Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weekend arts picks: July 9-12

Pete Byrne of Naked Eyes.

Art: Last month, the Norton Museum of Art launched Art After Dark, a program of nighttime art appreciation and entertainment set for the second Thursday of every month.

The first Art After Dark on June 11 was very successful, with more than 540 people making their way to the West Palm Beach museum. Tonight, it's Midsummer Night's Mystery at the Museum, in which members and guests are invited to dress as fictional characters. The getup will get you $1 off admission and the chance to compete in a costume contest.

The first Norton Art After Dark on June 11
drew more than 540 people.
(Photo by PB Proper)

In addition, there’ll be a mystery treasure hunt, D.I.Y. art activities, tours and music by Pete Byrne, of the British pop band Naked Eyes (Always Something There to Remind Me). Photography curator Charles Stainback will give a lecture on the art of photography beginning at 6 p.m., and Café 1451 will be serving tapas, desserts and kid-friendly options.

Exhibits and cash bars will be open until 9 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $3 for ages 13 to 21, and children under the age of 12 enjoy free admission. For a schedule, click here. -- K. Deits

The Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival is now in its 18th season.

Music: The Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival opens its 18th season of concerts starting Friday with its first of four weekly programs in a series that closes Aug. 2. This year, in the temporary absence of pianist Lisa Leonard, the festival is performing a summer of works that don't need the keyboard, and this weekend the major work is Dvorak's great Serenade for Winds (in D minor, Op. 44), which deserves to be heard far more often than it is. Also on the program are works by Beethoven (Serenade for flute, violin and viola, Op. 25), Martinu (Serenade for two clarinets and string trio) and Eugene Bozza (his Divertissements for three bassoons).

Friday's concert begins at 8 p.m. at Palm Beach Atlantic University's Persson Hall, while Saturday's concert is set for 8 p.m. at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens. On Sunday, the concert begins at 2 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, at Old School Square in Delray Beach. Tickets for each concert are $21, and a four-week series ticket is available for $72. Call 1-800-330-6874 or visit the Website. -- G. Stepanich

Tsutomu Yamazaki, left, and Masahiro Motoki in Departures.

Film: Most of the audience was probably stunned when a film from Japan that had not yet been distributed in the United States won this year’s foreign language Oscar, besting France’s The Class and Israel’s Waltz with Bashir. But now comes Departures, a humorous and moving film about a cello player forced to look for other work when the orchestra he works for dissolves, and for once the Oscar seems to have gone to the right movie. Cellist Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) moves to his rural home and takes a job as a mortician’s assistant, learning the rituals of preparing dead bodies for burial. It sounds like a cliché, but through the job he learns about living and ultimately comes to terms with the father who abandoned him long ago. Directed by Yojiro Takita, Departures is wry and understated in ways that our studio pictures rarely are. Opening in area theaters Friday. -- H. Erstein

Theater: On the occasion of the sixth episode of Aisle Say, the Internet radio/video theater chat show that Palm Beach ArtsPaper’s theater critic Hap Erstein and his Sun-Sentinel counterpart Bill Hirschmann host weekly, it seemed time for another shameless plug. The show is transmitted live at 2 p.m. Mondays, available at, and then archived with other past shows. This Monday’s show was actually pre-recorded because of a scheduling conflict, so we already know that the discussion with Kevin Crawford, a founding member of Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival and director/actor of its imminent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is lively and entertaining. Crawford defends his 19-year-old company’s efforts with its namesake playwright’s works, even though many of his troupe are not classically trained. And he handles a tough trivia question on pseudo-Shakespeare plays in the Stump the Guest segment. -- H. Erstein

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