Thursday, February 26, 2009

Weekend arts picks: Feb. 26-March 2

Michael McKenzie, Brett Fleisher and Wynn Harmon in Dangerous.

Theater: Prolific South Florida playwright Michael McKeever has noticed that his work has grown darker over the years, but never more so than his latest, titled simply Dangerous, a “deconstruction” of the classic French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which has spawned several film versions.

McKeever sets his version in Weimar Germany, just as the Nazis are coming to power, a time of sexual experimentation and treachery. Dangerous, directed by Clive Cholerton, contains lots of nudity. Consider that a warning or a come-on. The world premiere production at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton opens Friday and continues through March 29. Call (877) 245-7432 for reservations.

Miller revisited: Written in a vastly different economic time, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible requires a cast of 21, which means that most professional theaters shy away from this towering work of guilt by association and mass hysteria, set in 1692 Salem, but talking very much about present-day America.

Fortunately, the Lake Worth Playhouse, a community theater, has no payroll constraints, but the selection of The Crucible is quite a departure from its usual big musicals and fluffy comedies. Opening Friday and running through March 15. For tickets, call (561) 586-6410. -- H. Erstein

A scene from France's The Class.

Film: You’ve seen those inspiring but preposterous movies that show a crusading teacher who confronts an unruly classroom of students and turns them around to become Rhodes scholars.

Now see a film with a more realistic view of education: France’s foreign-language Oscar nominee this year, The Class, which takes a near-documentary look at a multi-cultural high school full of amateur actors whose lives it would be hard not get wrapped up in. It did not win the Oscar, but it did take home the top prize at Cannes last year. Opening locally on Friday. -- H. Erstein

Soprano Lyubov Petrova.

Music: The Palm Beach Opera's third production of the season, opening Friday, is Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Written in 1786 to a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, who adapted the play by Beaumarchais, it's a wonderfully humane story about love and social station, and it's got the some of the little man from Salzburg's greatest music.

Daniel Mobbs (Friday, Sunday) and Maurizio Lo Piccolo (Saturday, Monday) share duties as Figaro, with Lyubov Petrova as Susanna to Mobbs, and Layla Claire paired with Lo Piccolo. Gezim Myshketa and Timothy Kuhn alternate as the count, with Pamela Armstrong and Sola Braga as the countess. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday, at the Kravis Center. Call 833-7888 (the Opera) or 832-7469 (Kravis) for tickets, which range from $23-$165. -- G. Stepanich

Aaron Kula (center, with accordion) and the Klezmer Company Orchestra.

Festival: Florida Atlantic University is in the middle of its first-ever Kultur Festival, billed as the only event of its kind to celebrate Jewish music and the arts. Events include today's focus on the art of cantorial improvisation, featuring Cantor Jacob Mendelson, an examination Friday of the shared Jewish-American arts of composers Leonard Bernstein and Marc Blitzstein, who also were close friends, and a final concert on Sunday afternoon featuring Aaron Kula's Klezmer Company Orchestra and the Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches.

There are several other events in this five-day festival, and tickets, which are mostly $8 except for the KCO concert, can be had by calling 1-800-564-9539 or visiting - G. Stepanich

Istanbul No. 3, by Terre Rybovich.

Art: Terre Rybovich, who is based in Lantana, covers paper with charcoal and then presses her body onto the paper. The resulting impressions or designs create patterns and images that she then enhances to create a visual language that leaves a lot open to the viewer's imagination. And her drawings are usually large, which gives them more impact.

Mary Segal, who lives in Roseland, creates colorful paintings using her garden as her muse. Actual flower blossoms are incorporated into her flowing compositions.

The work of both artists will be on display at Mary Woerner Fine Arts beginning Saturday night and lasting through March 28. The gallery is at 6107 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. For more information, visit or call (561) 493-4160.
-- K. Deits

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