Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekend arts picks: May 6-8

Morris Robinson as the Commendatore
in Florida Grand Opera’s Don Giovanni.


Music:‭ ‬This weekend,‭ ‬Florida Grand Opera is running more like a repertory company than its normal mode of one show at one time.‭ ‬Its productions of David DiChiera’s‭ ‬Cyrano and Mozart’s‭ ‬Don Giovanni are running tomorrow and Sunday afternoon,‭ ‬respectively,‭ ‬at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center.‭ ‬Cyrano,‭ ‬based on the Edmond Rostand play about the‭ ‬17th-century French swashbuckler,‭ ‬poet and sci-fi pioneer,‭ ‬was composed by the American DiChiera to a French libretto by the veteran director Bernard Uzan‭ (‬who helmed‭ ‬Madama Butterfly for FGO a couple seasons back‭)‬,‭ ‬and starts Marian Pop as Cyrano and Leah Partridge as his cousin Roxane,‭ ‬the love of his life.‭ ‬DiChiera’s sweet,‭ ‬Massenet-influenced score is getting good reviews,‭ ‬as is FGO’s mid-20th century updating of Giovanni.‭ ‬It’s directed by the busy John Pascoe‭ (‬whose Act IV of‭ ‬Carmen at Palm Beach Opera was very effective‭)‬,‭ ‬and stars David Pittsinger as the Don and Jacquelyn Wagner as Donna Elvira.‭ ‬Cyrano bows at‭ ‬8‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday in what will be its final performance‭; ‬Giovanni starts at‭ ‬2‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday and then heads to Fort Lauderdale for two shows May‭ ‬12‭ ‬and‭ ‬14‭ ‬at the Broward Center.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬800-741-1010‭ ‬for tickets,‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬www.fgo.org.


A scene from Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Film:‭ ‬The good news this weekend is that obsessive filmmaker Werner Herzog‭ (‬Rescue Dawn,‭ ‬Grizzly Man‭) ‬has a new obsession.‭ ‬It is the‭ ‬32,000-year-old drawings on the walls of France’s Chauvet Cave and he has obtained rare access to the site to film a documentary on the subject,‭ ‬Cave of Forgotten Dreams.‭ ‬In‭ ‬3-D,‭ ‬no less.‭ ‬OK,‭ ‬the visual effects gimmick is unnecessary,‭ ‬but the rest of the film is quite remarkable,‭ ‬as Herzog plays tour guide to these artifacts from the past,‭ ‬virtually untouched by time.‭ ‬These glimpses at the first artwork made by man‭ ‬--‭ ‬and precursors of cinema,‭ ‬according to Herzog‭ ‬--‭ ‬are awe-inspiring and much more conveniently observed from a theater seat than by going on the harrowing spelunking trek that he went on.‭ ‬Regal Delray‭ ‬18.‭ – ‬H.‭ ‬Erstein

Kati Brazda and Barbara Bradshaw
in The Beauty Queen of Leenane.


Theater:‭ ‬When Palm Beach Dramaworks switches gears to produce a comedy,‭ ‬it had better be something that can stand up to the towering works of Albee,‭ ‬O’Neill and Miller.‭ ‬That describes Irishman Martin McDonagh’s gruesomely amusing‭ ‬The Beauty Queen of Leenane,‭ ‬the ironically titled tale of a plain,‭ ‬lonely woman who has a chance to escape her dreary village and move with her beau to America,‭ ‬and her manipulative mother,‭ ‬who wants nothing more than to thwart her.‭ ‬Mother and daughter are played by recent Carbonell Award winner Barbara Bradshaw and Kati Brazda,‭ ‬which only increases our interest.‭ ‬Opening this‭ ‬evening and running through June‭ ‬19.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬(561‭) ‬514-4042.‭ ‬– H.‭ ‬Erstein

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