Features — 14 January 2022
Critics picks of the upcoming season of the arts

By Greg Carannante (GC), Ben Crandell (BC), Rod Stafford Hagwood (RSH) and Phillip Valys (PV)

Editor’s note: Please confirm events and COVID protocols prior to attending.


 aint too proud

“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations”

Feb. 8-20 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $32.50-$90.50 at 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org.

This is the second Broadway hit to mine gold from the storied Motown record company. The legendary Detroit label was in the stage musical spotlight with “Motown the Musical.” And some might say that “Dreamgirls” was the first clone, siphoning off the story of the Supremes the way it did. Which is a perfect segue to a bit of trivia: The Supremes were originally called the Primettes, and were a girl group in support of the Temptations, who were then the bigger act known as the Primes. This musical retelling of that history will include some of the Temptations’ biggest hits including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” – RSH

“Garage Queens”

Jan. 28 and Feb. 25 at Arts Garage, 94 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets are $35 and $40 at 561-450-6357 or ArtsGarage.org.

Female impersonators are a faux femme force of fabulousness, as anyone who has attended these popular drag queen shows at Arts Garage can attest. Returning emcee Ariel Rimm will share the stage with Adelaide, Citris and Angie Ovahness Pryce. Word to the wise: Get your tickets now because this drag-a-licious series always sells out. - RSH

“Dancing with the Stars — Live Tour 2022”

Feb. 20 at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets are $65-$130 at MyHRL.com.

The tops in terpsichorean talent will bring that glitz and glam from the ABC ballroom dance competition to the entertainment venue at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Dancers expected include Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Artem Chigvintsev, Sasha Farber, Daniella Karagach, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart. - RSH

Ben Platt’s The Reverie Tour

Feb. 25 at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets are $45-$125 at MyHRL.com.

The star of both the Broadway and movie versions of “Dear Evan Hansen” — snagging a Tony Award, a Grammy and a Daytime Emmy (for performing on NBC’s “Today Show”) — will perform in support of his second solo album, “Reverie,” which dropped last August. Platt also starred in the original Great White Way production of “The Book of Mormon” as well as movies such as “Pitch Perfect” and this year’s “The People We Hate at the Wedding.” - RSH

martin and martin

Steve Martin and Martin Short

March 4 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets are $55-$139 at 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org.

This show’s subtitle, “You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today,” says it all. The humor here from two comedic superstars takes swipes at their own celebrity and teases Tinseltown. Joining the dynamic duo onstage will be keyboardist Jeff Babko (“Jimmy Kimmel Live” house band) and The Steep Canton Rangers (Grammy-winning bluegrass band). – RSH

 terrence blanchard

Terrence Blanchard

7:30 p.m., Friday, March 4, Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, tickets range from $15 to $150. Visit FestivalBoca.org.

 The 16th-annual Festival of the Arts Boca starts off with an excellent save from jazz royalty. Trumpeter and composer Blanchard, who you may know from his scores of Spike Lee films, replaces Bobby McFerrin, a scratch for health reasons. Blanchard’s exclusive Florida performance incorporates his band, the E-Collective, and the Turtle Island Quartet in a program from his new Wayne Shorter tribute album, “Absence”. In October, the two-time Oscar nominee and five-time Grammy-winner became the first Black composer presented by the Metropolitan Opera in its 138-year history. Other highlights of the 10-day cultural festival include an Opera Gala Concert featuring soprano Larisa Martinez with Festival Orchestra Boca; A Night at the Ballet (see next item), with stars from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet; and a closing concert by SoFlo fav, jazz flutist Nestor Torres. And the Authors & Ideas program expands the fest beyond the performing arts.  — GC

“A Night at the Ballet”

March 6 at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Tickets are $25-$150 at FestivalBoca.org.

This ballet performance is part of the larger Festival of the Arts Boca, which has a slate of performances and talks from March 4-13. “A Night at the Ballet” will feature dancers from both the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet as well as others. One work we can’t wait to see is from choreographer Melanie Hamrick, a former ballerina with American Ballet Theatre. Hamrick also was in a relationship with Mick Jagger, with whom she has one child, Deveroux, born in 2016. Two of the contemporary works by Hamrick in this performance are set to Rolling Stones music. – RSH

Master Chorale of South Florida, “The Best of Broadway”

8 p.m., Friday, March 4, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale; and 4 p.m., Sunday, March 6, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Broward Center tickets are $45, $55 and $65; FAU tickets are $50 advance, $55 at the door. Visit masterchoraleofsouthflorida.org.

The spirit of Stephen Sondheim will be blazing like the marquee lights on Broadway when South Florida’s own symphonic chorus performs pieces from the recently departed composer’s musicals like “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Company” and “Into the Woods.” But it won’t stop there. Under artistic director and conductor Brett Karlin and accompanied by guest artists directly from Broadway, the select ensemble of tri-county singers will also get your toes tappin’ with a century’s worth of show tunes spanning the Great White Way’s Golden Age — favorites like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “The Impossible Dream” and classics by Porter, Gershwin and other masters of the Great American Songbook.  — GC

disney frozen

“Disney’s Frozen”

March 9-20 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $30.50-$90.50 at 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org.

Based on the 2013 mega-hit movie of the same name, this stage musical follows the film’s narrative of Elsa and Anna, two sisters (spoiler alert: one has magical powers that inform the title). They are also princesses who learn about sacrifice and love through their adventures. In addition to a dozen new songs, the Broadway show includes tunes from the movie such as “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” “Love Is an Open Door,” “For the First Time in Forever,” “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People,” “Fixer Upper,” “In Summer,” “Monster” and, of course, that bring-down-the-house favorite, “Let It Go.” - RSH

“Overactive Letdown”

March 26-April 10 at Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton (the Heckscher Stage theater space in Parliament Hall on the campus of Florida Atlantic University). Tickets are $32 and $40 at 561-297-6124 or FAU.edu/theatrelab.

This world-premiere of local playwright Gina Montet’s dark-comedic thriller grew out of Theatre Lab’s 2020 New Play Festival. Christine and Mark are expecting their first child but exhaustion, pregnancy jitters and surging hormones begin to play with Christine’s mind. The mom-to-be soon gets lost in her vivid fantasy world, sparked by all the binge-watching of movies she’s been streaming. - RSH

“Ben Butler”

March 25-April 10 at Boca Stage Theatre, 3333 N Federal Highway in Boca Raton (The Sol Theatre). Tickets are $45 and $50 at 866-811-4111 or BocaStage.net.

This Civil War comic-drama by Boca Stage Theatre (formerly Primal Forces) follows the absurdities that General Benjamin Butler must face with military bureaucracy at his Virginia fort when an escaped slave demands asylum. - RSH

“Flamenco Festival XIII: Stars of Flamenco”

April 21 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets are $25-$125 at 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org.

Three of flamenco’s luminaries will appear at this annual event: Mercedes Ruíz, María Moreno and Eduardo Guerrero. Under the auspices of artistic director Manuel Liñan, they will be joined onstage by musicians and singer Maria Terremoto. - RSH


Billy Joel

8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $405, $281, $205.50, $155.50 and $105. Visit MyHRL.com.

The perennial favorite returns to the scene of one of the final major concerts in South Florida before the pandemic, a sold-out Hard Rock Live performance filled with sing-alongs and self-deprecating wit. There is no turmoil that can’t be cured by an arm-in-arm blast of “Piano Man,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” and “Only the Good Die Young.”  - BC

The Eagles 

8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at FLA Live Arena, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. Tickets are on sale at Eagles.com.

The veteran rockers bring their Hotel California tour to South Florida for a track-by-track tribute to the classic 1976 album followed by a set of greatest hits, all elevated by a choir and an orchestra. The lineup features veterans Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit joined by guitarist Vince Gill and Deacon Frey (son of Glenn Frey).  - BC

hilltop johnny

Elton John

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at FTX Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (formerly AmericanAirlines Arena). Visit MyHRL.comTicketmaster.com.

Elton John began his long-running Farewell Yellow Brick Tour in 2018 in front of just under 9,000 fans at PPL Arena in downtown Allentown, Pa., a note of humility that seemed to echo the sentiment in his iconic album’s title track, about a man uncomfortable with fame looking to trade the penthouse for the plough. But this is Elton’s farewell to live (lucrative) touring, and the final North American dates on his schedule will be a string of massive stadium performances in 2022, from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to its conclusion with back-to-back performances at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Nov. 19-20. Which makes his Feb. 27 concert at 7,000-seat Hard Rock Live in Hollywood even more remarkable and rich with anticipation. The state-of-the-art space is certainly more penthouse than industrial-belt Pennsylvania, but there’s no telling what kind of mood the intimacy of the room will inspire in Elton.

Loudon Wainwright III

8 p.m., Wednesday, March 16, Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road #10, Boca Raton. Tickets are $66.50 and $76.50. Visit Bocablackbox.com.

A ’60s folkie who made a career on ham and wry, Wainwright became famous for tickling those silly places in your brain where you might hide out when under the influence. You know the song about the dead skunk in the middle of the road? Like that. Over the course of 34 albums, the witty Wainwright has produced more serious stuff, not the least of which includes singer-songwriter progenies Rufus and Martha and collaborations with their folk-singer mother, Kate McGarrigle — as well as the Grammy-winning “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.” On his most recent release, 2020’s “I’d Rather Lead A Band,” the sometimes-actor shrugs off the singer-songwriter trappings to take on the role of ’20s-era vocal stylist, fronting Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks Orchestra. It’ll be a much more intimate kind of performance in the 275-seat Black Box theater, the perfect setting for a master quirkster. – GC


The Fugees

8 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at FTX Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (formerly AmericanAirlines Arena).Tickets start at $54.75. Visit Ticketmaster.com.

The iconic hip-hop trio — Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel — will be on global reunion tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their final studio album, “The Score.” The Grammy-winning record (best rap album) included “Killing Me Softly,” “Fu-Gee-La,” “Ready or Not” and a memorable cover of “No Woman No Cry,” while introducing Hill as a vocalist of unique strength and versatility. - BC

Tortuga Music Festival

Friday-Sunday, April 8-10, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd. Three-day passes cost $249, with VIP passes $1,299. Visit TortugaMusicFestival.com.

The annual boots-and-bikinis jam returns to its traditional spring cycle with a strong lineup led by country stars Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Thomas Rhett, Brothers Osborne and Jordan Davis, with sprinkles of eclecticism from Nelly, Surfaces, Sister Hazel and Sublime with Rome. - BC

Van Morrison

8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24, Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets run from $55-$235. Visit MyHRL.com.

It’d be tough to find an artist as lyrically mythical, musically metaphysical, vocally adventurous — and temperamental — as Van the Man. And one who, at 76, is still enough of a singular force to rate a two-night stand at Hard Rock Live. Oh, and did I mention, prolific? Some six decades after he burned “Gloria” and “Brown Eyed Girl” into our collective brain and expanded the musical vernacular with the landmark album “Astral Weeks”, Van Morrison came out last year with his 42nd studio album, a 28-track (!) collection he called “Latest Record Project, Volume 1”. For the bard from Belfast, I guess the title of his first live album says it best: “Too Late to Stop Now” — and that came out almost 50 years ago. (Rescheduled from Feb. 11-12)— GC


beyond monet

“Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience”

 Feb. 4-27 at Ice Palace Studios, 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami, MiamiMonet.com 

After a year of Vincent van Gogh experiences that bloomed like sunflowers across Miami, you might think that South Florida had grown tired of Impressionistic cash grabs. But never underestimate the power of Monet. At Miami’s Ice Palace Studios – the same venue where “Beyond Van Gogh” recently sold 2 million tickets in six months – the new “Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience” will cocoon guests inside dark rooms filled with animated projections of poppy fields and water lilies. Never mind that you have to go inside to enjoy the French impressionist’s plein-air visions of outside: women strolling under the shade of tilted parasols, stone cliffs off the coasts of Normandy, the sun-dappled harbors of Le Havre. More than 400 digital paintings will dance across the walls, including Claude Monet’s popular water lilies of Giverny and poppy fields of Argenteuil, in this exhibition broken into three parts. These colorfully immersive rooms take their design cues from Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, where some of Monet’s masterpieces are permanently displayed. As guests roam these rooms, they’re greeted by contemporary music and a voiceover reading the artists’ thoughts and writings. - PV

“The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop”

April 20-Jan. 22, 2023, at Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, 561-392-2500, BocaMuseum.org.

If all those CGI’d-to-death Marvel films have taught us anything, it’s that every generation likes to use a common refrain — “They don’t make ’em like they used to” — to bemoan how new technology always ruins movies. (For a recent example, see Martin Scorsese’s recent pandemic rant that Marvel movies aren’t cinema, but “theme parks.”). Still, the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop,” makes a strong argument for romancing the past. Remember Dorothy and Toto’s colorful journey to Munchkinland, or Scarlett O’Hara’s house in “Gone With the Wind,” or inside the Death Star in “Star Wars”? These backdrops are all painted by Hollywood’s best scenic artists, and designed to do one thing: show realism that is visually convincing, but also fool you into thinking you’re seeing something real. On display are matte paintings from classic Hollywood films such as “The Sound of Music,” “Singin’ in The Rain,” “Ben Hur,” “North by Northwest” and others. But take note: While visitors might see Yoda, don’t even think of looking for Captain America. - PV

“Reginald O’Neal: As I Am”

Through October at Rubell Museum, 1100 NW 23 St., Miami, 305-573-6090, RubellMuseum.org.

At just 29, Reginald O’Neal is a street artist without a drop of formal training, but his oil paintings call to mind classic techniques from Old Masters. O’Neal, who says he draws inspiration from Caravaggio, paints fragments of his life with stunning emotional intimacy, drawing on experiences growing up in an Overtown public housing project. His soft brushstrokes, filled with tenderness, capture friends, family and objects from the neighborhood with deep shadows and muted colors: his late grandmother’s glasses, the chest scar of a man walking on crutches, figures mingling at a party, a black casket with golden trimmings floating in a black void. His paintings burst with tragedy and memory, and South Florida has started to take notice. The Perez Art Museum Miami and ICA Miami recently bought several O’Neal works, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami just commissioned the artist to make a mural in its plaza. - PV

keith haring

Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky

Feb. 27-Sept. 25 at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., 954-525-5500, NSUArtMuseum.org. By now, it’s easy to spot a Keith Haring painting at a thousand paces. The radical New York City muralist, who died of AIDS in 1990 at age 31, crafted cartoonish figures of crawling children, dancing figures and barking dogs. This visual language – rendered in simple and bold strokes of black paint – are everywhere from AIDS museums to T-shirts to New York City subway walls. NSU Art Museum’s newest exhibition argues that Haring’s early exposure to Belgian avant-garde artist Pierre Alechinsky, as a 19-year-old in 1977, gave him the “rush of confidence” to create his political pop-art shapes. NSU Art Museum’s show traces Haring’s early paper works and his first encounters with Alechinsky’s art, which he has described as “spontaneous, truthful, and real.” - PV


Florida Grand Opera, “A Streetcar Named Desire”

7 p.m. Jan. 22, 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 8 p.m. Jan. 25, Arsht Center in Miami; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, 5, Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets and subscriptions: FGO.org.

One of the oldest performing arts organizations in the state with a history that traces back nearly 80 years, Florida Grand Opera opens the 2021-22 season with a classic nearly the same age, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” This production of the André Previn opera, based on Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play, will feature FGO favorite and Miami native Elizabeth Caballero as the tortured Blanche Dubois and charismatic baritone Steven LaBrie (Riolobo in FGO’s critically lauded 2018 production of “Florencia en el Amazonas”) as the brutish Stanley Kowalski. - BC

Palm Beach Opera, “Carmen”

7:30 p.m. Jan. 28-29, 2 p.m. Jan. 30, Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Tickets and subscriptions: PBOpera.org.

This season-opening performance of Georges Bizet’s timeless love story is a bit of a welcome-home party for Palm Beach Opera and artistic director David Walker. The 2020 season, Walker’s first in the role, ended abruptly in March when the pandemic claimed its final production, “Eugene Onegin.” Earlier this year, the company was forced to pivot again, compressing the season into a well-received outdoor festival of three operas in nine days during February at iTHINK Amphitheatre at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The coming season — “Carmen” will be followed by Donizetti’s rom-com “The Elixir of Love” and “The Merry Widow” — will play out back in the friendly confines of the Kravis Center, where a $40 million expansion and renovation was completed during COVID closures and is ready to be seen. - BC

Lang Lang, “Goldberg Variations”

8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, Arsht Center in Miami. Tickets: ArshtCenter.org.

Nearly two years removed from a pandemic-postponed attempt at this highly anticipated performance, classical-piano rock star Lang will finally scale the kaleidoscopic challenges of Johann Sebastian Bach’s iconic “Goldberg Variations” for a South Florida audience. With Lang at the controls of this enigmatic score, composed by Bach for the harpsichord in 1743 and built on the beguiling elasticity of a single, simple tune, this concert may be one of the season’s most thrilling evenings of music in any category. - BC

Florida Grand Opera, “Fellow Travelers”

 7:30 p.m. April 23, 2 p.m. April 24, 7:30 p.m. April 26 and April 28, Lauderhill Performing Arts Center. Tickets: FGO.org.

A political thriller and love story set against a backdrop of the 1950s McCarthy-era witch hunts and the “lavender scare” that pursued gay employees of the federal government, Gregory Spears’ “Fellow Travelers” is an opera of bold originality. Based on a 2007 novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon, “Fellow Travelers” explores a dark underbelly of American history, confronting questions about morality, tyranny and disinformation. In the work’s 2018 New York premiere, The New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini applauded Spears’ risk taking and innovation, and the richly evocative music that carries his “wrenching, and sadly timely, opera.” - BC

PHOTOS: For complete caption and credit information, see pgs. 19-31 of the print or digital January issue of City & Shore magazine, http://digitaledition.qwinc.com/publication/?i=733615

Editor’s note: Please confirm events and COVID protocols prior to attending.

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