Culturebeat

Vices: A Love Story

Written by Everett Bradley, Susan Draus, Michael Heitzman, and Ilene Reid. Directed by Clive Cholerton. With Holly Shunkey, Marcus Bellamy, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Carlos L. Encinias, Lara Janine, and Leajato Amara Robinson. Presented through August 2 at Caldwell Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Call 561-241-7432, or click here.

Vices is a plotless musical extravaganza plumbing the heights and depths of our love for unhealthy things — including cigarettes, chocolate, gambling, money, and a bad, bad boy named Johnny Walker Black. Some of the music cooked up for the show is more modern and exciting than anything I've ever seen on Caldwell's stage — like latter-day King Crimson filtered through Stephen Sondheim. That a few of the pieces devolve into Rent-ish musical schtick detracts from Vices' impact not at all, and the pleasures derived from the show's many great moments are anything but guilty. Brandon K. Thorp


Private Lives

Written by Noel Coward. Directed by J. Barry Lewis. With Wynn Harmon, Katherine Tanner, Caroline Strong, and Cliff Burgess. Presented through August 16 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 322 Banyan Rd., West Palm Beach. Call 561-514-4042, or click here.

After a super-ambitious season full of successful experiments and oddities, there's something reassuring about Palm Beach Dramaworks' decision to do Private Lives as its summer show. It's not that we're sick of the oddities, by any means — it's just that PBD is good enough to pull off just about anything, and it's nice to see proof every now and again. Private Lives is a classic, even archetypal, Noel Coward script. In it, two ex-spouses realize they're staying in the same hotel while on honeymoon with their new spouses. Devilishly witty in the grand tradition, for sure, but not in the least bit atavistic. Coward ages well. Brandon K. Thorp


"With You I Want to Live"

Through October 12 at the Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-5500, or click here.

Two complementary but independent exhibitions, each drawn from a local private collection, turn out to be less an exploration of the urge to collect than an exploitation of it. At least we get to look at lots of art, some of it very good, along the way. "The Collection of Francie Bishop Good + David Horvitz" is represented by more than 70 works by more than 60 artists, mostly women. Included are such big names as Tina Barney, Gregory Crewdson, and Jenny Holzer but also such South Florida artists as Naomi Fisher, Carol Prusa, and Samantha Salzinger. "The Collection of Gordon Locksley + George T. Shea" is the smaller but grander of the two shows, with representative works by Ross Bleckner, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, and Andy Warhol. Michael Mills


Some Kind of Wonderful

Written by Bill Castellino and Christopher McGovern. Directed by Bill Castellino.With Dana Dawson, Barry Tarallo, Eric Collins, Michelle Pereira, and Irene Adjan. Presented through August 30 at Florida Stage, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. Call 800-514-3837, or click here.

A summertime jukebox musical in the grand tradition of summertime jukebox musicals, Some Kind of Wonderful is a meaningless explosion of fantastic songs. Thrill to conservatory-trained singers having a go at Wilson Pickett and Connie Francis! Cringe at Florida Stage's attempts to be hip and psychedelic with the Beatles! Snap your fingers! Clap your feet! It's not like you have anything better to do — like, say, thinking! And what's wrong with that? It's not like Connie Francis was all that cerebral to begin with. Brandon K. Thorp


"The Tillamook Cheddar Mid-Career Retrospective 1999-2009"

Through August 16 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood.Call 954-921-3274, or click here.

The artist's bio speaks for itself: "Tillamook Cheddar is a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who is widely regarded as the world's preeminent canine artist, using a dynamic color transfer technique to create her work. 'Tillie' has had 17 solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe and has been featured in press and television worldwide." Well, as for that "dynamic color transfer technique," it boils down to this: Her owner puts carbon paper or transfer paper beneath the paws of the dog, who scratches out her "work," sometimes supplementing the claw marks by biting or tearing the paper with her teeth. But to address a nagging question, do Tillie's scratchings and bitings add up to art? Michael Mills

 
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