Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekend arts picks: April 23-25

Gianni Di Gregorio and the ladies of Mid-August Lunch.

Film:‭ ‬Yes,‭ ‬you could check out the foreign movies at the‭ ‬2010‭ ‬Palm Beach International Film Festival,‭ ‬which continues through Monday,‭ ‬but it seems unlikely that it has an entry as enjoyable as‭ ‬Mid-August Lunch,‭ ‬opening Friday at several area theaters.‭ ‬This puckish Italian comedy stars writer-director Gianni Di Gregorio as a middle-aged guy stuck looking after his‭ ‬93-year-old mother who‭ ‬soon finds himself waiting on her hard-to-please friends.‭ ‬He cooks for them,‭ ‬and this‭ ‬is one of those movies that has a love affair with food.‭ ‬In fact,‭ ‬it won the Golden Snail Award at the Academy of Food and Film in Bologna,‭ ‬a great eating town.

Geneva Rae,‭ ‬Beth Dixon and Angie Radosh in Three Tall Women.

Theater:‭ ‬In‭ ‬1994,‭ ‬Edward Albee won his third Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his challenging,‭ ‬non-naturalistic,‭ ‬semi-autobiographical Three Tall Women,‭ ‬a look at an elderly matriarch and her estranged gay son,‭ ‬as they confront one another after years apart.‭ ‬In the second act,‭ ‬the three female characters become three parts of the dying mother,‭ ‬at various times in her life,‭ ‬leading up to her death.‭ ‬Palm Beach Dramaworks,‭ ‬which has had some of its biggest successes with Albee’s plays,‭ ‬proves again it does not shrink from a challenge.‭ ‬Resident director J.‭ ‬Barry Lewis stages the work,‭ ‬with a cast that includes Beth Dixon,‭ ‬Angie Radosh and Geneva Rae.‭ ‬Opens today and continues through June‭ ‬13.‭ ‬Call‭ (‬561‭) ‬514-4042‭ ‬for details.‭ -- H. Erstein

Lutenist David Dolata.

Music:‭ ‬Michael O‭’‬Connor restarted the Palm Beach Atlantic University Early Music Ensemble shortly after he took a job as a musicology professor at the Christian school three years ago.‭ ‬Since‭ ‬then,‭ ‬the group has‭ ‬presented‭ ‬vocal and instrumental music for Christmas and spring,‭ ‬and taken part‭ ‬in presenting two early oratorios by Giacomo Carissimi back in November at St.‭ ‬Paul‭’‬s in Delray Beach.‭ ‬Tonight,‭ ‬the‭ ‬group presents a mostly instrumental,‭ ‬mostly English Renaissance concert featuring the work of Florida International University lutenist David Dolata.

Dolata will play pieces from the‭ ‬Sampson Lute Book,‭ ‬accompany two singers in songs by John Dowland‭ (‬including‭ ‬Flow My Tears‭)‬,‭ ‬and join O‭’‬Connor for three lute duets,‭ ‬one of which will be an arrangement of‭ ‬Greensleeves.‭ ‬Recordist Claudia Gantivar will perform a trio sonata by Corelli,‭ ‬and the ensemble‭’‬s eight-member vocal contingent will sing‭ ‬songs by Byrd‭ (‬Be Unto Me‭) ‬and Josquin‭ (‬Mille regretz‭)‬.‭ ‬The concert begins at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬today in the Warren Library on the PBAU campus,‭ ‬and admission is free.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬803-2970‭ ‬for more information.

Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts,‭ ‬one of the finalists in Sunday‭’‬s Vocal Competition.

This Sunday,‭ ‬the Palm Beach Opera‭’‬s‭ ‬41st annual Vocal Competition presents its Grand Finals Concert at the Kravis Center,‭ ‬in which‭ ‬12‭ ‬young singers in two divisions will compete for prizes totaling‭ ‬$78,000.‭ ‬The‭ ‬seven‭ ‬advanced division finalists were chosen Thursday,‭ ‬and‭ ‬include Irene Roberts,‭ ‬a mezzo‭ ‬in the Young Artist program‭ ‬who was recently seen on the mainstage as Mercédès in Bizet‭’‬s‭ ‬Carmen.‭

Veteran Metropolitan Opera staff‭ ‬conductor‭ ‬J.‭ ‬David Jackson leads the opera company‭’‬s orchestra for‭ ‬the‭ ‬concert,‭ ‬and will also conduct two popular opera overtures while the three judges debate‭ ‬– Weber‭’‬s‭ ‬Oberon‭ ‬and Rossini‭’‬s‭ ‬William Tell.‭ ‬The audience will get to text its choices for favorites,‭ ‬American Idol-style,‭ ‬as well‭ (‬last year,‭ ‬the audience agreed with the judges‭)‬.‭ ‬It‭’‬s a fun event,‭ ‬and a good way to hear rising stars:‭ ‬If you‭’‬ve been attending some of these contests in the past,‭ ‬you‭’‬d have heard singers such as Vivica Genaux,‭ ‬Eric Owens and Kate‭ ‬Aldrich,‭ ‬all of whom‭ ‬now‭ ‬have flourishing careers.

The Grand Finals‭ ‬concert begins at‭ ‬3‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday.‭ ‬Tickets start at‭ ‬$20.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬833-7888‭ ‬or visit

Mezzo Kendall Gladen.

Speaking of opera,‭ ‬and of‭ ‬Carmen,‭ ‬the Florida Grand Opera opens its fourth and final‭ ‬production of the season Saturday night with‭ ‬Bizet‭’‬s‭ ‬opera‭ ‬in a‭ ‬modernist version by the Franco-Canadian team of Renaud Doucet‭ ‬and‭ ‬André Barbe.‭ ‬They have reimagined the durable‭ ‬1875‭ ‬opera to focus on its Spanish setting,‭ ‬to the point of bringing in‭ ‬15‭ ‬flamenco dancers as well as authentic torero costumes from Seville.

Tenor Adam Diegel is Don Jose,‭ ‬and Willie Anthony Waters,‭ ‬a longtime conductor for Florida Grand,‭ ‬leads‭ ‬from the pit.‭ ‬Another point of interest for the production is the role of Micaëla,‭ ‬which will be sung by Elaine Alvarez,‭ ‬a native of Kendall who‭’‬s making her debut with her hometown company and has‭ ‬had a strong career here and overseas,‭ ‬most memorably in a dramatic fill-in in Chicago for Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì in‭ ‬La Bohème.‭ ‬

The opera can be seen for a couple weeks at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami‭ (‬easily accessible from the interstate‭) ‬and then moves May‭ ‬13‭ ‬and‭ ‬15‭ ‬to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale for two performances.‭ ‬For tickets,‭ ‬call‭ ‬800-741-1010‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬‭

The Counterpoint chorus.

Finally,‭ ‬there is Counterpoint,‭ ‬a new choral ensemble based in Jupiter that makes its area debut Saturday and Sunday at‭ ‬the‭ ‬two Palm Beach State College campuses.‭ ‬It‭’‬s led by George Sullivan,‭ ‬an IT project director for the college who also is the former director of music at First United Methodist of Jupiter-Tequesta‭ ‬and the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches.‭

The‭ ‬30-member chorus‭ ‬will sing a wide variety of music‭ ‬“from the Middle Ages to the‭ ‬‘90s,‭”‬ as the group‭’‬s publicity notes.‭ ‬The Saturday and Sunday night programs include‭ ‬John Farmer‭’‬s madrigal‭ ‬Fair Phyllis and‭ ‬the‭ ‬Libera me movement from Gabriel Fauré‭’‬s‭ ‬Requiem,‭ ‬Gershwin‭’‬s‭ ‬Summertime and tunes by Elton John,‭ ‬Billy Joel,‭ ‬Paul Simon and John Lennon.‭ ‬Madison Marie McIntosh,‭ ‬a‭ ‬16-year-old soprano,‭ ‬will‭ ‬sing‭ ‬Mein Herr Marquis‭ ‬(Adele‭’‬s Laughing Song‭) ‬from Johann Strauss II‭’‬s‭ ‬Die Fledermaus.‭ ‬Pianist Marklin Green will accompany the all-volunteer chorus.

Counterpoint debuts at‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday at the Duncan Theatre on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth,‭ ‬and then performs the same program at‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday at the college‭’‬s Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$15.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬247-1012‭ (‬Duncan‭) ‬or‭ ‬207-5900‭ (‬Eissey‭)‬.‭

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