QUEEN/ We Will Rock You
Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence
Post-Oscars season is upon us and the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, particularly Rami Malek’s Best Actor turn as Queen’s charismatic frontman, is still at the center of much of the movie-business buzz. But Mercury’s original magnetism was afforded more by stage than screen. We Will Rock You, a musical by Queen and Ben Elton, is a Greatest Hits roundup in theatrical format, having made its Italian debut back in 2009 in Milan at a show attended by Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. If you couldn’t get enough of your Freddie fix at the cinema, or missed the movie entirely, here’s your chance to relive the British rock giants’ repertoire through the story of a struggling group of artists living in a dystopia where music is all but set to “mute.” For more information and tickets, see www.teatroverdifirenze.it.
45 titles from the current South Korean cinema scene are set to make a splash at Florence Korea Film Fest, now entering its 17th edition. Actor Jung Woo-sung, popular in both his native country and Japan, will be among the special guests this time, with five films in the lineup showcasing his acting trajectory, with the generational drama Beat (1996) and the erotic thriller Scarlet Innocence among the highlights. Another program high point will be the festival’s grand finale, the Italian premiere of Beautiful Days, documentary director Jero Yun’s first work of fiction. The festival will feature an eclectic mix of independent and big-ticket films, per tradition; a photography exhibition, Imaging Korea, with 100 contemporary-minded works from seven Korean artists; and a “Horror Night” for adrenaline junkies. For program details, see www.koreafilmfest.com.
Florence Gospel Fellowship International will give a concert to mark the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, declared such in 1966, six years after South African police killed peaceful protesters demonstrating against apartheid "pass laws" on the same day in 1960. Conducted by choirmaster Nehemiah Brown, the concert will feature a mix of poetry and music from Eusebio de Cristofaro and the River Voices, along with other special guests, highlighting the legacies of such tide-shifters as African-American Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1960s. Admission is free; more information here.
As the year marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death kicks into high gear, the Vinci artist’s name is everywhere. Palazzo Strozzi bucks the trend a bit, shifting the spotlight to Andrea del Verrocchio, a celebrated Renaissance artist who had a large workshop of which Leonardo was part; the pupil, of course, would go on to outshine the master. While offering keen insight into the germinal stages of Leonardo’s career, Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo will also have a special section at the Bargello highlighting pieces and key works from the many artists in Verrocchio’s 15th-century circle, including Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli. For more information, see www.palazzostrozzi.org.
Next week Florentine community stronghold the Paperback Exchange will celebrate its 40th anniversary! Everyone is invited. Details here.