Art: If there’s a more important art exhibit in the area than Justin Brice Guariglia’s Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene, now at the Norton, we’d be hard-pressed to tell you what it is. Guariglia is a photographer who is accredited to NASA, which in 2015 and 2016 investigated the shrinking glaciers of Greenland. Guariglia turned his photos of what he saw into artworks that, as the Norton says, blur the line between painting and photography. There are 22 of these huge works on display through Jan. 7, and they make a stunning statement about the devastation of climate change and sea level rise — which, in the middle of our king tides this week, is making itself felt all over South Florida, not long after three ferocious hurricanes have rewritten the weather records. Sometimes the best thing we can do to fight this environmental catastrophe is to confront it head-on, and these powerful works help us do that. It’s even better that admission to the Norton is still free until late next year.
Film: We hardly needed further proof that 82-year-old Dame Judi Dench is an international treasure, yet Stephen Frears’ new film Victoria and Abdul provides it. She is often at her best playing royalty and here, she returns to the role of Queen Victoria — following 1997’s Mrs. Brown — near the end of her reign and life. She is unexpectedly perked up by the arrival of an Indian clerk, chosen to sail to England to deliver a token of that nation in thanks for being subjugated. Don’t ask. But Victoria is charmed by this man, and commands him to stay on and become her teacher of the Koran, of the Urdu language and of his comforting philosophy of the afterlife. It is an odd couple indeed, but it makes for an entertaining, and mostly true, film that eases us out of the superhero season and into the awards season.
Theater: Composer-lyricist Jerry Herman is noted for his musicals with larger-than-life female characters. Think of Dolly Levi, Mame Dennis and also Albin, the drag star of a St. Tropez nightclub in the 6-time Tony winning La Cage aux Folles. He lives an idyllic life with his longtime partner, Georges, which gets disrupted by the news that their son is getting married. To (gasp!) a girl. Michael Ursua and Larry Alexander head the cast of MNM Productions show, directed and choreographed by the tireless Kimberly Dawn Smith. Opening this weekend, it plays through Oct. 22, at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse. Call 561-832-7469 for tickets.