Opening night of the Classic Film Festival at the Classic Gateway Theatre, 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; various show times $8 to 10 or $6 Tuesdays; 954/763-7994 or www.thegatewaytheatre.com
A cultural treasure in East Fort Lauderdale, the Classic Gateway Theatre has been in operation since 1951. With its large, impressive and retro-style marquee, it has survived acquisitions by several movie theater chains and remains a bastion of independent cinema in a theatergoing era marred by uniform multiplexes. And tonight, the theater will open a monthlong event that lives up to its “Classic” designation, presenting 15 movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age through the tumultuous ‘60s and ‘70s. Four different films will run at various show times during each week; from tonight through Sept. 6, you can be treated to the masterful musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” the controversial drama “Midnight Cowboy,” the cross-dressing comedy “Some Like it Hot” and the cynical Hollywood expose “Sunset Blvd.”
Opening night of “Coco’s Burlesque Show” at Seminole Casino, 5550 N.W. 40thSt., Coconut Creek; 9 p.m.; 954/977-6700 or www.seminolecasinococonutcreek.com
Burlesque shows have become popular again in the past few years, and I’m not really sure why. Perhaps the saucy, sexual, scandalous content of the shows is a rebuke of a culture in which wardrobe malfunctions incite moral outrage. At any rate, the quiet little town of Coconut Creek finally has its own burlesque show to rival its competitors on South Beach and in Hollywood. Designed to appeal to women as well as men, Coco’s Burlesque Show puts an emphasis on variety. More than just stripteases, the show features theatrical spectacles, magic displays, leggy dancing and vaudeville comedy, inspired by the classic burlesques of the 1940s. That said, you still shouldn’t bring the kids. The show runs every Friday night through Sept. 21.
Friday to Monday
FLIFF-A-Palooza at Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale; various show times; $6; 954/525-3456 or www.fliff.com
This Labor Day weekend, Cinema Paradiso will reverberate with the sounds of music history, in the form of both live music and some of the best concert films of the past six decades. Titled “FLIFF-A-Palooza,” the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is sponsoring the event, which will be headlined at 8 p.m. Monday by a live performance from Miami’s 18 Wheelers, a self-proclaimed “truck driving music” band playing originals and covers ranging from Johnny Cash to Elvis and Gram Parsons. You’ll be able to catch a full buffet of rock docs leading up to the concert, beginning at 9:45 p.m. Friday with “The Doors: When You’re Strange.” The fun continues over the weekend with “Bittersweet Motel: Phish,” “Pink Floyd’s The Wall,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “U2: Rattle and Hum” and “Elvis: That’s the Way it is.”
Friday and Saturday
Jay Pharoah at Hollywood Improv, 5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood; various show times; $22 plus two-drink minimum; 954/981-5653 or www.improvftl.com
When Jay Pharoah was hired by “Saturday Night Live” in 2010, he was filling the perennial position of “the other black guy” to the more established Kenan Thompson. But the young phenom (he’ll be 25 in October) quickly branded himself as an impresario of impressions, capturing Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Lil’ Wayne, Barack Obama and even Nicolas Cage with precise accuracy. Like fellow impressionists Darrell Hammond and Frank Caliendo, Pharoah integrates impersonations into his hilarious standup act, while also touching on gender, race, hip-hop and his unfortunate early job in the Golden Corral kitchen.
“Angry Robot Sluts Attack” at Just the Funny, 3119 Coral Way, Miami; 9 p.m.; $10 to $13; 305/693-8669 or www.justthefunny.com
Then again, if Jay Pharoah isn’t your thing or the Improv is too pricey for your budget this weekend – and believe us, those two-drink minimums will slaughter your bank account before you can even taste the alcohol – you can always visit Miami’s Just the Funny, a yearlong improv comedy showcase that’s likely to tickle your funny bone as frequently as the headlining acts at the larger clubs. The troupe, which regularly scoops up “Best of” awards from Miami New Times, hosts themed nights of comedy with esoteric titles like “Danger’s My MAIDEN Name” and “The Umpire Strikes Back.” Tonight’s theme gets right to the point: “Angry Robot Sluts Attack.”
“Keeping A-Breast” at Roxy Performing Arts Center, 1645 S.W. 107thAve., Miami; 8 p.m.; $40; 305/443-5909 or www.new-theatre.com
Surprise! On short notice, Miami’s New Theatre has bumped up its collaborative theater piece “Keeping A-Breast” from its originally slated run in October – to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month – to this Friday, and it will now run through Sept. 16. There’s not a lot of theater on the radar right now, so it sounds like a good move to us. The production comprises the work of six local and national playwrights, who will present short monologues and two-character plays dealing with women’s issues, and starring actresses Melissa Almaguer, Francine Silver Birns, Carey Brianna Hart, Desiree Mora, Christina Perdomo-Fernandez and Jessica Welch. It’s part of the theater’s new Boomfrog! series of programming designed to attract younger audiences.
Bill Maher at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 7 p.m.; $49 to $79; 954/797-5531 or www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com
For more than 10 years, Bill Maher has hosted “Real Time” on HBO – liberals’ preferred dose of weekly sanity and conservatives’ example of a political ideology in sad decline. But no matter your political persuasion, Maher offers a forum for dissenting opinions that few other cable-news programs showcase. Conversations with his enlightened panels of politicos, comedians and business leaders often take fascinating detours into religion, genetically modified food, the war on drugs and other libertarian issues, and Maher is one of the rare left-wing firebrands not afraid to criticize the president and the Democrats … even after he donated a million dollars to Obama’s campaign. His standup act has always been his bread-and-butter, however, with each show a 90-minute-plus tour de force.
Sunday and Monday
Summer Jam at Meyer Amphitheatre, 104 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 12:30 p.m.; $30 to $50; 561/846-2899 or www.musicjamproductions.com
The worlds of rock and reggae combine at this very first waterfront music festival, which hopefully will become an annual tradition. The headliners include Jamaican reggae legends Toots and the Maytals, Grammy-winning rapper Shaggy, American modern rockers Seven Mary Three (“Cumbersome” was their biggest hit) and JJ Grey & Mofro, an acclaimed funk/soul fusion band from Jacksonville. The rest of the mostly Florida-based lineup includes Rootz Underground, Ky-Mani Marley, The Supervillains, B-Liminal, Dharmata, Rustico Drop, Azmyth and NerVer. And for those party poopers that complained about the noise pollution at the last SunFest, you needn’t fear: The party will end by 10 p.m. both days.
Native Bird Festival at Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S. Flamingo Road, Davie; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; $7.50 to $9; 954/473-2955 or www.flamingogardens.org
Most of us won’t be working this Labor Day, but Flamingo Gardens is staying open and hoping to draw crowds of bird lovers for a day dedicated to our feathered friends. The day will include Raptor demonstrations, a guided tour of the Aviary and other bird presentations by ornithological experts. There also will be a special arts and crafts show and a book reading and signing by wildlife curator Laura Wyatt, author of the children’s book “Those Amazing Owls.” Tickets are half-price for this Native Bird Festival, reflected in the admission listing above.