THU 12/18 Die Mommie Die!, the latest film from playwright Charles Busch, has all the elements of a good murder mystery -- a scheming, oversexed daughter (played by Natasha Lyonne), a neglectful, disinterested husband (Philip Baker Hall), and a conniving pro tennis player/gigolo as a love interest (Jason Priestly). And they are all plotting to murder Angela Arden (played by Busch himself), a washed-up pop singer who is dead set on planning her comeback -- just as soon as she finishes her gin and tonic. Set in the swinging '60s, the film is basically a homage to the Douglas Sirk melodramas and Hitchcockian suspense flicks of that era. Of course, Busch, who also starred in Psycho Beach Party, turns up the camp. Die Mommie Die! plays at Sunrise Gateway Cinemas (1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-763-7994 for times.
FRI 12/19When Machete played its farewell show last December at Churchill's to a packed house, the cigarette smoke and buzz of conversation mixed with a decidedly bittersweet air. The farewell essentially was for singer and guitarist Justin Gracer, who was heading for the bright lights of the Big Apple. The band's Spy-Fi Records release, Untitled Music, sold out with-in a few hours; Machete played an energetic and mellifluous set of dissonant, ethereal indie-pop, and the crowd went home sated. But as we've all come to realize in the South Florida music scene, bands travel a cyclical path. Machete has been reunited, and it feels and sounds so good. Check them out at Revolver at Soho Lounge (175-193 NE 36th St., Miami) with the Remedy Session. Doors open at 11 p.m. Call 305-576-1988.
SAT 12/20It's the time of year when residents of Boca Raton -- from the really wealthy to the superwealthy -- get to decorate their giganto mansions with animatronic reindeer, fake snow, and elaborate nativity scenes. It's also the time of year when those sappy Lexus commercials make their way into rotation -- you know, the ones where the young wife is led out the front door of their Tudor-style suburban New Hampshire home by her beaming husband, only to be surprised by a $35,000 car with an oversized bow on it. If that doesn't get you in the holiday spirit (or scream, "don't divorce me"), I don't know what does! It only makes sense that a city so rife with affluence would want to parade its boats and yachts as well. The Boca Raton Boat Paradetakes place along the Intracoastal Waterway, starting in Delray at the C-15 Canal and ending in Deerfield Beach at the Hillsboro Bridge. Make sure to arrive early to ensure a good seat. Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 877-882-6287.
SUN 12/21Tomorrow's the first day of winter, and if you're a pagan (you know who you are), this is the big time. The winter solstice is the sun celebration, and at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale) they'll be kickin' it with dancing, drumming, chanting, and lots of food. Pagan winter solstice tradition includes the yule log, pine trees, the colors red and green, and the giving of gifts. If that seems a bit familiar to you Christians out there, that's because December 25 was originally a holiday dedicated to the sun god. Roman emperor Constantine, whom we can thank for nearly all modern Christian holidays as well as the Bible as we know it, decided to just slip a little Jesus in there; when Our Personal Lord and Savior actually was born is anyone's guess. The pagan traditions remained though, which is why pagan and Christian celebrations seem uncannily similar. The only difference is, those pagans are going to hell. But if you insist on damning yourself, bring drums for the drum circle and food and drink for the feasting. Admission is free, though canned food items should be brought for donation to the Cooperative Feeding Program of Broward County. Call 954-484-6734.
MON 12/22Look, we're not going to pretend to understand anime. The bad dubbing, rigidly stylized characters, and animation flow that make South Park look smooth have prevented us from ever seeing more than a few seconds of anime on Cartoon Network's late-night Adult Swim. But, inexplicably, a lot of people apparently get it. And how. Anime clubs and conventions have sprung up across the country, and new Japanese-style animated movies and TV shows seem to be turned out at the rate of about one a week. Locally, anime fans can find like souls at the Seishi No Anime Club of South Florida, which meets from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Monday nights in various locations. Contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUE 12/23Forget about going to see Santa at the mall. Check out Electric Space: Bolts, Jolts, and Volts from the Sun at the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale). This hands-on exhibit explores the Sun and its effect on weather and technology in space and on Earth, how energy is produced in the Sun's core and transported to the surface, how plasma manifests itself in nature, and explains space weather phenomena such as magnetic storms and the aurora borealis. This is your chance to check it out before it closes in January. Call 954-467-6637.