Sebastian Maniscalco: See Friday.
Sebastian Maniscalco: See Friday.
Photo by Anders Krusberg

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

Thursday, January 21

Maybe it started with the elaborate expansion plans for the Norton Museum. Or was it this winter's Canvas outdoor museum show that brought over 20 artists from around the world to craft boldly colored murals on the exteriors of downtown buildings? If it seems like West Palm Beach is having a moment of deep appreciation within the artistic community, it will only be buoyed further by this week's Art Palm Beach. In its 19th year, Art Palm Beach is Palm Beach County's longest-running fair dedicated to contemporary and modern masters of art in the 20th and 21st centuries. This year, the event has increased the number of the exhibitors to more than 80 international galleries with four days of paintings, sculpture, photography viewing, lectures, discussions, screenings, installations, community brunch, student poster competitions, and events. Besides the expansion of exhibitors (including works from Korea and Israel), this year also brings an onsite bookstore and complimentary shuttle service to and from the Palm Beach County Convention Center (650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach), where it will be held. Highlights include the Bold Beauty Project (an arts project dedicated to showcasing and celebrating women with disabilities), an exhibit by French street artist Speedy Graphito, New Leipzig School's first time in Palm Beach with Leipzig-based artist Hans Aichinger, and more than 30 ArtSynergy satellite exhibitions throughout the county's arts districts. A full roster of events is available at artpalmbeach.com.

Convention Center doors open at noon Thursday to Sunday with advance tickets available for $15 or $20 at the door. Call 561-366-3000. 

The beer industry in South Florida is still young, but Rauf Vagifoglu-Khoffner and Evan Kagan plan to revolutionize it. With German beer (figuratively) running through his veins, Vagifoglu-Khoffner has opened Khoffner Brewery in Fort Lauderdale — the second brewery to open here in the past two years. He plans to continue the same beer traditions his family maintained long ago; just don't ask him what he puts in his beer. All you need to know is that he'll be using 100 percent authentic German ingredients. Khoffner Brewery opened on December 26, and Vagifoglu-Khoffner is throwing a launch party with a biergarten in Boca Raton. Eight varieties of Khoffner beer will be on tap. Beers are $1 off, and you get a free pint glass with the purchase of each beer. And you'll get to meet Vagifoglu-Khoffner and Kagan in the flesh, maybe have a few beers with them or even share a meal. There'll be a special menu with craft beer and food pairings, pastrami dinner specials, and live polka. You just can't go wrong.

The launch party goes down on Thursday, January 21, starting at 5 p.m. at Biergarten Boca Raton, located at 309 Via de Palmas, Suite 90, in Boca Raton. Call 561-395-7462, or email info@biergartenboca.com

If classical music is going to thrive for another century, it will be thanks to artists like Lynn University Conservatory graduates Yasa Poletaeva and Darren Matias. The violinist and pianist, respectively, who perform under the name Contrasts Duo, bring performance-art magnetism to their concerts, dismissing any strain of stolid passivity that some might associate with the classical genre. The emotionally expressive, impassioned musicians favor an experimental approach to performing that sometimes integrates painters, poets, actors, singers, and even their audience. Their venues are just as unusual: They are known to schedule gigs for underserved demographics at nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons. The duo tours the country regularly, but this week, Poletaeva and Matias are back on their home turf for a trio show at the Bonnet House, alongside cellist Manuel Capote, a Lynn professor who has played in principal positions for Miami City Ballet Orchestra and the Florida Grand Opera. They'll perform a variety of violin, cello, and piano duos and solos, concluding with Rachmaninoff's "Trio élégiaque No. 1," the composer's famous tribute to his mentor, Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The concert will inaugurate the Bonnet House's 20th-annual Music Under the Stars concert series, which continues its eclectic season monthly through April.

The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, and the venue is located at 900 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35 for Bonnet House members and $40 for nonmembers, and admission includes wine, cookies, and coffee. Call 954-703-2614, or visit bonnethouse.org

1978's Dawn of the Dead is invading a cinema near you.
1978's Dawn of the Dead is invading a cinema near you.

Friday, January 22

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco asks a lot of questions. His breakthrough 2012 special was titled What's Wrong With People? His 2014 follow-up bore the name Aren't You Embarrassed? And his forthcoming memoir, combining humor with foodcentric narratives, is called Where You Wanna Eat? For his material to thrive, he's destined to leave these questions unanswered and existential; the inspiration lies in the quest to explain the absurd actions of his fellow Homo sapiens. An Italian-American from Chicago with an indefatigable knack for physical comedy, Maniscalco launched his career at humble bars and bowling alleys while toiling as a waiter at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Thanks in part to Vince Vaughn, who enlisted him in his Wild West Comedy Show, Maniscalco's star has risen, even if his name is too long for many marquees: He was nominated for Best Club Comic at the 2014 American Comedy Awards, enjoyed one of Showtime's highest-rated comedy specials the same year, and inked a deal for an NBC sitcom based on his life stories. Maniscalco shares a familiar observational niche with many comics — he riffs on shopping malls, supermarket checkout lines, and uncouth tourists — but he makes them sound new again.

See his ongoing Aren't You Embarrassed? tour at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Parker Playhouse, located at 707 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $39.50 to $55. Call 954-462-0222, or visit parkerplayhouse.com.

Ten years passed between George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and his zombie series follow-up, Dawn of the Dead, but the director spent them wisely: In its social commentary, filmmaking prowess, and auteurist vision, 1978's Dawn is the series' apex. In this installment, the undead are quickly turning the United States into an apocalyptic wasteland, providing Romero fertile opportunity to address martial-law dystopias, the callowness of the news media, and especially the horrors of a consumerist society, thanks to its primary setting, a suburban shopping mall. The message that penetrates through the gore — that we've become a nation of capitalist zombies — continues to apply, and it's a reason Dawn of the Dead is still being discovered and enjoyed. The movie will screen for one night only on Friday as part of horror-buff Michael Favala's successful Palm Beach County Grindhouse series at Movies of Lake Worth. "It's kind of a phenomenon," says theater manager Rochelle Walters. "People are coming in from all over the county and even Fort Lauderdale, and the ages are across the board."

Tickets cost $10, and the first 100 attendees can receive a raffle ticket for a DVD of the Dawn of the Dead behind-the-scenes film Document of the Dead as well as other zombie titles. The screening takes place at 9:30 p.m., and the cinema is located at 7380 Lake Worth Road in Lake Worth. Call 561-968-4545, or visit morbidmovies.com

Help get medical marijuana on the ballot at Two&'s benefit.
Help get medical marijuana on the ballot at Two&'s benefit.
Photo by Laurie Avocado-via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, January 23

Most people like food. Some are obsessed. For those who consider eating and drinking a hobby, who collect restaurants like others do stamps, Saturdays are the de facto evenings of indulgence. The question is not, "Am I going out to eat?" It is, "Which chef am I experiencing, and how much am I spending?" Here's your answer this week: JA World Uncorked at the JA World Huizenga Center at Broward College. For the sixth year in a row, the event is bringing together notable local chefs, wine and spirits by Premier Beverage Co., and craft beer from Funky Buddha Brewery. Chef Paula DaSilva is the honorary chair. All proceeds benefit the educational programs and summer camp at Junior Achievement of South Florida. Since launching in 2010, the Circle of Wise Women, an independent volunteer group of educational advocates, has raised more than $2.75 million for Junior Achievement programs.

The cost to attend is $150. Complimentary valet is provided to all guests, and Uber and Red Cap drivers are available by appointment. The Uncorked Experience takes place from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. JA World Huizenga Center at Broward College is located at 1130 Coconut Creek Blvd. in Coconut Creek. Visit jaworlduncorked.com/tickets-sponsorships.

Oh man, to be young again! But you're only as sad a sack as you allow yourself to be, and what better way to relive your glory college days than with some drinking sports. That's right, sports! Maybe you didn't party as hard while in school and you've got that nice diploma on the wall to prove you were, to a certain degree, a stick in the mud, or maybe you partied all the time and now you've got bare walls to prove how awesome you once were. It doesn't matter, because in either scenario, you're still an athlete, and all athletes can make a comeback if they have the heart (i.e., gut). And no field of competition is more forgiving than your local watering hole. South Florida Club Sport's Bar Olympics 2016 is the perfect place for burgeoning and/or established athletes to assemble into groups of four (21 and up only, of course) and tackle the pressures and obstacles of Olympic competition. The teams will go head to head in a gauntlet of old collegiate favorites like cornhole, darts, quarters, wall hook, skeeball, flip cup, and the king sport of the NCAA, beer pong — all properly lubricated, natch.

The registration fee is $120. Drinks will be provided, and teams will receive four free drink tickets on top of that. Top finishers will receive prizes from Miller Lite, and the winner will take home the much-coveted Bar Olympics Trophy. The fun starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Xtreme Action Park, 5300 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale. Visit southfloridaclubsport.com to register. 

Sometimes, the simplest of things are the hardest to attain. Remember 2014, when Floridians almost took some steps in the right direction? Well, a lot of them did, but not enough. When the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2, went on the ballot, a whopping 57.6 percent of Floridians voted in its favor. Entities like United for Care and individuals like John Morgan, the initiative's strongest proponent, almost had it — and then the minutiae of the political machine were revealed: Florida's constitution needs a 60 percent "supermajority" vote for amendments to pass. You could almost taste the icky-sticky in the air. But don't fear. Potheads might be a relaxed bunch, but 2016 is an election year, and guess who is coming back to the ballot? That's right, medical marijuana! And as with all political processes, awareness is key to getting results at the ballot. Fort Lauderdale's favorite watering-hole-cum-bike-shop-cum-antiques-seller, Two&, is starting the year of awareness with a Medical Marijuana Benefit jam featuring local acts like Modern Day Alchemy, Sight Set, Space Hippie (no surprise there), Howard Drum, and a few more as well as art and drinks. Will the other 2 percent show up on Election Day to make medical marijuana a Florida reality? We'll have to wait until November.

The Medical Marijuana Benefit starts at 8 p.m. and ends at midnight on Saturday at Two&, 1517 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit twoand.com

Things get spicy in Lauderhill at this new food festival.
Things get spicy in Lauderhill at this new food festival.
Photo courtesy of Joy's Roti

Have you ever tasted Trinidadian food? Sampled fresh French crepes? Or had the chance to cook your own meal at an authentic Korean barbecue restaurant? This weekend, you can try all these and more during the inaugural Lauderhill Spice Tour. South Florida residents can indulge in a truly unique culinary trip around the world as they eat, drink, and learn about the culturally diverse (and edible) highlights found in Lauderhill during the city's daylong foodie event. Many of the city's most ethnically diverse restaurants have signed on to participate in the inaugural event, establishments that represent everything from the Caribbean and Korea to France, Italy, and India. The tour offers both lunch and dinner packages on Saturday. If casual eats are more your thing, sign up for the lunch package taking place from noon to 3 p.m. and highlighting places like Skip's BBQ, the Jerk Machine, and Chicano Mexican Grill. If fine dining is more your style, the second package will take you on a tour of the area's more upscale eateries, like Fra Diavolo Italian Restaurant and Sashi Sushi, from 4 to 7 p.m.

The cost is $30 per person for lunch and $50 per person for dinner. Can't make it? In addition to the daylong event, select restaurants will be offering a three-course tasting menu priced $35 to $45, similar to the one you'd sample during the Lauderhill Spice Tour, available for purchase at the restaurants through February 11. Participating establishments include Le Creperie, Joy's Roti, and Woodland's Indian Cuisine. Tickets can be purchased online. Call 954-730-3041, or visit lauderhillspice.com

Wednesday, January 27

Beer paired with Girl Scout cookies? What sort of decadent world do we live in? Beer-pairing dinners and lunches are par for the course in South Florida, but something about beer and sweets just seems downright savage, perhaps a little sinful. Maybe a stout and some thin mints? What about a porter and shortbread cookies? How about a porter and a Tagalong? Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach is doing something like a Beer and Girls Scout Cookie Pairing on Wednesday, but instead of feeling like you're indulging in your vices, you'll actually be supporting a local Girl Scout troop, which will be running the happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. and selling boxes of their cookies too. All cookie proceeds go to the troop. In addition, the Melted Madness food truck will be at the brewery slinging gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches and other goodies between 5 and 10 p.m. Just in case you want to do a little shopping, the Fierce Finds Mobile Boutique will set up shop around 7 p.m.

Due South Brewing is located at 2900 High Ridge Road, Suite 3, in Boynton Beach. Call 561-463-2337, or visit duesouthbrewing.com.

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