Friday, April 12, 2024

Your Week Ahead: March 5 to 11, 2024

Festival of the Arts Boca continues, “Moulin Rouge!” tours the Broward Center, and the Delray Beach Historical Society revisits the tumultuous ‘60s. Plus, Mavis Staples and more in your week ahead.


Delray Beach in the 1950s, from the Delray Beach Historical Society archive

What: Opening day of “The Land of Sunshine & Dreams: Delray Beach: 1950s-1960s”

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Delray Beach Historical Society, 3 N.E. First St., Delray Beach

Cost: $5, free for members


The two decades chronicled in the Delray Beach Historical Society’s (DBHS) latest exhibition were tumultuous to say the least, from Jim Crow laws and the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War and the cultural splintering that accompanied it. “The Land of Sunshine & Dreams” endeavors to accomplish what the DBHS does best—refract regional and national history through the prism of its cherished city. In addition to issues of war and racial justice, the exhibit explores such wide-ranging topics as tourism, agriculture, music, fashion, sports, the Florida land boom and the birth of the atomic age. “The Land of Sunshine & Dreams” runs across two buildings in the DBHS campus and includes documentary film footage.

What: Opening night of “Moulin Rouge!”

When: 8 p.m.

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

Cost: $45-$121

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Baz Luhrman’s Oscar-winning 2001 film “Moulin Rouge,” a vivid and postmodern pastiche of contemporary pop and fin-de-siècle Parisian decadence, arrived on the Silver Screen pregnant with theatrical jour de vivre. Less than a year after its release, speculation had begun about its seemingly inevitable transition to the Broadway stage. It took another 17 years, but “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” finally premiered, earning 14 Tony nominations and 10 wins, including for Best Musical. The show retains the cinematic story about a bushy-tailed composer from the Midwest who moves to moves to Paris’ bohemian Montmartre Quarter during the Belle Époque and falls in love with a glamorous cabaret star suffering from consumption. But it updates the music, already a smorgasbord of anachronistic 20th century pop favorites. The musical version, on tour from Broadway Across America, contains some 70 songs, from Elvis ballads to Stones rockers to OutKast bangers. It runs through March 17.


What: Nicholas Thompson: “The Wired Future”

When: 7 p.m.

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

Cost: $40

Contact: 561/393-7890,

Artificial intelligence has become such a fraught topic, currently and potentially affecting every aspect of our lives, that its applications—and its coverage—are unavoidable. On a random week in July last year, for instance, a website called the Copilot tracked no fewer than 31,657 articles written about A.I. (Some may have been written BY A.I., I type with a shudder). As former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, Nicholas Thompson has been on the front lines of every fast-moving technological change from the past several decades. He’s now CEO of The Atlantic, and there are fewer journalists better equipped to explore the subject with the sobriety it deserves. In this special appearance for Festival of the Arts Boca, Thompson will reportedly focus on the ways in which our lives are positively impacted by A.I. and other tech innovations, should the proper safeguards be installed. The festival continues with poet Richard Blanco on Thursday, Barcelona Flamenco Ballet on Friday, Isaac Mizhari on Saturday and the Festival Boca Jazz Orchestra performing “100 Years of Rhapsody in Blue” on Sunday.


What: Ulysses Owens Jr. and Generation Y

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach

Cost: $45-$50

Contact: 561/450-6357,

Drummers are the grounding, often driving force in jazz bands no matter the size, and Ulysses Owens Jr. is among the best in the genre today. A graduate of the inaugural Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School, Owens has earned two Grammys for his work with other luminaries—in this case, bassist Christian McBride and vocalist Kurt Elling—but he’s also a formidable bandleader-educator in his own right, in the tradition of the imposing Art Blakey. His latest outfit, Generation Y, released the album A New Beat earlier this year, which accurately describes this ever-shifting artist as he integrates new sounds and new sidemen; Generation Y, for instance, features prodigious younger musicians Owens has taken under his wing, and who have explored their own creativity through his compositions.

What: Mavis Staples

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Cost: $45-$125

Contact: 305/949-6722,

The last surviving member of the seminal R&B family band the Staple Singers, Mavis Staples has projected her powerful pipes from the streets to the heavens in a career that has spanned 60 years. A civil rights activist forever advocating for a more equitable world, Staples marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while onstage, she has mastered gospel, the blues and rock ‘n’ roll—three genres for which she has been inducted as a Hall of Famer. Bob Dylan was reportedly so enraptured with Mavis that he asked her father, legendary Staple Singers patriarch “Pops,” for his daughter’s hand in marriage. (She turned him down.) Staples achieved renewed fame in the 2010s, releasing celebrated albums with collaborators from Ry Cooder and Ben Harper to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, a testament to her pliable, transcendent voice and industrious imagination. At 84, she shows no signs of slowing down, with recent set lists exploring Staple Singers classics and inventive covers from Funkadelic, Talking Heads and the Band.

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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