Film: I have rarely recommended a horror film, but Ari Aster’s directing debut, Hereditary, is so creepy good, with a stunning central performance by Toni Collette, that it exceeds the genre. She plays a woman disturbed by the recent death of her mother, whose genes have apparently infected the family and set in motion a series of tragedies. When her stoner son reluctantly takes his younger sister to a high school party with fatal results, that is just the beginning of the macabre events that befall them. Gabriel Byrne is also a standout as Collette’s husband – from a different gene pool – who can only look on at the horrific things that occur, with no ability to prevent them. Not recommended for those susceptible to nightmares.
Theater: One of the area’s seasonal traditions – along with City Theatre’s Summer Shorts, which is also playing currently – is Florida Atlantic University’s Department of Theatre and Dance’s Festival Rep, a showcase of graduating drama students in classic plays. It opens this weekend on FAU’s Boca Raton campus with Noel Coward’s less frequently revived comedy, Easy Virtue, about an Englishman bringing his new bride home to meet his parents, who are taken aback by her modern, liberated attitudes. Faculty member Jean Louis Baldet directs the production, which runs through June 23, before the Rep delivers its take on John Kander-Fred Ebb’s popular musical, Cabaret. Both in the Studio One Theatre.
Music: This Sunday at St. Paul’s in Delray Beach, the Wellington violinist Gareth Johnson appears in recital with pianist Tao Lin, both of whom are very familiar to local audiences. Johnson’s recital includes standard and electric violins, and in addition to Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and one of the solo sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe, Johnson will also offer an arrangement of “Crazy,” a hit song in 2006 for Gnarls Barkley, CeeLo Green’s soul project with Danger Mouse. That alone is probably worth the price of admission, which is a modest $20, and includes a pre-concert talk in which Johnson will talk about the pieces on his program, set for 3 p.m. at the church on Swinton Avenue.
Art: Never bet against Rolando Chang Barrero’s ability to get art events off the ground. Tonight he celebrates the second anniversary of his Box Gallery, in a tiny storefront on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, with an invitational exhibition running through July 6 and featuring the work of seven artists: David Pounds, Strosberg Mandel, Renda Writer, Yury Darashkevich, Daniel Weinstein, Giannina Coppiano Dwin and Diane Arrieta. Chang Barrero says these artists, all of whom are Palm Beach County residents, are “changing the national and international cultural landscape.” One thing’s for certain: they’re in good hands with Chang Barrero, who has worked tirelessly for the past decade here to bring more of a Miami big-city urgency to this county’s visual art scene. And if you drop by The Box and you talk to him, you’ll see why. A wine reception is set for 7 to 9 p.m. today; visit www.TheBoxGallery.info for more information.