Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend arts picks: Jan. 14-16

Panel of St.‭ ‬Edmund,‭ ‬early‭ ‬16th century,‭ ‬English.‭

Art:‭ ‬This is the last weekend to catch Object of Devotion:‭ ‬Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture‭ ‬From the Victoria and Albert Museum,‭ ‬showing through Sunday‭ ‬at the Society of the Four Arts.

This national touring collection of‭ ‬60‭ ‬alabaster panels‭ ‬ and‭ ‬sculpture‭ ‬from the‭ ‬15th and‭ ‬16th centuries is the work of anonymous artisans‭ ‬who created devotional pieces for aristocrats‭ ‬and‭ ‬commoners alike,‭ ‬crafting them out of the plentiful alabaster found‭ ‬in the‭ ‬Midlands.‭ ‬These are beautiful,‭ ‬striking works that were doomed to go out of favor with the Reformation of the‭ ‬1530s.‭ ‬King Henry VIII‭’‬s rejection of the pope also saw the destruction of monasteries,‭ ‬churches and religious art,‭ ‬and the exhibit at the O‭’‬Keeffe Gallery includes some‭ ‬examples‭ ‬of defaced‭ ‬alabaster.

Panel of the Fifth Sign of the Last Judgment,‭ ‬late‭ ‬15th century,‭ ‬English.

It‭’‬s not‭ ‬often‭ ‬that‭ ‬such a quiet,‭ ‬meditative,‭ ‬intimate show makes it to our area galleries,‭ ‬and if you‭’‬re in a contemplative mood,‭ ‬and want to reflect as well on the exceptional artistic talent evident here from‭ ‬craftspeople‭ ‬whose names have been lost to history,‭ ‬this is the show to see.‭ ‬The gallery is open from‭ ‬10‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬today and Saturday,‭ ‬and‭ ‬from‭ ‬2‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬5‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$5.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬655-2776‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.

Film:‭ ‬Decidedly not a date night film is‭ ‬Blue Valentine,‭ ‬a portrait of a marriage gone bad that is raw,‭ ‬dark and downbeat.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬it contains two superb,‭ ‬award-worthy performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams,‭ ‬a couple of the best young actors working today.‭ ‬They play Dean and Cindy,‭ ‬both products of combative home lives,‭ ‬who meet by accident,‭ ‬marry and have a young daughter,‭ ‬but rarely experience happiness.‭ ‬The film jumps around in time,‭ ‬intercutting their fleeting early bliss with the vitriol of the end of their relationship.‭ ‬Opening in area theaters today.‭ – ‬H.‭ ‬Erstein

Catherine Walker as Maria in The Sound of Music.‭

Theater:‭ ‬Sure,‭ ‬it is easy to be cynical about‭ ‬The Sound of Music,‭ ‬the final collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II,‭ ‬which is so often rendered with an overdose of sugar and sunshine.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬this tale of the creation of the von Trapp Family Singers is under the shadow of the rise of the Third Reich,‭ ‬and director-choreographer Marc Robin reaches for the dramatic underpinnings in the first-rate production that just opened at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.‭ ‬Catherine Walker heads a‭ ‬30-member cast‭ ‬--‭ ‬the largest ever on the Maltz stage‭ ‬--‭ ‬playing spunky Maria Rainer,‭ ‬who becomes the governess to seven love-starved youngsters and eventually melts the heart of their grump father.‭ ‬Michael Schweikardt fills the stage with numerous eye-popping sets.‭ ‬Through Jan.‭ ‬30.‭ ‬Call‭ (‬561‭) ‬575-2223.‭

Dolora Zajick.

Music:‭ ‬“It‭ ‬might‭ ‬be‭ ‬his‭ ‬greatest piece,‭”‬ says Dolora Zajick,‭ ‬and as one of the world‭’‬s‭ ‬best Verdian mezzos,‭ ‬she knows what she‭’‬s talking about.‭ ‬The‭ ‬Messa da Requiem that‭ ‬Giuseppe Verdi composed in‭ ‬1874‭ ‬in honor of the writer Alessandro Manzoni‭ ‬is one of the towering works of Romantic music,‭ ‬period,‭ ‬and this Sunday,‭ ‬the Palm Beach Opera‭ ‬presents‭ ‬a performance of this colossal piece,‭ ‬with Zajick as the mezzo in the solo quartet.‭ ‬Bruno Aprea will lead the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and its chorus,‭ ‬augmented by the Master Chorale of South Florida,‭ ‬the Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches,‭ ‬the Delray Beach Chorale and the Ralph Sharon Singers,‭ ‬for a singing body of some‭ ‬150‭ ‬people.

Zajick will be joined by soprano Angela Meade,‭ ‬tenor Carl‭ ‬Tanner‭ (‬who sang the tragic Moor in last season‭’‬s Otello‭) ‬and bass Morris Robinson.‭ ‬This promises to be a stellar reading of this terrific piece,‭ ‬and it‭’‬s ideally suited as a Palm Beach Opera presentation.‭ ‬The concert begins at‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday at‭ ‬the Kravis Center.‭ ‬Tickets range from‭ ‬$20‭ ‬to‭ ‬$125.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬833-7888‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬

Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953).

The classical‭ ‬music‭ ‬of Haiti is nothing if not little-known,‭ ‬but Keith Paulson-Thorp of St.‭ ‬Paul‭’‬s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach‭ ‬has‭ ‬put‭ ‬together a program of music Haitian composers past and‭ ‬present‭ ‬for a benefit concert Sunday for the Caribbean nation that still is struggling to recover from the‭ ‬earthquake‭ ‬that struck it‭ ‬a year ago this week.‭

On the‭ ‬program are pieces by Ludovic Lamothe,‭ ‬Werner Jaegerhuber and Joseph Boulogne,‭ ‬the Chevalier de Saint-George,‭ ‬who is‭ ‬represented‭ ‬by a string quartet.‭ ‬Also featured are pieces by Americans Louis Moreau Gottschalk‭ ‬and‭ ‬William Grant Still,‭ ‬plus contemporary pieces by Daniel Bernard Roumain,‭ ‬Sydney Guillaume,‭ ‬Aurora Francois,‭ ‬Julio Racine,‭ ‬and Luc Beauliere.

The concert begins at‭ ‬3‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬at St.‭ ‬Paul‭’‬s.‭ ‬Admission is free,‭ ‬but a‭ ‬collection will be taken for earthquake relief.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬278-6003‭ ‬or visit

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