The Music Man brings “trouble” to the Wick Theatre, Bruce Springsteen’s drummer performs his live “Jukebox” on Black Friday, and Hollywood’s “Pope of Trash” celebrates Christmas early. Plus, John Leguizamo, the Queers and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening day of “Knives Out”
Where: Cinemark Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Tickets vary
Contact: 561/395-4695, cinemark.com
“Knives Out,” writer-director Rian Johnson’s star-studded whodunit, is a polished throwback to the drawing-room mysteries of Agatha Christie, but with a peripheral 21st-century edge. In a meta touch of trademark self-reflection, the movie’s victim is a best-selling mystery novelist and patriarch (Christopher Plummer) found dead following a celebration of his 85th birthday. Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a P.I. with a New Orleans drawl and a “Columbo” demeanor, is tasked with ferreting a motive from the deceased’s large extended family, most of whom have certifiable reasons for wishing the old man six feet under. Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Collette are a few of the marquee names delivering colorful supporting performances, but it’s the presence of Ana de Armas, as the victim’s Latina caregiver and fellow-suspect, that gives the film its contemporary resonance against a backdrop of conspicuous wealth and ignorant xenophobia.
What: Opening night of “Everything is Super Great”
Where: Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/297-6124, fauevents.com
A brand-new Christmas-themed play shrewdly opening on Black Friday, Theatre Lab’s co-world premiere of Stephen Brown’s “Everything is Super Great” is a dramedy that checks off enough millennial bases to, hopefully, bring down the average age of Theatre Lab’s audience base. Nineteen-year-old protagonist Tommy slaves his days away at Starbucks, surviving off triple shot lattes and pining after his assistant manager. When he’s off the clock, setting the local Applebee’s on fire offers criminal relief from his daily angst, which is compounded by the loss of his older brother, who disappeared months earlier. It isn’t until an unorthodox “art therapist” shows up at Tommy’s doorstep that he finally confronts the grief he’s been avoiding, just in time for the holidays. Matt Stabile directs Jeni Hacker, Timothy Mark Davis, Christian Mouisset and Rachel Bryant in the production, which runs through Dec. 22.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
What: First-annual “Mighty Maxgiving”
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Max Weinberg, onetime bandleader for Conan O’Brien’s late-night show, continues to tour as percussionist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, with whom he’s tirelessly drummed since 1975. The Boss’s concerts feature set lists that change nightly, which serves as an eclectic primer for Weinberg’s newest project. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox finds the drummer and a professional three-piece band playing a set of classic-rock classics curated entirely by the audience. Attendees are provided with a video scroll of more than 200 tunes in the Jukebox repertoire. It includes dozens of Beatles tunes and a copious amount of Bruce favorites, plus cuts from Neil Young and Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and the Ramones, Chuck Berry and David Bowie, and the options continue. If it’s on the list, and somebody shouts it, Weinberg and company will play it. At this pair of post-Thanksgiving Arts Garage appearances, attendees are encouraged to dance off their turkey dinners: The venue’s standard cabaret tables will be removed for an open floor.
What: John Leguizamo: “Latin History for Morons”
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
A flamboyant, multi-hyphenate comedian/actor/author/producer who has excelled onstage and in projects for the large and small screens, John Leguizamo has most recently mastered the art of the one-man show with this Tony-nominated Broadway hit, which went on to shatter records at California’s Berkeley Repertory Theater. When Leguizamo discovered that his son’s American history books were devoid of Latinos, he went on a research mission to find the unsung Latin heroes the mainstream consensus has ignored. “Latin History for Morons” is his frenzied and comic result, which breaks down “3,000 years between the Mayans and Pitbull.” Complete with a trusty blackboard, a makeshift desk and plenty of goofy headgear, Leguizamo commands the stage alone for 110 minutes of irreverence. The entertainment factor is a given; if we also learn a thing or too, it won’t hurt.
What: Opening night of “The Music Man”
Where: The Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/995-2333, thewick.org
Meredith Wilson’s 1957 Best Musical Tony winner remains one of the most-staged musicals in the modern canon for good reason. Ahead of its time when it opened, it frankly has it all: demanding and often-imaginative choreography, blisteringly fast syncopated songs that predated Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals by a half-century, a huckster protagonist who resonates with our weary times, a great love story and a narrative of sweet transformation. Timeless songs such as “(Ya Got) Trouble,” “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “’Til There Was You” have become cultural touchstones outside of their original conceptions. In the Wick’s production, Broadway leading man John Tartaglia joins a terrific cast of South Florida talent, including Julie Kleiner, Wesley Slade, Angie Radosh and Kevin Reilley, in a production that runs through Dec. 26.
What: The Queers
Where: Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 954/449-1025, jointherevolution.net
New Hampshire’s the Queers are proof positive that melodic, sophomoric, mosh-ready, earworm-infectious pop-punk will never die, even if its mainstream heyday is decades past. Joe King, guitarist/vocalist and the sole founding member of the band, has made sure of this fact: The Queers have endured drug problems and deaths in the band, and have more former members—40-plus—than many choirs have singers. And still they tour, with King performing nearly four decades’ worth of alternatively melodic and dissonant tunes heavily inspired by the Ramones, who were in turn heavily inspired by the Beach Boys. Both bands figure prominently in the Queers’ original sound and cover selections alike, milking three-chord wonders with abundant alacrity. Writing of the Queers’ 1996 magnum opus Don’t Back Down, one critic even went on to say, “Some of the songs, dare it be said, even surpass many of Brian Wilson’s perfect pop songs.”
MONDAY, DEC. 2
What: “A John Waters Christmas”
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
One of Hollywood’s undisputed kings of trash cinema, cult director John Waters is likely one of the last entertainers you’d expect to host a Christmas tour, a genre long the domain of spritely carols and good cheer. But the creator of “Pink Flamingos” and “Polyester” professes a genuine affection for the holiday, which he’ll exhibit at this yuletide rant. His monologue also touches on his hatred for e-Christmas cards and his exploration of the most dangerous kids’ gifts on the market—like the Slimeball Slinger and Warcraft Doomhammer. Come for the humor, stay for the public service.