Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend arts picks: Aug. 6-12

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev,
‭ ‬in Countdown to Zero.

Film:‭ ‬Robert Oppenheimer had a very good idea of what his Manhattan Project had unleashed in the New Mexico desert in‭ ‬1945,‭ ‬but at the time,‭ ‬his team was all alone in having become‭ “‬Death,‭ ‬the destroyer of worlds.‭”‬ Today,‭ ‬an estimated‭ ‬23,000‭ ‬nuclear weapons exist,‭ ‬and the makers of the powerful‭ ‬Countdown to Zero‭ ‬want you to understand how terrifying a prospect that is.‭ ‬Approved by the United Nations,‭ ‬the film features interviews with global political luminaries such as Tony Blair,‭ ‬Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev,‭ ‬and a host of foreign policy experts,‭ ‬all of whom want the world to reduce its stockpile of these weapons to none.‭ ‬Director Lucy Walker makes‭ ‬a compelling case for how easy it is for dictator-captained rogue nations to obtain nuclear material,‭ ‬but eventually it all becomes a little hard to take,‭ ‬and crosses from timely warning into fearmongering.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬it gives you plenty to think about.‭ ‬At area theaters.‭

Theater:‭ ‬Australian playwright Alma De‭ ‬Groen‭ ‬was inspired to write‭ ‬Wicked Sisters‭ ‬after reading‭ ‬about artificial intelligence and computers,‭ ‬which‭ ‬might seem a long way to go for a play‭ ‬about four middle-aged women who come together after the death of one of the women‭’‬s husbands,‭ ‬a scientific‭ ‬genius named Alec who has succumbed to Alzheimer‭’‬s disease.‭ ‬But De Groen‭’‬s play,‭ ‬which premiered in‭ ‬2002‭ ‬Down Under,‭ ‬is really all about‭ ‬evolution.‭ ‬Wicked Sisters‭ ‬gets its U.S.‭ ‬premiere this week in downtown Fort Lauderdale at the Women‭’‬s Theatre Project.‭ ‬Linda Bernhard,‭ ‬Elizabeth Dimon,‭ ‬Miki Edelman and Jude Parry star in‭ ‬this‭ ‬play,‭ ‬which is directed by Genie Croft.‭ ‬The show in the tiny Sixth Star Studio seats less than‭ ‬50‭ ‬people,‭ ‬so this is‭ ‬also‭ ‬about theater at its most intimate.‭ ‬The show,‭ ‬which opens tonight for a sold-out show,‭ ‬runs‭ ‬through Aug.‭ ‬29.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$25,‭ ‬$15‭ ‬for students.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬866-811-4111‭ ‬for more information.‭ ‬

Ramsey Lewis.‭
(‬Photo by‭ ‬the‭ ‬Ravinia Festival‭)

Music:‭Ramsey Lewis celebrated his‭ ‬75th birthday earlier this year,‭ ‬and the jazz piano titan also issued his first-ever album of entirely original compositions,‭ ‬Songs From‭ ‬the‭ ‬Heart:‭ ‬Ramsey Plays Ramsey.‭ ‬This video on his Website talks about that process,‭ ‬and this coming Thursday,‭ ‬devotees of jazz piano can hear Lewis‭ ‬in a solo concert down in Coral Gables as the last concert‭ ‬in‭ ‬the Community Arts Program‭’‬s Summer Concert Series.‭ ‬Normally,‭ ‬he appears with his trio,‭ ‬so this is a good chance to hear this fine player build architectures all his own‭ ‬– if you can get a ticket.‭ ‬As of Friday,‭ ‬this concert at the Coral Gables Congregational Church was sold out.‭ ‬For‭ ‬appeals,‭ ‬call‭ ‬305-448-7421.

Singer Jennifer Sheehan.

We‭’‬re well into the dog days of August,‭ ‬but there‭’‬s still cabaret in town,‭ ‬and this week at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach,‭ ‬singer Jennifer Sheehan is holding forth in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Royal Room.‭ ‬Sheehan‭’‬s a graduate of Juilliard who can count performances in Mozart‭’‬s Die‭ ‬Zauberflöte among her‭ ‬achievements,‭ ‬but these days she‭’‬s exploring the depths of the Great American Songbook.‭ ‬She appears‭ ‬8‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬today‭ ‬and Saturday‭; ‬tickets are‭ ‬$45‭ ‬for the show,‭ ‬and‭ ‬$90‭ ‬for the show and dinner beforehand‭ (‬doors open at‭ ‬6:30‭ ‬p.m.‭)‬.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬659-81o0‭ ‬to make reservations.‭

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