Friday, July 12, 2024

Your Week Ahead: July 9 to 15, 2024

A Grateful Dead tribute goes orchestral, Palm Beach Shakespeare mounts “King Lear” in the park, and the Jupiter Lighthouse celebrates its 164th birthday. Plus, “School of Rock” and more in your week ahead.


What: Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival: “King Lear”

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Seabreeze Amphitheater at Carlin Park, 400 Florida A1A, Jupiter

Cost: Suggested $5 donation

Contact: 561/762-8552,

We probably wouldn’t have “Succession” if it weren’t for “King Lear,” William Shakespeare’s 17th-century masterwork about a fading monarch dividing his kingdom between his three power-hungry children. When one of his more obstinate daughters, Cordelia, refuses to placate her father with the shallow flattery he desires, her actions set in motion a disruption of the monarchy that eats away at the title character’s sanity. “Lear” is one of Shakespeare’s most-produced and best-loved tragedies, rich in mellifluous language and psychoanalytic interpretations, while its themes and characters resonate with our present moment. Expect the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, in its 34th-annual production of the Bard’s work, to trim its five-act structure down to a lean two hours.


What: Opening night of “Xanadu”

When: 7 p.m.

Where: University Theatre at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

Cost: $27

Contact: 561/297-6124,

As a major motion picture, 1980’s “Xanadu” was a timeless stinker—an extravagant flop that led to the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards “honoring” the worst in cinema, and a film that has achieved “so bad it’s good” status over the decades. However, as a Broadway musical that leans into the self-reflexive cheek, “Xanadu” is just good good, earning four Tony nominations in 2008. As in the film, the story is bonkers: In the waning disco era, a heavenly Greek muse descends on Venice Beach, California, to inspire a struggling artist to build the very first roller disco. With music and lyrics co-written by Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, this student production of “Xanadu” runs—or, rather, skates—through July 28 as part of FAU’s Festival Rep 2024.

What: Crazy Fingers and the Symphonia

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/393-7890,

As far as I know, the Grateful Dead never performed with a full symphony orchestra (although founding member and guitarist Bob Weir did play with one in 2022), which makes this standout event in the City of Boca Raton’s Summer in the City series so notable. Crazy Fingers, South Florida’s preeminent Grateful Dead tribute band for nearly 35 years, will perform the Dead’s iconic Americana and folk-rock jams with backing from the Symphonia, a Boca Raton institution celebrating its 20th anniversary. How will the famously improvisational spirit of the Dead combine with the structured rigor of classical music? Find out for yourself at what is sure to be a capacity audience; we recommend lining up for this one by 6:30, as doors open at 7.

What: Opening night of “School of Rock”

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth Beach

Cost: $48

Contact: 561/586-6410,

It took 12 years for “School of Rock” to make its transition from screen to stage, complete with upgraded music from none other than Andrew Lloyd Weber. The musical, which premiered in 2015, retains the major elements of the movie’s story, which centers on washed-up rocker Dewey Finn—kicked out of both his metal band and his bedroom—impersonating a substitute teacher for a temporary job at an elite private elementary school. Discovering that music, albeit the classical kind, is part of the students’ curriculum, Dewey turns his classroom into a clandestine rock ‘n’ roll academy that lifts the kids’ self-esteem and provides Dewey with a backup group to compete in a local rock station’s Battle of the Bands. The child actors generally perform the show’s music live onstage, in a delightful note of added realism, and we hope the same goes for this community-theatre production, which runs through July 28.


What: Loxahatchee River Heritage Day

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: $12 adults, $10 veterans and seniors, $6 children age 6 to 18

Contact: 561/747-8380,

Constructed in 1860, the Jupiter Lighthouse preceded everything we know and love about the Palm Beaches, lighting the way as a beacon for weary mariners for well over a century and a half. This inaugural festival will celebrate the history and legacy of this vital structure and the surrounding region with a full day of enlightening and entertaining activities. Docents in period garb will lead tours of the on-site Tindall House and explore life in South Florida circa 1900; the descendent of a pioneering Jupiter explorer, Captain Charles H. Coe, will provide a living history of the man and his times; and experts will lead a series of presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., including archaeologist Chris Davenport, shipwreck scholar Thomas Gidus and historian Josh Liller.

For more of Boca magazine’s arts and entertainment coverage, click here.

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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