It’s Showtime at The Society of the Four Arts

Outstanding exhibitions, streamed theatre productions, and virtual ballet performances abound at the Palm Beach cultural mecca this November

My Sea, My Sister, My Tears, Ntombephi “Induna” Ntobela
Photo courtesy of Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach blasts back onto the arts and culture scene this month with a bevy of offerings. The organization will stage two exhibitions in its Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery, both beginning November 14.

“Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence” will feature the hand-stitched beadworks of South African Xhosa and Zulu women artists. Ubuhle means “beauty” in the Xhosa and Zulu languages and refers to the spiritually significant qualities of light reflecting on glass. These painstakingly detailed ndwangos, or cloths, are stretched to create canvases that are adorned with tens of thousands of Czech glass beads. The final result is a beautiful work of abstract and figurative art that can take up to 10 months to complete.

The Whole Booke of Psalmes, Stephen Daye

Next, wander over to O’Keeffe’s east gallery to view “In God We Trust: Early Bible Printings and Founding Documents from the David M. Rubenstein Americana Collection,” which includes 18 rare, historic American Bibles and religious texts from the American businessman and philanthropist’s private holdings. The exhibition’s focal point is colonial America’s first book, the Bay Psalm Book, published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640.

In addition to the exhibitions in its galleries, The Society of the Four Arts will screen a slew of prerecorded opera, dance, and theater performances in the Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium. The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series will resume with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca November 7 and Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore November 21.

On November 14, the auditorium will set the (livestream) stage for National Theatre Live’s Present Laughter, Noël Coward’s provocative comedy featuring Andrew Scott (of Sherlock and Fleabag fame) as soul-searching protagonist Garry Essendine.

Catch a screening of the Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Giselle at The Society of the Four Arts November 15.
Photo by Damir Yusupov

Classical ballet rounds out the performing arts lineup November 15 with Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Giselle. The score by composer Adolphe Adam complements Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography in the emotionally charged, romantic masterpiece. Tickets to all of these livestream events cost $15 for students and $25 for the general public.

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