THEATRE/Blue Man Group
Mandela Forum, piazza Enrico Berlinguer 5, Florence
They may have a goofy, Smurfs-esque look about them, but their 35 million audience members met in more than 20 countries over 25 years is nothing to scoff at. The Blue Man Group, a world-renowned performance art company, lands in Florence this week while on its first-ever Italian tour. The far-flung troop has scores of “blue men” who circle the world in addition to giving ongoing theatrical productions in Berlin, Chicago, New York and a host of other cities. Their synergetic shows typically combine music, cinematic elements, and avant-garde technology and appeal to a range of age groups and interests. Night shows will run at 8.45pm on March 28, 29, and 30, with matinees at 4.30pm on March 30 and 31. For more information, see www.mandelaforum.it.
SPRING/Scandicci Tulip Garden
From March 30 (10am-7pm)
Parco dell’Acciaiolo, via Pantin 63, Scandicci
Spring has hit Scandicci in full force—and Florence can thank the Dutch for it. A tulip and daffodil-lined wonderland with close to 300,000 of the former and 20,000 of the latter has taken over the garden around Castello dell’Acciaolo for the second consecutive year. Through the Wander & Pick initiative (www.wanderandpick.it), visitors can pay a nominal contribution to pick out two tulips of their choosing; additional flowers cost one euro per picker—likely less than your corner florist, and for a limited time (official inauguration is set for March 30, though small surprise openings have been taking place due to early blooming of the daffodils). Donations will go toward the expenses of the Associazione P.A.C.M.E. Le Tribù della Terra ONG, including the bulbs themselves, park maintenance and educational initiatives and workshops. A closing date has not yet been determined; follow the Facebook page for updates.
EXHIBITION/Heroes – Bowie by Sukita
March 30-June 28
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, via Cavour 1, Florence
Ph. Mark Higashino
80-something Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita is best known for his long collaboration with the one and only “White Duke,” David Bowie. Out of it came the distinctive cover portrait for Heroes, Bowie’s twelfth studio album, carrier of his chart-topping song of the same name. OEO Firenze Art and Le Nozze di Figaro have teamed up with the Città Metropolitana di Firenze and the Comune to spotlight Sukita’s most iconic photographs of his creative hero and friend Bowie. Around 90 photographs—some of them on display in Italy for the first time—will be exhibited in Palazzo Medici Riccardi, while a range of related events and concerts will run concurrently. For more information, see www.oeoart.com.
FILM/Middle East Now
Cinema La Compagnia, Cinema Stensen and others
“Remix” is the theme at the tenth edition of film festival Middle East Now, which will feature 44 films from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In celebration of the ten-year milestone, the festival takes a look back, starting with its spotlighted director, Asghar Farhadi, the two-time Academy Award winning Iranian superstar who featured at the first edition when he was still an unknown. Farhadi’s participation brings with it a broadly Iran-focused section, headquartered at the Cinema Stensen. For the full program, see www.middleastnow.it.
Beloved bookshop The Paperback Exchange is turning 40! Come celebrate and toast to the next 40 years with community members, friends and both the outgoing and incoming owners. Info
A few seats are still left for the next concert in the Note a Palazzo series at Palazzo Capponi this Friday evening. Info