playhouse’s production, which runs through Sept. 2.


What: Joe Matarese

Where: Mizner Park Comedy Club, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $20-$30

Contact: 786/564-2291,

The Mizner Park Comedy Club’s monthly series featuring alumni from “America’s Got Talent” continues with New Jersey native Matarese, who earned a standing ovation and a resounding “yes” from all four “Talent” judges in his 2014 nationally televised audition. He’s married to a psychologist, he has two kids, and he’s just about over the hill—three aspects that surface quite a bit in his autobiographical, relatable standup. Channeling a hardworking middle-class vibe, Matarese is most adept at taking familiar comedy chestnuts and reinvigorating them, often with a mix of sunshine and cynicism. As Howard Stern noted after his audition, “You’re teaching your kids early on that life sucks”—which, of course, was a compliment. Matarese also will be performing Friday at the Hyatt in Delray Beach.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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