Wherefore art the popcorn?
If you thought Santa Claus was in for a serious case of writers' cramp from responding to all his mail, you should see how many letters a day are addressed "Dear Juliet" -- to the fictional heroine of Romeo & Juliet fame. A farmer in New Zealand wrote to see if Juliet could pull any strings and arrange for more rain to fall on his crops. A schoolgirl wanted to know where all the modern-day Romeos are. A photojournalist wanted to know what to do now that he'd found the woman of his dreams; she was a poor girl whom he'd taken pictures of while she ate out of the trash. Another man contemplated committing a murder; yet another wrote in because he was lonely and missed his late wife. What happens to all these letters? They -- up to 500 of them per day -- are opened and answered by a group called the Juliet Society in Verona, Italy. Dear Juliet, a documentary about the group, screens at 4:30 p.m. today at the CityPlace Muvico Theater (800 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach). Before the show, actors from the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival will do a live performance of Shakespeare's famous balcony scene. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Of the indie film nights
What are Thursday nights without a hefty dose of zombies? Each week at 8 p.m., Uncle Sam's record store (4580 N. University Dr., Lauderhill) opens its upstairs loft, fires up the popcorn machine, and projects the best (and worst) in cult flicks and horror movies. Night of the Living Dead, Heathers, Pink Flamingos... these are the kinds of classics that have graced the walls thus far. At press time, the shop hadn't decided what film would be showing tonight, but you can bet it'll include a fair share of gore, some deliciously witty banter, and/or an appearance by Christopher Walken. Admission is free, and it's BYOB -- but alcohol is discouraged. The event is sponsored by Tate's Comics. Call 954-742-2466, or visit www.tatescomics.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Anne Chu exhibits in Miami
Anne Chu's marionettes include giant, big-bellied beasts of wire and cloth, and her series of fabric bear soldiers look as if they're made out of stone. What exactly does the New York-based artist mean to do with her creature populations? She wants to play. Chu isn't afraid to trick viewers with time-warping mixes of ancient Chinese sculptural traditions and Western symbolism. But her real sleight of hand is how she envisions and incorporates space around and between sculptures as if it were unpainted space on a canvas. Some of her scenes force a dimension-bending perspective and from the front appear like watercolor paintings. Cool. The exhibit runs through July 3 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami). Admission is $5 for adults. Call 305-893-6211. -- Dave Amber
Sure, you've gotten Spot to roll over, play dead, and fetch your bong -- but can he sing, dance, or perform a comedy routine? The rescued pets at the Pet Variety Show this Saturday, April 23, will be doing all that and more. The children's show starts at 1 p.m. with the adult show at 8 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $3 to $10. Call 954-563-1954. -- Paul A. Leone
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