Special Features — 30 October 2015
Critic picks to the season ahead in the Arts

Our entertainment writers Rod Hagwood (RH), Ben Crandell (BC), Greg Carannante (GC), Barbara Corbellini Duarte (BCD) and Philip Valys (PV) shine a spotlight of their own on a few South Florida shows not to be missed this season.


Hello, Dolly!

Nov. 5-Dec. 6 at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-995-2333, TheWick.org. Tickets start at $65.

Step aside, Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand. The Wick Theatre is about to pull off a first: a man playing Dolly Levi in the musical Hello, Dolly! The production about a matchmaker at the turn of the 20th century will star Broadway star Lee Roy Reams (The Producers, La Cage aux Folles, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street). The musical features such showtune standards as Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Ribbons Down My Back, Before the Parade Passes By and, of course, the title song. - RH


Feb. 7-21, 2016 at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter, 561-575-2223, JupiterTheatre.org.
Tickets $55-$84.

Consider this play Clash of the Titans for the thinking man. It’s set in 1977, when journalist David Frost was struggling to maintain his TV show and Richard Nixon was the disgraced former president. When Frost approached Nixon about doing a series of televised interviews, he saw it as a path to reignite his career. Nixon saw it as a chance to win back respect and dignity. - RH

Matilda The Musical

March 1-6 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469, Kravis.org. Tickets start at $28.

Any musical that brings in four Tony Awards is a must-see in my book. Add to that almost universally glowing reviews from the mean-as-a-snake Broadway and West End press, and you have a bona fide hit. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda the Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her destiny. - RH

Kinky Boots

March 1-13 at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222, BrowardCenter.org. Tickets $35-$85.

Broadway’s hottest show is coming to Broward with the run of Kinky Boots. Inspired by a true story and featuring a Tony-winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, the story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous drag queen in need of some sturdy stilettos. - RH

Satchmo at the Waldorf

May 13-June 12 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, 561-514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org.
Tickets $44, $64, $79.

The world knew the legendary Louis Armstrong as its beloved ever-smiling musical ambassador, but this one-man play shines a stark spotlight on the complexities of the man behind the handkerchief, reminiscing backstage at one of his final performances. Invited by PBD artistic director William Hayes, Terry Teachout, drama critic for The Wall Street Journal, makes his directorial debut with his own play. “He seemed like an inspired choice,” Hayes says – one that should close the theater’s season on a high note. Ohhh, yeahhh! – GC

Bridge and Tunnel

March 16, 2016 at B’nai Torah Congregation, 6261 SW 18th St., Boca Raton, 561-392-8566, Bnai-Torah.org. Tickets $36 ($25 for congregational members).

This is a one-night-only chance to catch Carbonell Award-winning actress Karen Stephens reprise her critically lauded performance in Sarah Jones’ Tony Award-winning play, which chronicles the lives and diverse members of New York’s melting pot. - RH


Mavis Staples

8 p.m. Nov. 21 at the South Miami Dade Cultural Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay, 786-573-5316, SMDCAC.org. Tickets $35-$60. 8 p.m. May 6 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 800-572-8471, Kravis.org. Tickets start at $20.

The gospel legend has the fire to tear the roof off any room she plays, and her inspired pairing with the transcendent talent of Joan Osbourne will make for a special evening at the South Miami Dade Cultural Center. Staples also will be part of another formidable bill in May when she performs at the Kravis Center with the Blind Boys of Alabama, a gathering that should bring a special kind of glory. – BC

Bettye LaVette

7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Bailey Hall Presents, Broward College, 3501 Davie Road, Davie, 954-201-6884, baileyhall.org. Tickets $36-$59.

There are singers who sing soul music, and then there are singers who make it. That’s LaVette, an interpreter who can wrap her gritty voice around a rock anthem like the Who’s Love Rein O’er Me and – as she once did to steal the Kennedy Honors show – wring out of it sweat and tears we never knew it held. LaVette’s overnight sensation status belies a 50-year recording career and a Grammy-nominee talent that The New York Times says now rivals Aretha “as this generation’s most vital soul singer.” The title of her new album says it all: Worthy. – GC

Janet Jackson

8 p.m. March 9 at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise, 800-745-3000, Ticketmaster.com. Tickets

This spot could have gone to Madonna (Jan. 23-24 at Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena), but Jackson’s return, after an extended absence (her new album, Unbreakable, is her first in seven years) and after Michael, is worth rooting for.

She once ruled the pop charts in the same way Taylor Swift does — the Toronto Star described a recent concert as “a sonic bombardment of wall-to-wall hits” — and it will be good to hear from her again. – BC


100+ Degrees in the Shade:
A Survey of South Florida Art

Nov. 12 to January 2016 at four galleries in South Florida, 100DegreesIntheShade.com.

No fewer than four galleries in two counties can contain the flood of made-in-South-Florida art being rolled out for 100+ Degrees, curated by Jane Hart. Here’s what we know: Every artwork is themed to South Florida’s “lush, tropical-urban environment” and will be hanged at Girls Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale; Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art in El Portal; the Laundromat in Little Haiti; and Bridge Red Studios in North Miami. Even more impressive is the lineup of contributors, anchored by the TM Sisters, Jillian Mayer, Ahol Sniffs Glue, Virginia Fifield, Francesco LoCastro, Jill Weisberg, Purvis Young and Hart herself (her anagrammatic pseudonym is TJ Ahearn). - PV

Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

Dec. 3-6 at Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, ArtBasel.com/MiamiBeach.

Last year’s bonanza on the beach saluted the maxim “more is better,” overstuffing the Miami Beach Convention Center with 1,080 green teardrops, videos of Lady Gaga bound and naked and at least one man who drew attention by tap-dancing in a mariachi-themed piñata suit. Art Basel is, after all, the biggest collision of big-ticket paintings and lowbrow graffiti in the country. It’s a place where Miami Heat champ Dwyane Wade can sell abstract paintings made by dragging basketballs across a canvas, and where Miley Cyrus can perform (and pine about a deceased pet) while taking drags from a blunt. For Basel’s 14th edition, 267 galleries will fill the convention center, and some 20 satellite fairs will pop air-conditioned white tents all over Midtown, Wynwood and Miami Beach. - PV

Andy Warhol

Warhol on Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987,  Jan. 26-April 10; Warhol Prints from the Collection of Marc Bell, Jan. 26-May 1; Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-392-2500, bocamuseum.org. Admission: seniors $10, adults $12, children and students free.

The man who made art go pop gets a double album’s worth of exposure. An audio-video exhibit of 100 LP covers features his two most eye-popping – the Velvet Underground’s iconic solo banana and the hidden banana he unzipped for the Stones’ Sticky Fingers. But there are also distinctive typographical collaborations with his mother, genteel inks of jazz greats and portraits of Liza, Aretha and Lennon in the colored-print style made famous with Liz, Marilyn and Elvis – which are featured in the flip-side print show. That’s where you’ll find the soup cans, too. – GC

O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists
in New York

Feb. 18 to May 15 at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-832-5196, Norton.org.

In a new Norton season flush with female-centric shows (solo exhibits by Mary Ellen Mark and Njideka Akunyili Crosby being the notables), this one stands out for its originality. The display of 60 works marks the first time modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe has been paired with contemporaries Florine Stettheimer, Helen Torr and Marguerite Zorach. The four knew one another, pioneering in their own way perceptions of gender in the arts, and examples here include O’Keeffe’s flower abstractions; Stettheimer’s party scenes and portraits; Torr’s landscapes and still lifes; and Zorach’s cubist-style folk art. - PV


Cleveland Orchestra

Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, Nov. 13-14; Andsnes Plays Schumann, Jan. 21-22; Brahms and Prokofiev, Jan. 29-30; Thibaudet Plays Liszt, March 17-19 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets start at $39, with free admission for a young person age 8-17 with the purchase of a full-priced ticket. Call 305-949-6722 or visit ArshtCenter.org.

Program: Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Ravel, Jan. 26 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Ticket prices TBA. Call 800-572-8471 or visit Kravis.org.

The Cleveland Orchestra celebrates its 10th anniversary season in South Florida with four weeks of performances that includes a Jan. 23 gala featuring opera star Renée Fleming. During its stay in Miami, led by music director Franz Welser-Möst, the orchestra has become “the best in America,” in the estimation of The New
York Times
. – BC

Joaquín Achúcarro

8:15 p.m. April 12, Symphony of the Americas, Amaturo Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-335-7002, symphonyoftheamericas.org. Tickets cost $62, $73, $85.

“I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein,” Zubin Mehta has said of the Spanish pianist whose distinctive style is mirrored by the distinctions of his expansive career. He has received his country’s highest arts honors – including knighthood – and been named “Artist for Peace 2000” by UNESCO. His program with the Symphony of the Americas will add one more distinction: Manuel deFalla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain was first performed almost 100 years ago to the month. – GC


Miami City Ballet Program One

Nov. 7 and 8 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222, BrowardCenter.org. Tickets start at $20. Nov. 13-15 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469, Kravis.org. Tickets start at $20.

Although all the Miami City Ballet’s 2015-16 shows will feature great dancing, Program One is a diverse production showcasing classic, original and humorous acts.

It starts with a twist on a classic: Instead of performing the original four acts of Swan Lake, the company will present George Balanchine’s version, which compresses the drama into one act and features a black swan corps de ballet instead of the traditional ballerinas in white tutus. The second act is Viscera, an original ballet by Liam Scarlett commissioned by MCB. The choreography is fast-paced, athletic and brought into stark relief by the dancers’ wearing dark leotards. Program One will close with Fancy Free, the 1940s ballet that follows three sailors on leave in New York.

The narrative is simple: The sailors are looking for companions, but there are only two girls at the bar, so they fight for their attention. The scenes are often comic, and the ballet allows the audience to see male dancers featured as principals. - BCD

Botanica by Momix

Nov. 29 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-832-7469, Kravis.org. Tickets start at $15.

This contemporary dance company takes dance to the next level, using props, costumes, lighting effects and dance moves to create optical illusions onstage. The choreography in BOTANICA is inspired by nature and the evolution of the planet. Dancers re-create the movement of animals and flowers blooming and dying. You’ll also see dancers interacting with the skeleton of a dinosaur.

The movements are often innovative. This is one of those shows that will amuse you while you’re in the theater, and then keep you talking about it afterward. – BCD

Romeo and Juliet

7:30 p.m. Dec. 26 at Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place,
Miramar, 954-602-4500, miramarculturalcenter.org. Tickets $55, $45, $35.

Led by director Nikolay Anokhin, 55 of Russia’s finest dancers pirouette across the United States and make a grande jeté into southwest Broward for the State Ballet of Theatre of Russia’s full-scale production of the Shakespeare classic. The company boasts Bolshoi cred, founded by former Bolshoi principal dancer Maya Plisetskaya – choreographer Mikhail Lavrovsky is also of the renowned Russian  company. The full-length three-act ballet highlights a rich Miramar lineup that also features operas Aida and Carmen. – GC

Boca Ballet Theatre’s 25Th Anniversary Gala

6 p.m. March 19, Countess de Hoernle Theatre, Spanish River High School, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton, 561-995-0709, bocaballet.org. Tickets available soon.

The dance company and school has been keeping South Floridians on their toes, artistically speaking, for a quarter-century – with 13 shows a year and over 5,000 young students in 16 years. It will celebrate its silver anniversary with a one-night-only performance, recreating past highlights by such special guests as New York City Ballet principal dancers Daniel Ulbricht and Sara Mearns and American Ballet Theatre soloists Cassandra Trenary and Roman Zhurbin. And don’t forget the big after-party (bet there’ll be dancing?) – GC

Les Ballets Trockadero
de Monte Carlo

April 15 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222 or go to BrowardCenter.org. Tickets start at $37.50.

If you have ever wondered if comedy and classical ballet could go together, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is proof that this combination can be done with grace. The all-male company’s dancers portray male and female characters, in the latter case wearing tight tutus and pointy shoes. The company reinvents classical ballet numbers from Swan Lake, Paquita, Don Quixote and others, adding comedic acts to the choreography. The ability of the dancers may surprise you. The dancers bring strength and agility to moves usually executed by women. - BCD


Miami Book Fair International
Nov. 15-22, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., MiamiBookFair.com.

This year’s Miami Book Fair, the 32nd, will begin with Patti Smith talking about her new memoir and end a week later with attendees buzzing about all the authors they saw and lamenting that they couldn’t see more. The fair will, after all, present more than 450 writers.

The schedule is particularly highlighter-worthy this year, and the volume of top-flight novelists, nonfiction writers, poets and memoirists appearing during the Evenings With … series and at the Nov. 19-22 street fair can seem overwhelming.

My must-see list includes Alexandra Fuller, Sally Mann, William Finnegan, Richard Price, Lauren Groff, Susan Casey, Jessica Hopper and Valeria Luiselli. (You’ll have to forgive me if I skip Mitch Albom and Peggy Noonan.)

The festival, as always, will not be limited to book readings and signings, with vendors hawking everything from food to religion and daily events at the pop-up lounge known as the Swamp, which will host live music, theatrical performances and even a local edition of the Moth storytelling series. Children’s and Spanish-language attractions will also be presented. – JC

Palm Beach Poetry Festival
Jan. 18-23, Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., PalmBeachPoetryFestival.org.

The festival proper will take place in January, but the event’s organizers have placed its imprint on a series of public poetry events that began Sept. 26 and will conclude Jan. 13. These include two presentations of Bards of a Feather, round-robin poetry readings set for Jan. 13 at Green Cay Wetlands Nature Center in Boynton Beach; Writing Songs and Lyrics, a showcase of local musicians to be held Nov. 14 at the Crest Theater in Delray Beach; and the 10th annual Haiku U, to be hosted by Miami poet Yaddyra Peralta Jan. 7 at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

The festival, meanwhile, will celebrate its 12th year with readings and workshops by stars of the genre, including former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass, FIU professor and Guggenheim fellowship winner Denise Duhamel, and 2013 National Book Award winner Mary Szybist. – JC

Diane and Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival
Through Jan. 7, David Posnack Jewish Community Center, 5850 S. Pine Island Road, Davie, 954-434-0499, ext. 336, JCCBooks.com.

“On what planet do you spend most of your time?” may be the greatest thing a U.S. congressman has ever said to a wackadoodle constituent, and that these words emanated from the quip-ready mouth of former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank only makes them richer. (For those who don’t remember the incident, it occurred in 2009 at a town hall meeting in which a deranged woman compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Frank ended the exchange by saying, “Ma’am trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.”) Why bring this up now? Well, Frank is on the schedule of the forthcoming Diane and Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival, which he’ll close Jan. 7 with a talk about his 2015 memoir, Frank: A Life in Politics From the Great Society to Same-sex Marriage.

The festival continues with Bravo producer and talk-show host Andy Cohen at the JCC Nov. 7 to discuss his memoir The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. And South Florida’s own Dave Barry will appear Nov. 12 to serve as the festival’s keynote speaker and to discuss his latest humor collection, Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings From Dave Barry. – JC

Night of Literary Feasts
March 5, Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-7382, BPLFoundation.org.

The Broward Public Library Foundation has set the date for the 2016 edition of this signature event, but it has yet to announce a lineup. As always, though, the Night of Literary Feasts will begin at the Main Library with a reception for some 15 authors and their fans before spreading out to private homes and restaurants across Fort Lauderdale, where readers who pony up $175 can break bread and spin tales with participating writers.

The most recent feasts included novelist Matthew Thomas, memoirist Joanna Rakoff and journalist Gerald Posner. Check the foundation’s website closer to the event date for the 2016 schedule. – JC

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