Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekend arts picks: Jan. 22-28

A teaset by John McCoy.

Art: For the past 36 years, John McCoy has been teaching visual arts and art history to students at Florida Atlantic University. Many of his students now have successful art careers, and some of them have come together to celebrate McCoy's ceramics work in a retrospective exhibition.

The list of exhibitors for John McCoy and Friends reads like a Who’s Who of South Florida ceramics: Joel Betancourt, Timothy Brown, Christine Colombarini, Louis Colombarini, Michael Conti, Amelia Costa, John Cutrone, Shirley DeWitt, Toni DeWitt, Garry Dick, Giannina Dwin, Nena Escobar, John Foster, Kimberly Giberga, Catalina Hoffman, Gary Johnson, Gemma Kibben, Brian Kovachik, Justin Lambert, Scott Lammer, Jackie Lanier, Bill Lennox, Mark MacDonald, Jennifer McCurdy, Joseph Meerbott, Newton Oshinsky, Courtney Page, Sylvia Rosen, Brian Somerville, Susan Urbanek, Karla Walter and Leona Zegar. While his students’ work varies considerably, McCoy creates expertly crafted wheel-thrown vessels, bowls and other container forms that are wood-fired, creating unique surface patterns and color.

“I am a functional potter. In my work, I strive for qualities of simplicity, honesty and a sense of fluidity," said McCoy, who did graduate study with ceramic great Rudy Autio at the University of Montana, in his artist's statement. The exhibition opens from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the Ritter Art Gallery on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, and runs through March 5. For more information, call 561-297-2966.

Michael Jackson, by Harrison Funk.

Meanwhile, it's FOTOFusion Week at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, and that means plenty of interesting activities for photo enthusiasts. It starts this afternoon with a free interactive seminar by fashion photographer Douglas Dubler, who will photograph fashion models and explain how to get magazine-quality shots. New York Fashion Takes Palm Beach will last from noon to 2 p.m. in the courtyard of City Center.

And tonight is the FOTOFusion Photograph Auction, which features 25 unique prints by world-famous photographers, including Harrison Funk (Michael Jackson) and Douglas Kirkland (Marilyn Monroe). Proceeds benefit Picture My World, an outreach program for at-risk kids. Daile Kaplan, vice president and director of the Swann Galleries, will conduct the auction, which lasts from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The $5 admission to the museum’s galleries is waived the week of FOTOfusion. Palm Beach Photographic Centre is located at 415 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach. Call 561-253-2600 or visit

Marital Dysfunction, by Kelly Manganaro.

The Clay, Glass, Metal, Stone Gallery in downtown Lake Worth opens an exhibit tonight featuring the work of Linda and Kelly Dean Manganaro, Sarah Lerner and Victoria Rose Martin. The Manganaros collaborate on art and also create work independently. A common thread is that they are artists, antique dealers and art collectors, and that they create assemblages of antiques, modern retro items and found objects. Kelly is an expert woodworker and welder, fashioning everything from jewelry to massive lighting structures and fantasy furniture. Linda’s work is highly personal, combining events to create highly symbolic sculptures. The exhibit opens from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today, and regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call 561-588-8344 or visit the gallery's Website.

And from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Elayne and Marvin Mordes will open their Whitespace Collection to the public. Inside the main collection is a smaller gallery called Whitebox, which is a curated community-based artist’s project space showing emerging and mid-career artists. The current exhibition, The Cruelty of Youth, is a snapshot of the new aesthetic in photography and video emerging in young Chinese artists. It is open to the public, and the $12 entrance fee includes a tour of the entire collection of contemporary art. Partial proceeds will benefit the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Whitespace Collection is located at 2805 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach. For more information, visit -- K. Deits

Francisco Solorzano, David Nail,
Brian Smith and Gordon McConnell
in The Sins of the Mother.
(Photo by SigVision Photography)

Theater: In celebration of the more than 70 plays that Israel Horovitz has written in his 70 years, theaters all over the world are producing his stage work, many of which are set in his adopted seaside town of Gloucester, Mass. As part of that continuing birthday tribute, Florida Stage not only has the Southeastern premiere of Horovitz’s latest script, The Sins of the Mother, but Horovitz himself is directing the production. It is the story of five men, former fish-processors who hang around their dormant stevedores’ union hall, who share a violent secret. Previews begin on Wednesday, Jan. 27, prior to the official opening of Friday, Jan. 29. Call (561) 585-3433 for tickets. -- H. Erstein

Colin Beavan and his daughter, Isabella.

Film: How far would you go to make a statement about our wasteful way of life and heavy carbon footprint? In the amusing documentary No Impact Man, married-with-child New Yorker Colin Beavan resolves to spend a year using minimal greenhouse gases. In other words, no electricity, no appliances, no non-organic produce and, ugh, no toilet paper. What is not clear is whether he really wants to save the planet or merely land a book and movie deal, both of which have happened. Still, his attempt at avoiding any negative impact on the globe puts a serious strain on his marriage. The film will make you think about ways to be more ecological, but chances are you will not follow Beavan’s experiment yourself. At Emerging Cinemas in Lake Worth and Mos’Art Theatre in Lake Park. -- H. Erstein

Soprano Sabina Cvilak.

This might be one of the biggest opera weekends locally in some time, with no fewer than three different productions hitting the boards over the next few days.

Begin with Otello, Verdi's penultimate opera and perhaps his best, in the first production of the year for the Palm Beach Opera, which opened its season in December with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Tonight, the American tenor Carl Tanner stars as the Moor of Venice and the Slovenian soprano Sabina Cvilak is Desdemona, who faces a tragic end just after singing two of the most beautiful arias in Italian opera back to back. Tanner and Cvilak also sing the roles on Sunday afternoon; Alan Glassman and Michele Capalbo take over Saturday night and Monday afternoon. Bruno Aprea conducts. 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday, at the Kravis Center, West Palm Beach. Call 800-572-8471 or visit

Soprano Eglise Guiterrez as Lucia.

Meanwhile, the Florida Grand Opera mounts its second production at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami on Saturday with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. The Cuban-born soprano and local favorite Eglise Gutierrez stars in this bel canto blowout with one of the most celebrated mad scenes in all opera, as Lucia stabs her husband of only a few hours to death and then staggers out from the bedroom in front of the horrified wedding guests in a bloodstained gown. Israel Lozano is Edgardo, Lucia's real love, for six of the eight performances -- 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Jan. 26, 29, 31, Feb. 4 and 6 . Maria Alejandres and Mark Panuccio take over at 8 p.m. Jan. 27 and 30. All January performances are at the Ziff; the two February shows are at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $21-$225; call 1-800-741-1010 or visit

Finally, the Gold Coast Opera mounts four nights of Johann Strauss II's most popular operetta, Die Fledermaus, under the auspices of Sunset Entertainment. Fledermaus has to do with a couple, their mischievous maid, and a big party at Prince Orlofsky's house, and it's full of charming tunes that have proven every bit as durable as Strauss' dance music. This offshoot of Jenny Kelly's Baltimore-based Teatro Lirico d'Europa touring company has brought good nights of opera to auditoriums across the country. Shows, all at 8 p.m., are set for Monday at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens; Tuesday at the Miramar Cultural Center; Wednesday at FAU's Kaye Auditorium in Boca Raton; and Thursday at the Broward Center. Tickets range from $40-$55, depending on the venue. Call the various box offices or visit

The Fauré Piano Quartet. (Photo: Kasskara)

If your taste runs more to chamber music, Palm Beach's Society of the Four Arts continues its venerable Sunday afternoon series with the Fauré Piano Quartet, a German foursome in residence at the Music Lyceum in Karlsruhe. The quartet will play the Piano Quartet No. 1 (in C minor, Op. 15) by its namesake, Gabriel Fauré, and the Piano Quartet No. 1 (in G minor, Op. 25) of Johannes Brahms. Perhaps most intriguingly, the group also has scheduled the early Quartettsatz (i.e., "quartet movement") of the young Gustav Mahler, written when the future composer of the Resurrection Symphony was a promising 16-year-old student at the Vienna Conservatory. 3 p.m. Tickets: $10. Call 655-7226 or visit -- G. Stepanich

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