Music: Like her or hate her, writer Ayn Rand has had a large influence on a certain segment of American politics and culture. This Saturday, Rand’s most famous novelistic creation, John Galt, is the musical subject of a new piece for 10 pianos and two percussionists by the American composer Peter J. Learn. The piece was created at the behest of Circle founder Mia Vassilev, who read Atlas Shrugged a few years and found it intriguing. You have to give Vassilev credit for coming up with bold programming ideas; in the past, she got composer Michael Torke to write a 10-piano suite for her called Miami Grands. Learn’s Galt will be accompanied by video projections and bows Saturday night at the New World Center in Miami Beach, which is ideal for it. Call 800-597-3331 or visit www.nws.edu for more information and tickets.
Theater: Far from the streets of Jupiter, and fortunately far removed in time, warring street gangs of 1950s New York inspired Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents to write West Side Story, based of Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young lovers caught on opposite sides of deeply held ethnic hatred. This classic of the musical theater will be brought to life by members of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s conservatory, a cast of students in grades 6 through 12, for two performances – Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Both performances are already sold out, but you can get on the waiting list by calling 561-575-2223.
Film: Avoid the lines this weekend for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and seek out something quieter. Opening at The Living Room Theatres in Boca Raton is A Quiet Passion, a biography of reclusive New England spinster poet Emily Dickinson, written and directed by England’s Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea). Playing her is Cynthia Nixon (of TV’s Sex and the City), with a lovely muted performance in which she demonstrates the character’s quick wit and stubborn streak, as well as reciting much of her poetry. Also first-rate in support is Jennifer Ehle as Emily’s supportive sister.