Music: Tonight at the Festival of the Arts Boca, the much-loved Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who’s been an area favorite for years, joins the New World Symphony for the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Op. 45) of Rachmaninov, and doubtless she’ll do an encore, too. But the concert, which will be led by Toronto Symphony director Peter Oundjian, also contains a rarely heard masterwork: The Fourth Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams. It’s a tough, passionate piece by perhaps the greatest of all English composers, and rare is the American orchestra that will program it. If you miss it, you can catch it down at the New World’s home in Miami Beach on Saturday and Sunday, but tonight’s performance under the tent at the Mizner Park Amphitheater should be extra-special. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets start at $15. Call 866-571-2787 or visit www.festivaloftheartsboca.org.
Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Michael O’Connor hosts the college’s first-ever Early Music Festival this weekend, which begins Friday night with a performance of some really early music: Excerpts from Ordo virtutum, a morality play written around 1150 by the pioneering Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen. Also on the program is violinist David Rogers, who will play the Rosary Sonata No. 6 of Heinrich Biber. On Saturday night, the Florida International University-based Il Furioso, which specializes in music from 17th-century Italy, gives a concert of music by Mealli and Castaldi, with guest recorder player Aldo Abreu. Both concerts will take place at the DeSantis Chapel on the PBAU campus and start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 803-2970 or send an email to email@example.com.
Dance: Saturday marks the world premiere performances of a new ballet choreographed for her Florida Classical Ballet Theatre by founder Colleen Smith. Titled Wonderland, and based on the Alice stories of Lewis Carroll, the ballet is said to contrast “Victorian reality” and Wonderland, and is set to the music of English composers: Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten and William Walton. Rebekah Levin dances the part of Alice, with Lily Ojea, Rogelio Corrales, Eric Emerson, Gianna Beata, Marshall Levin and Emily Nichols as the Victorians, and Joey Bucheck as the Queen of Hearts. Smith’s company is notable for its well thought-out original shows and its strong sense of discipline in the corps de ballet, and she’s always able to do something charming with her large contingent of children. Wonderland can be seen twice, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Eissey Campus Theatre on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets start at $15. Call 207-5900 or visit www.fcbt.org.
Film: I’ve long been a fan of Marcia Gay Harden (Oscar winner for Pollock), who I used to see onstage as a fledgling actress in Washington, D.C. But she has a sly comic sense which she rarely gets an opportunity to demonstrate in movies. She is at the center of an understated screwball farce called If I Were You, in which she plays a fairly dowdy housewife who accidentally spies her husband have a romantic lunch with a young French cutie. Then, through a series of circumstances too far-fetched to mention, Harden and the mistress meet, bond and start giving each other romantic advice without knowing how closely tied they really are. Stretching credibility further, they both get cast in a community theater production of King Lear, with Harden playing the king. Eventually, she finds love while visiting her dying mother in a nursing home. Opening this weekend at the Mos’Art Theatre in Lake Park.
Theater: If a reading of the script is accurate, producing artistic director Louis Tyrrell has a winner in Duncan Macmillan’s two-hander comedy, Lungs, the story of two young people — W. (Betsy Graver) and M. (Cliff Burgess) — trying to decide whether or not to bring a child into this much-flawed and rapidly declining world. Macmillan, an emerging British playwright, strips his play down to the words and the result is said to be involving and easy to identify with, regardless of your age and marital status. Lungs opens this weekend at The Theatre at Arts Garage, where it brings the Delray Beach venue even closer to what Florida Stage used to feature in the way of new work for almost 25 years. Continuing through April 14. Tickets: $30-$40. Call: (561) 450-6357.
Art: Take a photographic journey along Florida’s interconnected and natural corridor with Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: The Exhibition, at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach. Environmental photographer Carlton Ward Jr. led a small team on a 100-day, 1000-mile trek from Everglades National Park to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia in 2012. Traveling by kayak, mountain bike, horse and by foot, Ward captures with his camera the landscape and flora and fauna of Florida’s wildlife interior. The exhibition, featuring 50 large photographs and maps, opened Thursday and runs through June 11. Ward’s 2009 book, Florida Cowboys, won a silver medal in the Florida Book Awards. For more information, visit workshop.org.