NOTE: This week’s column covers two weeks of upcoming events to account for a staff vacation.—Ed.
A film festival shines a spotlight on women directors, restaurants gather for a cause at Old School Square, and politics and showbiz intersect at Island City Stage. Plus, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Susan Page, a new Art & Culture Center show and more in the weeks ahead.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29
Where: Crest Theatre Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/243-7922, oldschoolsquare.org
The traveling short-film festival Lunafest was hatched in 2000 as a platform for underserved female filmmakers. Over the past 19 years it’s become something of an institution, growing from a one-day event at a single screen in California to a national tour hitting 175 cities annually. The 2019 tour features eight films from around the world, including “Flip the Record,” an ‘80s-set coming-of-age story about a Filipino-American teen who discovers a passion for turntablism; “My Immigrant Story,” a documentary about the director’s personal journey as a Japanese American; “War Paint,” about racism and sexism impacting a young black woman over a Fourth of July holiday; and the animated “Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday,” about a young woman who makes peace with her younger self after rediscovering her childhood diaries. Attendees will receive a swag bag with a LUNA bar and more. Gourmet popcorn and “Luna-tinis” will be available for purchase.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1
What: Taste of Recovery
Where: Old School Square Pavilion, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
Contact: go.thecrossroadsclub.com, 561/450-7514
Three years ago, Louie Bossi, who has shared his own harrowing and inspiring story of his recovery from heroin addiction to become one of Palm Beach County’s marquee chefs, started Taste of Recovery, his culinary way of paying it forward. The annual fundraiser benefits the Crossroads Club, a nonprofit 12-step meeting center serving Delray Beach for more than 35 years. The event’s third iteration features savory bites from at least 15 local restaurants, including Brule, City Oyster, Driftwood, Death or Glory, Hai House, Seasons 52 and, of course, Louie Bossi. Their chefs will be competing for People’s Choice and Critics Choice awards, with Mike Mayo, Jan Norris and restaurant consultant Robert Higginbotham judging for the latter. Blues rockers Dave Scott & the Reckless Shots will perform on the Pavilion Stage.
What: Opening night of “Veronica’s Position”
Where: Island City Stage, 2304 Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/519-2533, islandcitystage.org
A snappy comedy set in the intersection of politics and show business, Rich Orloff’s play “Veronica’s Position” centers on the title character, a self-absorbed actress a la Elizabeth Taylor, who has agreed to star in a revival of “Hedda Gabler” with the favorite of her many ex-husbands. Pheromones and indiscretions permeate the atmosphere among Veronica and a constellation of supporting characters, including her current flame, a powerful and moralistic senator; a controversial photographer denounced by that very senator; and Veronica’s young gay assistant, who has become smitten with the photographer. Meanwhile, Veronica’s ex has found offstage chemistry with the play-within-a-play’s attractive young director. Got all that? No matter if you don’t: It’ll all come together when it plays. Michael Leeds directs Laura Hodos as Veronica, in a production that runs through June 30.
THURSDAY, JUNE 6
What:“Weird Al” Yankovic
Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
Yankovic, the western world’s most famous pop-polka parodist, hasn’t released an album of new material since 2014’s chart-topping Mandatory Fun. But that didn’t stop him from earning his 16th Grammy nomination—and his fifth win—this year, for his extravagant compilation Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic. A conversation piece for deep-pocketed nerds, the vinyl box set contains 15 LPs housed in a replica of Weird Al’s signature accordion—each album fits in a separate bellow!—and it retails for $644.87. Al’s hits from many of these albums will likely turn up on this, his most grandiose tour to date, complete with costume changes, props, a video wall, backup singers and, for the first time, a full symphony orchestra. After experiencing it with a live string section, you’ll never hear “Amish Paradise” the same way again.
FRIDAY, JUNE 7
What: Opening day of “Meeting Gorbachev”
Where: Lake Worth Playhouse, 709 Lake Ave., Lake Worth Beach
When: 4 p.m.
Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org
One of the world’s most eclectically curious filmmakers, Werner Herzog has shot documentaries about the residents of Antarctica (“Encounters at the End of the World”), the Chauvet Cave paintings (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”) and artificial intelligence (“Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World”), plus some 27 others. His latest, “Meeting Gorbachev,” has been praised as an abundantly fascinating portrait of the final president of the Soviet Union, now 88. Carried, as always, by Herzog’s deliberate, droll, German-inflected English narration, the film pivots off three conversations between the director and his subject, who explore the latter’s upbringing, his ascent to a nuclear-armed power, his contributions to the fall of the Iron Curtain and—more obliquely—the geopolitics of today. Herzog buttresses these exchanges with stock footage, interviews with experts on the Soviet bloc, and his usual disarming, deadpan observations.
What: Opening night of “Personify”
Where: Art and Culture Center, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $10, includes reception
Contact: 954/921-3274, artandculturecenter.org
What do sculptures, puppets and an immersive installation about Nikola Tesla have in common? Find out at Art and Culture Center’s summer exhibition, a family-targeted show that focuses on these disparate styles of figurative art. “Artists who work figuratively tend to make inanimate objects come to life and project personal and historic narratives on figurative works,” says curator Laura Marsh. “I like this idea about the show being about personification, the action of imbuing a narrative onto an object.” Participants include Cuban artist Pablo Cano, who references surrealism and Dadaism in his marionettes of famous figures; master puppeteer Jim Hammond, who has created puppets for arts institutions throughout Broward County; and Jeanne Jaffe, who will devote a gallery space to the life and inventions of Tesla. The exhibition runs through Aug. 18.
SUNDAY, JUNE 9
What: Susan Page
Where: Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
When: 6 p.m.
Contact: 305/442-4408, booksandbooks.com
Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief of USA Todayand a familiar talking head on the Sunday political shows, enjoyed unprecedented access to Barbara Bush during the last six months of the first lady’s life. The result of these illuminating interviews—and some 100 other conversations with her friends and family members—is captured in the The Matriarch, one of the buzziest nonfiction tomes of the season. Before the book released, on April 2, it had already made news, thanks to early-release chapters that revealed information about George H.W. Bush’s decades-long affair with a personal aide, and the suicidal thoughts Barbara had to suppress. At this rare appearance, Page will discuss her 432-page book, which includes insights from Barbara’s childhood through her time advising two presidents, to her thoughts on the Oval Office’s current occupant.