The Wheels of Soul Tour rolls once again into Boca, an esteemed Queen tribute will rock you, and fans of two sci-fi franchises via for dominance. Plus, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, Howard Stern’s “Stuttering John” and more in your week ahead.
What: Mika Brzezinski, Daniela Pierre-Bravo and Joe Scarborough
Where: Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
When: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: 1 ticket for each $16.99 book purchase
Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com
Each weekday morning, Mika Brzezenski serves up often-caustic political punditry as co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” As an author, though, Brzezenski’s brand is less partisan commentary and more broad-spectrum advice. Since publishing Knowing Your Value, a self-development tome for women in the workplace, she has published three follow-ups that continue to explore issues of financial worth, responsibility and parity in an always-changing 21st century environment. At this tour appearance in Coral Gables, she and her latest co-author, “Morning Joe” producer Daniela Pierre-Bravo, will discuss Earn It: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond, a kind of how-to manual for millennials and Gen-Zers, who may be new to the workforce. Might the conversation wade into politics, too? Occurring, as it is, during the lead-up to the more substantial of this week’s two Democratic debates, I would imagine so—particularly with Mika’s husband, and “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, moderating the talk.
What: Sneak preview of “The Last Black Man in San Fransisco”
Where: Tower Theater, 1508 S.W. Eighth St., Miami
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 305/237-3083, towertheatermiami.com
Issues of gentrification, platonic love and the fragility of life loom over this affecting urban fairytale from first-time director Joe Talbot. The filmmaker’s lifelong friend Jimmie Fails plays a version of himself, a contemporary San Franciscan whose singular goal in life is reclaim and restore the Victorian-style house built in the 1940s by his grandfather. When a death in the family causes the property’s white occupants to relocate, Jimmie and his best friend, playwright and aesthete Montgomery Allen (Jonathan Majors), claim squatters’ rights, until complications ensue. Allusions to “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland” speak to Talbot’s magical-realist approach, in which prosaic settings resemble stylized set pieces, and the title city hums with daily absurdist details. His copious deployment of zooms, jump cuts and bold, Soviet-style editing has a youthful naivety, but with it an exuberance and a vision that stand out from the cookie-cutter structuralism of most Hollywood product. The script is a bit too on-the-nose, underestimating its audience by spelling out its subtext, but “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is undeniably affecting, and I’m Talbot has a fruitful career ahead of him. The movie opens for its regular run at additional theaters on Friday.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
What: “Stuttering John” Melendez
Where: Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/483-9036, bocablackbox.com
On “The Howard Stern Show,” where outrageousness is de rigueur, comedian John Melendez was a perfect fit for 15 seasons of celebrity needling. Adopting a characteristic stuttering delivery that attempted to disarm his interview subjects—he grew up with such a stutter, and was bullied for it in school—Melendez snagged interviews with the likes of Ringo Starr, the Dalai Lama and Melanie Griffith, asking asinine questions that often veered into the outright insulting. Some took his blathering inquires in good humor; Raquel Welch, most famously, punched him in the nose. Though he’s still most known for his on-camera appearances on Stern’s TV show, Melendez has gone on to a rich and varied career in media, including lengthy stints with Jay Leno and radio talker Stephanie Miller; he’s even written a memoir wittily titled Easy For You to Say. We’re not sure what kind of material he brings to the standup stage, which makes this Boca gig all the more interesting.
What: “Star Wars Vs. Star Trek”
Where: Southwest Regional Library, 16835 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines
When: 3 p.m.
Contact: 954/357-7110, browardlibrary.org
How well do you know a Vulcan from a Wookie? Can you successfully navigate the Starship Enterprise as easily as the Millennium Falcon? For the uninitiated, the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” franchises have long occupied the same nebulous sphere of space-opera anonymity—to the seething ire of the devotees of each cultural touchstone. Now’s your chance to prove which series reigns supreme or, more to the point, whose fans are the most hardcore. This family-friendly afternoon activity includes trivia, activity challenges, raffles and games, and attendees are encouraged to arrive in costume. In lieu of “good luck,” I suggest instead, May the Force be With You. Or, if you prefer, live long, prosper and work that buzzer.
What: 2019 Wheels of Soul Tour
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
It’s time once again for this annual Boca Raton pilgrimage headlined by Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 11-piece blues-rock ensemble founded by husband-and-wife musicians Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. Each summer, this Grammy-winning band makes it a point to perform at Mizner Park Amphitheater as among the first stops on its Wheels of Soul Tour—not an especially road-weary jaunt, given Tedeschi & Trucks’ home base of Jacksonville, but a much-anticipated one nonetheless. This year’s appearance coincides with the new release of the group’s fourth album, Signs, but expect a traditionally eclectic blend of original compositions and covers from their diverse slate of influences, from Willie Nelson to Allman Brothers to the Beatles and Sly & the Family Stone, in a set list that changes nightly. To open things, they’re bringing along two bands that wade in similar Americana-tinged waters: southern rockers Blackberry Smoke and folk duo Shovels and Rope. Do arrive early.
What: The Ultimate Queen Celebration
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Still soaring on the contrails of the Oscar-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen hasn’t been this popular in decades. It’s a shame Freddie Mercury isn’t around to appreciate this revival, but with vocal acrobats like Marc Martel handling the multi-octave duties, all you need to do is close your eyes and be transported to the peak of Queen’s fame. Martel is more than a cover artist; he was selected by Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May to perform on a Queen tribute in 2012, and he later recorded backing vocals on the “Bohemian Rhapsody” film. Some fans continue to advocate for Martel to officially replace Adam Lambert as Queen’s current vocalist, but in lieu of that, we have this Ultimate Queen Celebration, Martel’s heartfelt and note-accurate tribute, which includes “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Radio Ga Ga” and all your sing-along favorites.