A hybrid musical marries photography and rock operatics, ‘80s synthpop greats form a retro quintuple bill, and FAU showcases new work from 12 grant-winning artists. Plus, Kathy Griffin, Walter Mosley, “Roman Holiday” and more in your week ahead.
What: Kathy Griffin
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Kathy Griffin’s ostensibly apolitical ascent to the top ranks of American standup comedy—during which she set the Guinness World Record for most televised standup specials, with 23 of them—feels like another lifetime. The catty comedian, who forged her brand on withering monologues about reality-TV egoists and vapid pop tarts, became an overnight political provocateur in May 2017, when her PhotoShopped image of the decapitated head of the president merited universal outrage. She lost her popular CNN New Year’s Eve gig and all of her remaining tour dates for the year, essentially become a comedian non grata. Months later, she was still being detained at airports. But comedy transcends, just as time heals (symbolic) wounds. Her latest tour, “Laugh Your Head Off,” addresses the controversy and its aftermath, along with more-benign targets like the Real Housewives and the Kardashians.
What: Opening night of “New Art 2018”
Where: Schmidt Center Gallery at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 6:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/297-2661, fau.edu/galleries
The pieces on display in FAU Galleries’ first exhibition of the season are not just any new artworks—they arrive with a grant-winning pedigree. The 13 artists of “New Art” have all received funds through the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, which honors a select few artists from five SoFla counties annually. Addressing issues such as identity, politics and social issues through their work, many of this year’s recipients will be familiar names to area museum- and gallery-goers, among them Eddie Arroyo, Leo Castaneda, Rosa Garmendia and Keisha Witherspoon. The exhibition runs through Oct. 27, but visit on opening night for some special dance-infused performance art by fellow grantee Kat Hernandez, live music and a reception.
What: Opening night of “35MM: A Musical Exhibition”
Where: Countess de Hoernle Theatre, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/860-2736, measureformeasuretheatre.com
One of the casualties of Hurricane Irma’s ill-timed landfall at exactly this time last year, this singular musical by Ryan Scott Oliver will finally receive its regional premiere courtesy of upstart theatre company Measure for Measure. Oliver is one of the hottest names among the new composer-lyricists, earning effusive comparisons to linchpins like Jonathan Larsen and Jason Robert Brown. “35MM: A Musical Exhibition,” first produced in 2012, is a fine introduction to his idiosyncratic personality and body of work: It’s a collection of unrelated pop-rock story-songs in which each narrative connects to a photograph projected behind the cast. The show is a multimedia family affair: The museum-quality photographs were shot by Oliver’s husband Matthew Murphy, resulting in a hybrid of art exhibition, rock concert, and contemporary musical. Catch Measure for Measure’s long-awaited production through Sept. 30.
What: Jonathan Joseph Quartet
Where: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Versatile drummer and Miami Beach native Jonathan Joseph has been playing his instrument since joining the band of his church choir at age 6. His prodigious talent carried him through the University of Miami’s School of Music, a breakthrough opening slot for Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th birthday celebration, and storied touring gigs with artists as diverse as Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Ricky Martin and, most recently, Jeff Beck. Along the way, he formed projects with Josef Zawinul, of jazz fusion pioneers the Weather Report; and Othello Molineaux, of Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth Band. For his current incarnation, Joseph and his touring bassist, pianist and guitarist will perform selections from these artists’ legendary catalogs, re-arranged to showcase the unique ancient rhythms of the West African drum styles of Mangame and Bikutsi.
What: Screening of “Roman Holiday”
Where: Cosford Cinema at University of Miami, 5030 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables
When: 1 p.m.
Contact: 305/284-9838, cosfordcinema.com
One of most enduring romantic comedies of Hollywood’s Golden Age, William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” is a sparkling vehicle for two stars at the peak of their fame and abilities: Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess stealing away from an official state visit to see the real Rome; and Gregory Peck as the brash expatriate reporter who discovers her asleep on a bench with no knowledge of her cosseted identity. He tours her around the city in some of the most joyous scenes of romantic connection—and tearful disconnection—ever brought to celluloid. The film, which earned three Academy Awards, will screen on its original 35mm format at this free, one-time-only showcase. But wait, there’s more: UM Professor Margaret Cardillo will read from her related children’s book, Just Being Audrey, and following the screening, Miami drag queen Jupiter Velvet will perform an Audrey-inspired set.
What: Lost ‘80s Live
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com
Beloved by both the nostalgic Gen-Xers who lived through it and by contemporary young ‘uns discovering it decades later, the ‘80s New Wave movement has seen a welcome resurgence in popularity that has brought many of its Platinum-selling pop stars and one-hit wonders out of their relative exiles. Tours like this one are an embarrassment of dance-y, synth-driven riches. No fewer than five staples of ‘80s radio will take full advantage of Parker Playhouse’s extraordinary acoustics: The once-uniquely coiffed headliners Flock of Seagulls, the foot-tapping party popsters Wang Chung (pictured), Clive Farrington and Andrew Mann of the ethereal When in Rome, the sunshine-y melodies of Naked Eyes and synthpop staples Animotion.
MONDAY, SEPT. 17
What: Walter Mosley
Where: Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com
Literary lion Walter Mosley has published an astonishing 50-some books since his 1990 debut, many of them crime fiction featuring one of the few African-American detectives in the hard-boiled genre—a character immortalized on film in the Denzel Washington thriller “Devil in a Blue Dress.” But he’s also an accomplished literary novelist with his pulse on the sociopolitical zeitgeist. His latest tome in this upscale vein is John Woman, which charts the transformation of Cornelius, a naïve boy born to biracial Mississippi parents, into John Woman, a professor with a provocative name, and provocative ideas. Grisly crimes, Mosley’s best-selling forte, factor into the narrative as well, as it transitions from a silent film movie theater in the East Village to an unorthodox university in the Southwest. Mosley’s rare Miami appearance is free, but a book purchase ($26) through Books & Books guarantees two reserved seats.