Film: While The Avengers and Deadpool 2 duke it out for the box office booty, see instead a small, human unconventional love story with no superheroes. It is called Anything – OK, a terrible, generic title – but it concerns a recent widower in Mississippi (John Carroll Lynch) who moves to Los Angeles at the urging of his meddlesome sister (Maura Tierney), and settles in tawdry Hollywood. There he is drawn to Freda (Matt Bomer), who happens to be a transgender sex worker. Understandably, their relationship has more than a few obstacles. What could have been a soapy mess avoids the obvious pitfalls thanks to the sensitive performances of Lynch and Bomer and the writing and direction of Timothy McNeil, based on his stage play. Opening at area theaters.
Theater: When playwright Peter Shaffer saw a small news item about a teenager who blinded a team of horses, he set his fertile mind to work wondering what his motive could possibly be. The result is the Tony Award-winning detective story – a whydunnit called Equus – in which a child psychiatrist explores the boy’s psyche while also wrestling with his own demons. Deemed an artifact of the ’70s, the play was rarely revived, until a Broadway production featuring Daniel (Harry Potter) Radcliffe, who sold a lot of tickets based on the climactic nude scene between himself and a randy stable girl. Palm Beach Dramaworks now dusts off the drama, with Peter Simon Hilton and Steven Maier, directed by J. Barry Lewis. Opens this weekend and plays through June 3.
Art: The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in western Delray Beach opens a pair of new exhibits today with the emphasis on the lighter side of things. Unexpected Smiles is an exhibit from the University of Richmond featuring 48 paintings that display seven kinds of humor, a necessary outlet for the stifling social control under the Tokugawa Shogunate. That’s paired with a collection of spinning tops known as Edo-goma, all of them created by a contemporary artist named Hiroi Michiaki. The tops evoke the Tokugawa period, when acrobats began incorporating them into their acts, setting off a craze for them among the aristocracy. Both shows run through Aug. 5 at the Morikami. Call 495-0233 or visit morikami.org for more information.
Music: The Nu Deco Ensemble, Miami’s own 21st-century orchestra, wraps up its season tonight with typically edgy and genre-bending program featuring music by David Lang, Christopher Wiess, Andy Akiho, and Nicholas Omiccioli, plus one of Nu Deco co-founder Sam Hyken’s suites of pop music. This time Hyken, an able and deft arranger, has compiled music by the Outkast, the Atlanta hip-hop duo that had a giant hit about a decade ago with “Hey Ya!” Nu Deco’s guest performer for this concert at the Light Box in Wynwood is Luke James, a singer-songwriter and actor (HBO’s Insecure). This group is one of the best things to happen to South Florida’s music scene in years, and concerts have a tremendous amount of joyful energy that has too long been absent from classical concerts. Get tickets at www.nu-deco.org.