Renee Fleming at Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; 3 p.m.; free for members, $15 for nonmembers to watch live telecast; 561/655-7227 or www.fourarts.org
There is apparently nothing Renee Fleming cannot sing. The soprano vocalist’s repertoire ranges from Mozart to Arcade Fire to jazz and opera; she is fluent in three languages and has performed operas in six of them. A natural comedian as well as an uncannily talented singer, Fleming has appeared on “Sesame Street” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Her impressive list of albums is as long as a wine list at a gourmet restaurant, and most of them are just as vintage, ensuring that she’ll have plenty to draw from at this exclusive lecture.
Leonard Cohen at James L. Knight Center, 400 S.E. Second Ave., Miami; 8 p.m.; 305/416-5970 or www.jlkc.com
When Leonard Cohen played the BankAtlantic Center in 2009, I’m sure I’m not alone in assuming that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the legendary poet and musician in concert. After all, at 75, Cohen wasn’t getting any younger, and touring is known for the wear and tear it places on the body. Surprisingly, though, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is back on the road, gracing South Florida once again with his presence in support of “Old Ideas,” his first release of new material in eight years. Expect another marathon set list similar, in length, to his epic, three-encore set at the BankAtlantic; his recent concerts have ran to 28 songs, with classics like “So Long, Marianne” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” sharing space with newer tracks like “Darkness” and “Going Home.”
Wednesday to Sunday
Twilight Bike Festival in Downtown Delray Beach; various start times and entry fees; 561/869-4916 or www.delraybeachtwilight.com
This second annual event may be the closest thing Palm Beach County has to the Running of the Bulls: a veritable stampede of hundreds of cyclists overtaking downtown Delray Beach, burning tar at speeds of 40 miles per hour, with hundreds of onlookers cheering them on. Aimed at professionals and amateurs alike and described by its promoters as “Mardi Gras meets the Tour de France,” the event surrounds its weekend races with a bevy of health and lifestyle events to comprise an entire festival of activity. There are live deejays, bike tricks, food and drink gatherings at area restaurants, free children’s activities, safety demonstrations and even stationary bike races, for the spinning crowd. Visit the festival’s website for complete details.
Friday to Sunday
Boca Bacchanal at various Boca Raton venues; 6 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday; $75 to $325; 561/395-6766 ext. 101 or www.bocabacchanal.com
Have you ever looked into the history of the term “bacchanal?” You’ll find some pretty wild parties, originally held in celebration of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus. Paintings of “bacchanalia” by artists such as Rubens and Leveque depict orgies of fleshy bodies in all sorts of postures you can’t show on television. In the past century, the word has taken on a kinder, gentler context, including benign references in “A Christmas Story” and the 2011 “Wizard of Oz” musical. And in the case of Boca Raton’s own Bacchus celebration, the Boca Bacchanal, it’s become one of the year’s most anticipated and sophisticated social events – the most fun foodies and wine buffs can have with their clothes on. This year, for the first time, the event’s organizers have switched up the lineup so that the Bacchus Bash, traditionally held on Saturday, will be presented Friday at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. The private dinners will be hosted Saturday, and the most popular and budget-friendly event, the Grand Tasting, will fill the Mizner Park Amphitheater on Sunday as usual.
Saturday and Sunday
“Romeo and Juliet” at Olympic Heights Performing Arts Theater, 20101 Lyons Road, Boca Raton; 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10 to $35; 561/995-0709 or www.bocaballet.org
Arguably the Shakespeare play most audiences know best – I believe its plot is recited to fetuses when they’re still in the womb – this story of star-crossed lovers has been recast in everything from “West Side Story” to “High School Musical.” Bolstered by a score from Sergey Prokofiev, the story has also had a lasting impact as a pas de deux ballet, and this weekend, Boca Ballet Theatre’s co-artistic director, Dan Guin, will be the latest choreographer to add his own contribution to the narrative’s rich ballet history. The American Ballet Theatre’s Sarah Smith, who launched her career with Boca Ballet Theatre at age 11, will portray Juliet, while Simon Bell, a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, will play Romeo.
Grand Opening Event at Delray Marketplace, 9025 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; free; delraymarket.com
The hottest news to hit Delray Beach since Old School Square’s name change, the all-new Delray Marketplace has finally made West Delray a desirable dining and cultural destination. I’ve already espoused the pleasures of Frank Theaters CineBowl and Grille, which opened in February along with many of the Marketplace’s shops and restaurants. But today’s Grand Opening celebration signals that the 254,000-square-foot complex is ready for prime time. Titled “Le Cirque Delray,” the daylong festival will feature family-friendly, circus-themed activities such as strolling entertainment and live music in the venue’s 200-seat amphitheater, along with tenant samplings of what the retailers and eateries have to offer.
Passion Pit at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 8 p.m.; $25 students, $50 general admission; 561/237-9000 or www.lynn.edu
Passion Pit has a habit of playing unusual South Florida venues, forgoing amphitheaters and mid-size clubs for spaces that don’t do normally house pop-music acts: Last fall the band played a typically energetic set at Young Circle in Hollywood, and tonight they’ll rock the soccer field at Lynn. This concert caps a particularly fertile period in the skyrocketing career of this acclaimed synth-pop group: Last year’s sophomore album “Gossamer” debuted at No. 4 at the Billboard 200, and it wasn’t long before they performed on “Saturday Night Live,” a rite of passage for any established band. Selling out Madison Square Garden in the midst of a snowstorm last month cemented what has been a banner season. Next year, perhaps they’ll find a South Florida hospital or retirement home to light up and sell out.
Rachel Maddow at University of Miami Field House, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables; 4 p.m.; ticket included with $15 purchase of Maddow’s book; 305/442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com
Something always told me that when Rachel Maddow would spend weeks in Afghanistan, hosting her MSNBC show from one of the most volatile regions on Earth, she wasn’t doing it for the buffet breakfasts at the Kabul Serena Hotel. More so than her colleagues in the liberal press, Maddow has always been intensely focused on the United States military and the wars it engages, and her passion for the subject, buttressed by her overseas reporting, resulted in her first book, the 2012 best-seller “Drift.” A witty and wonky study of the United States’ apparent taste for perpetual war, and the way our conflicts have been continually outsourced since Vietnam, “Drift” has earned praise across the political spectrum, even from ideological opposites like Roger Ailes of Fox News. This afternoon’s event, sponsored by Books & Books, will feature a conversation between Maddow and UM president Donna E. Shalala; those who purchase a copy of “Drift,” now in paperback, at Books & Books will receive a voucher for the program.