Thursday to Sunday

Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival at the Classic Gateway Theater, 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; various show times; $7-$12; 800/927-0939 or www.flglff.com

Don’t want to wait until this month’s Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival to get your film fest fix? The Classic Gateway, Fort Lauderdale’s vintage art house, has got you covered for four days of provocative comedies, dramas and documentaries that explore issues relating to gays, lesbians and transgenders. Nearly 40 films will be screened over Columbus Day weekend, in this young festival’s most-expanded lineup yet. Highlights include opening night film “Cloudburst” (7:30 p.m. Oct. 4), with Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as a lesbian couple who have remained in the closet for 31 years; “Taboo Yardies” (2 p.m. Oct. 6), which explores a culture of homophobia in Jamaica; “The Invisible Men” (4:30 p.m. Oct. 6), a story about gay Palestinians who escape persecution into Tel Aviv; and “I Stand Corrected” (3 p.m. Oct. 7), a documentary about transgender jazz artist Jennifer Leitham.

Friday

Opening of Baja Beach Club, 7000 W. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 10 p.m.; free; 561/362-7000 or www.bajaboca.com

Boca’s nightlife is about to be given a much-needed jolt with the grand opening of Baja Beach Club, a destination that combines the atmospheres of a high-energy nightclub and an all-American beach party. Expect surf-shop ambiance with a tiki flair and a laid-back vibe, with none of that Studio 54 velvet-rope-and-humorless-bouncer crap. Specials will include Ladies Night Wednesdays, $1 Drink Thursdays and No Cover Til Midnight Saturdays. Tonight, to celebrate the opening, visitors won’t have to pay a cover all night long. And the more drinks you have, the more you’ll want to ride the venue’s mechanical shark, which it bills as “the world’s first and only” of its kind.

A Tribute to Neil Young at Center for the Arts at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 8 p.m.; $25; 561/243-7922 or delraycenterforthearts.org

Masterful local tribute artist Jason Colannino has the chameleonic ability to transform his voice into any of the music icons he covers, from the Beatles and Paul Simon to Jimmy Buffett and James Taylor. He also has Neil Young’s nasally Canadian brilliance down to a science, which, as any intrepid karaoke dreamer has attempted, is not an easy task. Colannino will journey through Young’s hits, such as “Harvest Moon,” “Heart of Gold” and “Only Love Will Break Your Heart,” at this tribute concert. You may think that $25 is a lot to ask for any tribute concert, however, and you’d be right. But this one is a benefit for a worthy cause: Funds raised will contribute to the Christopher Reeve Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Foundation.

Opening night of “I Am My Own Wife” at Arsht Center, 1200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 7:30 p.m.; $40; 305/949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org

No matter what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says, there are most definitely homosexuals living in Iran. Just as there were transvestites residing in Nazi Germany. Berlin iconoclast Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, born Lothar Berfelde, was one such gender-bender, surviving both the Nazis and the Communists that took power later, all while dressing as a woman. American playwright Doug Wright took to analyzing Mahlsdorf’s life in the form of a one-person stage biography, a heady show that, upon its 2003 premiere, garnered a Pulitzer, a Tony, a Drama Desk Award and other notable honors. South Florida audiences will finally be treated to this gem starting tonight, courtesy of Miami’s Zoetic Stage. Elastic actor Tom Wahl plays Charlotte – along with more than 30 other characters – in what we expect will be a tour de force performance. The show runs through Oct. 21.

Public Image Ltd. at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 8 p.m.; $30-$35; 305/377-2277 or www.grandcentralmiami.com

When the Sex Pistols dissolved in a narcotic haze after just one legendary studio album, I don’t think anyone in the music world could have predicted the career trajectory of frontman John Lydon. If the Sex Pistols were all sneer, brevity and three chords, Lydon’s follow-up band, Public Image Ltd., was all intellectual discourse, deliberation and complexity. As much as the Sex Pistols’ punk grind challenged the mainstream music establishment, Public Image Ltd. (or PiL) went one step further in challenging the punk establishment which, by 1979, was already beginning to feel a little bit stale. Instrumental in launching the post-punk movement that reverberates through a lot of indie rock to this day, PiL bucked convention for eight albums from 1978 to 1992, reuniting a few years ago for the astonishing “This is PiL,” which picks up right where the group left off. Look for a review of this concert this coming weekend here on bocamag.com.

Saturday

Stitch Rock at Old School Square Vintage Gymnasium, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; noon to 6 p.m.; $5; www.rockthestitch.com

Before there were indie craft fairs every other weekend, there was Stitch Rock – the original, the pioneer, the forward-thinking charter of the new frontier in creative craftsmanship. Now in its sixth year, the indie craft fair that started them all remains in its home base of the Old School Square Vintage Gymnasium, where more than 80 vendors will offer handmade goods, from DIY fashion and unusual home décor items to paintings, photographs, and bath and body accessories. Vendors include such creatively named entities as Humblebumbleb, Fudgie Wudgie, Agorables and Stitch of Whimsy. Be sure to show up early: There will be free “swag bags” for the first 100 guests, and there will be a DIY fashion show at 3 p.m.

Sunday

Golden Celebration at ActivistArtistA Gallery, 422 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach; 2 to 11 p.m.; free; 786/521-1199 or www.facebook.com/activistartista

If you haven’t visited yet, the Boynton Beach Arts District is pretty much the coolest thing in the Palm Beach County art world right now. Spearheaded by painter and arts administrator Rolando Chang Barrero, the district developed from a stretch of unassuming warehouses, which have been rebranded into a multipurpose artistic hub. Glowing reviews from the local media followed, and the district will celebrate its one-year anniversary with this free daylong event. Artists will paint live throughout the day, and guests can nosh on food truck dishes while enjoying live music from local favorites Pocket of Lollipops, The Von and Koffin Varnish. We’re particularly excited about Nuvoid, the stage name of Michael Kelly, a “contextual sound designer” who creates 4-dimensional art using electronic instruments.

Gotye at Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 7 p.m.; $25 to $60; 305/358-7550 or www.ticketmaster.com

Just as “Woody Allen” sounded better than Allen Konigsberg and “Bob Dylan” sounded better than Robert Allen Zimmerman, so too does the name Gotye look much more attractive on billboards than the singer-songwriter’s given name, Wouter de Backer. The first Belgian artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 49 years, Gotye achieved international success last year with the ubiquitous earworm hit “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a song that has been homaged and parodied more times than “Happy Birthday.” It was a long time coming for Gotye, who has been making quality music with his band the Basics, as well as his own solo records, since 2002. His music is almost too good – too worldly – for top 40 play, a welcome exception to the slick, auto-tuned, nondescript radio hit factory. Sing along with abandon.