Film: So you’ve already seen Ocean’s 8 and you are still craving a good heist film? Check out American Animals, a fact-based tale of a quartet of college students who have seen too many movies and decide to pull off an impossible robbery, stealing a copy of Audubon’s Birds of America – valued at millions of dollars – from the library at Transylvania (Ky.) University. Although they are enrolled in higher education, these four guys are none too bright and, as in all worthy heist pictures, everything that can go wrong does. OK, you’ve seen a lot of this before, but documentarian Bart Layton shows himself to be a stylish director of narrative features in his first outing here, rounding up the actual four guys and injecting them in the film alongside four unknown, but talented young actors. Opening this weekend at area theaters.
Theater: Meet Trisha Lee, a big-haired, small-town Texas mom who’s taken aback when her teenage daughter Jolene suddenly announces that she is now a gender-neutral “they.” Although soon shunned by her friends, her mom and her church, Trisha shows unconditional love for her child, who prefers the name Jo. Trisha’s dilemma is related by playwright Elise Forier Edie with great humor and performed with an eye twinkle by the resourceful Laura Turnbull. The play is The Pink Unicorn, a relatively conventional script for the Primal Forces company, but an undeniable winner. At Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage through July 8. Call 866-811-4111 for reservations.
Music: Since the 1970s, Miami has had a special relationship with the music of Frederic Chopin. The American Chopin Foundation was established here then, and each year the foundation presents recitals by up-and-coming pianists in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This Sunday, the first Frost Chopin Festival, based at the University of Miami and sponsored by the foundation, makes its debut, offering a week of concerts and talks that will feature special guests such as violinist Kyung Wha Chung and the eminent Chopin and Liszt authority Alan Walker, who will give two lectures Friday and Saturday of the coming week. Sunday’s concert presents Dang Thai Son, the Vietnamese-Canadian pianist who won first prize in Warsaw’s international Chopin Competition in 1980. For more information, or to get tickets, visit frostchopinfestival.com.