Thursday, September 24
Joan Crawford didn't set out to become a camp icon. She appeared in nearly 100 films, many of them prestigious A-listers, in a five-decade career that began in the silent era. But by the late '60s, after the batshit psychodrama Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, her camp status had been solidified, and only B movies like Berserk! and Trog remained. When Faye Dunaway portrayed her as a deliriously over-the-top abuser in 1981's Mommie Dearest, her reputation as the wicked witch of Hollywood defined her for a generation of fans. One of them is Jamie Morris, an actor and playwright known for his all-male drag versions of pop-cultural chestnuts ranging from Designing Women and The Facts of Life to The Silence of the Lambs. In his latest parody, Mommie Queerest, he plays Dunaway playing Crawford... as a man, of course. Costars Brooks Braselman, Andy Herrmann, and Mike Westrich appear in Empire Stage's current production, which leaves no coat hanger unreferenced and no eyebrow unarched. If you're seeking a production that's in good taste, look elsewhere; even those complimentary of Morris, like director Christopher Kenney, praise his "sick sense of humor" and "twisted mind."
The production runs 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays through October 4 at Empire Stage, located at 1140 N. Flagler Drive in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30. Call 954-678-1496, or visit empirestage.com.
Friday, September 25
Despite the presence of the cryptically sage Norm MacDonald on the judging panel, this year's truncated season of NBC's Last Comic Standing was a thrifty letdown: eight episodes, no imaginative challenges, just plain old standup. Last year, on the other hand, the winning comedian had to prove his mettle through a gauntlet of tasks, from leading a Universal Studios tour to appearing on Ellen to roasting Gilbert Gottfried. Atlanta's Rod Man, who mercifully bears no relation to South Florida's chief North Korean propagandist, emerged from the fray as the season-eight victor, leaving the series a better and stranger comic than when he started. A 20-year standup veteran who previously sold vacuum cleaners door to door, Rod Man paces the stage like a mellow Chris Rock, spiking Seinfeldian observational material with meandering, unorthodox twists. Like many great comedians, his idiosyncratic style at first disarms crowds and then warms them: In a good Rod Man joke, you'll have no idea what he's talking about at first, but midway through the riff, the punch lines will tumble into one another like dominos.
He performs at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Improv, located at 5700 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Tickets cost $22. Call 954-981-5653, or visit improvftl.com.
Saturday, September 26
Two names in art and design that you might not have heard of if you aren't deeply involved in the Fort Lauderdale arts scene are Jim Hammond and Margi Nothard. Hammond is best-known for the Puppet Network and the Florida Day of the Dead Celebration in Fort Lauderdale. Nothard is an architect and artist and director of the award-winning architecture firm Glavovic Studio. She's also been a mainstay artist with Glavovic in Flagler Village since 2000. September isn't just the beginning of snowbird season and the return of crowded events and restaurants; it's also the beginning of the arts season, and both artists are teaming up for the Puppet Arts in Public Spaces exhibition to help kick off the season. Hammond is featuring six giant puppets measuring more than six feet tall that he created before his inaugural Day of the Dead event in 2009. In this exhibition, puppets and architecture come alive together in the form of street theater.
The Puppet Arts in Public Spaces will be showing on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. during the Flagler Village Art Walk at Glavovic Studio, located at 724 NE Third Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. The event is free. Call 954-524-5728, or visit glavovicstudio.com.
Held on the last Saturday of each month, the FAT Village Art Walk is an escape for local art enthusiasts and an opportunity for many of the local shops to stay open past normal business hours, inviting in curious art walkers. The free event has grown exponentially in a few short years and features a variety of photography and art. This month, South Florida photographer Craig B. Snyder will premiere his photo exhibition on skate culture titled "Rebels, Riders, Rejects." Born and raised in South Florida, Snyder grew up busting tricks among some of the skateboarding greats, including Mike McGill and Rodney Mullen. His affinity for skateboarding evolved into photography, writing, poetry, and art. His work has appeared worldwide, including on ESPN and Der Spiegel and in Skateboarder magazine. Snyder will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, A Secret History of the Ollie. For the thirsty and philanthropic, nonprofit pop-up bar Cocktails for Humanity will provide drinks, and all proceeds will be dedicated to the preservation of skate history and culture.
Snyder's photo exhibit will be showing throughout the entire FAT Village Art Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at 525 NW First Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-760-5900, or visit fatvillage.com.
Where can you find Boba Fett, Wolverine, Batman, and the Mario Brothers all in the same place? At a comic convention. Mama may have told you to dress respectably in public, but there is a time and place for the cos-players in all of us to come out and, well, play. West Palm Beach normally isn't filled with people who dress like comic-book superheroes and villains, but rest assured they will at PalmCon 2015. After all, it's approximately one month from Halloween. But PalmCon isn't just a cosplay event. Now in its fifth year, PalmCon 2015 will feature comic-book collectors, role-playing games, burlesque, local artists, and more. Check out the floor plan and you'll notice several noteworthy exhibits, such as T.A.R.D.I.S., the Batmobile, and Ghostbusters. Guest artists include Vinnie Tartamella, a freelance visual artist whose work has depicted several political figures — including Michelle Obama — on the covers for the Female Force bio books.
PalmCon 2015 will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, located at 650 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Weekend adult passes cost $20, or $12 for kids under 12; single-day adult passes cost $13.50, or $6 for kids under 12; and weekend VIP passes cost $45 and allow access to the second-floor VIP lounge. Call 561-366-3000, or visit palmcon.net.
Wednesday, September 30
South Florida's greatest bartenders are getting the chance to face off against their rivals (and peers) in a bracket-style tournament. Wednesday kicks off the first installment of Bar Brawls at Max's Social House. The 11-week single elimination competition is getting its start with 24 of the best barkeeps from Stuart to Fort Lauderdale: Alain Camacho of the Office, Brett Hart of Hullabaloo, Brett Robertson of Kapow!, David Bouchard of the Cooper, James Hartmann from Ian's Tropical Grille, Cody Parker and Jess Hart of El Camino, Jessie Bell and Kelly Lozina from 3rd & 3rd, John Fitzpatrick of 32 East, Julie Antoine of Racks Fish House and Oyster Bar, Justin Himmelbaum of Mucho Gusto Delray, Kareem Lakchira from the Rusty Hook, Marc Volpicelli of Sweetwater, Matthew Swig of Sundy House, Lee Klein of Burt & Max's, Bobby Brown of Craft Cartel, Randy Rapposelli of Brule Bistro, Taffy Spiller of Farmers Table, Rob Cox of 13 American Table, Tiffini Grant of Apeiro, Todd McCready from Nitrogen, Scott Dauss of Free House American, and Yeiry Medero of Oceans 234.
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The first round of the tournament is eight weeks long, with three tenders of bar going head to head (to head) each week in a two-part match. First, all three competitors are given a spirit and have a short amount of time to create a specific classic cocktail. During the second part of the match, the remaining two bartenders will be given two mystery ingredients (one spirit and one fruit, vegetable, ice cream, or other item), and competitors will have 30 minutes to use the mystery ingredients and the spirit from the classic cocktail earlier in the evening to create a unique cocktail. Each week's winning cocktail will be featured on Max's Social House menu until the next Bar Brawls night.
Bar Brawls kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Max's Harvest (169 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach) and will continue each Wednesday through the finals on December 16 at Max's Social House (116 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach). Admission is $10, and all proceeds will benefit the Richard David Kaan Melanoma Foundation. Call 561-381-9970, or visit maxsharvest.com.
You can contact Rebecca McBane, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Editor at email@example.com. 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.