The theater scene reigns triumphant this weekend as a powerful production drafted by an iconic playwright opens the season in downtown West Palm Beach.
Two other stage performances are continuing their runs, one in Boca Raton, the other in Delray Beach.
But not all the area action this weekend takes place behind the footlights. Halloween reverberations are beginning to make their scary vibes felt, and some top musical performers will be showcasing their talents locally.
Let’s see what’s going on.
Friday, October 11
Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, the Pulitzer Prize-winner found on virtually every critic’s shortlist of greatest American plays, opens Palm Beach Dramaworks’ 2019-2020 season Friday at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre. Performances continue through November 3, with specially priced previews on October 9 and 10. J. Barry Lewis directs.
Most of the best-known plays from the 1930s and ’40s were realistic dramas that confronted social issues. Streetcar (1947) concerns itself with emotion and passion rather than ideas and ideology. The characters, the story, and the setting are true-to-life, but Williams added layers of lyricism and symbolism, broadening the bounds of realism.
Mostly, he shocked and disturbed audiences with characters who speak of or engage in behavior that was rarely addressed on the stage in post-World War II America: homosexuality, hypersexuality, eroticism, nymphomania, rape, and spousal abuse. And he didn’t pass judgment. He treated the struggles of all his characters with great insight and understanding. 8 p.m. Friday, October 11 through November 3, at Palm Beach Dramaworks, Don & Ann Brown Theater, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-514-4042; palmbeachdramaworks.org. Ticket prices vary.
The Pompano Beach Cultural Center presents "Existencia Natural," an exhibition of works by Cuban artist Guillermo Portieles, curated by David Mateo and presented by the Latin American Art Pavilion. The display opens in the Center's Art Gallery on Friday.
Portieles uses architectural elements in his paintings as a way to explore their function both as shelters that protect us and as houses for our memories. The artist has said he believes memories, sometimes even forgotten memories, are summoned in association with place. Opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Friday, with exhibition running through January 3, 2020, at Pompano Beach Cultural Center, 50 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-545-7800; ccpompano.org. Admission free.
Little Shop of Horrors, the deviously delicious Broadway horror comedy/doo-wop/rock/sci-fi musical created by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin fame), continues its stage run through October 20 at the Sol Theater in Boca Raton. The production features a roster of talented young actors and Sol Troupe members. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton; 561-447-8829; solchildren.org. Tickets range from $15 to $20 via seatyourself.com
A delightful slice of British humor is entertaining audiences at the Delray Beach Playhouse.
Based on a true incident that rocked the foundations of English fundraising, Calendar Girls began as a successful movie starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walker. The film begat a stage show, which has since spun off a stage musical.
The story follows a women’s club and how it raised massive amounts of money by adopting a “sex sells” marketing ploy and selling a calendar of nude portraits of club members themselves – middle-aged British wives and mothers and one retired schoolteacher. You may very well get an eyeful yourself. 8 p.m. Friday through October 20 at Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 NW Ninth St., Delray Beach; 561-272-1281. Tickets cost $30 via delraybeachplayhouse.com.
Saturday, October 12
Attention, moon children. Pedro Luna and Jessica Om hold their monthly Full Moon Beach Yoga this Saturday. This class is open to all levels – you don't have to be a yogi to join in. Led by both teachers, the session will be a Vinyasa/Yin combo with a crystal bowl savasana.
It's on the beach – aka the sand – so be sure to bring a large blanket or sheet to put under your yoga mat. Other than that, maybe bring some water and a light jacket. 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Delray Beach, 10 N. Ocean Blvd.; Full Moon Beach Yoga Delray Beach on Facebook. Participation is by donation.
In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed Williams' rollicking slide work and soulful vocals, is as genuine and hard-hitting as Chicago blues get. And the band's appearance at Arts Garage in Delray is as close to Chicago as South Florida can get this weekend. 8 p.m. Saturday at Arts Garage, 94 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-450-6357. Tickets are $17.50 via artsgarage.org.
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Sunday, October 13
What would you do if you had the power to build your own baby?
In Babel, a comedy by Jacqueline Goldfinger, prospective parents in the future get an early look at which genetic traits their children will have and what behaviors they are likely to exhibit. The production follows two couples who collide over what to do with their pre-certification test results. How far will we go when playing God?
The Theater Lab at Florida Atlantic University presents a playwright’s forum and master class Sunday afternoon, followed by a performance of Babel. 12:30 p.m. Sunday for master class; 3 p.m. for performance at Theater Lab in Parliament Hall, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton; 561-297-6124. Class cost $30; play ticket $20 via fauevents.com.