What: Laughs for Cats and Dogs
Where: The Shops at Boca Center, 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton
When: 6:30 p.m.
Glenn Miller is coming to Boca Raton. No, not that Glenn Miller—we’re not raising the dead here. This Glenn Miller is a talented local purveyor of comedy hypnosis, in which 20 eager volunteers line up onstage and wait for Miller, a certified member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, to lull them into a trance and then have some fun, whether it’s prompting his guests to strut across the stage like lingerie models or having them showcase their best Michael Jackson impersonation. Attendees at this fundraiser will experience all of this and more, with proceeds benefiting Tri County Animal Rescue. A reception will begin at 6:30, and Miller takes the stage at 7.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
What: “The Philadelphia Story” radio play
Where: Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Back in the late ‘30s and ‘40s, in the chaste world of movies and theater, the idea of a committed partner having an adulterous affair was strictly verboten. Thus was born the comedy of remarriage: Rather than stray extramaritally, the wandering party would divorce their spouse, have their fling, and ultimately—since the stories had to end happily, then as now—return to the fold. “The Philadelphia Story” was a classic example, if not the essential example, of this genre. The story, about a socialite whose wedding plans are disrupted by the reappearance of an ex-husband as well as the intrusion of a tabloid journalist, became a hit play in 1939 and an iconic MGM comedy in 1940, both of which resurrected the then-flatlining career of Katharine Hepburn. Throughout the 1940s, the story also inspired numerous radio adaptations, and this is the material Arts Garage will be exploring with the latest in its beloved Radio Theater series. Unlike shows such as “Dracula” and “War of the Worlds,” the domestic tumult of “The Philadelphia Story” doesn’t lend itself to obvious sound-effect theatrics, so it’ll be interesting to see where the Arts Garage’s cast and director take it.
What: Opening night of “A Five Star Life”
Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: Show times pending
Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com
There could be worse jobs than being a luxury hotel critic. Margherita Buy’s protagonist at the center of the Italian dramedy “A Five Star Life” lives out of an extravagant suitcase—jetting to one exotic location after another, staying a few days, judging everything from the wait staff’s demeanor to the amount of dust on the ice bucket, and secretly filing reports that could indicate, for the hotel in question, a dreaded lost star. But she’s a distant observer from that high life as much as she’s a reaper of its spoils. And her focus on career has led to a natural neglect of other things, like the suburban ideal of a steady partner and two children—a life her sister (Fabrizia Sacchi) struggles with to varying degrees. This smart, witty and universally appealing film is full of insights about the human condition and the choices we make, or don’t make. It runs 85 minutes and leaves you wanting more. “A Five Star Life” also opens Friday at Regal Shadowood in Boca Raton, Movies of Delray, Movies of Lake Worth and the Cosford Cinema in Coral Gables.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: Justin Willman
Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 250, West Palm Beach
When: Various show times
Cost: $20, plus two-drink minimum
Contact: 561/833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com
I swear I’m not writing about Justin Willman only because he hosted a Scrabble-themed game show (the short-lived “Scrabble Showdown,” in 2011 and 2012), though it doesn’t hurt that he helped to further democratize the world’s greatest board game. But mainly, I’m including him in this Week Ahead because he’s a nerd whose various skills have made him a much sought-after talent in the fields of comedy, magic and television hosting. The Missouri native and longtime host of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” began learning magic at age 12, after an attempt to impress local girls by riding a bicycle while wearing rollerblades led to the breaking of both of his arms. Magic became his recuperative therapy, and he’s never stopped; his style is to disarm you with seemingly spontaneous quips while performing invisible, and stunning, trickery. It has worked on celebrities from Hugh Jackman and Ellen DeGeneres to President Obama, when he performed at the White House in 2011. Catch both sides of Willman—the magician and the comedian—this weekend, in a dazzling program that could only be improved by the addition of cupcakes.
What: Pure Zeppelin
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com
Robert Plant is still making new and relevant music these days, but it’s no surprise that tunes from his old band, Led Zeppelin, still make up the lion’s share of most of his set lists. The hunger to hear Zep songs live hasn’t waned since the ‘70s, with newer, younger fans emerging every year. Tribute acts like Pure Zeppelin are helping to meet this perpetually rising demand, performing Zeppelin’s greatest hits on vintage instruments, while playing like—and looking like—Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones. Proceeds for this special fundraiser will benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Florida.
What: Randy Wayne White
Where: Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/279-7790, murderonthebeach.com
Author Randy Wayne White may have been born in Ashland, Ohio—aka “The World Headquarters of Nice People”—but like many spinners of grisly narrative webs, he found the climate and atmosphere of Southern Florida to be most conducive to his crime fiction. The adventurer and onetime fishing guide has been a resident of Southwest Florida since 1972, but it wasn’t until 1990 that he unveiled the character for which he is most known today: Doc Ford, a retired NSA agent and marine biologist whose adventures have led to a whopping 21 novels and his own theme restaurant, Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar & Grill on Sanibel Island. In 2012, though, White unveiled a new series heroine: a formidable fishing guide named Hannah Smith, who sounds like White’s own female avatar. He’s already published three Hannah Smith thrillers, and he’ll be in Delray Beach to discuss his latest, titled “Haunted,” in which Hannah tries to prevent a historic—and allegedly haunted—Palm Beach estate from being razed.
Photo by Amarpaul Kalirai
What: Tori Amos
Where: Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/673-7300, fillmoremb.com
In the early Aughts, in Orlando, I saw Tori Amos live for the same reason a good number of straight men have seen Tori Amos live: My significant other dragged me along. Because I didn’t understand her appeal, I hardly deserved to be breathing the same oxygen as this alt-pop icon—and I remember very little of the experience beyond the swelling eruptions of tears emanating from all corners of the arena. But I’ve come to accept that the problem is me; Tori Amos was, and still is, a very big deal for a very significant audience. This prolific singer-songwriter’s latest South Florida appearance comes on the heels of her 14th LP, “Unrepentant Geraldines,” and she’s been generously performing unexpected nuggets from nearly all of these albums on her current tour. She plays a different set list every night, which always includes at least two covers ranging from Billy Joel to Radiohead—and, at 50, her hair still looks awesome.