Piano and banjo maestros create harmony at the Kravis, a contemporary-dance company breaks down walls, and a ‘90s cult film becomes a pop-culture musical. Plus, the Blues Beatles, “The House of Blue Leaves” and more in your week ahead.
What: Readings of “Authors of Act Two”
Where: Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 3 and 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/297-6124, fauevents.com
Part of the mission of Theatre Lab, FAU’s award-winning professional theater, is to foster the next generations of theatre artists through educational outreach. Playwright Vanessa Garcia is one of the company’s teaching artists, and she has devoted her time to instructing adjudicated or at-risk youths at partner schools, detention facilities and community organizations on how to create an original piece of theatre. The result? “Authors of Act Two,” a brand-new play inspired by her experiences. Because it’s a world premiere, we don’t know much more about it, but that’s part of the thrill of seeing a show, or a reading, at Theatre Lab. As always, expect the unexpected.
What: Opening night of “Journey to a Mother’s Room”
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times pending
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
The multiplexes may be oozing alarming amounts of testosterone courtesy of the latest eardrum-rattling comic-book movie, but at the art-houses, the quiet and contemplative drama still has a blessed place. The anti-“Avengers,” the Spanish film “Journey to a Mother’s Room” follows the culturally grounded but universally resonant story of a mother and daughter, long bound at the hip, who now must face a pending separation when the daughter decides to live abroad in London. An eloquent and poignant evocation of empty-nest syndrome and the difficult inevitability of family members forging their own paths in life, “Journey to a Mother’s Room” was nominated for four Goya Awards in Spain, and stars award-winning actress Lola Dueñas, familiar to international audiences for her work in Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver” and “Broken Embraces.” Dueñas and debut filmmaker Celia Rico Clavellino will appear at select screenings for discussions; at Living Room Theaters, their Q&A will take place following after the late-afternoon screening on Saturday, May 18.
What: Chick Corea and BélaFleck
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Between the two of them, legendary jazz musicians Chick Corea and Béla Fleck have released 130 albums and won 28 Grammy Awards. As solo artists, each of them has arguably become the dominant international player in their instrument of choice—piano for Corea, banjo for Fleck—and as a duo, they’ve continued to summit new mountains of sound, combining jazz fusion with bluegrass, rock, flamenco and gospel. This sonic smorgasbord will be on full display at this intimate concert appearance, which features compositions from their first collaboration, 2007’s The Enchantment, and their more recent release, Two, along with covers from Thelonious Monk and others.
What: Opening night of “The House of Blue Leaves”
Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $90, includes reception ($75 for remainder of run)
Contact: 561/514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org
Nearly two decades before he achieved the peak of his fame with 1990’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” playwright John Guare established an overnight benchmark for black comedy with his stunning debut, “The House of Blue Leaves.” The ensemble includes Artie, a zookeeper from Queens with a pipedream of Hollywood musical stardom; his schizophrenic wife Bananas; his downstairs mistress Bunny, who won’t share her orgasmic cooking with Artie until they’re married; and his son Ronny, an AWOL soldier plotting an act of international terrorism. Vietnam-era disillusionment colors the dark humor, but the play more than holds up in the aughts; reviewing its 2011 Broadway revival,Variety’s reviewer noted, “it still sets the bar for smart comic lunacy.” Dramaworks’ production runs through June 2.
What: Dance NOW! Program III
Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
Dance NOW!, one of Florida’s leading contemporary dance companies, gestated in Miami, and established its residency at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. But in the 19 years since it began using the language of dance to forge connections, dispel biases and illuminate current and historical topics, the company has performed in 15 states on three continents—and is fresh off an acclaimed tour of Italy. For its first performance in Fort Lauderdale, Dance NOW!’s Program III will be a recent greatest-hits program of sorts, headlined by “Bridges NOT Walls,” its lyrical exploration of the president’s border policies, which will be supplemented by video art. The evening also includes “The Shifting Weight of Water,” a poetic world-premiere from co-founder Diego Salterini; “(B)ORGIA: Decadence & Decay,” inspired by the Italian Renaissance dynasty of the title; and “Fire Within, Fire Without: Dido on the Pyre,” co-founder Hannah Baumgarten’s interpretation of a tragic Roman myth.
What: The Blues Beatles
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Did you get enough of a Delray Beach Beatles fix at the inaugural Beatles on the Beach Festival that consumed downtown a couple weeks ago? No, neither did we—which is why we’re psyched about this rare tour appearance from Brazil’s the Blues Beatles. This five-piece blues band, formerly known as Today, was hatched almost by accident, when guitarist/vocalist Marcos Viana would noodle around with bluesy takes on the Beatles during rehearsal breaks. These experiments eventually evolved into the unorthodox tribute band it has become. Unafraid to transform many of the sacred cows of the Beatles’ catalog—“Yesterday” is a slow-burning but undeniable blues scorcher, and “Eleanor Rigby” is all but unrecognizable in parts—the Blues Beatles is a further, genre-bending testament to the Fab Four’s pliable melodies and international appeal.
What: “Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical Experience”
Where: Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 954/344-5990, thecentercs.com
Film critics were unkind to 1999’s “Cruel Intentions,” a clunky, soft-core thriller that recast the classic erotic play “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” as pampered, teenybopper debauchery. But approached as pure, nostalgic camp, the movie has had unintentionally comic legs—which the movie’s own director, Roger Kumble, has realized. In 2015, he and two co-writers adapted the movie into a jukebox musical rife with bawdy humor and a shiny, happy menagerie of ‘90s earworms. The story—about cosseted, diabolical siblings who gamble on their ability to deflower a virginal houseguest—is translated in part through guilty-pleasure Top 40 hits from Britney Spears, NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, the Cardigans and more. Some genuinely quality tunes made the cut too, including from Garbage, R.E.M. and, carrying over from the film, the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.”