“Boo-tacular” and Halloween Shorts at Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale; free; 954/525-3456 or www.fliff.com
The Halloween gathering “Boo-tacular,” which is aimed at kids aged 2 to 12, made a tremendous impact on the South Florida community when it was hosted in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma. At the time, the Fort Lauderdale art-house theater was one of the few places in East Broward to have power, and Film Festival CEO Gregory von Hausch insisted that the show must go on, providing Halloween festivities for the kids and hot showers and movies for their parents. Now in its eighth year, and safely secure from this year’s mega-storm, the event promises to be a safe alternative to knocking on strangers’ doors this Halloween. There will be kids’ costume and screaming contests, a pumpkin patch and horse-drawn hayrides. At 7 p.m., the adults can stick around for a night of five horror shorts, at a discounted festival admission ($5-$8).
Counting Crows at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 7:30 p.m.; $35-$68.50; www.ticketmaster.com
Rock band Counting Crows emerged from the political hotbed of Berkeley, California, but its sound is far from radical. The group peaked in the ‘90s with such accessible hits as “Mr. Jones” and “Round Here,” performing teary ballads as comfortably as upbeat pop numbers. An unprolific ‘00s has recently started to pick up again with this year’s well-received covers album “Underwater Sunshine” and plenty of touring, including a stop at SunFest earlier this year. I couldn’t tell you what to expect at tonight’s show, and that’s one of the band’s charms: Frontman Adam Duritz has been known to experiment with his (and other musicians’) material mid-set, and even mid-song, making each concert a new experience.
Opening day of “Keep Calm and Carry On” at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; $12 adults, $5 children; 561/832-5196 or www.norton.org
Like many savvy works of art, the 1939 British war propaganda slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was barely recognized in its time. With white text underneath an icon of the British crown and slapped onto a bold red background, the Ministry of Information-designed poster didn’t achieve transcendent resonance until 2000, when the poster was discovered in a used bookstore in the U.K. It has since been acknowledged as a preeminent morale-boosting rallying cry on the home front, and it marks the title of a new exhibition of vintage wartime materials at the Norton Museum of Art. Spanning from 1938 to 1951, the exhibit will explore designs for wartime fashion and beauty, designs for shelter and protection, and designs for entertainment and propaganda. Perhaps today’s wars could have been sold to the public a lot better if somebody like Noel Coward endorsed them as eloquently as he did in this vital period. The exhibit runs through Jan. 20.
Opening night of “Amadeus” at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E, Indiantown Road, Jupiter; 7:30 p.m.; $51-$63; 561/575-2223 or www.jupitertheatre.org
“This was a music I had never heard. Filled with such longing ... such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.” Has there ever been a more moving description of music’s implacable transcendence? The quotes are from “Amadeus,” Peter Shaffer’s Tony-winning play about the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. The words are Salieri’s, reflecting on Mozart’s magical propensity to turn seemingly banal compositions into things of beauty. In charting the triumphs and downfalls of these classical-music titans, the play posits Salieri as a tragic figure trampled under the greatness of his fellow composer. Expect a wonderful soundtrack of Mozart compositions, pitch-perfect costume design and top-notch acting in the Maltz’s season opener. It runs through Nov. 11.
Klezmer Company Orchestra at Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 7:30 p.m.; free; 561/243-7922 or delraycenterforthearts.org
Aaron Kula, conductor of FAU Libraries’ Klezmer Company Orchestra, has made it his life’s work to expand the possibilities of klezmer music. Never has the maestro’s efforts been more rewarding than on his orchestra’s second album, “Klezmerology,” released this past March. The follow-up to 2008’s award-winning “Beyond the Tribes,” the very name of “Klezmerology” suggests a dissection, deconstruction and revision of the centuries-old Jewish music, fusing it with even more ambition than its predecessor. From the opening Latin American brass blast of “2ndAvenue Mambo” to the closing pop vocal track “Mahzel, Means Good Luck,” the musicians explore a myriad of genres, coating them all in a peppy, jazzy texture perfect for anytime listening. The group will be playing selections from “Klezmerology” at this rare, free concert.
Day of the Dead celebration in Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village District, Northwest Fifth Street at Northwest First Avenue; 6 to 11 p.m.; 954/766-4741 or www.puppet-network.com
Finally – a festival with “dead” in the title that has absolutely nothing to do with zombies. Taking inspiration from the Mexican national holiday honoring the deceased, this third annual Day of the Dead festival has become one of Fort Lauderdale’s most anticipated cultural gatherings. The event was launched by Jim Hammond’s Puppet Network, which provides the elaborate “Skeleton Processional” puppets to be carried by an estimated 450-plus participants tonight. Beginning at 6:15, the processional is the centerpiece of this celebration, featuring mariachi, decorated lowrider bicycles, giant animal puppets, roller derby skeletons, animal mascots, stilt walkers and much more. But the activities extend to several buildings and stages throughout the FAT Village District, from art exhibitions and film festivals to live music, drum circles, craft shows and live theater. There’s no way any human being can take in everything, so choose your fun wisely.
Jake Shimabukuro at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; starting at $15; 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder isn’t the only musician touring popular songs on a ukulele this season. Jake Shimabukuro, a fifth-generation Japanese-American, is a ukulele virtuoso and one of Hawaii’s most celebrated native sons. He has released 11 solo albums since the dissolution of his acclaimed ‘90s band Pure Heart, and his eclectic output proves that even epic rock numbers cane be played beautifully as stripped-down ukulele compositions – his repertoire includes everything from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Thriller” to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Hallelujah.” He’s also been featured on CNN and played onstage with somebody named Jimmy Buffett, whom we hear is going places in this business.
Steven Wright at Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $37.50; 954/462-0222 or www.parkerplayhouse.com
No. 23 on Comedy Central’s list of the best standup comics of all-time, Steven Wright has cultivated a singular style that few have successfully emulated (the late Mitch Hedberg was one). He speaks his cerebral one-liners in a lethargic, uninflected monotone, making his pint-sized jokes perfect for the Twitter generation of ADD-addled brains. He’s been performing in this style for roughly 30 years. For example: “Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.” Many of Wright’s storied jokes are archived on various websites, though not all of them were actually written by Wright, lending his catalog an apocryphal status. Check out his latest live appearance in South Florida, and just remember – if you don’t like, or get, a joke, just wait 20 seconds for the next one.