Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend arts picks: Aug. 27-29

Punch bowl showing the trade‭ ‬district‭ ‬in Canton,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬about‭ ‬1780.

Art:‭ ‬Earlier this month,‭ ‬China claimed the title of the world‭’‬s second-largest economy,‭ ‬overtaking Japan for‭ ‬the‭ ‬No.‭ ‬2‭ ‬spot behind the United States.‭ ‬It seems a local achievement‭ ‬for a‭ ‬nation‭ ‬that‭ ‬has long been a much-desired‭ ‬global‭ ‬trading partner,‭ ‬and a new show at the Norton Museum of Art focuses on one of the more familiar offshoots of that commercial energy.‭ ‬On‭ ‬the‭ ‬Silk Road and the‭ ‬High Seas features more than‭ ‬70‭ ‬pieces of pottery for the‭ ‬international and domestic‭ ‬markets,‭ ‬including pieces with themes the‭ ‬world‭ ‬has come to associate with Asian art such as an early‭ ‬19th-century peacock blue vase in the form of a magnificent fish.‭ ‬The‭ ‬show runs through Nov.‭ ‬21.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬832-5196‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Fish vase‭ ‬with‭ ‬ormolu mount,‭ ‬from the‭ ‬reign‭ ‬of Emperor Jiaqing‭ (‬1796-1820‭)‬.

Theater:‭ ‬In a disappointing summer season locally,‭ ‬Florida Stage‭’‬s inaugural production in its new home at the Kravis Center,‭ ‬the musical revue‭ ‬Low Down Dirty Blues,‭ ‬remains the most entertaining show around.‭ ‬But it will not be around for long,‭ ‬since it‭ ‬has to close next Sunday,‭ ‬Sept.‭ ‬5,‭ ‬to make way for the company‭’‬s subscription slate of new works.‭ ‬Set in a Chicago club in the wee hours of the morning,‭ ‬this primer in the blues features an authentic cast of performers who demonstrate the range of emotions,‭ ‬high and low,‭ ‬that the genre encompasses.‭ ‬The show itself could stand some shaping,‭ ‬but the company‭ ‬--‭ ‬Sandra Reaves-Phillips,‭ ‬Mississippi Charles Bevel,‭ ‬Gregory Porter and Felicia P.‭ ‬Fields‭ ‬--‭ ‬could not be bettered.‭ ‬Call‭ (‬561‭) ‬585-3433‭ ‬for tickets.‭ ‬--‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Erstein

Paul Dano and Kevin Kline in The Extra Man.

Film:‭ ‬ In the midst of all the summer blockbusters and redundant sequels,‭ ‬The Extra Man is a small whimsical film that deserves to find an audience.‭ ‬Based on a memoir by Jonathan Ames,‭ ‬it is tale of a Midwestern school teacher‭ (‬Paul Dano of‭ ‬Little Miss Sunshine‭) ‬who relocates to New York City and rents a room from a seedy,‭ ‬eccentric old coot‭ (‬Kevin Kline,‭ ‬too long absent from the big screen‭) ‬who tutors him in how to be a freeloader in style.‭ ‬Among his tricks is serving as an‭ “‬extra man,‭”‬ an escort for dowagers at dinner parties,‭ ‬a skill that is not uncommon on Palm Beach.‭ ‬The screenplay is full of head-scratching tangents,‭ ‬such as John C.‭ ‬Reilly in a hirsute,‭ ‬high-pitched cameo,‭ ‬but just accept them as part of the oddball fun.‭ ‬– H.‭ ‬Erstein

Dave‭ ‬Wakeling,‭ ‬in a picture‭ ‬from his website.

Music:‭ ‬Back‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬beginning‭ ‬of the‭ ‬1980s,‭ ‬the‭ ‬English guitarist and songwriter‭ ‬Dave Wakeling and his band,‭ ‬The Beat,‭ ‬enlivened the technopop-heavy sounds of the day with infectiously‭ ‬catchy,‭ ‬stripped-down ska-influenced singles such as‭ ‬Save It for Later,‭ ‬I Confess,‭ ‬Mirror in the Bathroom,‭ ‬and even an anti-Tory protest song,‭ ‬Stand Down Margaret.‭ ‬Long a resident of Los Angeles,‭ ‬Wakeling is out on tour‭ ‬again with a new version of the‭ ‬band,‭ ‬known over here as The English Beat,‭ ‬and‭ ‬they‭’‬ll be stopping in‭ ‬Saturday‭ ‬night at the Culture Room in downtown‭ ‬Fort Lauderdale.‭ ‬This is‭ ‬classic British pop,‭ ‬as fun‭ ‬and danceable as it was when it first hit the airwaves,‭ ‬and it still‭ ‬sounds fresh.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$18‭ ‬through Ticketmaster,‭ ‬and‭ ‬the show starts at‭ ‬8‭ ‬p.m.‭

Matthew Steynor.

Maurice Ravel‭’‬s version of Mussorgsky‭’‬s‭ ‬Pictures at an Exhibition added‭ ‬plenty‭ ‬of orchestral color to the composer‭’‬s original piano suite,‭ ‬and the piece‭ ‬always has attracted musicians who want to put the music in a form richer than that of the solo piano.‭ ‬This Sunday at Miami‭’‬s Trinity Cathedral,‭ ‬the organist Matthew Steynor will perform the suite,‭ ‬drawing from two or three transcriptions,‭ ‬and accompanied by images broadcast on a screen at the front of the cathedral.‭ ‬Steynor also will‭ ‬make‭ ‬a mark for himself by debuting his own arrangement of Respighi‭’‬s beautiful‭ ‬Three Botticelli Pictures,‭ ‬also accompanied by images.‭ ‬Also on the‭ ‬program,‭ ‬called‭ ‬Musical Murals,‭ ‬are works by Schumann‭ ‬and‭ ‬the contemporary Dutch‭ ‬composer‭ ‬Ad Wammes.‭ ‬ The concert begins at‭ ‬6‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday‭; ‬tickets are‭ ‬$20-$15.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬305-789-0074‭ ‬or visit

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