Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weekend arts picks: April 9-15

A model wears a Laurance Rassin design.

Art: Artist, innovator, entertainer and fashion designer Laurance Rassin will be in town Saturday evening at the Paul Fisher Gallery in West Palm Beach for an exhibit, fashion show and entertainment evening dedicated to his work.

Based in New York, Rassin creates paintings by hand and then digitally prints them onto high-end fabrics to fashion walking works of art. This hot designer is at the top of the trend in fusing fashion with art. His first collection was sold to Saks Fifth Avenue and, in his second season, celebrities and buyers are clamoring to wear and stock his work.

Laurance Rassin: New Paintings and 2009 Women's Fall Collection starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and lasts until "late." Rassin’s fashion show will be at 8 p.m. He also will be the featured vocalist with the Tuff Love Band, and there will be performances from modern dancer Kirill Kuchenkov as well as illusions from Mio the Magician and Mentalist.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks. The Paul Fisher Gallery is located in The Flamingo Building at 433 Flamingo Drive in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 832-5255 or visit -- K. Deits

Les Chats Funambules, by Liz Ghitta Segall.

Liz Ghitta Segall is an international artist who now calls Palm Beach County home. She was born in Ottawa, Canada, spent her youth in New York and much of her life in France. She holds a bachelor of arts from Sarah Lawrence College and has studied at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts and the Academie de La Grande Chaumiere, both in Paris.

Segall’s dynamic, sketchy style of painting reveals her in-depth study of human anatomy and color. Her current series of oil paintings, Children of Paradise, is focused around “the theme of belonging, family and tribe,” said Segall. ”The title of the series is taken from Marcel Carne’s 1930s classic film Les Enfants du Paradis. It starred the Funambules, which was the name for the tightrope walkers and acrobats of 19th-century Parisian vaudeville.”

Opening at GardensArt in the Palm Beach Gardens City Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, Segall's exhibit will run through May 26. The city hall is located at 10500 N. Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, call (561) 630-1116. -- K. Deits

Algenis Perez Santos stars in Sugar.

Film: Sports movies so often write themselves into a corner of clichés. The team either wins the big climactic game or it doesn’t.

But a remarkable new movie called Sugar, opening around the area Friday, avoids such problems by taking us inside the business of baseball to the farm team assembly line in the Dominican Republic, as seem through the challenges faced by a promising young fictional player named Miguel “Sugar” Santos (played by a non-actor athlete, Algenis Perez Santos). The eye-opening film is co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the team that gave us the Ryan Gosling starrer Half Nelson two years ago, and this is another involving human-scale story made with the same sensitivity and care. -- H. Erstein

Theater: The Maltz Jupiter Theatre received a MacArthur Foundation grant this season for a program designed to develop and showcase new musicals through staged readings. Some 48 scripts and recordings of scores were submitted and the only one to be unanimously chosen by the selection committee (full disclosure: I’m on that committee) is a remarkable, small-cast show by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond called Dani Girl.

Not your usual sunny musical, it is the tale of a 9-year-old girl who learns she has cancer and who then battles the disease in the realms of fantasy and reality. The show will have a free public reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, on the Maltz stage. The musical has previously had workshops at such places as the Kennedy Center and the ASCAP/ Disney Musical Theater program and it seems just a matter of time before it receives a full production. Call the Maltz at (561) 575-2223 for information about the reading. -- H. Erstein

Marin Alsop is music director of the Baltimore Symphony.

Music: If you've thought about making the trip down to Miami Beach this season to catch the New World Symphony, this might be the weekend to do it. Baltimore Symphony music director Marin Alsop, the first woman to lead a major symphony orchestra, will conduct programs Friday and Saturday of music by Liszt (Les Preludes), Dvorak (Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70) and the contemporary Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.

The Golijov makes these performances extra-interesting. The young (26) American cellist Alisa Weilerstein solos in Golijov's Azul, a cello concerto Alsop says has an unusual sound world that includes a "hyper-accordion" and a battery of ethnic percussion. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre (on the Lincoln Road Mall) in Miami Beach. Tickets: $28-$78. Call 305-673-3331 or visit -- G. Stepanich

Dance: The American-born dance Wunderkind Rasta Thomas brings his Bad Boys of Dance company to the Kravis Center for four shows that start tonight. Thomas says he chose the young male dancers for his company for their physical prowess and ability to do “hybrid” work, shifting from ballet to hip-hop at a moment’s notice.

It's bound to be dance at the cutting edge, and shows are set for 7:30 pm today and Friday, as well as 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kravis Center. Tickets: $38. Call 832-7469 or visit -- G. Stepanich

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