Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekend arts picks: Dec. 18-20

Elizabeth Dimon, Christopher Oden and Colin McPhillamy, in Copenhagen.

Theater: Opening tonight is Palm Beach Dramaworks’ much-anticipated production of Michael Frayn’s Tony Award-winning Copenhagen, a cerebral look back at a mysterious 1941 meeting between two nuclear physicists that may have changed the course of World War II. Based on fact, but then stretched into supposition, it concerns Germany’s Werner Heisenberg, his Danish mentor Niels Bohr and Bohr’s wife Margrethe, all sifting through the past from their perches in the afterlife, trying to piece together what happened at the meeting that ended the scientist’s friendship and, perhaps, Germany’s atomic bomb program. Bring your thinking caps. Continuing through Jan. 31. Call (561) 514-4042 for tickets. – H. Erstein

A scene from La Danse.

Film: This has been a strong year for documentaries (Every Little Step, Herb & Dorothy, The Cove), but maybe the best has been saved for last. Opening today at Emerging Cinemas in Lake Worth and Mos’Art Theatre in Lake Park is La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, a look behind the scenes at the rehearsals, the staff meetings, the hand-wringing of the French monument to the choreographic art. It is captured with a knowing eye by the dean of non-fiction filmmaking, Frederick Wiseman (Titticut Follies, Hospital), who has been exploring institutions of all sorts for the past 40-some years. The film is on the long side at two-and-a-half hours, but fascinating, even if ballet is not your thing. – H. Erstein

Elayne Mordes and Kara Walker-Tomé at WhiteSpace.

(Photo by Katie Deits)

Art: Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon is the public’s last chance to see Beyond Delicate at the WhiteSpace Collection in the home and exhibition space of private collectors Elayne and Marvin Mordes. Beyond Delicate features four female artists from South Florida “who use fragile materials, a pale palette and intricate working methods in making art,” said the show’s curator, Kara-Walker Tomé, founder of the avant-garde ShowTel.

Giannina Coppiano Dwin created an image of delicate lingerie from sugar and flour; Georgeta Fondos used fire to make designs in polyester anchored to a frame (a la Italian arte povera and artistic innovator Alberto Burri); FAU professor (and former medical illustrator) Carol Prusa has mastered a silverpoint technique to exquisitely draw highly detailed, fantasy forms on plastic domes and circular shapes; and Carolyn Sickles weaved shapes from various materials to create organic 3-D wall hangings.

The WhiteSpace/Elayne and Marvin Mordes Collection is located at 2805 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach. Admission is $12 on Sat., December 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. Proceeds will benefit the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin counties. For more information, visit or call (561) 842-4131.

Justin Lambert in front of his kiln at Live Oak Pottery.

Starting at noon on Saturday through 7 p.m., is a holiday sale and open studio at Live Oak Pottery in Jupiter. Founded by ceramic artist and art professor Justin Lambert, works by award-winning artists Ellen Bates, Brian Kovachik, Karen Kubinec, Georgia Novotny, Karla Walter, John Wells and May Wong will also be on sale. From noon to 2 p.m. there will be an Anagama kiln opening, and from 2 to 7 p.m. the artists will demonstrate such techniques as wheel throwing, handbuilding and carving.

The one-day event is free and open to the public. Live Oak Pottery is located at 17847 Brians Way in Jupiter. For more information, call (561) 676-5453, or visit www.liveoakpottery.comK. Deits

Masterworks Chorus founder Jack W. Jones.

(Photo by Greg Stepanich)

Music: The Christmas season essentially wraps this weekend with an event that’s been a staple holiday event for the past 30 years: The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches’ annual singalong Messiah. This year will be exceptional because it is the last one to be conducted by the founder of the tradition, Masterworks director Jack W. Jones, who is retiring from the post in April. Those who want to sing along with Handel's oratorio sit in special pews at the Royal Poinciana Chapel to the side of the chorus and a freelance orchestra hired for the occasion. This concert is always crowded with families in their holiday best, and it’s a sure sign of the season. The event begins at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Royal Poinciana Chapel, Palm Beach. Tickets: $20, $10 for students. Call 845-9696 or visit

Other holiday singing events include Seraphic Fire’s version of Messiah, in which the Miami choir will be joined by its Firebird Orchestra, all under the direction of founder Patrick Dupré Quigley. The group can be heard at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami, and at 4 p.m. Sunday at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets: $50-$75. Call 305-285-9060 or visit

Conductor Mark Wigglesworth.

Also this weekend, the New World Symphony in Miami Beach invites British conductor Mark Wigglesworth and the Canadian soprano Measha Breuggergosman for a Paris-and-Vienna-themed concert that includes the Seven Early Songs of Alban Berg, Ravel’s Mother Goose suite and Darius Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde. Also in the mix: the suite Richard Strauss compiled from his 1911 opera, Der Rosenkavalier. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lincoln Theatre, Miami Beach. Tickets: $33-$78. Call 305-673-3331 or visit – G. Stepanich

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