Things To Do

Best Things to Do in Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Thursday, April 21

Generally, if the centerpiece of somebody's new book is a story about the author's first colonoscopy, I'm content to leave it on the shelf: Reading about such an ungodly procedure means puncturing the bubble of avoidance and denial and accepting that it exists. But David Sedaris is not just any author. If anybody can find new avenues to illuminate the unpleasantries, absurdities, and vagaries of modern life, it's Sedaris, one of our country's foremost humorists and the reigning champion of the short-form essay. No subject has proved off-limits for the North Carolina native, who turns 60 this year—meaning that, yes, he not only survived his first colonoscopy but found it, according to his latest collection, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, "remarkably pleasant." Other stories — memoirs and fiction pieces alike — in Sedaris' book include reminiscences of his father's unorthodox dinner attire, visiting the inner sanctum of a European taxidermy shop, and experiencing (gasp!) socialized medicine in France. The book is nearly two years old, but Sedaris is continuing his exhaustive world tour of readings, proving once again that there's no better voice to transmit David Sedaris stories than Sedaris himself. A Q&A and book signing will follow.

The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Parker Playhouse, located at 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $64.99 to $73.05. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com

It's not often that pop culture as a whole gives outer space its fair share of adoration. (Fans of Star Trek or Seth MacFarlane and Neil deGrasse Tyson's pairing for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey can speak to this.) The fictional daughter of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, drag performer Varla Jean Merman has taken note of this lack of celestial inspiration and created the latest galaxy-far-far-away-inspired show, Varla Jean Merman's Big Black Hole, now on tour and arriving Thursday at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Merman gleefully relies on double-entendres, innuendos, and witty one-liners peppered in with her geek-speak on the galaxies, so expect no Uranus joke to be off-limits. Billed as a "space odyssey cabaret," the show features songs accompanied by pianist Gerald Goode, video projections, and lots of pop-culture treatment of the cosmos. Previous shows have featured Merman's covers of Katy Perry's "Extraterrestrial" and George Michael's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Varla Jean Merman's Big Black Hole is presented by Mark Cortale and performed by Jeffery Roberson.

The Broward Center is located at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $35 to $67.50. VIP tickets include a postshow meet and greet. Visit browardcenter.org, or call 954-462-0222. 

Friday, April 22

There's no mistaking the sound of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury. With his tenor voice, Queen songs are pretty much unmistakable. They've never fallen out of radio rotation and have continued to loom large in popular culture in both film and television. Who can forget Wayne and Garth headbanging to "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Wayne's World? The world mourned when Mercury died from complications of AIDS in 1991, and he will always be remembered not only for his music but for his incredible stage presence. His flamboyant showmanship lives on through Mercury imitator Gary Mullen, accompanied by the Works as they bring "One Night With Queen" to Fort Lauderdale. Presented by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Mullen's act is known for his convincing emulation of Mercury, and you'll be sure to relive all of the Queen classics you know so well during this two-hour show. Judging by voice and theatrics alone, Mullen may be the only person on the planet with the authority to carry on Mercury's legacy.

"One Night With Queen" shows at 8 p.m. Friday at the Parker Playhouse, located at 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $37.50 to $60. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com

Saturday, April 23

Used to be a time a person could go out running without a cause or reason. Today you need a theme, a cause, a gimmick, a training goal. The Color Run is long on all of those — though at 5k, it's not too long on distance. As organizers put it, the Color Run is a "one-of-a-kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color-crazy day with your friends and family. It is about participants of all different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the start line." And that's good, because going a little crazy is exactly what seasoned and novice runners need. The rules are simple: Every type of runner is welcome, white T-shirts are mandatory, and everything will be plastered in color by the time the finish line is crossed.

Go solo or form a team of four or more. The Color Run 5K goes down at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Huizenga Plaza, 32 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-468-1541, or visit goriverwalk.com

Going by the moniker of "My Big Funny Peter," Peter Bisuito is a gay bodybuilding comedian. Also described as a muscle bear, he could very well be the only man in the world who traverses all of these categories. Bisuito may not yet be known among the mainstream, but he's slowly emerging as a show-biz performer whose outrageous style sells out theaters and brings a few laughs along the way. In addition to making an appearance on Oprah, Bisuito produces his own YouTube series, called Exposing Peter, in which he showcases portions of his own life. In all seriousness, Bisuito also uses his role as a comedian to raise money for many causes, including children's programs, animal shelters, and research for cancer and HIV/AIDS.

For one night only, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts brings "My Big Funny Peter" to Fort Lauderdale starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Abdo New River Room at the Broward Center, located at 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $26 to $35. VIP tickets are available. Visit browardcenter.org, or call 954-462-0222. 

Sunday, April 24

Hollywood is a diverse town. A walk down its famous Broadwalk highlights fare from all over the world: French restaurants, Caribbean spots, Italian joints, Argentine steakhouses, Middle Eastern mezze places. It's like a 30-square-mile pot of stew, individual flavors melding together. This Sunday offers a chance to taste, hear, see, and experience it all at the Hollywood Cultural Festival. Presented by Sky 19 Productions in collaboration with Talent 4 Change, the fest includes food from all over the world: Eastern European, European, Latin American, American, Asian, Middle East. Listen to live music by international artists including Keba, Bottles Belafonte, Alexander Star, and Daniel Musgrove. Watch performances by Costa Rica, Victoria Ross, Jesse Lopez, Lu & Friends, DJ/MC Ephniko, MC Kosmos, and Kristen Spencer. Dancers from Natalie Dance Academy, Kirova Ballet Studio, and IK Gymnastics are performing. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, former wife of Muhammad Ali, is speaking. Local and international artists are hosting master classes on fitness, yoga, dance, martial arts, and arts and crafts. The kids' fun zone includes magicians, face painters, bounce houses, balloon artists, and entertainers.

Stage performances start at 2 p.m. The free event wraps up at 8 p.m. It takes place at ArtsPark at Young Circle, located at 1 N. Young Circle, Hollywood. Visit sky18productions.com

Monday, April 25

What is A Prairie Home Companion without Garrison Keillor? In October, the venerable public-radio variety program — a mix of folk and instrumental music, interviews, sketch comedy, fake commercials, and plenty of old-fashioned sound effects — will begin its first season without its iconic host, whose deadpan Twin Cities drawl has been at the helm of public radio's most successful ship for his more than 40 years. Just as Black Flag outlived Henry Rollins and The Late Show has continued without David Letterman, Prairie will soldier on, but it will be hard to recapture the vintage magic Keillor brought to the program. The good news? Keillor's retirement from the microphone will allow more time for his competing career as an author — he's published more than two dozen books — and for live solo tours like this one, in which his eccentric personality shines the brightest. Keillor's monologues are typically delivered extemporaneously, veering from pointed political commentary and timely humor to homespun advice, colorful anecdotes from his past, and recitations of poems and a cappella songs.

See him at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Broward Center's Au-Rene Theater, located at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $40 to $60. Call 954-462-0222, or visit browardcenter.org


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