Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekend arts picks: Oct. 30-Nov. 2

His Eye Is on the Sparrow, a quilt by Wendell George Brown.

Art: Handmade quilts have been a cultural part of America’s history for practical reasons (warm bed covers), community building (quilting bees), storytelling and personal artistic expression.

But in the African-American community, quilting took on an expanded role. During slavery, quilts with secret symbols were hung on fences to help guide fugitives to freedom. In others, stories were incorporated into the patterns to document the unrecorded history of a dominated culture.

In an exhibit that opens Nov. 2, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum presents From Quilts in the Attic to Quilts on the Wall: Exploring Textile Art by African-Americans, which will showcase seven artists. The quilts range from Harriet Power’s 1895 quilt to work by contemporary artist and educator Wendell George Brown, who is assistant professor of art at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Other exhibiting artists are Dr. Edward Bostick, Dorothy Montgomery, Torreah Cookie Washington and the two co-curators, Arianne King Comer and Catherine Lamkin.

A batik quilt by Arianne King Comer.

The exhibit was organized by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and the South Carolina State Museum. The quilts will be on display through Dec. 21. The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum is located at 170 NW 5th Ave. in Delray Beach and is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is $5 adults, $3 seniors; students and members are admitted free. -- K. Deits

Theater: The scariest theater pieces are those that avoid actual gore and mayhem and instead create the creepy anticipation of ghostly apparitions in the audience’s mind. An example of the genre is The Woman in Black, a runaway hit in London, adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt from Susan Hill’s novel about an aging solicitor who hires an actor to help him recreate a spectral event that occurred years earlier: the appearance of the title character, whose very arrival causes those to look upon her to die. The esteemed Lake Worth Playhouse -- which is said to be haunted as well -- is producing The Woman in Black for two nights only, Oct. 30 (tonight) and 31, as a Halloween special. See it with someone you can risk being frightened with. Tickets: $25-$29. Call: (561) 586-5410 for details. -- H. Erstein

Michael Jackson in rehearsal, from This Is It.

Film: Sony Pictures also brings back the dead with a special two-week-only (until they extend it) theatrical run of This Is It, rehearsal footage of Michael Jackson’s comeback concert, shot soon before his death and possible homicide. As concert films go, this one packs an emotional wallop, for it reveals Jackson to be in good health and a still-sensational dancer, yet the knowledge that he would never perform this elaborate, high-tech live extravaganza adds great poignance. Say what you will about Jackson on a personal level -- a deeply disturbed child-man -- but this is the film that offers proof of his boundless talent. In area theaters. -- H. Erstein

C. Dracula, master of the manuals.

Music: One of the most recognizable sounds of Halloween is creepy organ music, thanks to years of vaudeville and early movies, and in keeping with that tradition, some of South Florida's finest organists will be taking part tonight in an evening of classics on the dark side.

The opening concert of the Spire Series at the First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach (the "Pink Church," as it's usually known) features organists Matt Steynor, Mark Jones, Chuck Stanley, Jay Brooks and Simon Jacobs in music from the French repertory by Tournemire, Vierne and Gigout, along with pieces by Reger, Chopin and Eben. And Count Dracula himself will stop by to play the Toccata and Fugue in D minor of J.S. Bach.

The church is asking a $10 donation for adults ($5 for students, children12 and under get in free), and they're encouraging you to wear costumes. For more information, call 954-941-2308, ext. 112, or visit

Jose Menor.

Meanwhile, pianist Jose Menor offers a concert Sunday evening at Lynn University of music including the First Piano Concerto of Sergei Rachmaninov (in F-sharp minor, Op. 1), a sonata by Haydn (in B-flat, Hob. XVII/41), and the First Piano Sonata of Australian composer Carl Vine, which seems to be a favorite with pianists these days. Menor is accompanied by pianist Chien-I Yang for the Rachmaninov. The 7 p.m. concert at the Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall on the Lynn campus in Boca Raton is free admission. For more information, call 237-9000. -- G. Stepanich

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