Opening night of “The Book of Mormon” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $44.50 to $159.50; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
A Biblical allusion seems appropriate when describing this Tony-winning musical from South Park infant terribles Trey Parker and Matt Stone: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the average person to snag a ticket to “Mormon.” The hilariously blasphemous satire has been the hottest ticket for Broadway and its touring venues since the spring of 2011, with scalpers charging up to $1,000 apiece. The show even inspired a rash of counterfeiters peddling fake tickets. Co-created with Robert Lopez, the composer behind “Avenue Q,” “The Book of Mormon” is set in a remote Ugandan village, where two Mormon missionaries from Utah are having trouble selling their religion in an environment besot with poverty, famine, war and an oppressive dictator. Everyone knew the musical would be successful on Broadway, but even some Mormons themselves have embraced the humor of this crossover cultural landmark. The show runs through Dec. 22.
Johnny Marr at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $34.15; 954/564-1074 or www.cultureroom.net
As the guitarist for the iconic indie-pop legends The Smiths from 1982 to 1987, Johnny Marr was as responsible for the ascent of British New Wave miserablism as his band’s frontman, Morrissey. His oft-imitated, molten and grandiose sound made tracks like “How Soon is Now?” and “What Difference Does it Make?” into some of the most powerful guitar tracks of the past half-century. But his talent and versatility far outshine his contribution to The Smiths; since the band’s dissolution, he has played in Oasis, Modest Mouse, Happy Mondays, The The and other acts, telling an interviewer earlier this year that “I’ve been in all my favorite bands.” Now 50, he’s finally released his definitive album as a singer/songwriter/bandleader: a 12-track collection called “The Messenger” that is hooky and intelligent, guitar-driven and lyrically resonant. He’ll be supporting the album tonight, with opening act Meredith Sheldon.
Holiday Festival at Mizner Park Amphitheatre, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; free; 561/367-7073 or www.myboca.us
Nothing says “tis the season” quite like a man juggling chainsaws, right? As far as I’m concerned, all holiday cheer can have a little dose of Halloween in it; perhaps the airborne electric saws will be festooned with sleigh bells and tinsel for the occasion. At any rate, this show-stopping feat is just one facet in a full program of activities for all ages, including artificial snow, latkes, carolers, children’s crafts, and live entertainment from a fire-eater and a sky-scraping unicyclist. Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel will be on hand to lead the city’s ceremonial tree lighting at the end of the festival, which kicks off two months of seasonal activities titled “Light Up Downtown Boca.”
Thanksgiving at the Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 3 or 6 p.m.; $30 for dinner only, $41 for dinner and show; 954/563-3272 or www.maikai.com
The Mai-Kai is one of South Florida’s most iconic tourist traps, but you don’t need to be a dazzled foreigner to wander through its lush garden, enjoy its edifying Polynesian dance show or dine on its cuisine. It’s also, apparently, a fine place to enjoy Thanksgiving for those of us who find the idea of a day’s worth of cooking to be as appealing as a dentist’s visit. For today’s shows, the Mai-Kai has tailored its menu accordingly, eschewing its typical Asian fare for an American Thanksgiving feast of roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and apple or pumpkin pie.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra at The BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 4 and 8 p.m.; $46.50 to $85; 954/835-8000 or www.thebbtcenter.com
Rock music – the epic, thunderous, grandiose rock music that only makes sense in flamboyant arena settings full of long-haired middle-aged men with their fists in the air – will never be dead so long as Trans-Siberian Orchestra are keeping the tradition alive. Arguably the most prolific and profitable progressive rock act of the past two decades, Trans Siberian Orchestra has sold more than 8 million albums and even more concert tickets; indeed, TSO has staked its reputation on its spectacle-driven live shows, which integrate symphonies, lasers, pyrotechnics, video projection and other special effects. Today, they’ll be performing their 2004 Christmas album “The Lost Christmas Eve” for the final time in a concert setting. It’s a seasonal rock opera, with a full storyline, whose songs include “Christmas Dreams,” “Wizards in Winter” and “Christmas Canon Rock.”
Philippines Disaster Relief Benefit Concert at Mizner Park Amphitheatre, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 5 to 11 p.m.; free; 954/865-5394 or www.bicolclinic.org
We may be well into 2014 before the ultimate toll of Typhoon Haiyan can be accurately tallied in the devastated Philippines. Cities and countries all across the world have been helping to raise funds to rebuild the battered region and assist its newly homeless, and Boca Raton – no stranger to natural disasters – is doing its part, thanks to local physician Dr. Mitchell Schuster’s Bicol Clinic Foundation. Schuster’s relief nonprofit has amassed a stellar lineup of classic rock all-stars – including members of Little River Band (Wayne Nelson, pictured), Vanilla Fudge, The Hollies and The Livesays – to perform at this fundraiser. While admission is free, any and all donations are the order of the day, and will go toward disaster relief, food shipments and rebuilding.
Bonnie Raitt at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 8 p.m.; $59.50 to $89.50; 954/797-5531 or www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com
Bonnie Raitt has been making great music for longer than most people think. She released her first album, “Bonnie Raitt,” in 1971, but it took her 18 years—and bouts with alcohol and drug abuse—to achieve a top 20 Billboard record, rocketing to No. 1 with 1989’s “Nick of Time.” Raitt’s signature confection of ragged blues, rollicking country and heartbroken balladry refinished in a slick studio polish finally found its niche in the 1990s, with three platinum albums to show for it. At 64, Raitt still sounds like an iconic blues banshee on her most recent album of new music, 2012’s reggae-inflected “Slipstream.” For this tour, she is supporting her 2013 release “Now & Then,” her first-career-spanning double-disc retrospective, so expect to hear a good deal of her greatest hits.
Saturday and Sunday
Thanksgiving Weekend Art Festival in Downtown Delray Beach, at the intersection of Fourth and Atlantic avenues; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; free; 561/746-6615 or www.artfestival.com
As “South Park” has so brutally satirized it in its recent episodes, Black Friday is a war zone that no rational human should endure without full protective body armor – not to mention the patience required to circle a parking lot in maddening loops and fight angry shoppers over the cherished real estate of a newly vacant spot. And it’s not just Friday anymore; the insanity has stretched over the weekend, and I wouldn’t want to appear within a five-mile radius of Town Center or Delray Marketplace at any point. Instead, buy your gifts by supporting the artists and crafters who made them by hand at this downtown Delray tradition, now in its 14th year. Paintings, photography, glassware, jewelry, fiber art, mixed media and more will be shown and sold. And it’s a juried festival, so only the best vetted artists can participate.