Film: If you are suffering from withdrawal pains waiting for the next screenplay from glib, hyper-articulate Aaron Sorkin, this weekend brings the next best thing. It’s Miss Sloane, a terrific, smart new film about inside Washington, as seen through the machinations of the city’s most wily, win-at-any-cost lobbyist, Elizabeth Sloane. Flame-haired firebrand Jessica Chastain stars in the title role, and you will soon learn she is not one to be crossed. Following her testimony before Congress about her work methods, at which she repeatedly invokes the fifth amendment, Elizabeth is seen taking on the gun lobby in an attempt to promote that third rail of politics – firearm control. First-time screenwriter Jonathan Perera pens cunning dialogue and also has a few late plot twists I doubt you will see coming. Opening this weekend at area theaters.
Music: Palm Beach Opera began presenting alternatives to a fourth staged production a few years back, substituting things like the Beethoven Ninth and Verdi’s Requiem. But three years ago it decided to a free waterfront concert in December, and that has been a well-attended success, as guest singers are joined by the troupe’s orchestra, chorus and Young Artists cohort. Saturday afternoon, the company returns to West Palm Beach’s Meyer Amphitheatre with none other than the Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, best-known for his Wagner roles, which should provide some very interesting repertoire choices. There’s usually a couple thousand people on hand for these concerts, and there’s food and a festive atmosphere, not least because it’s a free show. Get down there early — it’s a 2 p.m. show — and get a good advance hearing of the young people you’ll be hearing all season as well as one of our era’s most celebrated tenors.
Theater: The Kravis Center has another winner in its Broadway series with An American in Paris, the Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of the 1951 movie musical of the same name. No mere clone, but a somewhat darker retelling of the tale of a World War II lieutenant who decides to stay in Paris after the Nazis have been defeated to try and forge a career as an artist. But wouldn’t you know it, romance gets in the way, in the person of a gamine would-be ballerina. Lise, in whom everyone falls in love. Making his Broadway debut as a director-choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon creates breathtaking dances genuinely advance the story, and scenic designer Bob Crowley and lighting designer Natasha Katz will have you falling in love with Paris, either for the first time or all over again. Through Sunday at Dreyfoos Hall. Call 561-832-7469, but do it quickly.
Art: The long-lived finance man and art patron Roy Neuberger — he was 107 when he died in 2010 — began collecting art in Paris in the 1920s and built the most important private collection of modern art in the country by the 1950s. A look at 52 of the works he bought opened last weekend at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, and it offers a literal who’s who of the greatest modernists of the last century: Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Marsden Hartley, Willem de Kooning, and many others. It’s hard to find so many great names in the same exhibit anywhere, and certainly not for only $5. If you want to learn more about before checking out the art in the society’s cozy O’Keeffe Gallery, there’s a free lecture at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the auditorium across the hall. For more information, call 655-7226 or visit www.fourarts.org.