Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weekend picks: July 30-August 2

Gabrielle Chou, a musical triple threat.

Music: Earlier this year, the now-defunct Boynton Regional Symphony Orchestra featured a performance by a 13-year-old Hollywood violinist in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Gabrielle Chou proved to have a good command of the concerto, demonstrating thorough technique and some attractive elements of personal style. She's a triple threat, as it turns out: She's equally proficient on the piano and in composition, and Sunday evening she can be heard in a two-part program at the Boca Steinway Gallery -- on the violin half, it's pieces such as the Wieniawski Second Concerto and the Zapateado of Pablo de Sarasate, and then on the second half, she solos in the Chopin Second Piano Concerto (in F minor, Op. 21) with pianist Amy Lim playing the orchestral reduction. Chou is raising money for two competitions: England's Manchester International from Aug. 15-22, and the Kloster Schontal Violin Competition in Germany from Aug. 21-31. That's impressive, no doubt about it. The 5 p.m. concert Sunday is free admission, but donations for her trips are gratefully accepted. -- G. Stepanich

Alfredo Casella (1883-1947).

Chamber fest wraps: The Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival closes this week with performances of music by Saint-Saens (the Fantaisie, Op. 124, for violin and harp), Felix Mendelssohn (the String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 87), Alfredo Casella (Serenata for clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin and cello), and the Music for a Low-Budget Epic, written for piccolo and bassoon by the American composer Jan Bach. 8 p.m. Friday at the Helen K. Persson Recital Hall on the campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, 8 p.m. Saturday in the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach Gardens, 2 p.m. Sunday in the Crest Theatre, Delray Beach. Tickets: $21. For more information, call 1-800-330-6874 or visit -- G. Stepanich

The Boca Ballet Theatre can be seen this weekend.

Dance: The 19-year-old Boca Ballet Theatre mounts a show called Amore and More, featuring: Con Amore (Christiansen/Rossini), and excerpts from Flower Festival at Genzano (Bournonville/Strebinger), Napoli (Bournonville/Gade, et al.) and Romeo and Juliet (Lavrovksy/Prokofiev). Also, Boca Ballet co-artistic director Dan Guin offers a new piece set to the music of the French New Age band Deep Forest. At the University Theatre on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $35 adults, $25 children under 17 and seniors. Call 995-0709 or visit -- G. Stepanich

Tilda Swinton in a scene from Julia.

Film: Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) wears the title role in Erick Zonca’s drama of desperation, Julia. She plays a compulsive liar and compulsive alcoholic, who resorts to violence for her own survival. Told in Spanish and English, this morality tale is a fast-paced thriller, but one where you do not need to leave your brain at the theater entrance. Opening on Friday at Emerging Cinemas in Lake Worth. Call (561) 586-6410 for showtimes. -- H. Erstein

Marcus Bellamy and Holly Shunkey in Vices: A Love Story.

Theater: You’ll kick yourself later if you miss Vices: A Love Story, the world-premiere musical at the Caldwell Theatre that must close Sunday, ending a scorching-hot run that launches new artistic director Clive Cholerton’s administration. With a clever and musically varied score, the show revolves around a pair of lithe, athletic dancers -- Holly Shunkey and Marcus Bellamy -- who meet, go to bed, then have to learn about each other, which means learn about their partner’s vices. Choreographer AC Ciulla’s dances are a cross between Pilobolus and Twyla Tharp, and need to be seen to be believed. Call (561) 241-7432 or (877) 245-7432. -- H. Erstein

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