Thursday, July 16
Have you ever thought that you most certainly nailed a job interview with cool-as-a-cucumber composure only to peep down at your armpit region afterward to see two gigantic sweat stains pooling faster than you can safely exit the room? Or ever wonder why certain activities like nodding as a stranger walks by or putting one foot in front of the other when you walk seem almost mindlessly involuntary, yet are actually actions that you control? During the latest installment of Science on Tap: Mind Over Matter, the creative folks behind the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium will help us understand the above scenarios and all that is involved in gaining control over involuntary actions of the nervous system with a talk on biofeedback at O'Shea's Irish Pub. Biofeedback is all based on gaining greater awareness of physiological functions, with the goal of being able to learn how to manipulate them for health benefits. Speaker David Newman will engage the curious and help us harness the power of the mind-over-body capabilities of biofeedback, including preventing migraines, lowering blood pressure, and helping to alleviate chronic pain with some tricks involving heart rate, brain waves, and muscle tone. And of course, there will be beer.
This free talk, sponsored by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, will begin at 7 p.m. at O'Shea's Irish Pub, 531 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-832-1988, or visit sfsciencecenter.org.
Friday, July 17
Have you ever been in a relationship that you felt was going backward? Composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown has, and his own failed marriage inspired the novel structure of his 2001 musical The Last Five Years. This two-character, sung-through musical concurrently charts a relationship's promising future and its painful disintegration. For Cathy, a struggling actress, the story begins at the end of the relationship and moves backward. For Jamie, a novelist on the rise, the narrative begins when he first meets Cathy and moves forward in time. They rotate songs of bitterness and love until they meet in the middle. A triple-threat phenom in the vein of Jonathan Larson, Brown wrote the lyrics, book, and music for The Last Five Years, and the latter is a surprising cauldron of styles, from pop and jazz to classical, folk, rock, and klezmer. The musical was recently adapted into a movie that couldn't replicate its stage-bound innovations, so it's best to see the work in its raw, unadulterated form. Local audiences can do just that thanks to Boca's Evening Star Productions, for which director Rosalie Grant will direct her daughter Sara and actor Ben Sandomir through a regional production of this challenging contemporary classic.
Performances run at 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays starting Friday through August 2 at Sol Theatre, located at 3333 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for students. Call 561-447-8829, or visit eveningstarproductions.org.
Has the drudgery of sitting in sports bars and watching ball tossers finally sunk in? Do you yearn for unabated savagery, free of timeouts, excessive penalties, and ref-balling? Are you still in a disconsolate daze from watching Floyd Mayweather's last fight? If the thrill of watching two men smash each other's faces apart is enthralling to you, there is little reason to miss Fight Time 26. Hosted by our friends over at Fight Time Promotions, they promise to fill your evening with nonstop action. On Friday, July 17, Fight Time 26 will present eight bouts in a single sitting. Chock full of undercard fights, the event ensures that you will be fully tantalized right up to the main event: the welterweight title. Watch as top contenders Niko Price — an American Top Team luminary — and Jacksonville's Maurice Salmon battle it out in what is sure to be an absolute slobberknocker.
Fight Time Promotions has chosen the War Memorial Auditorium, located at 800 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale, as the venue for all of the thrills that the ensuing melee will bring. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $49, $59, and $69. VIP tables are also available for those with a penchant for ballerdom. Visit fighttimepromotions.com, or call 786-543-1177.
Saturday, July 18
TV and radio talk-show host Tavis Smiley will launch the two-day South Florida Book Festival on Saturday when he chats up his audience about his journey with Maya Angelou (from his recent book of the same name). But he's not the only literary celeb on tap. Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Chiles will discuss how the American justice system treats young African-American men, based on his timely book Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System. On the lighter side, Dr. Sonjia will talk about her book Sex in South Beach, definitely an everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about read; and New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey will present his latest erotic thriller One Night. A master of contemporary fiction, his novel Naughty or Nice has been optioned for the screen. After a full day of book readings and signings, panel discussions, and other intellectual pursuits, attendees will be ready for the inaugural Chef Smackdown. Here's your chance to sample four categories of comfort food: fried chicken, mac 'n' cheese, collard greens, and cheesecake — and vote for the winner of this mouthwatering quartet. Friday evening, the true start of the book festival, offers a glamorous "Evening With the Stars," a meet-and-greet with food, wine, and all the featured authors in attendance — a chance to meet them in a social setting. Plus, paid admission nets you an autographed book of your choice.
All events take place at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-6210, or visit friendsofaarlcc.org. The Friday event starts at 6:40 p.m. and costs $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Book activities on Saturday are free to the public and run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in time to clear out and set up for the Chef Smackdown at 6:30 p.m. The latter costs $10 and is limited to 150 people. Visit chef-smackdown.eventbrite.com for tickets.
If you haven't been to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in western Delray Beach, you are missing out on a gem of a local cultural attraction. The Japanese community has a long history here in South Florida, and you will learn all about it with a visit to the Morikami. Any day of the week (except Mondays), you can stroll through the beautifully manicured Japanese gardens and tour the cultural relics and contemporary art pieces in the museum before stopping into the tearoom for a live demonstration of a Japanese tea ceremony. The Morikami also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. Some, like the wildly popular Lantern Festival, which sells out early every year, celebrate traditional Japanese culture. Others, like this week's Robot Day, draw from contemporary Japanese life and pop-culture interests. Sponsored in part by Tate's Comics, Robot Day is happening in conjunction with the museum's latest ongoing exhibition, "Japan's Robot Kingdom," which runs through September 13 and explores 50 years of Japanese fascination with robots in manga and anime as well as real-world scientific development and engineering. Robot Day is a family-friendly event including games like Roll-A-Robot, a children's adventure guide to the exhibit, the Robot Book Corner, and a craft-your-own-robot station. Children — and the young at heart — can play with PARO, the Morikami's therapeutic robotic seal, and meet and greet with anime character Gundam Mk II. Finally, there's the robot giveaway and raffle, which will run all day in the lobby. Proceeds from the purchase of raffle tickets go to the museum's education program. Winners chosen throughout the day will take home mini-robot toys from Tate's. If you fall in love with the Morikami, you can get 10 percent off a membership, which gets you discounts and perks all year long.
Robot Day runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach. The event itself is free with paid admission to the museum: Morikami members and children age 5 and younger are admitted free; otherwise, it's $15 for adults, $13 for seniors or military with ID, $11 for college students with ID, and $9 for children age 6 to 17. Call 561-495-0233, or visit morikami.org.
Sunday, July 19
The Riverside Market may be known for its never-ending selection of hard-to-find beers and homemade hummus, sandwiches, and pizza, but the bar is also known for its fun, cheap events. From Beer Bingo to home-brewery tastings, Fort Lauderdale's gastropub always aims to please, and it succeeds. Its Native Brewing Movie Series is no exception. Every Sunday in July, the Riverside Market is showing films shot and based in South Florida. Native Lager drafts for a mere $3 will be featured. In addition, "exceptionally delicious" brown-bag popcorn will be available for $5. As part of its Native Brewing Movie Series this week, the bar will show the hilarious dark comedy There's Something About Mary. And nothing is better than seeing the famous Ben Stiller fly mishap and the gross-but-funny Cameron Diaz hair scene with some damned good beer and popcorn.
Upset because you can't make this event? If so, don't worry — you can make the last Native Brewing Movie Series on Sunday, July 26, for the raunchy Porky's. The movie will be shown at 8 p.m. at the Riverside Market, located at 608 SW 12th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit facebook.com/riversidemarket.
Tuesday, July 21
Champagne and caviar, oysters and briny Muscadet, Sauternes and foie gras, vintage port and Stilton cheese: Some food and beverage pairings are meant to be. Barbecue and beer is the most American of the classic combos — and let's be honest, the match tops the list. Funky Buddha Brewery and Red Cow are teaming up for America's birthday month to celebrate summer, brews, and beef with a special dinner on Thursday. The all-inclusive event is taking the Fort Lauderdale restaurant's best dishes and complementing them with Funky Buddha's signature bevvies. Four courses will be featured. It starts with a welcome pint of Floridian Hefeweizen and a spread of bacon-jam deviled eggs, homemade corn nuts with chili lime dust, and fish-dip crostini (smoked yellowfin tuna dip with pickled red onion and smoked jalapeño). More Moro Blood Orange IPA is coupled with avocado salad with green apple, roasted corn, red onions, cucumber, grilled scallions, and oven-roasted tomato atop bibb lettuce with More Moro vinaigrette. Next up is a dual meat plate with smoked Wagyu beef ribs in Small Axe Double IPA barbecue sauce with maque choux along with a lightly smoked lobster taco and an unannounced beer. Chocolate pecan pie and red cow bacon along with the Funky Buddha/Dogfish Head collab Nano-Nano is for dessert.
This event takes place Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $55. Funky Buddha Brewery is located at 1201 NE 38th St. in Oakland Park. Call 954-440-0046, or visit funkybuddhabrewery.com.
Playwright A.R. Gurney is straightforward about the requirements, or lack thereof, for staging his 1988 play Love Letters. According to Gurney, the play "needs no theater, no lengthy rehearsal, no special set, no memorization of lines, and no commitment from its two actors beyond the night of performance." That's because this two-character work is exactly what its title suggests: the reading of letters exchanged by the characters over a 50-year period of romances and regrets, triumphs and tragedies. Because of its bare-bones staging — it's mostly a sedentary piece, with the actors reading from scripts on a desk — Love Letters has attracted countless marquee actors in between projects to play lifelong correspondents Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, she a struggling artist, he a rising senator; Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow, Elizabeth Taylor, and Mel Gibson have all taken Gurney's seats. Every show is the same but different, propelled and individualized by the stars' inflections, charisma, and chemistry. The actors appearing in next week's Fort Lauderdale touring run of Love Letters, Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, should have no problem with the latter. Forty-five years ago, they starred together in the iconic (if shallow) Love Story, one of the highest-grossing romances in film history.
Love Letters runs at 8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Broward Center's Au-Rene Theater, located at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30 to $70. Call 954-462-0222, or visit browardcenter.org.
Wednesday, July 22
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If chefs are the new rock stars, brewers are the new singer/songwriters. These men and women have taken centuries-old techniques and rewritten them in new, inspiring ways. Sure, it takes a village to run a brewery, but these craft products have brought a level of artistry to an industry that has been monopolized by huge corporations proffering watered-down malts since the turn of the Industrial Revolution. The chance to encounter a legendary auteur of beer, in the flesh, is here. Brock Wagner from Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is heading to Craft Beer Cartel for the latest installment of its series Meet the Brewer. The head guy of Texas' oldest craft brewery has a long history with ales; his great-great-great grandfather opened Wagner's Beer Hall in San Francisco upon arriving from Alsace in the mid-1800s. Renamed the Saloon, it's now the oldest existing bar in the city. Wagner discovered homebrewing while attending Rice University. Since opening his Houston spot, he's won numerous awards for his rich, malty, creamy flavors with plenty of hops. Acknowledgments include the Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup, the Real Ale Festival, the Colorado State Fair, and the World Beer Championships. On Wednesday at 7 p.m., he'll take questions from guests.
The free event includes samples. Afterward, there's a Saint Arnold Tap Takeover across the street at Riverside Market. Craft Beer Cartel is located at 557 SW 12th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-541-3206, or visit facebook.com/CraftBeerCartel.
You can contact Rebecca McBane, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @cleanplatebpb on Twitter and like New Times Broward Palm Beach Food & Drink on Facebook to stay connected for all the local food news and events.