Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Your Week Ahead: Nov. 8 to 14, 2022

A country fest debuts in Delray, a dissident poet speaks in Boca, and Lynn University celebrates the life of a theatre icon. Plus, Steven Wright, Nicole Henry and more in your week ahead.


What: Town Hall Talk: Mujib Mehrdad

Where: Schmidt Boca History Museum, 71 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton

When: 6 p.m.

Cost: Free for BRHS members, $10 for guests

Contact: 561/395-6766,

Multihyphenate scholar Mujib Mehrdad is a poet, essayist, journalist and overall dispenser of truths who happens to be from a country that is not known for welcoming dissenting opinions: Afghanistan. Targeted by the Taliban after the organization took control of his country following the U.S. withdrawal in 2021, Mehrdad and his family escaped to the States for their safety and have been warmly accepted, most recently at FAU, which is sponsoring Mehrdad this semester as a research scholar in its Department of English. Mehrdad’s acclaimed, often award-winning poetry collections include “Gladiators Are Dying” and his latest, 2021’s “Dolphins Alley.” Expect to hear passages from his work at this unique cross-cultural lecture at the History Museum. The event starts at 6 p.m. with refreshments provided.


What: Opening day of “Aftersun”

Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $9-$12

Contact: 561/549-2600,

This memory film, marking the debut feature of writer-director Charlotte Wells, has been met with near-universal acclaim. And these are not tepid thumbs-up, but vigorous four-star reviews from some of filmdom’s most reputable critics. It’s an art film in the sense that there’s little action in the way of plot: A 31-year-woman, Sophie, reflects on a formative vacation she took with her father to Turkey at age 11, which we see play out in flashback. It’s the mid-‘90s during Sophie’s childhood, a pre-cell-phone era where her favorite new toy is a personal camcorder. As Sophie documents the world around her, she gradually realizes there is more to her father than meets the eye. A sublime coming-of-age story, “Aftersun” is acclaimed not only for Wells’ autobiographical vision but for first-time Scottish actress Frankie Corio as the young Sophie, who was chosen out of 500 auditioning actors—and who has already received nominations for her work. “Aftersun” runs at least through Nov. 17.


What: Country on the Ave

Where: Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 1 p.m.

Cost: $50


Delray’s answer to the Tortuga Festival, this inaugural country-music jamboree in Old School Square is presented by Tin Roof, the region’s biggest booster of the genre. Megastar Lauren Alaina, a member of the Grand Ole Opry whose 2018 album What Ifs has reached seven-time Platinum status, will headline the concert, with opening acts including Nashville hitmaker Jerrod Niemann, country-rock fusion artist Nate Smith, classic-country throwback singer-songwriter Drake Milligan, up-and-coming phenom Abby Anderson and the acclaimed duo Temecula Road. Needless to say, it’s great to finally have national entertainers back at Old School Square—hopefully, this is the start of a new renaissance for the historic venue.

What: Steven Wright

Where: Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $31.57 to $52.97

Contact: 954/344-5990,

“I remember when I was a fetus, I used to sneak out at night when my mother was sleeping. I thought to myself, now is the time I should start stealing some stuff, since I don’t have any fingerprints.” For pure absurdist delight, the opening line of this Steven Wright joke is a sliver of genius in and of itself. The punchline only amplifies the surrealist humor already present, taking it up a notch. This bit is as old as dirt but hasn’t lost any of its immediacy. Like the 66-year-old Wright’s best material, it jettisons complicated setups and overly florid language to get right to the point. To read such jokes is one thing, and to see Wright perform them is quite another; his laconic, deadpan delivery is as inextricable to the comic affect as the words themselves. Though surviving mostly on the periphery of film and television, Wright’s influence in standup is vast and unquestioned; in 2017, Rolling Stone named him the 15th greatest comedian of all-time.


What: Nicole Henry

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

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $45-$50

Contact: 561/450-6357,

Celebrated vocalist Nicole Henry is often associated with smooth jazz, but she’s truly a musical omnivore, pulling from the Great American Songbook, reggae, ‘70s folk and classic rock, down-tempo jams and even disco, and interpreting them through her instantly recognizable vocals. Her latest album is 2021’s Time to Love Again, a typically eclectic set, recorded with a full band, that landed on BroadwayWorld’s Best of 2021 list. But for this intimate appearance, she’s stripping things down, hence the show’s theme: “One Voice, Six Strings.” The voice is hers; the strings are the acoustic guitar played by her soulful collaborator Tim Jago. Henry tells Boca magazine she is returning to her early tradition of learning every song she admires with the freedom that solo accompaniment allows: “I’m going back to that and exploring,” she says. “You strip it down, and build it back up anyway you want to. It all starts with rhythm and cadence. … There will be songs I don’t yet have arrangements to—songs that an audience hasn’t yet heard me sing with my quartet.”


What: Jan McArt Celebration of Life

Where: Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/237-9000,

In her more than 40 years in Boca Raton, Jan McArt would accomplish much to earn the sobriquet “The First Lady of South Florida Theater.” A versatile actress with a career spanning opera, popular and musical theatre before alighting in Florida in 1977, McArt would go on to form the mold-breaking Royal Palm Dinner Theatre in Royal Palm Place, which would run for 25 years and rack up 278 Carbonell nominations. She would continue producing theatre during her later, influential tenure at Lynn University, developing a New Play Reading Series and programming the Wold Performing Arts Center. When she departed in 2021, she left shoes that are frankly impossible to fill. Owing to the pandemic, her much-belated Celebration of Life will finally commence next Monday, allowing the many, many performing-arts individuals whose lives were enhanced by knowing Jan McArt to speak about their late friend and mentor. There also will be live musical performances, culminating in a Champagne and dessert reception.

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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