Drive Shack finally tees off in West Palm Beach, the Lantern Festival lights up the Morikami, and a spartan play channels millennial anxieties. Plus, blues singer Joyann Parker, hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Lungs”
Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/586-6410, lakeworthplayhouse.org
“Lungs” is a play rife with millennial anxieties. Penned in 2011 by British playwright Duncan Macmillan, it captures a Generation Y couple’s debate about to whether to bring a child into a world that seems on the brink of global disaster and political unrest—where starvation, poverty, economic insecurity and anxiety over carbon footprints are deep-rooted considerations to furthering bloodlines. As a piece of theatre, this increasingly relevant play is paired down to its essence: a bare stage with few lighting cues, no costume changes, and characters simply named “M” and “W” for man and woman. It also contains one of the most challenging monologues for an actress I’ve ever seen onstage—back when Arts Garage produced it, in 2013, to much acclaim—so kudos to this community theater for taking it on! Lake Worth Playhouse’s black box production runs through Oct. 27.
What: Opening day of Drive Shack
Where: 1710 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach
When: Opens at 9 a.m.
Cost: Varies per hour
Contact: 561/771-5354, driveshack.com
You needn’t be skilled on the links to have a great time at this golf-themed entertainment attraction, whose long-awaited opening in West Palm Beach is expected to add a jolt to both the tourist and resident economy. Only the fourth Drive Shack in the country— plans for approximately 20 more are underway—the venue’s chief attraction is its sprawling field of green, on which circles of varying size and proximity have been strategically designed. It’s the visitor’s job, from a rented bay overlooking the space, to land golf balls in these targets. The techy aspect makes the experience especially delightful: The green space is really just the physical canvas for a handful of virtual layouts, like Monster Hunt, where players attempt to topple the creatures residing in the circles, or even lifelike simulacrums of real courses like PGA National and St. Andrew’s, with Drive Shack’s tracking technology following the course of your ball on the video screens in each bay. Drive Shack also includes retro arcade games and a full-service restaurant and bar; indeed, imbibing while “driving” is encouraged.
What: Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon
Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach
When: 3 to 8 p.m.
Cost: $20 adults, $10 ages 4-10
Contact: 561/495-0233, morikami.org
What better way to remember departed loved ones than to send them messages in paper lanterns and float them across a tranquil lake, illuminating their spirits with a collective glow? This is the touching sentiment behind the Bon Festival, a Japanese ceremony that has been hosted every July for more than 500 years. Owing to the summer’s oppressive heat, the Morikami celebrates its version in October—but the festival’s beloved traditions remain intact. As with previous years, the Morikami’s five-hour fest will include a street fair with shopping, games and children’s activities; taikodrumming by resident percussionists Fushu Daiko; and food vendors offering Asian and American delicacies. At nightfall, all eyes will be on Morikami Lake, when more than 1,000 lanterns—hand-assembled by Morikami volunteers and staff, and inscribed by the visitors who purchase them—create a blazing tribute along the water’s surface. The lanterns run $12 each and always sell out; if you miss one, you can purchase a tanzaku slip for $1 and send your message on a handcrafted straw boat.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
What: Rennie Harris Puremovement
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Pioneering hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris launched his dance company Puremovement in 1992, and he’s been showered with accolades ever since: The New York Times called him “the most profound choreographer of his idiom,” and the London Times labeled him to “the Basquiat of the U.S. contemporary dance scene.” Discover why at this performance of his popular “Nuttin’ But a Word!!!” suite, an eight-part, two-act reinvention of hip-hop dance for a 21st century vernacular that satisfies Harris’ “Three Laws of Hip-Hop:” individuality, creativity and innovation.
What: Joyann Parker
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Vocalist Joyann Parker hails from Minnesota, the state known for its snow-capped Midwestern niceties. But onstage she channels the bluesy spirit of Memphis, the roiling swing of the Big Easy, the chugging soul of the Motor City. One hometown critic compared her to a sober Janis Joplin, which was meant as a compliment. A classically trained pianist who earned her chops performing at churches and weddings, the Twin Cities native discovered the blues only five years ago, when a one-off performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” at a local contest led to an invitation to join a blues band. She boned up on the genre and developed an earthy, world-weary singing voice and animated performance style, taking that band—now known as Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea—to new heights. Parker’s debut album Hard to Love met with acclaim in 2018, with fans appreciating her lyrics, which explore universal struggles and triumphs, and the music, which conjures Robert Johnson austerity one moment and Four Tops-style choreography the next.
MONDAY, OCT. 21
What: Staged reading of “Palazzo”
Where: Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/237-9000, lynn.edu
“Palazzo,” the latest work from the versatile and prolific South Florida playwright Michael McKeever, takes as its central “character” a place: Italy’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, a sprawling 18th century palace overlooking the Grand Canal that one travel editor dubbed “the most fascinating building in Venice.” McKeever’s story revolves around three important women who frequented the edifice, and whose impact on the art world has been incalculable: the muse and patroness Luisa Casati; the English socialite and viscountess Doris Castlerosse, who was rumored to have had an affair with Winston Churchill, among other high-profile trysts; and Peggy Guggenheim, the bohemian art patron whose collection is housed in the Palazzo today. McKeever’s husband, Stuart Meltzer, will direct this staged reading.