Jim Gaffigan at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 N.W. 40thSt., Coconut Creek; 9 p.m.; starting at $45; 954/935-2636 or

Jim Gaffigan should probably weigh 300 pounds. It’s amazing that he stays as comparatively fit as he is, given his endless riffs on high-calorie foods in comedy special after comedy special. Nobody can do eight minutes on cake and 10 minutes on McDonald’s like Gaffigan, all of it resounding with hilarious personal observation. Either he eats occasional junk food so you don’t have to, or he is our national voice for the fast-food-munching, chocolate-sprinkle-covered gourmand. Either way, his material is undeniably hilarious, and it currently supports a good cause. One dollar from every $5 purchase of his new 75-minute performance film “Mr. Universe” will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which supports veterans.

Keiko Matsui at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $40 to $70; 954/462-0222 or

The endlessly prolific Keiko Matsui is a jazz keyboardist who began studying piano at age 5 in her native Tokyo. After 10 albums with her band Cosmos, Matsui began recording solo albums under her name, resulting in some 30 releases since 1987. Born with a natural ear for melody, Matsui staked her name in the smooth jazz field but has since plowed musical terrain in genres such as jazz fusion, new age, funk, classical, rock and worldbeat. Her eclectic talent has led her to share stages with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Dave Koz and Miles Davis; it doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes as well. Her Broward Center stop will support her lovely 2011 release “The Road.”

The Australian Pink Floyd Show at Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 8 p.m.; $33.50 to $50.50; 305/673-7300 or

It seems as if there are more Pink Floyd tribute bands than there are stars in the sky – a sky punctured by smoke, roving spotlights, rotating laser beams and giant video projection screens. The stoned-night-at-the-planetarium aesthetic of the Pink Floyd tribute show is the conventional wisdom, and the Aussie Pink Floyd certainly adheres to it. But with a professional 10-piece band of nearly perfect Floyd mimics, this cover band from Down Under has risen to the top of the cluttered ranks, having performed for David Gilmour himself at the musician’s 50thbirthday party. Forty-one thousand Facebook likes and countless sold-out shows since 1988 are nothing to scoff at.

Thursday to Sunday

Hal Sparks at Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach; various show times; $20; 561/833-1812 or

This slot on the Week Ahead was originally supposed to be filled by Norm MacDonald, who had booked dates at the Palm Beach Improv for Oct. 12 and 13. Something came up, apparently, but in the meantime I can’t think of a better pinch-hitter than Hal Sparks. A former host of the pop-culture snarkfest “Talk Soup,” Sparks rose to prominence in the eyes of critics and audiences as a cast member on “Queer as Folk,” a role for which he is still stopped on street corners. But his numerous TV and film credits are second to his standup comedy, which is rooted in liberal politics. A smart and active political brain, Sparks has been an integral part of the best-selling “Sexy Liberal” comedy tour with radio vixen Stephanie Miller, where he mixed criticisms of right-wing conservatives with dead-on animal impersonations. I expect that he’ll tone down the political invective for these Improv shows, however.


Center for the Arts launch party at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 5:30 p.m.; free; 561/243-7922 or

In case you’ve lived in a cave lately – or you’re a snowbird – Old School Square has been rebranded the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, a name that better reflects the longtime cultural anchor of downtown Delray Beach. At this free launch party for the new name and new logo, visitors can enjoy live entertainment and refreshments at all four affiliated venues – the Crest Theatre, the Cornell Museum, the Vintage Gymnasium and the Pavilion. There will be a 2012-2013 arts season preview at the Crest, free admission to the excellent “Ahoy Maitz” exhibition of pirate- and fantasy-themed art in the Cornell Museum, and a 7:15 ribbon cutting at the Pavilion, followed by a concert by local Beatles tribute act Across the Universe at 7:30.

Opening night of X-Scream Halloween at G-Star School of the Arts, 2030 S. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach; 6:30 p.m.; $11 adults or $6 children;
X-Scream Halloween, a haunted walk-through attraction launched by G-Star School of the Arts in 2006, opened as a challenge, knowingly or unknowingly, to the dominant Halloween attraction of the area: the well-established, well-funded, well-attended Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds. History has proven that there is indeed room for two scary walk-throughs located less than 10 minutes from each other, and that G-Star’s event has actually bested the Fairgrounds show. Voted by the Travel Channel as one of the 13 best haunted attractions in the United States in 2008, X-Scream Halloween has improved each year of its existence, and this month’s event is no exception. The action will take place in the school’s recently built, state-of-the-art soundstage and will be divided into three haunts: “The Werehouse,” “Zombie Circus” and “Short Stalks Haunted Maze.” The attraction will be open through Oct. 31.


Celebration by the Sea at Delray Beach Club, 2001 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach; 5:30 to 10 p.m.; $125; 561/416-5009 or

The oceanfront Delray Beach Club will provide the picturesque setting for this 22ndannual fundraiser for Hospice by the Sea. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will provide what promises to be a stellar selection of gourmet food, fine wine and craft beers, and attendees can enjoy a silent auction, a “Balloon Pop for a Prize” game, and live music from the Atlantis International Party Band and jazzman Will Bridges. The admission price includes valet parking and a professional portrait photograph. Reserve your tickets soon, as the fundraiser typically sells out.


Closing day of Oktoberfest at Biergarten, 309 Via De Palmas, Boca Raton; all day and night; free; 561/395-7462 or

Beginning last weekend, Biergarten has been one of Boca’s top sources for Oktoberfest fun, and the celebration continues through this weekend. All week, diners can enjoy $4 Oktoberfest beers day and night, but Sunday is the best day to visit. In addition to the regular NFL Sunday specials -- $4 drafts of any kind, a pig roast, gridiron revelry – Sunday’s festivities include live music from the Alpine Express, a trio from Indianapolis which has been bringing Teutonic polkas, waltzes and other styles of music to German festivals across the country since 1983. Their interactive shows are known for their audience participation, sing-a-longs and yodeling contests. Visitors can also buy exclusive Oktoberfest merchandise and socialize with a brewskie in an outdoor tent.