By Greg Stepanich
The arts season for 2009-10 is in the books, but that doesn’t mean we’re all going
to be reduced to flipping on the A/C and watching videos of cats playing piano
apps on an iPad (cute as that is).
Longtime observers of the cultural scene hereabouts know that things are far less
seasonal than they used to be, and that there actually is a summer arts season
to look forward to. Among the warm-months big events this year are the Palm
Beach Chamber Music Festival, Macbeth
at the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage debuting at its new home
in the Rinker Playhouse, and a visit from Sting at the Cruzan in early July.
Meanwhile, May is a good month to catch up on some shows that are still running as well as
chasing down something new. Here are some events worth checking out in the
Burn the Floor: Competitive dance shows have become addictive reality fare on television, with celebrities and wannabes
alike trying their luck at sambas, waltzes and ballroom pizzazz for fun, profit
and even pain. Burn the Floor, a
high-energy evening of dance featuring 11 couples — including husband-and-wife
team Ryan and Ashleigh Di Lello of Fox’s So
You Think You Can Dance — comes to the Kravis for nine shows starting May
4. This show, which packed them in for seven months at Broadway’s Longacre
Theatre and includes West Palm Beach as one of the first three stops on its
initial world tour, is half Latin dance, half ballroom tradition, and was
choreographed in nonstop, intensely theatrical style by Australian Jason
Gilkison. May 4 through May 9; call 832-7469 for tickets.
Avedon and Elvis: Master photographer and portraitist Richard Avedon (1923-2004),
whose work helped create the supermodel and define what American style was, and
is, all about is the subject of a retrospective at the Norton Museum of Art
that features 175 fashion photos taken from 1944-2000 for the major magazines
for whom he worked. Avedon was particularly celebrated for establishing a
fresher commercial view of what the modern woman was all about, and in these
pictures we can see that sense of beauty and confidence that is so much a part
of our culture today. Through May 9 (call 832-5196 for tickets).
Elsewhere, the Boca Raton Museum of Art features a series of photos by Alfred Wertheimer
of Elvis Presley at age 21, just at the time when he was becoming a household
word. Through June 13 (call 392-2500 for tickets).
Three Tall Women: The American playwright Edward Albee restored his career with this 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning
drama that examines the life stages of an elderly woman, now in her 90s, who
has become estranged from her gay son. Palm Beach Dramaworks has tapped Beth
Dixon, Angie Radosh, Geneva Rae and Chris Marks as its cast for the show, which
will be directed by J. Barry Lewis. Through June 13 (call 514-4042 for
Chamber music: This year’s chamber music series at the Duncan Theatre’s Stage West
featured young solo artists, and one of them, violinist Mikhail Simonyan, had
to bow out because of illness. As a substitute, pianist Hyojin Ahn, who
accompanied violinist Yuki Numata earlier this year, will appear in a solo
recital May 5, in a program of music by Liszt and Ravel (call 868-3309 for
tickets). Meanwhile, the Music at St. Paul’s series in Delray Beach continues
May 16 with clarinetist Paul Green, violist Michael Klotz and pianist Jennifer
Snyder in music by Bruch and Schumann (call 278-6003 for tickets). That same
afternoon, Ukrainian pianist Sofiya Uryvayeva comes to the Piano Lovers series
at Boca’s Steinway Gallery for a concert of music by Tchaikovsky and Chopin
(call 929-6633 for tickets).
Greg Stepanich is founder/editor of the Palm Beach ArtsPaper available online
Watch for his column all summer leading up to our Season Preview distributed in
October. He can be reached at: email@example.com.