Film: If you crave a good, character-driven Southern coming-of-age, family reunion, eccentricity excess yarn, check out this weekend’s indie release, Bloodworth, fresh from the festival circuit and into a local Palm Beach Gardens theater on a market test basis. Having survived a medical scare, patriarch E.F. Bloodworth (craggy Kris Kristofferson, strumming his guitar) returns to his family after 40 years away, to find his three sons — most notably a tubby, womanizing Val Kilmer — each on his own path of aimless drifting. The film, based on William Gay’s Southern Gothic novel Provinces of Night, has a tendency to drift as well, but at its center is a sweet, if hardly original tale of school dropout, writer wannabe Fleming Bloodworth (newcomer Reece Thompson) who falls hard for an alluring little tramp (Hilary Duff, convincingly playing against type). Go for the performances, which manage to trump the clichés. At PGA Gardens Cinamax beginning today.
Theater: We will see next season how well the new Caldwell Theatre Company can fully produce a musical when it tackles the split personality jazz musical City of Angels, but this weekend is the latest Broadway concert presentation, which the Boca troupe has proven time and again that it can handle. Artistic director Clive Cholerton take a breather from his go-to composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim for the female-centric creative team of Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, spotlighting their 1991 ethereal adaptation of the beloved children’s book, The Secret Garden. Heading the cast are concert mainstays Wayne Legette and Melissa Minyard, but the concert’s secret weapon is Catherine Minyard — yes, Melissa’s daughter — as orphaned Mary Lennox, shipped off to live with her emotionally distant Uncle Archie. Opens this evening for four performances only through Sunday afternoon. Call (561) 241-7432.
Music: The fifth iteration of the Festival of the Arts Boca has come and gone, but organizers are planning to celebrate the March concert series in Mizner Park with a fund-raising concert this weekend.
The concert will feature Quartetto Gelato, the celebrated Canadian salon-classical ensemble of accordion, oboe, violin and cello. The group – its current lineup is violinist Peter DeSotto, accordionist Alexander Sevastian, cellist Liza McLellan and oboist Colin Maier — has been a steady feature of pledge drives on PBS, and does a wide variety of music in special arrangements, such as the “Gypsy” finale from the Brahms G minor Piano Quartet and Danny Boy (violinist DeSotto doubles as a tenor).
Quartetto Gelato will perform at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center. Tickets for the benefit are $250, with $200 of that acknowledged as a charitable donation. Spokeswoman Hillary Reynolds also said, however, that some event sponsors will be not using some of their tickets, and these are now available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting the Festival of the Arts at www.festivaloftheartsboca.org. – G. Stepanich
Down in Miami Beach this weekend, it’s the Miami International Piano Festival, which this year stays at the Colony Theatre rather than coming north to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Swiss pianist Cedric Pescia opened the series last night with music by Couperin, Schumann, Liszt and Messiaen, and tonight it’s the turn of Walter Ponce, Bolivian-born and currently the chief of the keyboard studies department at UCLA.
Ponce will play music by Liszt and Schubert, including the B minor Sonata of the former and the valedictory B-flat Sonata (D. 960) of the latter. He’ll also play an early Schubert Scherzo (in B-flat, D. 593), and Liszt’s Hymne a l’Enfant a son Reveil (Song to the Waking Child).
He’s followed Saturday by two concerts, the first at 2 p.m. featuring teenage stars including American George Li (who’s 15) in music of Haydn (Sonata in C, Hob. XVI: 50), two of Ravel’s Miroirs (Oiseaux Tristes and Alborada del Gracioso), and two by Liszt: The familiar Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and the well-known Consolation No. 3 (in D-flat). The 17-year-old American cellist Oliver Altdort joins the 19-year-old Venezuelan pianist Luis Urbina for the second half, which features two pieces by Chopin (the Cello Sonata, Op. 65, and the Introduction and Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3). Also on the program is the Schumann Fantasy Pieces (Op. 73).
Saturday night, the Israeli pianist Amir Katz plays all 21 of Chopin’s known Nocturnes, a cycle he recorded last year for a German label called Oehms Classics. And on Sunday night, it’s something completely different, with the Franco-Algerian violinist Gilles Apap and his Translvania Boys (guitarist Chris Judge and bassist Brendon Statom) in a program of Gypsy folk and light classics (i.e., Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance). All concerts are held at the Colony Theatre on Miami Beach. Tickets range from $15-$40. Call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or call the Colony at 305-674-1040, ext. 1.