Friday, July 2, 2010

Weekend arts picks: July 2-5

Marisa Berenson, Pippo Delbono, Tilda Swinton,
Alba Rohrwacher, Mattia Zaccaro, Flavio Parenti
and Maria Paiato, in I Am Love.

Film: There is an alternative to the vampires and werewolves of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and the sci-fi fantasy of The Last Airbender. It’s I Am Love, a sensuous film from debuting Italian director Luca Guadagnino with a starring performance by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton that is her best work yet on celluloid. She plays the Russian-born wife of a Milanese businessman who has just inherited the family textile and clothing business, but the film turns on her sexual awakening with the chef friend of her son. Guadagnino has clearly studied former Italian master filmmakers and is not afraid of over-the-top passions. That includes a passion for sex as well as food. Catch this one quickly, before it gets crowded out by Hollywood summer fare, or at least add it to your Netflix queue. Opening this weekend at area theaters. – H. Erstein


Theater: Former Broward Stage Door artistic director Dan Kelley has long wanted to stage and star in the Tony Award-winning musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone and, from all reports, he handles both assignments well. The show is a Canadian import about a guy called simply Man in Chair, who is nostalgic for the golden era of musicals and disdainful of what has happened to the genre. Breaking the fourth wall, he invites us to listen along with him to a ’30s-era show called The Drowsy Chaperone, a frothy confection, and as we hear the record he plays on his phonograph -- yes, he is that retro -- the show comes alive in his tiny apartment. I was headed to see the production Thursday night, but the performance was called off because of a medical emergency suffered by the title actress, Eileen Faxas, but the show is expected to resume this weekend. Broward Stage Door in Coral Springs, (954) 344-7765. – H. Erstein

Sting.

Music: The English singer and songwriter Gordon Sumner, better known by his uni-moniker Sting, has compiled a large and impressive catalog of attractive music in the more than 30 years since Roxanne enlivened the airwaves of 1978. The chief of The Police is a writer of remarkable range as well, bringing to a wide variety of styles a body of well-crafted, humane lyrics and a gift for melody without which no songwriter can truly be popular. Tonight at the Cruzan, Sting appears in concert with a vigorous ensemble called the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, led by Steven Mercurio; if you saw them on one of the late-night shows backing Next to You a couple weeks ago, shimmying in their seats while playing their violins, violas and cellos, you’re in for something distinctly un-stuffy. 8 p.m. at the Cruzan. Tickets: $27-$157, available through Live Nation. – G. Stepanich

Misha Dacic.

The music of Frederic Chopin is so much a part of the daily classical repertoire that celebrations of his 200th anniversary this year (he was born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, on March 1, 1810) don’t look all that different from a regular year in which his music is routinely played. But on Saturday, the Serbian-born pianist Misha Dacic will perform the master’s Preludes (Op. 28), an extraordinary body of miniatures that include beautiful inspirations such as Nos. 4 in E minor and No. 15 in D-flat major, the grace of No. 7 in A and the fire of No. 12 in G-sharp minor, the astounding harmonies of No. 2 in A minor (so bold for 1839), and the immensity and grandeur of No. 24 in D minor. Dacic, a regular guest of Abram Kreeger’s Piano Lovers series, is a graduate of the University of Miami and a formidable pianist in the grand Romantic tradition. 5 p.m. Saturday, at the Steinway Gallery in Boca Raton. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, call 929-6633 or visit www.pianolovers.org. – G. Stepanich

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