Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend arts picks: June 17-19

Neil Patrick Harris in Company.

Film:‭ ‬Can’t decide whether to go to the theater or to the movies this weekend‭? ‬Do both,‭ ‬with the high-definition video of the recent concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s‭ ‬Company,‭ ‬which was shamelessly promoted on last Sunday’s Tony Awards broadcast.‭ ‬It stars Neil Patrick Harris as marriage-challenged Bobby,‭ ‬which should restart the discussion whether the character’s dilemma is that he is actually gay.‭ ‬Among the ensemble of Bobby’s friends is Patti LuPone‭ (‬who sings a powerhouse,‭ ‬boozy‭ ‬The Ladies Who Lunch‭)‬,‭ ‬Martha Plimpton and,‭ ‬for some reason,‭ ‬Comedy Central’s musically savvy‭ ‬--‭ ‬but not much‭ ‬of‭ ‬a dancer‭ ‬--‭ ‬Stephen Colbert.‭ ‬Playing this Sunday at the Muvico Parisian,‭ ‬Cinemark Boynton Beach,‭ ‬Cinemark Palace,‭ ‬Shadowwood‭ ‬16‭ ‬and Delray Beach‭ ‬18.‭ ‬This one is a must-see for any Sondheim devotee.‭ 

Ceci Fernandez,‭ ‬Jai Rodriguez and Finnerty Steeves
in Chronicles Simpkins Will Cut Your Ass,‭ ‬at Summer Shorts.‭
(‬Photo by George Schiavone‭)


Theater:‭ ‬What do you do if you want to jump-start a‭ ‬16-year-old off-season tradition,‭ ‬but keep down the budget in these economically tricky times‭? ‬If you are City Theatre’s Summer Shorts,‭ ‬that annual‭ ‬celebration of short-form,‭ ‬5-to-20-minute playlets,‭ ‬you reduce your performance ensemble to five and the number of sketches to seven,‭ ‬but you also cast a ringer,‭ ‬Queer Eye for a Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriguez.‭ ‬The ploy works because A‭) ‬the ensemble includes such stellar talent as Stephen Trovillion and Finnerty Steeves,‭ ‬B‭) ‬the scenes are all winners instead of the occasional sprinkling of disappointing head-scratchers,‭ ‬and C‭) ‬Rodriguez turns out to be a versatile team player.‭ ‬The result is one of the most satisfying Shorts productions in years.‭ ‬Continuing at Miami’s Arsht Center through Sunday,‭ ‬June‭ ‬26,‭ ‬then heading up to the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater,‭ ‬from June‭ ‬30‭ ‬through July‭ ‬3.‭

Allium Chives,‭ ‬by Pamela Larkin.

Art:‭ ‬The New York-born artist Pamela Larkin Caruso has focused on some specific kinds of images in her work:‭ ‬plants and hearts,‭ ‬above all,‭ ‬which she fills with vibrant color and simple shapes,‭ ‬and a strong‭ ‬inner life,‭ ‬as can be seen throughout the many samples viewable on her website‭ (‬http://plarkinart.com‭)‬.‭ ‬The Jupiter Heights resident‭’‬s art‭ ‬also‭ ‬can be seen on display through the end of August‭ ‬in the lobby of the Eissey Campus Theatre on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens.‭ ‬Open‭ ‬11‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday through Friday,‭ ‬and during shows.‭ ‬For more information,‭ ‬call‭ ‬207-5905.‭

Margarita Shevchenko.

Music:‭ ‬In the last three or four years of Frederic Chopin‭’‬s brief life,‭ ‬the composer found it increasingly difficult to write,‭ ‬as his illness‭ (‬which may have been cystic fibrosis‭) ‬progressed inexorably.‭ ‬One of his last works,‭ ‬published in‭ ‬1846,‭ ‬was the‭ ‬Polonaise-Fantaisie,‭ ‬Op.‭ ‬61,‭ ‬an unusual,‭ ‬intimate,‭ ‬brilliant distillation of the Polish folk dance that inspired it.‭ ‬This Saturday,‭ ‬this great piece will be played by the Russian-born pianist Margarita Shevchenko,‭ ‬trained in Moscow and Cleveland,‭ ‬and resident in North Miami Beach,‭ ‬where she keeps a studio.‭ ‬At her recital at the Boca Steinway Gallery,‭ ‬she‭’‬ll also play two other Chopin pieces‭ ‬– the well-known Polonaise in A-flat‭ (‬Op.‭ ‬53‭)‬,‭ ‬and the Barcarolle‭ (‬in F-sharp‭)‬,‭ ‬Op.‭ ‬60‭ ‬– as well as the complete Op.‭ ‬116‭ ‬Fantaisies of Johannes Brahms,‭ ‬also music written at the end of its composer‭’‬s career.‭ ‬Shevchenko takes the stage at‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday.‭ ‬Tickets are‭ ‬$20‭ ‬in advance,‭ ‬$25‭ ‬at the door.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬929-6633‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬www.pianolovers.org.

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