Theater: Little Shop of Horrors, Roger Corman’s 1960 low-budget sci-fi flick about a man-eating plant and a nebbish florist’s love for an abused Skid Row tootsie, must have seemed odd source material for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (the songwriting team behind such Disney animated features as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast), but they turned it into a long-running, lucrative off-Broadway hit that has since played around the world. So why not the Lake Worth Playhouse, as the opener of the award-winning community theater’s 59th season? Menken and Ashman’s score is very musical theater-savvy, with such sly comic ballads as Suddenly, Seymour and Somewhere That’s Green. The Playhouse’s show choices have become increasingly hipper in recent years, as this current selection suggests. Tickets are $26-$30, available by calling (561) 586-6410. The show opened Thursday and runs through Oct. 23.
Film: British lad Nigel Slater is destined to grow up to be a foodie, largely because his mum is apparently incapable of cooking anything successfully, except for maybe a decent slice of toast. Toast is the name of the puckish tale opening this weekend at Mos’Art Theatre in Lake Park, a tasty, droll dramedy worth take a bite of.
The screenplay is by Lee Hall (who created Billy Elliot on screen and on stage) and as Nigel makes known his ambition to become a chef, the film takes the shape of a Billy Elliot of food, rather than ballet. Finding Neverland’s Freddie Highmore carries the film as curious Nigel, but the scene stealer is Helena Bonham Carter, who moves in as the family housekeeper after Nigel’s mother dies, gradually moving into line as his clueless father’s next wife. If the multiplexes were more adventuresome with their booking, Toast might be seen more widely, but expect it to catch on for a while at Mos’Art.
Music: One of the still-active living legends of jazz is with us tonight in Miami, when saxman and composer Benny Golson (Whisper Not) takes the stage with the Frost Studio Jazz Band as part of Festival Miami, now ongoing at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Even at 82, Golson continues to perform, compose and record, and his appearance with the young players of the Frost program will bring audiences and up-and-coming musicians into the living tradition of this American art form. 8 p.m., Gusman Concert Hall, UM. Call 305-284-4940 for tickets ($25-$65) or visit www.festivalmiami.com.
The next night at the Kravis, another lover of tradition brings her remarkably powerful voice and rare taste for fine material to town. Canadian chanteuse k.d. lang and her nimble band, the Siss Boom Bang, are in the middle of a national tour of songs such as I Confess and Sing It Loud. The reviews from fans and critics alike have been glowing, and lang’s voice seems unaffected by time and wear, with the same buoyant vocal reserves and a way with a lyric that make all of her performances sound definitive. 8 p.m. Saturday, Kravis Center. Tickets: $25 and up. Call 832-7469 or visit www.kravis.org.
Ten seasons ago, cellist Iris van Eck fulfilled a long-held dream by founding a chamber music series, and she regularly brings well-known Miami-area musicians – the Amernet Quartet, pianists Misha Dacic and Kemal Gekic – to the second floor of Fort Lauderdale’s Leiser Opera Center, where a good spread of desserts and drinks awaits the concertgoer at the end of one of her Chameleon Musicians afternoons. Two big pieces are on the first concert of the new season this Sunday: the String Trio No. 2, Op. 141b, of Max Reger, and the Goldberg Variations of J.S. Bach, in an arrangement by Dmitri Sitkovetsky. Van Eck is joined by violist Michael Klotz and violinist Misha Vitenson, both of the Amernet, for the 3 p.m. concert. Tickets this year are $35 for adults, $15 for students. Call 954-761-3435 or visit www.chameleonmusicians.org.
And at Delray Beach’s Arts Garage that same Sunday comes the French pianist Guillaume Vincent, who will turn 20 that day. He’s a recent laureate of the prestigious Long-Thibaud Competition, and he’ll bring a concert of music by Brahms (the Op. 118 Klavierstucke), Beethoven (Sonata No. 13 in E-flat, Op. 27, No. 1) and the big Sonata in B minor of Franz Liszt. As with most classical musicians these days, there’s ample sonic documentation of Vincent’s playing out there on the web, and he’s an impressive, sensitive player of wide range. Here’s a good chance to catch another rising star. The concert, presented in tandem with Alliance Francaise, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday at Arts Garage. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for Alliance Francaise members. Call 450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.eventbrite.com.