George Clooney in “Hail, Caesar!”
Film: Ever since they burst onto the scene in 1984 with their idiosyncratic take on film noir, Blood Simple, a new film by Joel and Ethan Coen has been a much anticipated event. Certainly that is true for the incessantly promoted Hail, Caesar, opening this weekend at area theaters, and it does not disappoint. This snarky valentine to the days of the Hollywood studio system is broadly comic in the realm of their Raising Arizona or Burn After Reading, but it also is about something, namely the disgruntled screenwriters of the 1950s who gravitated to Communism. In that sense, it is the comic flip side of Trumbo. Everybody seems too want to work with the Coens, as this cast of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum and more proves. What they do in the film should be left to the viewer to discover, but everyone seems to be having fun, so just go along for the giddy ride.
Maureen Anderman and Dennis Creaghan in “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” (Photo by Samantha Mighdoll)
Theater: Who else in South Florida would tackle Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical masterwork, Long Day’s Journey into Night, but Palm Beach Dramaworks? It is the thinly veiled tale of O’Neill and his dysfunctional family, a portrait of the artist as a young man, with the focus largely on his parents — an unfulfilled stage actor who sold out to appear in melodrama and his melancholy, drug-addicted mother. William Hayes directs a cast headed by Dramaworks veterans Dennis Creaghan and Maureen Anderman, the latter filling in mid-rehearsals when the originally cast Joy Franz had to drop out. Yes, as the title suggests, the evening is long — some three-and-a-half hours — but this is what memorable drama is about. Through March 6. Call 561-514-4042.
Carolyn Kuan. (Photo by Aaron Locke)
Music: The Symphonia Boca Raton, which has been trying out guest conductors, returns this weekend with Carolyn Kuan, who directs the Hartford Symphony in Connecticut. Despite the rise of Marin Alsop and JoAnn Falletta, there are still fewer female conductors than there should be, a situation that appears to be changing. Kuan will be joined by pianist Alexander Moutouzkine for a true rarity: the Ballade for piano and orchestra by the French composer Gabriel Faure. Also on the program is Mozart’s Prague Symphony, along with pieces by Copland and Poulenc. The concert starts at 3 p.m. at the Roberts Theater on the campus of St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton. Coincidentally, Falletta herself will be back in town the same day with her Buffalo Philharmonic at 2 p.m. at the Kravis Center. Joining her will be the British violinist Chloe Hanslip for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on a D major-heavy program that also features the Second Symphony of Johannes Brahms. Tickets start at $35.