Monday, July 22, 2024

Your Week Ahead: May 9-15

New plays premiere at FAU, Pompano gets its own cultural center, and L.A. punk legends celebrate 40 years. Plus, Florida Grand Opera, Sushi & Stroll, avant-garde art and more in your week ahead.


What: Opening night of New Play Festival

New Play Festival

Where: FAU Theatre Lab, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: $10-$30, $95 for full festival pass

Contact: 561/297-6124,

One of the most exciting recent additions to the cultural scene in Boca Raton, Theatre Lab’s New Play Festival allows adventurous theatergoers an early opportunity to absorb tomorrow’s potential masterpieces today. These premiere works by prominent local and national playwrights will be produced as staged readings with professional actors and directors, with feedback encouraged at discussions following each play. The festival opens Wednesday with an evening of short plays workshopped for a month in advance, and continues through Sunday with new work by Gia Marotta, Gina Motet, South Florida’s Christopher Demos-Brown, and NPR host Peter Sagal (pictured). Visit Theatre Lab’s website for complete details.


What: Ribbon-cutting ceremony

Pompano Cultural Center

Where: Pompano Beach Cultural Center, 50 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach

When: Begins at 5:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 954/839-9578,

The time has finally arrived for the completion and grand opening of the Pompano Beach Cultural Center, a much-anticipated multidisciplinary arts hub. The stylish building furthers the Pompano arts renaissance that began with Bailey Contemporary Arts and the rejuvenated Pompano Beach Amphitheater. The Cultural Center promises to be the region’s premier performing arts venue, with professional organizations Outre Theatre Company, Florida Classical Ballet and the South Florida Chamber Ensemble among the resident companies. Thursday’s ribbon-cutting will feature curated tapas called “Imagine: A Celebration of the Creative Mind,” an immersive program directed by South Florida playwright-actor Michael McKeever. The evening also represents the first opportunity for visitors to gaze at the Center’s debut art exhibition, “Shipwrecked of Reason: Half a Century of Cuban Art.” Check out our recap of the event Friday here at


What: Florida Grand Opera’s “A Masked Ball”

A Masked Ball

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $21-$200

Contact: 954/462-0222,

Inspired by the 1792 assassination of Sweden’s King Gustav II, this fraught three-act opera by Giuseppe Verdi is full of paranoia, jealousy and pageantry, as a king, beloved by his base but surrounded by conspirators who wish him ill, becomes hopelessly smitten with the wrong woman. Passions swirl and coalesce around the stunning titular scene. The show closes out Florida Grand Opera’s eclectic 2016-2017 season.


What: Sushi & Stroll


Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $6 children, $8 adults

Contact: 561/495-0233,

We like to think this annual tradition at the Morikami is the unofficial kickoff to summer—it’s the best way to enjoy the gardens’ tranquil surroundings and late sunsets, at a time when the snowbirds have migrated northward and the living is starting to get easy. Visitors can stroll the gardens with exclusive sweet, sparkling or creamy sake in hand, while enjoying performances by the Japanese drummers Fushu Daiko at 6:30, 7:15 and 8 p.m. The Cornell Café, offering Pan-Asian cuisine, will be open as usual, but new this year is a picnicking area featuring food trucks and Japanese snacks.

What: Opening night of “The Death of Louis XIV”


Where: Stonzek Theatre at Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth

When: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Cost: $6-$9

Contact: 561/296-9382,

Actor Jean-Pierre Leaud was all of 14 when he starred in his first Francois Truffaut film, “The 400 Blows,” in 1959. The role would spark a collaboration that established the careers of both men on the international stage, with Leaud reprising that film’s rebellious protagonist, Antoine Doinel, in four more titles over the next 20 years. But it’s “The Death of Louis XIV,” starring the now 72-year-old Leaud, that has been called his crowning achievement. The film’s title leaves little to the imagination, but this dramatization of the final days of France’s greatest monarch has been heralded as one of the year’s early art-house sensations, a meditation on life and death in 1715 Versailles. The superlatives from top reviewers have poured in, but so has the backlash, with some criticizing the film’s languid inertia. See for yourself at one of the few regional cinemas taking it on.

What: X


Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30

Contact: 954/564-1074,

Punk music, in its purest, most raw form, is a wail of protest, dissent and perhaps above all negation, with all the bombastic instrumental filigrees of arena rockers stripped away. Linguistically, there’s no better name for a punk band than X, which says it all in one loaded consonant. Loud, fast and fully in control, X quickly rose to prominence in the late ‘70s, out-shredding their new-forgotten peers in the burgeoning L.A. punk scene. Balancing on the knife-edge of darkness and hedonism, the quartet peaked with first two albums, “Los Angeles” and “Wild Gift,” whose songs still constitute the lion’s share of its set lists four decades later. Rosie Flores, a veteran rockabilly chanteuse from Austin, will open the show.

What: Opening night of “Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties”

Collective Rage Poster REVISED JPG

Where: Thinking Cap Theatre at the Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 954/610-7263,

In a work that has earned comparisons to playwrights as divergent as Eve Ensler and Edward Albee, “Collective Rage” is a feminist satire inspired by Max Fleischer’s objectified Betty Boop cartoons. Playwright Jen Silverman’s prismatic quasi-portrait splits Boop’s personality into five modern characters all sharing that same alliterative name. They also maintain a penchant for repeating, and owning, a certain slang term for female genitalia that our president knows all too well. Thinking Cap Theatre’s southeastern premiere of this timely comedy about female stereotypes will be directed by company founder Nicole Stodard and will feature an ace cast of South Florida actresses as the quintet of Betties: Ann Marie Olson, Betsy Graver, Vanessa Elise, Gretchen Porro and Carey Hart. It runs through June 4.


What: Opening day of “Some Aesthetic Decisions”


Where: NSU Art Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

When: Noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: $5-$12

Contact: 954/525-5500,

It’s been 100 years since Marcel Duchamp, that prickly Dadaist, submitted a modified urinal as his contribution to a group exhibition in New York’s esteemed Grand Central Palace. Titled “Fountain” and suppressed behind a glass partition for the exhibition’s duration, this signature act of subversion ignited a debate about the definition of art that resurrects itself every time a painter contributes a blank canvas to a group show, or a sculptor constructs a totem out of cow dung. NSU Art Museum ponders these eternal questions in “Some Aesthetic Decisions,” an exhibition organized by its director and curator, Bonnie Clearwater. In addition to a replica of the now long-lost Duchamp piece, the exhibition will include “questionable” works by Cory Arcangel, Jeff Koons, Tom Scicluna and other blue-chip provocateurs. It runs through Sept. 3.


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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