Theater: Oklahoman Woodrow Wilson Guthrie is the subject of a stirring musical revue, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, which celebrates this poet of the people who began by celebrating the nation but grew increasingly political as the Great Depression widened the economic inequities in the country. At Palm Beach Dramaworks, director Bruce Linser pulls together a multi-talented ensemble, each of whom plays several instruments and sings with fervor. Only through this Sunday on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach.
Film: Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki has created an unconventional biography of Elvis Presley, as seen from the viewpoint of his Rolls-Royce, the symbol of the American Dream that this impoverished boy from Tupelo, Miss., achieved. The movie is called The King, as in “the King of rock ’n’ roll,” and while it focuses on the ’50s and ’60s, it also draws parallels with today’s political landscape. Jarecki uses archival footage well, but also draws on such A-list names as Alec Baldwin, Ethan Hawke and James Carville, putting them in the back seat of the Rolls and hearing their reflections on Presley. Opening this weekend at area theaters, a welcome antidote to the blockbuster summer action flicks.
Art: The valuable Morikami Museum in west Delray Beach wraps its summer exhibition this weekend with two shows focusing on the whimsical side of Japanese culture. Unexpected Smiles: Seven Types of Humor in Japanese Painting chronicles the art of the Edo period, a time of intense repression in which artwork like this was allowed to flourish as long as it did not directly attack the government. That’s paired with Edo-goma: Japanese Spinning Tops, an exhibit of these charming toys that became wildly popular during the Edo period in imitation of acrobatic performances that featured such tops; the 100 or so tops in this exhibit were created a contemporary Japanese artist, Hiroi Michiaki, a fourth-generation top maker. For more information, call 495-0233 or visit morikami.org.
Music: Coral Sky Amphitheatre is packed this weekend, beginning Saturday with Texas country star Miranda Lambert, almost as well-known for her personal romantic drama as she is for her music; she appears with Little Big Town and Turnpike Troubadours (whose lead singer, Evan Felker, is Lambert’s current squeeze). And then Sunday morning starting at 11, it’s the Vans Warped Tour, a durable mega-concert of dozens of young bands in an event sponsored by a skateboard company. This may be where you see your next big musical crush. See www.livenation.com for more information.