Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weekend arts picks: April 3-5

Things don't look so good for Mimi in Act IV of La Boheme.
Soprano Norah Ansellem is Mimi, with Alessandro Liberatore as Rodolfo. Surrounding them are Carelle Flores, Timothy Mix,
Eric Jordan and Christopher Bolduc.

Opera: The Palm Beach Opera closes its season beginning this weekend with the world's most popular opera, Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme, in a staging by the great Italian soprano Renata Scotto. The French soprano Norah Amsellem is Mimi and Italian tenor Alessandro Liberatore is Rodolfo tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon; American soprano Susan Jean Hellman takes the role of the consumptive seamstress Saturday night and Monday afternoon, with the American tenor Christopher Bengochea as the poet who loves her.

Carelle Flores sings Musetta, and Timothy Mix is Marcello, her on-again, off-again artist beau. Guido Ajmone-Marsan conducts. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday, at the Kravis Center. Tickets: $23-$175, but Sunday's matinee is almost sold out. Call 832-7469 or 833-7888. -- G. Stepanich

A scene from Jersey Boys.

Theater: They call them “jukebox musicals,” and most traditional theatergoers look down on this genre of slapping existing songs into a new story. But writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice showed how it should be done with Jersey Boys, a biographical songfest about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, whose backstage squabbles and up-and-down fortunes proved compelling enough for the show to earn a Best Musical Tony Award three years ago. The national road company arrives at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday and tickets are already hard to come by at a $203.75 top price. Call (954) 462-0222. -- H. Erstein

La Campagne, by Judy Flescher.

Art: There’s no place like Paris in the springtime, but if you can’t make it to the City of Lights, you can capture a bit of the feeling of the artistry of Montmartre on Saturdays at PGA Commons.

JoAnne Berkow, a fine artist and owner of RosettaStone Fine Art Gallery, is sponsoring a spring series of Saturday outdoor happenings, where local artists set up their easels and create their works right before your eyes -- and the art also is for sale. Montmartre at the Commons starts around 10 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m. Local restaurants in the Commons are open for lunch and dinner.

Later this month, Berkow will debut her latest paintings, called New Cloud Paintings and Venetian Walls, during a champagne reception from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 14. RosettaStone Fine Art Gallery is located at 5080 PGA Blvd., Suite 101, in Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, visit, or call (561) 691-9594. -- K. Deits

Film: Think low-budget this weekend and head to Emerging Cinema in Lake Worth to see the unfortunately titled Medicine for Melancholy, a tale of two hip African-Americans who find themselves in bed together after a one-night stand and then have to go through the awkward process of getting to know one another. The Daily Show’s faux-correspondent Wyatt Cenac plays it straight as Micah, who continues to pursue Jo (Tracey Heggins), who wants nothing to do with him. Set in San Francisco, which becomes the third character, it is filmed by Barry Jenkins in a bleached-out style that is almost black-and-white. Call (561) 296-9382.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741).

Music: It's the final concert of the season for the Delray String Quartet, which finishes up with the Mendelssohn string quartet that everyone's been playing this year for the composer's bicentenary: The F minor, Op. 80, one of the last works he completed before his early death at age 38 in 1847. Also on the program are the Spring and Winter movements from the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, by Argentina's Astor Piazzolla, and the Violin Concerto in A minor (Op. 3, No. 6, from L'estro Armonico) by Vivaldi, in an arrangement for the quartet by Jeremy Nurse. The Delray, which has a substantially larger series of programs planned for its sixth season, ends this one with the Emperor Waltz (Op. 437) of Johann Strauss II. 4 p.m. Sunday, Colony Hotel, Delray Beach. Tickets are $35; call 213-4138 or visit the quartet's Website.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).

Also Sunday afternoon, Jack Jones' Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches ends its 30th season with Mendelssohn, including selections from St. Paul, Elijah, and the Lobgesang Symphony (No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 52). The bicentenary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn, also marked this year, is recognized here by a performance of his Te Deum. Soprano Margaret Schmitt guests. 5 p.m. Sunday, DeSantis Family Chapel, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $20. Call 845-9696 or visit the group's Website.

Three other university musical events should also be noted: Florida Atlantic University's Symphony Orchestra performs Saturday night with FAU music dean Heather Coltman, a very fine pianist, in the Concerto No. 20 (in D minor, K. 466), of Mozart. Conductor Laura Joella has also programmed the overture to Iphigenia in Aulis, the opera by Christoph Willibald von Gluck, and the Eighth Symphony (in G, Op. 88) of Antonin Dvorak. A $10 donation is suggested for this concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at FAU's University Theatre.

As a hart panteth after the fountains of water...

For Palm Sunday, the Palm Beach Atlantic Concert Choir presents a program at First Presbyterian (the so-called Pink Church) in Pompano Beach. Geoffrey Holland's choir will perform songs by American composers Eric Whitacre (A Boy and a Girl) and Brent Pierce (Hosanna in excelsis) as well as music by Palestrina (the motet Sicut cervus, based on Psalm 42), Mendelssohn (Behold, God the Lord from Elijah) and Handel (the Chandos Anthem No. 11). The concert begins at 4 p.m. Sunday. No charge for tickets, but a free-will offering is planned. Call 954-941-2308, ext. 112.

Brownie lives! The late, great Clifford Brown.

And on Sunday afternoon, Neal Bonsanti's FAU jazz band presents a concert featuring music by such jazz legends as trumpeter Clifford Brown and guitarist Pat Metheny. 3 p.m., University Theatre, also with a $10 donation suggested. Call 297-3820 for more information. -- G. Stepanich

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