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The Lantern Festival returns to Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens on Saturday.
The Lantern Festival returns to Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Morikami Museum

The Seven Best Things to Do in South Florida This Weekend

Halloween is creeping up, but there's still time to find a great pumpkin, a knockout costume, or a particularly ghoulish mask before All Hallow’s Eve is upon us.

And there are lots of non-Halloween goings-on for the next couple of weekends, running the gamut from music, live stage performances, and a local observance of a tradition steeped in Japanese history.

The weather is getting cool enough — if it doesn’t rain, that is — for folks to enjoy the outdoors. So, let’s take a look at some of the festivities you can find, both indoors and out.

The cast of Daddy Issues, playing in Oakland Park.
The cast of Daddy Issues, playing in Oakland Park.
Photo by George Wentzler

Friday, October 18

How far will a gay man go to please his parents? The play Daddy Issues, opening this weekend in Oakland Park, may answer that inquiry.

Daddy Issues centers on Donald Moscowitz, an openly gay actor living in New York City in 1982. His overbearing parents know he’s gay, but that doesn’t stop them from demanding a grandchild. When Donald discovers his grandmother promises to double his inheritance if he produces an offspring, he enlists the aid of the 10-year-old kid downstairs to play his son, supposedly the result of an experimental tryst in college. Playwright/director David Goldyn also stars in this comic tale. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday through November 3 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 4948 N. Dixie Hwy., Oakland Park. Tickets range from $25 to $60 via daddyissuestheplay.com.

The dramatic stage production Falling, by playwright Deanna Jent, explores the complicated reality of a family with a son, Josh, who has autism. It continues this weekend and next at the Vanguard in Fort Lauderdale, and features performers from the New City Players.

When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with each trying to balance what is best for the family, themselves, and Josh. The play poignantly speaks to the challenge of loving someone who is difficult to love. It is based on the author’s personal experiences. Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission. The show will be followed by a discussion with the cast and creative team members as well as community guests and professionals in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday through October 27 at the Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 to $35 via newcityplayers.org.

Wick Theatre in Boca Raton opens its season with Hot Shoe Shuffle.
Wick Theatre in Boca Raton opens its season with Hot Shoe Shuffle.
Photo courtesy of Wick Theatre

The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton opens its seventh season with a hit from Down Under. Hot Shoe Shuffle is a musical that made it big in Australia and the West End of London. The award-winning production features a cast of energetic dancers tapping and singing to songs from America's Big Band era, played by a ten-piece band.

In 1992, the musical created by David Atkins tapped its way from Sydney, Australia to London, where it received the Olivier Award for best choreography and a nomination for Best Musical Production. The director at Wick, Jonathan Van Dyke, coincidentally worked with Atkins in Scotland and is teaming up with choreographer Justin M. Lewis on the Boca show. Lewis is a sought-after studio choreographer and was featured in the second season of NBC’s World of Dance. 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday through November 10 at Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $75 to $85 via thewick.org.

Country/rockers the Zac Brown Band will perform Friday and Saturday at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. The Atlanta-based group has compiled an estimable musical resume: seven studio albums along with two live albums, one greatest-hits disc, and two extended plays. Sixteen Zac Brown singles have charted on Billboard, of which 13 reached number one. With Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $40 to $120.50 via livenation.com.

Saturday, October 19

One of the most elegant and colorful events scheduled each year at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach takes place on Saturday with the Lantern Festival. Inspired by Obon, Japan’s traditional three-day holiday honoring ancestors who are believed to return to Earth for a brief visit, the Morikami will celebrate Lantern Festival in one epic evening. Enjoy traditional folk-dancing, taiko drumming, an Ennichi street fair, Japanese cuisine, arts and crafts, and family activities. The event closes with the festival’s iconic lantern floating ceremony and a fireworks finale. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach. Tickets range from $12 to $20 via morikami.org.

Got a hankering for something authentically Brazilian? Make sure the eighth-annual Brazilian Festival in Pompano Beach is on your to-do list for Saturday and Sunday. What’s on the schedule? Well, you can visit an outdoor circus and a kids’ zone that features an inflatable playground with slides, moonwalks, waterfalls, obstacle courses, rides, and games. The journey into Brazil’s traditions will focus on the exhibitors’ zone, where you can enjoy delicious Brazilian favorites ranging from rodizio, churrasco, and vatapa to sweet brigadeiros, cocadas, and doce de leite. Local bands, headliners, and a closing musical act round out the event. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Pompano Beach Community Park, 820 NE 18th Ave., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $5 per day, $8 for a weekend pass.

Autumn is here, and so is the fifth-annual Deerfield Beach Fall Festival, scheduled for Saturday at Pioneer Park. This festival includes lots of fun activities, such as picking out the perfect pumpkin from a pumpkin patch (watch out for Linus), enjoying live entertainment, hayrides, tasty treats, photos, face painting, and arts and crafts, with food and drinks available for purchase. Be sure to stick around — at 7 p.m., the film Hocus Pocus will be shown on the big screen. 4 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Park, 217 NE Fifth Ave., Deerfield Beach. Complimentary shuttle from 3:30 to 9 p.m. from Middle School Athletic Complex, 501 SE Sixth Ave. Admission is free.

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