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The Best Things to Do in Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Thursday, March 24

Chris Tucker began his career as a standup comedian with Def Comedy Jam in the early 1990s and became known for his extremely clean performances. Within a few short years, Tucker transitioned into acting. But he neither lost his comedic touch nor the high-pitched, motormouthed, back-talking character for which many have come to know him in some of his movies. Some of his most memorable roles include Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour trilogy, Smokey in Friday, and alongside Bruce Willis as the flamboyant Ruby Rhod in the cult classic The Fifth Element. According to the biography on his own website, Tucker reached highest-paid-actor status in 2007 after receiving $25 million for his role in Rush Hour 3. His fame's gotten him appearances in music videos, including those with the now-deceased Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur. It's also taken him to strange places. Tucker once testified in defense of Jackson, who was being prosecuted for child-molestation-related crimes in 2005.

Now Tucker is coming full circle and returning to standup comedy. What does he have in store for us this time? Having recently announced new tour dates for 2016, Tucker begins his coast-to-coast tour in South Florida, where on Thursday he brings "Chris Tucker: Live" to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, located at 1 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Ticket prices start at $45. The show starts at 8 p.m. Visit seminolehardrockhollywood.com, or call 866-502-7529. 

The open-microphone event of yesteryear is no longer in the hands of well-meaning anachronistic flower children. Though it does carry some of the coffeehouse charisma that made it a part of the American entertainment landscape, the modern open mic is more than crackpot poetry and delusional guitar ballads for the aspiring Jewel to participate in. It's equal parts makeshift gig and litmus test for material, providing many local artists of all stripes an opportunity to hone their skill sets. Adding another dimension to the art-walk weekend, C&I Studios now hosts Respek the Mic, an evening of performance that is open to the public and unofficially heralds in the art-walk weekend with a tranquil but no-less-creative Thursday-night option. If you wanna perform, rules are the same as at other like events: Come early and sign up. If you just want to chill and listen, Next Door has got all of your craft-cocktail needs taken care of; plus, the couches are "megacomfy." Come be a part of something in which your career can launch or you can witness others rise above; come be part of the city's burgeoning creative community.

Respek the Mic happens at 7 p.m. Thursday at C&I Studios, 541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-3934, or visit c-istudios.com

Artist Nolan Haan, whose exhibition The Futility of Envy is currently on view at the Art and Culture Center, has undoubtedly spent a wildly disproportionate amount of time staring at unartistic, monochromatic, drably functional cinder blocks. Then he paints them, with remarkable detail, down to the shadows they cast and the grain embedded in every inch of cinder. These blocks have become obsessions for Haan after a good eight years of painting wildlife, a much more easily sellable subject matter; as he writes on his website: "Although I look fairly normal, my family thinks I've gone completely insane." But there is much value in paintings of concrete blocks. In Haan's hands, they represent the desire to be one thing while locked into another form, a metaphor that extends beyond the gallery walls. Haan, who taught himself to paint while volunteering for the Peace Corps in Western Samoa — and who has also taught science in Iran — has enjoyed an illustrious biography, with the cinder blocks acting as a culmination of his search for himself through a paintbrush. He has written that his concrete-block paintings, bearing titles like DNA and Introspection, are his version of self-portraits.

You can hear his full story at his artist talk at 6 p.m. Thursday at Art and Culture Center, located at 1650 Harrison St. in Hollywood. Admission is free for members, $7 for nonmembers, and $4 for students. Call 954-921-3274, or visit artandculturecenter.org

Friday, March 25

In 2014, German researchers published a study that concluded what artists have known for years: Making art is good for your brain. The study, titled "How Art Changes Your Brain," showed that the hands-on aspect of making art significantly improves "psychological resiliency" as well as cognitive processes such as introspection, self-monitoring, and memory. What the hell does all of this mean? For one, it could explain why people are drawn to art, which may explain why there is an epic list of artists who'll be featuring their square-shaped art for the Square Show 6 opening night on March 25. It's a massive show calling on all from the community to come out and support local artists. It's the first of Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery's yearly "all locals welcome" group art shows. Why support local? Besides keeping local money flowing within the local economy and promoting a healthy arts scene, you help feed local artists and their families.

Come explore the works of artists such as New Eskimo, Yuleezus, Jennirobotomy, Dr. Robert Strange, Shithouse Mouse, and MadMartyGan at Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery, located inside and upstairs from Tate's Comic's, at 4566 N. University Drive in Lauderhill. The opening-night reception is from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. The exhibit runs through May 7. Visit bearandbird.com, or call 954-748-0181. 

If the title of King of All Media weren't already taken, Woody Allen would be an ideal candidate for the distinction. The morally suspect, indefatigably busy nebbish has conquered standup comedy, playwriting, cinema, short fiction, and jazz music. The latest feather in his bucket hat is the Broadway musical. In 2014, Allen adapted his own 1994 film Bullets Over Broadway into a Jazz Age jukebox musical, inserting such '20s pre-Depression staples as "Let's Misbehave," "I'm Sitting on Top of the World," and "Up a Lazy River" into a modified version of his award-nominated screenplay. It's a hilarious slapstick noir about Mob-funded playwright David Shayne, a gangster's ditzy moll of an actress, and the romantic rendezvous and mix-ups that complicate Shayne's debut play. Bullets' preproduction proved to be a notoriously difficult process, a two-year struggle that ultimately prompted the replacement of one musical-theater virtuoso (composer Marvin Hamlisch) with another (director Susan Stroman). The results seemed to have worked favorably for Allen, with the musical receiving six Tony nominations and now a national tour.

See it at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday exclusively at the Kravis Center, located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $27 to $67. Call 561-832-7469, or visit kravis.org.

Saturday, March 26

If you've noticed a little extra-secret sweat, labor, and long hours coming out of the collaborators at C&I Studios, all efforts of late will be revealed during the monthly March Art Walk surrounding FAT Village, MASS District, and Flagler Village when they are ready to show off a new addition. This month's art walk marks the debut of C&I's the Shop – an actual retail space inside of a refurbished and rehabbed old Airstream inside of the studios. Saturday night, art walkers are invited to check out the space (and surrounding participating venues) with live music, drinks, vendors, food trucks, photography, the usual art-walk merriment, and a stop inside the Shop, where screenprints, clothing, and other creative goods and merchandise will be available for purchase.

The FAT Village Art Walk is from 6 to 10 p.m. the last Saturday of the month, at 541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-3934, or visit Facebook.com/cistudios

Sandbar season is here, and for boat people, that means something. For nonboaters, that means the time to befriend boaters is now. Laudy Lagoon, the decadent sandbar where the New River meets the Intracoastal Waterway, has seen some raunchiness in its day, the kind of frat-boy trash-out one dreams of postcollege and the type of activities fathers are sworn to prevent their daughters from doing. You know, a typical Fort Lauderdale party. Truly a most Fort Lauderdale creation, Laudy Lagoon is a loose collection of young South Floridians in bathing suits looking to drink, party, and float on boats. This will be the first official "locals only" party signaling the end of the out-of-towner-driven spring-break rush. To help mark the end of tourist season and the return to local lounging, the Laudy Lagoon's Locals Only Party will also feature a beauty contest for the bragging rights of being Miss Laudy Lagoon, as well as acknowledgment on their Facebook page and new beachwear from Montce Swim. Competition rules are posted on the Facebook page, and the top contestants will compete on the sandbar. Get the boat ready and stocked, or hitch a ride with a friend — just remember to pick up after yourself and boat responsibly.

The party kicks off at Laudy Lagoon at noon Saturday where the New River meets the Intracoastal Waterway. For boat-ramp info, download the KnowWake app. For event info, visit laudylagoon.com

Every food lover has been faced with the dilemma of craving multiple dishes or cuisines in the midst of determining a single meal. That overwhelming predicament has sent more than one ambitious diner running to the nearest mall food court. Don't eat at the food court. Better options abound, like a food crawl. On Saturday, Savor Our City Culinary Tours owner Denise Righetti and her band of traveling eaters and drinkers will dine their way up and down Delray Beach with Taste Atlantic Ave. The three-hour walking tour takes participants on a leisurely stroll through "The Most Fun Small Town in the U.S.," according to Rand McNally. Now, the gist of these outings is that attendees don't know what they're going to get. All that is revealed beforehand is that guests can expect to sample bites from five to six restaurants and gourmet shops of Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, American, Mexican, and French fare — like a food court, but worth the calories. In addition to food, each ticket includes a complimentary goody bag with tokens of appreciation from every stop on the tour. Details for each place, including contact information, sampled dishes, and special offers, are featured in the bags.

Taste Atlantic Ave meets in downtown Delray Beach; exact location is divulged upon ticket purchase. The cost to attend is $65. It starts at 11 a.m. Visit savorourcity.com

If rabbits make you gush, "sweet" is your favorite flavor, and sparkles are a must-have for fashion, Slushbox Gallery's upcoming event was practically made for you. A group art show by the name of "Hello Cutie!" is composed of all things, well, cute. More than 20 artists will be in attendance drawing, knitting, painting, and hand-stitching creations in accordance with the theme. Some creative participants include Miss Fluff, Jelly Koe, Danny Brito, Polly Peachums, and Maytee Bringas. The show debuts on Saturday. Can't make it then? No worries — the show will be on display until April 30. After opening night, art featured at the show will be available for purchase online at SlushboxGallery.com. Also for purchase will be prints, T-shirts, and other accessories. Art types range from pop surrealism to graffiti and other variations as well.

The cuteness will take place at Slushbox Gallery, inside Ink and Pistons Tattoos and Piercings, located at 2716 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, and takes place from 7 to 11 p.m. There is no charge to attend. PS561 Food Truck will be selling grilled hot dogs and veggie dogs, while "sweet treats" will be provided by the Twisted Whisk Inc. Visit SlushboxGallery.com

For more events, visit our online calendar or pick up the print edition of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach every Thursday. To submit an event, use our online form.

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