“Is it possible to rid ourselves of the force which engulfs us daily and constitutes a redirecting of our destiny? Can we alter a plan nature has etched within us, and deviate from the habitual to uncover that which exists within, as if already defined, yet which remains until now unlived?” These are the types of questions posed by The Underground: a Response to Dostoevsky, which recently debuted in Edinburgh and will make its Italian premiere in Florence, performed by Pontedera-based group, the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. The show zeroes in on the existential themes central to Notes from Underground and moral dilemmas like those of The Brothers Karamazov. Fragments of both texts will be intermingled and brought to the stage for a boundary-pushing theatrical production with elusive narrative lines. Tickets are 15 euro (12 euro for over 60 and under 26); language is English with Italian supertitles. More information here.
Join the Advancing Women Artists Foundation for a night at the movies: a premiere screening of the television special Monuments Women will usher in the 39th edition of the Festival Internazionale di Cinema e Donne. Monuments Women highlights the dedicated heritage professionals of AWA and is part of an eight-part series called 'Noi Siamo Cultura' (We are culture), produced by 'laeffe-tv di Feltrinelli' (channel 139 Sky) and directed by G. Carreri. Note: the film is in Italian.
Teatro Verdi | Ph. via ORT
The cello takes center stage at the second concert in the Orchestra della Toscana's new season. The performance will be conducted by Enrico Dindo, with repertoire spanning Strauss to Schumann. Also mark your calendar for an additional early-season highlight: the November 30 concert for Festa della Toscana, a celebration of peace and justice in light of the 1786 abolition of the death penalty in Tuscany. For the full calendar of concerts and ticketing information, see the ORT website.
Up, up and away! The first edition of the Festival delle Mongolfiere, highlighting hot air balloons and all things flight-related, will color the Florentine sky for two weekends of full-blown fun. Apart from the many chances to “ride high” over the city, there will be children’s activities, including a LEGO area, plus a kite-making workshop and the opportunity to watch their creations take flight. A must-see for all ages will be the illuminated hot air-balloon shows, set to music and scheduled for every night during the festival around 6.30pm. Finally, because we’re in Tuscany, a food component rounds out the program, of course: a risotto marketplace will run concurrently with the balloon festival, with various dishes and salumi sampler platters available for purchase at lunch and dinnertime. Tickets are 6 euro (5 euro if pre-purchased online) or 3 euro for children up to age 12. For more information, see the website.
“I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.” If you haven’t yet been initiated in to the fellowship of Rocky Horror fans, the Mandela Forum will afford you six raucous occasions to join. The Jim Sharman-Richard O’Brien classic comes to Florence for back-to-back performances in original language, of the original version, first staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre in June 1973. A kitschy show paying homage to corny sci-fi and “scary” flicks, the play begins with a couple caught in a storm, who eventually make their way to the home of mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter, a transvestite with a peculiar creation he’s eager to show off. It’s hard to believe, but the show’s first Broadway run closed after just 45 performances, a small price to pay for the cult fame that would come later. For tickets and more information, see the Mandela Forum website.
The Florence Tattoo Convention is a niche-y November fixture, rounding up international ink experts for a major showcase of the best in body and face art. Now in its tenth edition, the event closes its first decade by expanding its scope: in addition to customary workshops and conferences with leading artists, there will be musical events, including Friday night festivities with the Rap Pirata Crew and a set by DJ Gruff (November 3, 10pm); Saturday night fever with the Asian Dub Foundation (November 4, 11.45pm) and a “neorockabilly” night with the Di Maggio Connection (November 5, 10pm). Some 330 tattoo artists will be in town, including industry star Bill Loika of Tattoo Peter in Amsterdam. Expect a needle-sharp focus on specific techniques and the artists who excel in them, such as Indonesian tukul kayu (Hendra Folk and Albar Tikam); Mexican hand-poke (Samuel Olman) and Japanese Irezumi (Ryugen and Tenkiyru). For the full program, see the website.
Missed the moody and melancholic Halloween cocktail at chic via dei Conti bar L'Atlante on Tuesday? There’s still a chance to join in a Victorian macabre-inspired floral workshop this weekend. Specifically, you'll be learning to build a "doomed romantic garland." More info here.