Things To Do

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

Thursday, December 24

This holiday season, the Krampus is trying to steal first place as the grumpiest anti-Santa, but he's gonna have to get in line. For a few more days, local audiences have a chance to see the monster of all holiday monsters, Dr. Seuss' Grinch, in the Fort Lauderdale premiere of the cumbersomely titled touring production Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical. You know the story: On Christmas Eve, the bitter Grinch steals all the presents and holiday feasts from the merry residents of Whoville, expecting them to mourn the loss of their material possessions but receiving only love from his fraternal neighbors, who display that Christmas is about more than gifts. Lesson learned, heart grown, happy ending. Elaborate sets and colorful costumes bring the fairy tale to wicked and vibrant life onstage, in a show that qualifies as one of the theater's great underdog success stories: It premiered at a children's theater in Minneapolis in 1994, bounced around regional playhouses, and transferred to Broadway in 2006, where it unseated Wicked's 100-week box-office dominance in its first week.

The iconic song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," from the original Grinch TV special, joins nine other numbers, most written specially for this show, which runs at 2 p.m. Thursday; 2, 5, and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, located at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35 to $85. Call 954-462-0222, or visit browardcenter.org

Stop your grinning, and drop your linen. It's Christmastime, and things are about to get naughty in Broward County. If the holidays typically mean spending time with your family, then it's obvious you haven't hung out at Blondies in Fort Lauderdale. From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, party the night away at Blondies' Naughty & Nice Party before going home to do the family thing, and then come back to do it all over again. From 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, get down with some Santa shot specials and free pool. And you know you want that free swag. Get some free koozies with each bucket of beer and free keepsake beer cups. Then, on Christmas Day between noon and 3 p.m., settle down with $3 mimosas and bloody marys. If you missed the free koozies and beer cups, there are more to be had. And since it's Christmas, you get to hang out with Santa Claus and snag a couple of free photos with him. It may be a family day, but that doesn't mean you can't have it on the beach.

Let the festivities begin. Blondies is located at 229 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Free admission. Call 954-728-9801, or visit facebook.com/BlondiesFLB

Friday, December 25

The holidays are a magical time, from the lights on the house to a tree decorated with shiny ornaments hovering over a mountain of lovingly wrapped gifts. The stockings are hung by the, err, AC register with care, and the refrigerator overflows with skillfully prepped dishes waiting to be popped in the oven for Christmas dinner. Magical as it all is, it doesn't just magically happen. It's a lot of freakin' work, and the last thing anyone feels like doing Christmas morning is making and/or cleaning up breakfast. So after you work up an appetite opening all those presents, head over to the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale, which is offering a special Christmas Day Brunch complete with a celebrity guest, Santa Claus. A separate kid's buffet area lets the little ones load up on all their favorite foods and take a picture with Santa while adults fill up on an extravagant holiday brunch offering a sumptuous array of breakfast favorites, from a chilled seafood tower and meat-carving stations to savory omelets and decadent desserts. Probably no sugar plums, though.

The Christmas Day Brunch will take place from noon to 3 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom Foyer on Friday. The cost is $125 per adult, $39 per child (children ages 5 to 12). Reservations are required. Visit ritzcarlton.com, or call 954-302-6430.



Most Christian holidays are built on top of existing pagan celebrations. Easter started as a Spring Equinox commemoration. Christmas is the same, and the truth is, it's been about consuming food. Throughout most of Europe, December was feast time, the time of year when livestock would be slaughtered before the winter snow made feeding difficult. Pagan sun worshipers, the Norse, and the Romans all held massive parties around the winter solstice to eat, drink, and celebrate the shortest day of the year passing by. As Christianity spread across Europe, the midwinter celebration took on new meanings, but the feasting remained. Mash-up the foregone traditions with the new on Friday night as Tsukuro hosts a Full Moon Christmas fete on the beach. Executive chef Mike White and sushi chef Tim Huang are offering a two-night special Asian-inspired menu based on the time-honored Italian-American Feast of the Seven Fishes — yes, it includes plenty of seafood. The regular menu (also heavy in oceanic options) is also available. It corresponds with this month's full moon, so expect the energy to be high.

The eatery opens at 11 a.m. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Tsukuro is located at 225 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Inner Circle members receive 20 percent off their total bill and get a special fortune cookie with a gift to use in the new year. For membership, visit woobox.com. Call 954-523-1407, or visit tsukurofl.com.

The list of reasons you should keep or take up running during the holidays is practically endless ­— but stress release and warding off the holiday pounds are two of the best. It's also a good way to get a jump on those New Year's resolutions and — in Delray Beach anyway — it's a great way to meet new people. Though running is generally a solitary sort of activity (and sometimes that can be one of its best features), it doesn't always have to be. The folks at the Delray Beach Running Co. don't just want to sell you shoes; they want to build a happy, healthy community of pavement pounders. In addition to classes and workshops, they host weekly and monthly runs, some of which even end in drinking beer. The second-annual Christmas Day Fun Run ends in mimosas, because the holidays are a time to be fancy. Participation is free and open to all levels of runners. Run one mile or do the whole five, and don't worry about keeping up, as runners of every pace will be there. And what would Christmas be without a gift? All runners will receive a raffle ticket to win one of two gift bags while a third winner will snag his or her choice of a new pair of running shoes.

The run sets out Friday at 7 a.m. sharp from (and returns to) the Delray Beach Running Co. store at 20 W. Atlantic Ave., Suite 101, Delray Beach. Call 561-270-7622, or visit rundelraybeach.com

Saturday, December 26

It's not an easy accomplishment to channel both the folksy, observational commentary of a Seinfeld and the confrontational, cuss-filled approach of a Chris Rock. But Kevin Hart has been threading that standup needle for most of his professional career, while vacillating between teen-targeted Hollywood hits and raw comedy specials. Raised by a single mother and emotionally abandoned by a cocaine-addicted father, Hart developed his style by exploring the dark places of his childhood; like many tortured funnymen, he coped through comedy, with his second standup tour tellingly titled "Laugh at My Pain." Personal conflicts have continued to affect Hart, and he continues to tackle them in his high-energy act while building a reputation as one of the industry's bona fide rock stars: Earlier this year in Philadelphia, he became the first comedian to headline a major football stadium. For his current tour, titled What Now?, expect the Ride Along and Get Hard costar to go a little Michelle Obama on us: The tour is sponsored by Rally Health, and Hart has agreed, during his set, to encourage his audience to eat healthier, move more, and laugh more. He shouldn't have any problems with the latter.

Hart performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Live, located at 1 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Tickets cost $70 to $150. Call 800-937-0010, or visit myhrl.com

Oh boy. The Force has woken up, and with it the love and admiration of fans everywhere has risen to the boiling point. Let's not even bring into the conversation the greatly underrated performance-art piece known as Jar Jar Binks, and let's focus on J.J. Abram's quasi-reboot of the Lucas franchise; this was a necessary and welcome addition to the Star Wars canon. Fans getting giddy over Star Wars anything is not news, and while numerous locals have in the past done their bit to tie in to the fever, we're hard-pressed in remembering a dedicated art show for all things Star Wars. Leave it to Jump the Shark to get behind the B.H. Project "Star Wars," a Star Wars-themed show that will feature an amalgam of cosplay, live bands, and actual art. More than a dozen artists will be on display, and they will be joined onstage by Brady Newbill, Scarecrow Jenkins, and the Tatooinies, all doing their best John Williams renditions à la Figrin D'an and the Modal Notes and/or the Max Rebo Band. They might even jump the shark and go the full Special Edition route and do something completely different. Although there will be plenty of Star Wars-related happenings in the coming weeks, this one certainly seems like the most fun.

B.H. Project's "Star Wars" takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday at Jump the Shark, 810 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-667-4126, or visit facebook.com/jumpthesharkevents

Sunday, December 27

Often regarded as one of the world's most recognizable ballets (second only to The Nutcracker), Swan Lake has been performed in more than 25 countries in more than 150 versions since its premiere in Moscow in 1877. Still, our immediate, knee-jerk connection to it is through a Natalie Portman versus Mila Kunis frenemies treatment of Black Swan. Thanks a lot, pop culture and dwindling arts and theater department school budgets! If you want to get a little closer to the original ballet based on Russian folklore and German legend of a young prince who attempts to break the evil spell set upon the swan maiden, there is a unique opportunity Sunday afternoon when the State Ballet Theater of Russia brings the full-length ballet of Swan Lake in four acts to Parker Playhouse. Founded by former prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater Ballet Maya Plissetskaya, the State Ballet Theater of Russia presents this full-scale production with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Showtime is set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $31.50 to $61.50. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com.

South Florida has always been a haven for local, budding music. Thanks to restaurants turned venues such as Dada, Kreepy Tiki, and Gigi's, there are always music-packed events that span multiple genres. An unexpected location, To­peekeegee Yugnee Park (otherwise known as T.Y. Park) is also an impromptu music venue as well, as local musicians of all levels come together to participate in a jam sesh. Hosted by South Florida Flow Jams, the event is called South Florida's Monthly Spin Jam and occurs during the last Sunday of every month. The multiprop event caters to all skill levels and forms of participation. Attendees are encouraged to bring things such as props, coolers, musical instruments, art supplies, canopies, potluck dishes, blankets, yoga mats, and folding chairs. However, it is an alcohol- and drug-free event, so leave the booze at home. Park admission is $1.50 per person, and all ages are welcome. To access the event, turn left after the gate and go straight. Keep left at the fork and go toward the back of the park. The event will be on your right.

South Florida's Monthly Spin Jam is from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. T.Y. Park is located at 3300 N. Park Road in Hollywood. 


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