What: Bruce Springsteen
Where: BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise
Contact: 954/835-8000, livenation.com
The best Bruce Springsteen humor I’ve ever encountered arrived via the short-lived, brilliant sketch comedy series “The Ben Stiller Show,” in which Springsteen, played by a pitch-perfect Stiller, plays a legendary, intimate bar gig for a select few fans and proceeds to play forever – encore after encore, well after everybody’s left, when the only people listening are the janitors. As well as being amusing, the sketch spoke to Springsteen’s tireless ability to leave his fans with more than they asked for, playing most shows in excess of three hours, each set list pushing toward 30 songs. At 64, the Boss performs like a man a third his age, and while he is ostensibly touring to support his 18th studio album “High Hopes,” his set lists have been as eclectic and precisely catalogued as usual, with surprising covers, fan requests, and gasp-worthy rarities played every night.
What: Opening night of “Ghost”
Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
With film-to-stage adaptations comprising every second or third Broadway musical these days, their creators have to conjure inventive ideas within them – ideas that, hopefully, will cause patrons to line up and buy another ticket, and not re-rent the movie to get the show’s bad taste out of their mouths. “Ghost: The Musical,” based on Jerry Zucker’s cherished 1990 film, certainly has its distinguishing characteristics in the special effects department, which are likely some of the best seen onstage this side of a David Copperfield performance. Befitting its poltergeist theme, objects fly in the air, seemingly suspended from nothing, and in one blockbuster effect, a spirit appears to walk through a solid door. Critics have universally praised the show’s bells and whistles but have been more divided on its book and music; decide for yourself at this generously extended South Florida premiere, which runs through May 11.
What: Screening of “Being Flynn”
Where: Lynn University’s Amarnick-Goldstein Theater, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
The Palm Beach Poetry Festival isn’t just a January shindig anymore; occasionally, the organizers of this beloved nonprofit celebration host other events as well, such as this screening of the poetically grounded feature film “Being Flynn,” in acknowledgment of April as National Poetry Month. The indie dramedy—whose stellar cast includes Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore and Lili Taylor—is based on the memoir “Another Bull Shit Night in Suck City,” by Nick Flynn, who appeared in Delray Beach three months ago for the Poetry Fest. The film details Flynn’s combative relationship with his father, an arrogant writer who has descended into homelessness. The screening will be introduced by Lorraine Stanchich-Brown, a published poet and humanities professor at Nova Southeastern University.
What: Beer dinner
Where: Kapow!, 431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 6 p.m.
Contact: 561/347-7322, kapownoodlebar.com
This being Palm Beach County during season – even the tail end of season – chances are there’s still a great foodie event every week, if you just know where to look. This week, look no further than Mizner Park’s hippest noodle bar, Kapow!, which for one night only will offer a special menu collaboration with two great breweries, our own Funky Buddha from Oakland Park, and Cigar City from Tampa. The fermenters’ offerings will be paired with mouthwatering selections from Kapow! executive chef Caleb Holman. Among the four dishes, plus a dessert, are Thai red curry oxtail stew, pork belly poutine, and marinaded octopus, served with unique libations such as Maple Bacon Coffee Porter and Lue Gim Gong’s Orange Peel Pale Ale.
What: Opening night of SunFest
Where: Downtown West Palm Beach
When: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $30-$39 for one-day pass, $61-$71 for five-day pass
Contact: 561/659-5980, sunfest.com
The folks at West Palm Beach’s largest annual music festival have amassed another strong lineup and, as is often the case, its opening night is our favorite of the entire fest. Wednesday’s lineup is the most alternative rock-centric of the festival, including West Palm natives and Warner Brothers signees Surfer Blood, fresh off their hit 2013 release “Pythons” (6:30 p.m.); Dick Dale, the 76-year-old, indefatigable legend of the surf guitar (7 p.m.); Cake (pictured), the quirky, deadpan titans of literate slack-rock (8 p.m.), and Kid Rock, the genre-bending urban cowboy (8:30 p.m.). Visit SunFest’s website for the complete day-by-day breakdown, continuing through Sunday.
What: M. Ward
Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/564-1074, ticketmaster.com
Since 2008, Matthew Stephen Ward has been the “Him” in She & Him, the top-selling and adorable indie-folk duo he formed with the Zooey Deschanel, the fetching “She” in their sonic relationship. But on most of their songs, he’s singing duets written by Deschanel. To hear his unfettered genius as both a guitarist and a songwriter, you need to listen to the recordings released under his solo stage name, M. Ward. A musician’s musician—Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst famously chanted “M. Ward for president!” during a 2004 performance on “The Late Late Show”—Ward rose to critical prominence with 2003’s intricate and beautiful “Transfiguration of Vincent.” A more popular consciousness rose around M. Ward with 2006’s “Post-War,” an album that addressed the Iraq War and its deadly psychological aftermath as well as any album this side of Neil Young’s “Living With War.” And he just keeps getting better, with his most recent album, 2012’s “A Wasteland Companion,” striking a perfect Wardian balance between dancy guitar pop and fragile balladry. The opening act is the Merge Records band Mount Moriah, whose alt-country Americana is itself worth the price of admission.
What: Opening day of “Afghan War Rugs”
Where: Boca Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: Noon to 5 p.m.
Contact: 561/392-2500, bocamuseum.org
You don’t need to visit Afghanistan to know that it’s an intense place full of intense people. Even its knitting societies are intense; judging by this eye-opening exhibition of rugs, its artists don’t see much purpose in weaving images of flowers and trees and bowls of fruit, the pleasant still-lifes so often stitched into Western décor. The more than 40 Afghan rugs on display in this show, which date from the pre-Soviet invasion 1970s on through to present day, turn the reality of nearly perpetual war into therapeutic creativity. Planes, tanks, guns, bombs, deposed dictators, a childlike but chilling depiction of 9-11—these images recur time and again in these intricate rugs, crafted with tightly knitted wool that was handspun and dyed. The show runs through July 27.
What: “Cordoba | Miami: A Medieval Street Fair”
Where: Miami Theater Center, 9806 N.E. Second Ave., Miami Shores, and surrounding streets
When: Noon to 6 p.m.
Contact: 305/751-9550, mtcmiami.org
Some 3,000 attendees are expect to visit Miami Shores on Sunday for this one-time-only event, which will see the four blocks between 96th and 100th streets cordoned off for a street fair that harkens back to medieval Cordoba, Spain. In the family-friendly celebration, there will be jugglers, stilt walkers, a contortionist, flamenco and belly dancers, live music and art, and face painting. There also will be food trucks, which we are guessing did not exist in medieval Spain, but we’ll give them a pass on that one. The event is all in the service of Miami Theater Center’s much-anticipated new show, “Everybody Drinks the Same Water,” a parable about religious tolerance and togetherness, which hosts its opening night Saturday at 7.