Never mind the tireless question of what constitutes art. The real question concerns what makes a solid friendship; e.g., do friends let friends blow money on overpriced pieces of bad art? That's quite the conundrum indeed, and Yasmina Reza tackles it in her play Art, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the Mosaic Theatre (12200 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation). The story follows Serge, who forks over a small fortune on what looks like nothing more than a white canvas with a few scratches on the surface. The hefty price tag leads him to believe it's a work of fine art with an even greater resale value. Serge's buddies, Marc and Yvan, differ in their reactions; Marc is more upset by his friend's profligate spending, while Yvan would rather not get involved (he's got his own wedding plans to worry about, ya know). And just like any argument rooted in the absurd, the consequences are far-reaching and potentially lethal to their friendship. Hmmm... what would Rembrandt do? Tickets cost $15 to $27. Call 954-577-8243, or visit www.mosaictheatre.com.
For anyone who's a long-time regular of Respectable Street Café (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach), the past 17 years have been a series of lost weekends (a bad pun, we know) and back-and-forth ventures into oblivion. But the powers that be at RSC realize your memory's not so sharp anymore, and this weekend's 17 Years of Oblivion anniversary bash is a good time to recall what you can from the club's past. Sure, there are free drinks, drink specials, T-shirts, and DJs (Ultra Vivid, KloV, Bitchwax, Morrissey Mike, and more). But it's also a good time to catch up with that old friend you always see in the corner booth but never acknowledge. Now you've got an ice-breaker -- neither of you can remember the other's name! Ain't that always the case? The party takes place 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 561-832-9999.
Why, you wonder year after year, doesn't the Nutcracker just get the Mouse King in a headlock, stick his whiskery face in the slot where the walnut usually goes, and crack that sucker's skull in two? Well, if he did, the fight would be over in Act I, and there would be no room for twinkle-toeing and fancy-prancing around the stage for three more hours. As it happens, the Nutcracker gets whooped by a frickin' mouse and is spared only when Clara comes along and throws her slipper at the rodent. If we were her, we'd go for the hunky Mouse King, but instead, she chooses the kitchen utensil who's into dancing snowflakes and sugar plum fairies. Weird. Join Clara, Fritz, and leagues of dancing mouse soldiers when the Miami City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) today and Sunday. Fun fact: An estimated 725 pairs of toe shoes will be used by the company this Nutcracker season (one pair per performance for the lead roles, and one pair per three shows for the corps dancers), for an estimated toe shoe expense of $41,000. That's why tickets cost $19.50 to $49.50. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.browardcenter.org.
Chunky peanut butter or creamy? Windows or Linux? Imports or low-riders? OK, so those last two aren't exactly opposites -- couldn't you buy an imported car and drop it down? We admit we're not up on the latest episodes of Pimp My Ride. But the crafty folks at www.carshowking.com probably are, and they're having an import vs. low-rider showdown as part of their First Annual Car Show/Concert/Paintball & PC/Xbox Tournament. That means there will be a car show (with prizes in tons of categories), a concert (Pitbull, Lil Jon, et al are "invited guests"), a paintball tournament (with prizes), and a PC/Xbox gaming tournament (again, prizes). Head over to Paintballerz Indoor Paintball (7905 W. 20th Ave., Hialeah) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 305-364-1100.
MON 20History buffs, political junkies, rhetoricians, and Anglophiles -- come hither to the Society of the Four Arts (2 Four Arts Plz., Palm Beach) for a lesson in -- yep -- history, politics, and rhetoric as told by one Winston Churchill III. The grandson of Britain's wartime prime minister discusses "The Power of Oratory," covering gramps' best-known speeches in a single lecture. As an author, journalist, and former member of British Parliament, this guy carries far more clout than your average namesake-sucking progeny. So what if he's a bloody Tory; he's still one hell of a scholar with lots of wisdom to impart. Oh, and for all you college students, this is the perfect excuse to get out of class for an afternoon. Churchill lectures today at 3 p.m. Call 561-655-7226.
TUE 21Bedroom DJs, listen up! Before you get your pair of Technics in a bunch over the fact that Tech Tuesdaysare no longer at Club Xit -- rejoice! The weekly sessions have just been moved to Sonar (2006 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood). These are warm, communal, idea-sharing workshops for aspiring turntablists and breaks and electro lovers, set to a thump of 150 beats per minute. Here, you can jibber-jabber about what kind of needles you use or what kind of sampler is best. For homework, you can read the free issue of Remix magazine that you receive at the door. It's kind of like night school... except with beer specials! Call 954-464-6931, or visit www.onesceneunited.com.
WED 22Now that you've seen Chicago or The King & I for the umpteenth time, you're probably getting a little weary of the Great White Way -- or the serious version of it, anyway. So you can take solace in the fact that lots of fun will be made of American theater's beloved institution when Forbidden Broadway Shoots for the Stars comes to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Now in its 22nd year, Forbidden Broadway is still busy lampooning anything from Mamma Mia! to The Producers while simultaneously having a go at celebrities like Ethel Merman, Sarah Brightman, and Liza Minnelli. There can never be enough jokes about Minnelli's marriage problems. The Great White Gag runs through January 3. Tickets cost $35. Call 561-832-7469.