The title may have been swiped from a line in Shakespeare's The Tempest, but Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World (1932) is far from derivative. In fact the writer might have had a crystal ball at his disposal when he penned the satirical tale about the possible consequences of scientific and social developments. Although scientists weren't able to clone a sheep until a couple years ago, Huxley wrote of human embryos developed in bottles and brainwashed into complacency. And one of his characters, a "savage" found in New Mexico and brought into "civilized" society as an experiment, educates himself by reading (who else?) Shakespeare and comes to believe in free will. But that mindset doesn't play in the brave new world of Huxley's imagination, and the forward-thinking savage soon goes crazy. One modern invention Huxley apparently didn't foresee was Prozac. The Sci-Fi Discussion Group talks about his novel at 8 p.m. at Borders, 525 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach. Admission is free. Call 561-734-2021.
If you snored through history class and nodded off trying to digest thick textbooks full of names and dates, maybe 1776 is more your speed. The comically irreverent musical is set in Philadelphia just before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Only 12 of the 56 signers are featured in the show, but among them are the big boys: Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and, of course, John Hancock. Set to fife-and-drum tunes, the Tony Award-winning musical takes place mostly in the chamber of Continental Congress Hall, and rather than portray the forefathers as stoic figures, it shows all the behind-the-scenes bickering and infighting that went into forming our great nation. Broward Stage Door Theatre (8036 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs) presents 1776 today through March 28. Curtain is Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Call 954-344-7765.