Special Features — 04 November 2016
Affairs of the arts: Critics’ pick of the season

Our entertainment writers have taken a long look at the season ahead in the Arts in South Florida, and found much to love.



Question Bridge: Black Males

Through Dec. 18 Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach,
561-832-5196, norton.org. Free.

Black lives matter in this hot-button installation – specifically, black male lives. The culmination of 1,600 question-and-answer videos from more than 150 men, the collaborative transmedia project illuminates the diversity within the group labeled “black.” Changing with each venue, Question Bridge is fertile ground for community interaction and, accordingly, the Norton will present a host of complementary programs, including on Dec. 4 a discussion with Hank Willis Thomas, one of the contributing artists.

– Greg Carannante

Slvia Plachy: The Hungarian Connection

Through Jan. 8 Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, 561-392-2500 or BocaMuseum.org

At 73, Plachy has spent her life seeking refuge in photography, a hobby she took up in childhood in order to avoid speaking. The Budapest-born photographer fled Hungary during the 1956 revolution, moving first to Austria and later to New Jersey, but she never stayed long enough to learn the language. So Plachy’s observational photographs replaced her voice. She eventually learned English, and her photo essays and portraits have appeared in the New Yorker, Village Voice, New York Times and elsewhere, and a snapshot of these appear in this photo exhibit. The show is featured in the museum’s four-part exhibition Art of Hungary, which also includes Hungarian Photography, Hungarian Art: A Century of Rebellion and Revival and Szilárd Cseke: Gone Too Far.

– Phillip Valys


Nov. 11-20 Downtown West Palm Beach, 561-906-6432 or CanvasWPB.org

The Wynwood-ification of West Palm Beach known as Canvas returns this year with more sharp murals and colorful cool, but don’t expect to find these massive paintings on downtown walls like last year. The “outdoor museum show,” as organizer Nicole Henry bills it, will spend its second year invading the city’s parks along the Palm Harbor Marina between Banyan Boulevard and Quadrille Street. Five public parks on five blocks along the waterfront will be splattered with paint by 20 muralists, including Pichi Avo, Laura Kimpton, David Walker, and Ernest Zacharevic. Here’s the canvas: new shipping containers, rail cars and children’s playgrounds installed in the parks.

–Phillip Valys

Regeneration Series: Anselm Kiefer From the Hall Art Foundation

Nov. 21-Aug. 27 NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-5500 or NSUArtMuseum.org

The German-born Keifer has a habit of modeling his installations after the apocalypse. In oil paintings and sculptures overstuffed with historical symbolism, he tackles the traumas and disasters of World War II and current extremists taking aim at major European cities, such as Paris and Belgium. Keifer re-creates ruins in his 200-acre studio in southern France, building totems of destruction and healing from sand, ash, scavenged clothes, straw and cinder block. The show kicks off the NSU Art Museum’s postwar focus on European art, after spending its past few seasons dwelling on World War II-era works.

– Phillip Valys

Solo exhibits by Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg and Pascale Marthine Tayou

Opens spring 2017 Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach,  786-436-8133 orBassMuseum.org

After 18 months of dust and jackhammering (along with pop-up exhibits at nearby Miami Beach Public Library) the souped-up Bass Museum of Art will reopen next spring, delayed from a Dec. 1 opening. (The $12 million redesign adds four new galleries, a café and a courtyard.) On the bill are a trio of new shows by Swiss-born mixed-media artist Ugo Rondinone, Argentinean-born video artist Mika Rottenberg and Cameroon-born sculptor Pascale Marthine Tayou. All three are sure to give the Bass some clout: Rottenberg’s works have shown at the Venice Biennale, while Tayou will install a new work during the opening titled Welcome Wall. Welcome back, indeed.

–Phillip Valys

Art Basel Miami Beach

Dec. 1-4  Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, ArtBasel.com/MiamiBeach

You knew Art Basel had arrived when a Miami art gallery proudly touted big-ticket images of “everyday people in everyday situations” by America’s favorite photographer, rocker Lenny Kravitz. But there were other signs that South Florida’s annual countrywide art blitz captured our minds and wallets. A human-size aquarium at Miami-Dade College imagined a bittersweet underwater symphony: a Miami underwater thanks to global sea rise. Meanwhile, galleries in Wynwood and the Design District saw concerts by Alicia Keys, Vampire Weekend and Slick Rick. The big tourism draw this year, however, will be the 15th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center, now halfway through a $615 million facelift that started after last year’s Art Basel ended. Filling the building will be 269 galleries from 29 countries, and some 20 satellite fairs will erect air-conditioned white tents all over midtown, Wynwood and Miami Beach.

 – Phillip Valys


Jan. 31-July 2 Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-392-2500, bocamuseum.org. Admission: seniors $10, adults $12, children and students free. 

Prepare to become glassy-eyed viewing this bold exhibit from Venice that challenges the notion of glass as “beautiful” material. Created by 30 international artists-in-residence at Studio Berengo in Murano, the extraordinary works reflect the innovation of artists new to the medium collaborating with the historic furnace’s master glassmakers. Such as Cornelia Parker’s life-sized hand-blown snare drum with mallets – or more mind-blowing, Javier Perez’s disturbing tableau of stuffed black crows feasting on the spattered glass carrion of a carcass.

– Greg Carannante




Opera @ the Waterfront

Dec. 10 Palm Beach Opera, Meyer Amphitheatre, 105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach, 561-833-7888, pbopera.org. Free.

Arias will lilt on the lake breeze as the opera’s season tune-up serenades downtown West Palm for the fourth consecutive year with an afternoon concert in the open-air venue. Featured guest is Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton, who opened The Met’s season in the title role of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. He will be joined by Palm Beach Opera Young Artists and the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Associate Conductor and Chorus Master Greg Ritchey. BYOB(lanket).

– Greg Carannante

Cleveland Orchestra

Bach and Bruckner

Jan. 27-28, 8 p.m.  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 800-741-1010 or ClevelandOrchestra.com/Miami.

One of the foremost explorers of Anton Bruckner’s rocky emotional landscape, conductor and music director Franz Welser-Möst will lead the Cleveland Orchestra in the composer’s touching Seventh Symphony. The eclectic evening also features award-winning mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano — “endowed with an attention-grabbing dark mezzo, its depths bracing like strong coffee,” a New York Times reviewer wrote of a May recital — and a first-time collaboration with Miami’s Seraphic Fire choral ensemble on three Bach cantatas.

– Ben Crandell 

Lang Lang

Feb. 21, 8 p.m. at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 800-572-8471 or Kravis.org. Tickets start at $39. Also at 8 p.m. 

Feb. 25  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 877-949-6722 orArshtCenter.org. Tickets cost $50-$135.

If there is a superstar in classical music, it is Chinese pianist Lang Lang, the charismatic young performer whose fame crosses lines musical, cultural and geographical. His just-released album, New York Rhapsody, pays homage to the city and music it has inspired, with guest artists including Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Lindsey Stirling and Madeleine Peyroux. He heads in another direction in these South Florida performances, with a program that focuses on the evocative music of Spain, in particular composer and pianist Enrique Granados.

– Ben Crandell 

Classical Soul

March 7 Symphony of the Americas, Amaturo Theater at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-335-7002, symphonyoftheamericas.org. Tickets $60, $85.

What do you get when you combine a classical piano duo with an r&b singer? Fats Domino is a good guess but, no – it’s actually another of the symphony’s genre-bending programs. Brother and sister duo Sergio and Barbara Salani will shake up their performance of classical piano works with a world-premiere arrangement featuring vocalist Lillie McCloud. You may remember she stirred a little controversy on The X Factor a few years ago. Soul Fingers!

–Greg Carannante

Florida Grand Opera

Before Night Falls

March 18, 7 p.m. 

March 19, 2 p.m. 

March 21, 24-25, 8 p.m. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, 800-741-1010 or FGO.org.

A new setting for the powerful memoir of dissident Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, from his time as a political prisoner in Castro’s Cuba, smuggling his manuscripts abroad for publication, to his emigration to the United States in the 1980 Mariel boatlift through his final decade in New York. Arenas, suffering from AIDS, took his own life in 1990 at age 47. Opera News says this Fort Worth Opera production by composer and co-librettist Jorge Martín, born in Santiago de Cuba, “bursts with restless passion … vibrant, compelling characters [and] pulsing, illustrative music, the combination of which was more than enough for this listener and the wildly enthusiastic opening-night audience.”

–Ben Crandell 




Miami City Ballet – Program One

Nov. 5-6 at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave.,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org. Tickets $25-$59.

Nov. 11-13 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org. Tickets start at $20.

Miami City Ballet is presenting four remarkable programs plus its annual Nutcracker performance this season. Any performance by the company is a safe bet, but the opportunity to see Giselle doesn’t come every year. The romantic ballet tells the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with Count Albrecht and dies of a broken heart after discovering he betrayed and lied to her. The ballet requires exceptional acting skills and precise technique. Watching ballerinas reinvent the famous “mad scene,” when Giselle goes insane after discovering Albrecht’s betrayal, is always exciting.

–Barbara Corbellini Duarte

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org. Tickets $25-$59.

If you’re tired of watching the same Nutcracker every year, but still want to feel the Christmas spirit of the story, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is the show to see. The program uses Tchaikovsky’s score, but instead of an orchestra, you’ll find an electric violinist and a DJ onstage. Natural hair, jeans, T-shirts and sneakers substitute for slicked hair buns and tutus. Instead of the familiar setting of a family’s living room with a Christmas tree, the story takes place in the streets of New York, and the dancers’ hip-hop and break-dancing moves perfectly complement the music. At times, it seems as if Tchaikovsky composed the music especially for this contemporary act.

– Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Ballet Etudes’ The Nutcracker

Dec. 17-18 at Miramar Cultural Center Theater, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, 954-602-4500, miramarculturalcenter.org. Tickets $30, $40 and $50.

Like a first snow up North, the advent of the Tchaikovsky chestnut is a singular herald of winter in seasonally challenged South Florida. And as it has for over 40 seasons, Artistic Director Susana Prieto’s company will once again set the snowflakes waltzing, the toy soldiers marching and the Sugar Plum Fairy dancing with an enchanting production featuring international guest stars and a cast of over 100 dancers.

– Greg Carannante

Spring to Light – Peter London Global Dance Company

Dec. 29-31 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $40.

This contemporary-dance company features some of the best dancers in South Florida. A former teacher from the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Peter London founded the company so his students would have a place to dance in Miami, instead of leaving town looking to perform with Alvin Ailey or Martha Graham. London was born in Trinidad, but established his career in New York, graduating from Juilliard and dancing with Martha Graham. He often incorporates his background into his works. He draws inspiration from throughout the world, including the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. The company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with Spring to Light, a show with choreographies by London and choreographers from Ballet Hispanico, Limon Dance Company, Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey.

– Barbara Corbellini Duarte


Feb. 16-18 Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722 orArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $40.

Choreographer Jeanguy Saintus founded this Haitian dance company in the late 1980s because he wanted the world to view Haiti for more than poverty and disaster. The choreographies showcase Haitian culture, mixing contemporary with folk, African, indigenous and French dance styles, and are often set to drums and percussion. The dancers’ movements are strong, intense and full of passion, so much so at times it seems as if they’re dancing for their lives. A must-see.

–Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Alvin Ailey’s Revelations

Feb. 23-26 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $29.

Feb. 28 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org. Tickets start at $29.

Alvin Ailey wowed audiences when he debuted his masterpiece, Revelations, in ‘60s. The piece explores the struggles of black people in America, from slavery onward. More than 50 years later, the piece has just as much power today as it did in the ‘60s. Moving through powerful songs such as Wade in the Water and Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham, dancers jump and spin across the stage with vigor, expressing pain and joy with every movement.

Barbara Corbellini Duarte




Dolly Parton

7:30 p.m., Nov. 27 The BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise, 800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com. Tickets $45.25-$125.35.

Draped in layers of rhinestones and aw-shucks humility, Dolly Parton is a beloved but often overlooked member of Nashville’s country-music pantheon, a seven-time Grammy winner with 25 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country singles chart. It was 25 years ago that Parton, 70, last toured the country with a No. 1 country album, as she’s doing on her 60-city ramble in support of Pure & Simple. Not only did her double album debut at the top of the Billboard country albums chart, it also hit No. 1 on the Americana list, with releases by Chris Stapleton, the Lumineers and Sturgill Simpson looking up at her. By all accounts, Parton has never sounded more captivating on hits such as Jolene, Here You Come Again and I Will Always Love You.

– Ben Crandell

Barbra Streisand

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 The BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy, Sunrise; 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com. Tickets $99-$510.

The South Florida cultural calendar has not seen a visit from La Streisand in a decade, longer than that for Miami, which last hosted a performance by the singer at the Eden Roc in 1963. Her concerts at the BB&T Center and AmericanAirlines Arena were late additions to a tour called Barbra: The Music… the Mem’ries… the Magic! that was originally scheduled for just nine cities – until all the glowing reviews came in. Delivered in two hourlong acts, the 74-year-old Streisand is covering a lot of ground in these shows, from Funny Girl and Yentl to The Way We Were and music from her 35th album, released in August, called Encore. The review in her hometown New York Times put it best: “Like buttah. Like satin. Like whatever that perfume is that Elizabeth Taylor hawked. Oh, right: White Diamonds. Barbra Streisand sounded like diamonds. And porcelain and a freshly drawn bath and consommé.”

– Ben Crandell

Nufonia Must Fall Live

April 6-7 Bailey Hall, 3501 Davie Road, Davie, 954-201-6884, baileyhall.org. Tickets $10-$49.

So, you’re sitting in this stylish, renovated theater and you’re watching, of all things, a futuristic puppet show onstage. You’re also watching it being filmed. And you’re watching the final animated film of that show projected on the big screen at the same time. Oh, and did I mention you’re also watching and listening to musicians perform the soundtrack? That’s the cutting-edge extravaganza that could be the Avatar of the ADD generation. Based on a graphic novel by DJ Kid Koala, “it’s the coolest, hippest thing” on Bailey Hall Presents’ eclectic program, says director Dr. Daniel Barnard. “It’s a very poignant show. Families will love it, but even curmudgeons will love it.”

– Greg Carannante

Tortuga Music Festival

April 7-9 Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, TortugaMusicFestival.com. Three-day passes $229, $999 and $1,499.

Tickets for the 2017 beach bash sold at a record pace even before the September announcement that country star Kenny Chesney would return as one of the headliners for the fifth annual festival, which has come to define South Florida in the eyes and ears of country-music fans around the world. A headliner for the inaugural festival in 2013 (and in 2015), Chesney returns to an event that this year was expanded to three days, drawing nearly 90,000 people from 47 states and 16 countries to hear an eclectic lineup including Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Elle King and Kelsea Ballerini. The announcement of the final 2017 bill, which will include two more headliners, is imminent and will “blow you away,” according to one Tortuga rep.

– Ben Crandell


The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the Night-Time

Nov. 15-20 Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469 or
Kravis.org. Tickets start at $27.

This play-within-a-play is centered on the fascinating story of Christopher, a teenager with remarkable math skills and very few social skills who sets about to clear his name when he’s accused of killing a neighbor’s dog. The Broadway run won five Tony Awards.

– Rod Stafford Hagwood

An American in Paris

Dec. 6-11 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $27.

Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org. Tickets start at $29.

Of course, I was already excited about this show based on the 1951 Gene Kelly-Leslie Caron movie. After all, the stage musical won four Tony Awards when it was on Broadway in 2015. But to make things even better, former Miami City Ballet dancer Sara Esty will repeat her performance from Broadway on the road tour. And her sister Leigh-Ann Esty, who was also with the Miami City Ballet, is her understudy. So no matter what, South Florida audiences will see some Esty magic. Oh, and one more thing: The score is by George and Ira Gershwin and includes sterling silver standards such as I Got Rhythm, But Not for Me, S’Wonderful and Stairway to Paradise.

– Rod Stafford Hagwood 

Blues in the Night: A Musical

Jan. 27-Feb. 19 Arts Garage, 94 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach, 561-450-6357 orArtsGarage.org. Tickets cost $35-$45.

Three women, plopped down in a seen-better-days Chicago hotel in 1938, talk about the man that done them wrong. One low-down dude makes these women sing 24 blues songs from composers such as Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Bessie Smith, Gordon Jenkins and Vernon Duke.

– Rod Stafford Hagwood 

New Country – An Unfiltered Comedy

Feb. 2-12 Lake Worth Playhouse,
713 Lake Ave., 561-586-6410 or
LakeWorthPlayhouse.org. Tickets cost $23.

This country-fried farce is about a country music star named Justin Spears (probably because his persona is a mashup of Britney Spears and Justin Bieber) who is driving his record-company handlers crazy with his antics on the night before his wedding. To make matters even worse, they have to deal with an unhinged bellboy, a spurned biker-chick-ex-girlfriend and a sexually indiscriminate uncle right out of the Duck Dynasty mold. The off-off-Broadway show was written by Mark Roberts, an executive producer for Two and Half Men, Mike and Molly and The Big Bang Theory.” The comedy is part of the Black Box Series, which features edgy work, and is performed in Lake Worth Playhouse’s 53-seat Stonzek Studio Theatre.

– Rod Stafford Hagwood 

Something Rotten

March 21-April 2 Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 800-764-0700 or BroadwayInFortLauderdale.com.

When we think of beefs in the entertainment world, Kanye West and Taylor Swift comes to mind. But last year’s big Broadway hit tells the story of two brothers in 1595 England who are in a theatric throwdown with no less than William Shakespeare. The Tony-winning musical also manages to send up just about every major musical over the past 50 years, from South Pacific to Wicked.

– Rod Stafford Hagwood 

Nine, The Musical

April 28 – June 11 Stage Door Theater, 8036 W. Sample Road, Margate, 954-344-7765, stagedoorfl.org. Tickets $38-42. 

Taking Fellini’s from Venice to Broadway, Maury Yeston’s musical mixes up a film director’s creative block, midlife crisis and marital troubles – and stirs a stageful of bella donnas into the spicy sauce. The 1982 production starring Raul Julia won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2003 Broadway revival starring Antonio Banderas won Best Revival. In its 24th season, the not-for-profit little theater that could brings it all to Broward.

– Greg Carannante

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