Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend arts picks: Dec. 11-15

Ann Curry, before one of her photos
at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre.
(Photo by Bill Antaleck)

Art: Emotionally moving and dynamic color and black-and-white photographs by NBC's Ann Curry are currently featured at the newly reopened Palm Beach Photographic Centre. The exhibit, titled Empathy, will be on display through Jan. 21. Curry was at the Centre last Friday and Saturday for the opening.

In her artist's statement, Curry wrote: “My travels have convinced me that no human being is really foreign to another. We have so much in common; the truth is we are surrounded by our sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, each life precious. It is time for us to stand up against the suffering caused by genocide, war and ignorance. If we care enough about our human family, we can change the future.”

The Centre is also featuring two other outstanding exhibits of presidential photographers David Hume Kennerly, Bob McNeely and Karen Ballard, and beautiful painterly images by artist-photographer Anna Tomczak. Palm Beach Photographic Centre is located in the City Center in downtown West Palm Beach at 415 Clematis St. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (561) 253-2600 or visit -- K. Deits

Marshall Pailet (foreground), Bethany Anne Lind
and Laura Carbonell.

Theater: Carter W. Lewis is a familiar playwright to Florida Stage audiences, having already had three plays (Golf with Alan Shepard, lWomen Who Steal, Ordinary Nation) at the Manalapan theater. Tonight, he premieres his latest, The Storytelling Ability of a Boy, a tale of school violence and a teenage misfit with a talent for spinning stories out if thin air, which was an audience favorite at last spring's 1st Stage festival. Lou Tyrell directs a cast of three young performers. Continuing through Jan.17. Call (561) 585-3433 or (800) 514-3837 for tickets. -- H. Erstein

Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in Invictus.

Film: Like clockwork, Clint Eastwood has been delivering a movie or two at year’s end, just in time for the Academy Award nominations deadline. His 2009 entry is Invictus, set in South Africa just after the end of apartheid, when the nation’s president, Nelson Mandela, has the challenging task of trying to reunite the country. His chosen vehicle is rugby, using South Africa’s World Cup-bound national team, the Springboks, as a rallying force. Morgan Freeman assumes the mantle of Mandela, a role he was born to play, and Matt Damon, minus his Informant! fat, plays the team captain. At area theaters. - H. Erstein

Ruth Ann Swenson.

Music: Like other opera houses around the country, including the Florida Grand Opera down in Miami, Palm Beach Opera has had to scale back this season. It's doing only three productions this year, down from four, but it's replaced the traditional opener with a performance by the opera company's orchestra and chorus of the Ninth Symphony (in D minor, Op. 125, Choral) of Beethoven. The company will perform the work twice: tonight at 7:30 and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kravis Center. The chorus will be joined by Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches, the PBAU Oratorio Chorus and the new Robert Sharon Chorale. Bruno Aprea leads some impressive soloists, all with Metropolitan Opera cred: Ruth Ann Swenson, Michaela Martens, Clifton Forbis and Morris Robinson. Call 833-7888 or visit

Salvatore Licitra.

Later in the week, the focus is still on opera, as the Italian tenor Salvatore Licitra presents a solo recital Tuesday night at the Kravis. He's appeared on local stages previously, but his last concert had to be canceled because of illness. Licitra's all-Italian recital will feature chestnuts from the tenor repertory including Celeste Aida, E lucevan le stelle and Come un bel dì di Maggio. Pianist Eric Weimer accompanies, and plays several intermezzi and preludes from the operas as solos. Tickets: $20-$75. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Call 800-572-8471 or visit

That same Tuesday night, the Palm Beach Symphony opens its season with music by opera composers: Rossini's overture to his deathless opera buffa, The Barber of Seville, Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, and the great Symphony in C, written in 1855 by a precocious 17-year-old French boy named Georges Bizet, who would go on to posthumous fame as the composer of Carmen. Assistant conductor Ramon Tebar directs, 8 p.m. at the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach. Tickets: $35-$40. Call 655-2776 or visit

Staying the vocal department, the Miami chamber choir Seraphic Fire presents its first Christmas-themed series of concerts, featuring holiday music by candelight, features hymns familiar from the King's College lessons broadcasts such as Once in Royal David's City and Adeste Fideles, as well as more modern fare such as Elizabeth Poston's Jesus Christ the Apple Tree and music by Morten Lauridsen and John Rutter. 7:30 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church, Coral Gables; 8 pm Saturday, Miami Beach Community Church, Miami Beach; 4 pm Sunday, All Saints Episcopal Church, Fort Lauderdale. Three more performances follow next week in Miami, Miramar and Marathon. Call (305) 285-9060 or visit

Meanwhile, the Delray Beach Chorale opens its season with music by Haydn -- the St. Nicholas Mass (No. 6 in G, Hob. XXII/6) -- and Saint-Saëns -- portions of his Christmas Oratorio. Conductor Eric Keiper also leads the community choir in holiday songs. 4 p.m. Sunday, First Presbyterian Church, Delray Beach. Tickets: $20. Call 800-984-7282 for more information.

The Tempest Trio.

And then there's the Tempest Trio, formerly the Goldstein-Kaler-Peled Trio, an excellent threesome that wowed local audiences last year with its work in the Beethoven Triple Concerto. Pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled perform music by Bloch (Three Nocturnes), Robert Schumann (Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63), and the beautiful Dumky Trio (No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90) of Antonin Dvorak. 3 pm Sunday at the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach. Tickets: $10. For more information, call 655-7226 or visit

Chad Hoopes.

Finally, Chad Hoopes, a 15-year-old violinist from suburban Cleveland, does two recitals, one at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart and the other at Stage West on the campus of Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth. In addition to the Sarasate Zigeunerweisen and Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Hoopes has scheduled the Romanian Folk Dances of Bartok, a sonatina by Schubert (in D, D. 384), and a piece by the contemporary Welsh composer Pwyll ap Sion. 8 p.m. Monday, Lyric Theatre. Tickets: $35. Call 772-286-7827 or visit 3 pm Wednesday, Stage West. Tickets: $22. Call 868-3309 or visit -- G. Stepanich

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