Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekend arts picks: Feb. 26-March 4

Gezim Myshekta as the title character
in Palm Beach Opera's Don Giovanni

Music: Palm Beach Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni opens tonight, and it could mark a real departure for the company. That’s because it’s secured the services of Stefano Poda, an up-and-coming Italian director who’s created major buzz with his recent productions, including a Thaïs for Turin that was remarkable for its costumes and set designs. Tonight’s cast (also appearing Sunday afternoon) includes the Albanian baritone Gezim Myshketa as the lecherous Don, Pamela Armstrong as Donna Anna and Julianna Di Giacomo as Donna Elvira; Saturday’s cast (also appearing Monday afternoon) finds Daniel Okulitch, Alexandra Deshorties and Michèle Losier in those roles. Bruno Aprea conducts. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. at the Kravis Center tonight and Saturday, at 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Tickets: $23-$175. Call 800-572-8471 or visit or

Keyboardist Kola Owolabi.

The Bach Brandenburg Concertos are perhaps the most popular works the great German Baroque composer ever created, but it’s rare to hear a local performance of any one of them. Starting tonight, the Miami-based Firebird Chamber Orchestra redresses that omission at it presents the first concert of a three-year project in which the group will perform all six concertos. This weekend, Patrick Dupré Quigley leads the orchestra in the Third Concerto (in G major, BWV 1048) and Fifth Concerto (in D, BWV 1051); the harpsichord soloist for the Fifth Concerto is Syracuse University professor Olukola Owolabi. Kathryn Mueller will be the soloist in the Bach Cantata No. 84 (Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke), and the orchestra also will play the Orchestral Suite No. 2 (in B minor, BWV 1067). 7:30 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church in Coral Gables, 8 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, 4 p.m. Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach. Call 305-285-9060 or visit -- G. Stepanich

Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in The Messenger.

Film: One of the most involving Iraq War films, The Messenger, manages to grip moviegoers without firing a single shot. It’s the story of two members of the Army Casualty Notification Service, those guys who arrive at the doorstep of those who have lost loved ones in combat. Directed and co-written by Oren Moverman, the film is muted in its emotions, which makes it all the more powerful. Woody Harrelson is not an actor we are in the habit of taking seriously, but he impresses here as the veteran messenger of death, earning him a deserved Oscar nomination. First seen here in late January, it returns today to area theaters. -- H. Erstein

The cast of Make Me a Song: (back row) Stephen G. Anthony
and Patti Gardner; (front row) Julie Kleiner,
Joey Zangardi; David Nagy at the piano.

Theater: Even those who are familiar with the musicals of composer-lyricist William Finn (Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) may not know many of the numbers in Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn. Included in the evening are tunes from unproduced musicals, special material for obscure cabaret shows and songs that never met an audience until now, all with Finn’s signature offbeat rhythms and conversational lyrics. Area favorites Stephen G. Anthony and Patti Gardner head the cast at Mosaic Theatre in Plantation, opening this weekend sand continuing through March 21. Any songwriter who can rhyme “Israeli” and “ukelele” is OK with us. Call (954) 577-8243 for reservations. -- H. Erstein

Sunset is a 30-inch-by-90-inch
oil on canvas by Esther Gordon.

Art: Liquid Assets, an exhibition presented by Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places, will offer a reception to meet the artists from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Palm Beach International Airport. Paintings and photographs by 20 local artists will be shown through March 25. The artwork is also for sale. Featured artists are Maria Amatulli, Linda Botwinick, Betsey Chesler, Joel Cohen, Kris Davis, Gwen Eyeington, Esther Gordon, Cecily Hangen, Cynthia Kallan, Ann M. Lawtey, Marc A. Merlis, Melinda Moore, Susan Oakes, Hilary Pulitzer, Penney Seider, Barry Seidman, Jan Stein, Barbara Wasserman, Bruce A. Yodanis and Margaret Ziede.

Works range from abstracted interpretations of water, such as Hangen’s acrylic on canvas titled Aqua, to Yodanis’ Silver Dawn airbrush on an aluminum panel of the sunrise over the ocean, and Davis’ beautifully rendered Mangroves at Low Tide. And an oil-on-canvas 90-inch wide triptych by Palm Beach Gardens artist Esther Gordon deftly captures the orange glow of sunset over the waves. For more information, call Elayna Toby Singer at (561) 233-0235, or visit the Art in Public Places site.

In Palm Beach, Mulry Fine Art will be featuring a photographic exhibit of photographs by Joel Arthur Leavitt. The photographs are non-representational images of patterns and forms. A public reception is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Mulry Fine Art is located in The Paramount Building at 139 North County Road. For more information, call Fecia Mulry at (561) 832-8224, or visit

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