Letterpress Appreciation Day Open House at FAU’s Wimberly Library, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 3 to 8:30 p.m.; free; 561/297-0455 or www.jaffecollection.org
Letterpresses are the kind of inventions that need to be appreciated every now and then, lest they go the way of the Polaroid camera, the landline and (sigh) 35mm film. Purists of the printing form, invented in its original incarnation by Johannes Gutenberg, still stand by the method, and for years, the Jaffe Center for the Book Arts at FAU has welcomed many of its top practitioners to exhibit their letterpress art at the university. So naturally, the Jaffe Center at FAU is South Florida’s prime location for the national Letterpress Appreciation Day, hosted every 9/18 and based on the standard height of wood and metal type – 0.918 inches (where would we be without geeks?). The day includes tours of the center’s letterpress studio and will offer guests the opportunity to print something on its antique Wesel Iron Handpress. The event is free, but donations are welcome.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Tastemakers of Mizner Park at various Boca Raton restaurants; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; $30; 561/362-0606 or www.miznerpark.com/events/tastemakers
If the walking distance in last month’s Tastemakers of Delray Beach felt like an Olympian challenge, then this week’s Tastemakers of Mizner Park is for you – a more casual stroll through a more confined area, where nine of the park’s restaurants will present samples of signature dishes paired with mouth-watering libations. It promises something for everyone: Seafood lovers can partake in the shrimp ceviche at Max’s Grille or the crab cake sliders at Truluck’s, and an array of worldly restaurants offer the best in Italian (tagliatelle Bolognese at Tanzy), Mexican (pineapple bacon guacamole at Uncle Julio’s), Japanese (chicken fried rice at Kapow!) and Irish (shepherd’s pie with Guinness mac and cheese at the Dubliner, my expected favorite for the evening). Bidding will be open for a silent auction on both nights, and ticket-buyers will receive a book with discounts for the supporting restaurants.
Anderson Cooper at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 8 p.m.; $44 to $89; 954/797-5531 or www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com
The silver-haired, giggly host of both daytime fluff-talk and nighttime news-talk, Anderson Cooper is arguably the only reason CNN gets any viewers at all from its anemic prime-time lineup. A magnet for world tragedies that, in many cases, the rest of the media ignores, Cooper is known for on-the-ground reporting of events like the Rwandan genocide, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and famine in Niger. This hardscrabble, shoe-leather journalism makes for a stark contrast with his day job interviewing celebrities, but so far, he’s been a shrewd enough businessman and personality to pull them both off. For me, his best contribution to the political dialogue has been his “Keeping them Honest” segments, which speak truth to power – a rarity indeed in the corporate-owned landscape of cable news. In this live tour, Anderson will address politics, the news business and current events.
Irvine Welsh at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 8 p.m.; 305/442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com
Writing what you know is one thing; re-writing your best material borders on the lazy and self-indulgent. But before we accuse Irvine Welsh of doing so in his new book “Skagboys” – which revisits the ne’er-do-wells of his 1993 debut “Trainspotting” in prequel form – it might behoove us to look at the reviews. Early notices of “Skagboys,” which hits bookstores this week, have called it “the voice of punk, grown wiser and more eloquent” and “haunting and elegiac,” while addressing, in an early 1980s setting, an environment of income inequality and middling opportunity that resounds in today’s economic climate. At any rate, if “Skagboys” is half as controversial as “Trainspotting,” it will be one of the most talked-about books of 2012.
Opening night of “Diary of a Madman” at Mosaic Theatre, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation; 8 p.m.; $15 to $40; 954/577-8243 or www.mosaictheatre.com
The bureaucratic nightmares of so many great Franz Kafka stories have a clear, if underrated, antecedent in “Diary of a Madman,” an 1835 farce from Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. The story dramatizes the fantastical diary of a low-ranking civil servant in czarist Russia, whose unrequited passion for an official’s daughter leads to a descent into madness, tempered only by his phantasmagoric imagination. A theatrical version of “Diary of a Madman” became a recent hit in New York City, co-written and starring Hollywood actor Geoffrey Rush. This is the version that will be presented at Mosaic, with actor Ken Clement cast in the tour-de-force lead role alongside Betsy Graver. The production runs through Oct. 14.
EVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour at the Seagate Hotel and Spa, 1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free; 561/279-1380 or www.evptour.com
Thanks in part to efforts by the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative, the Extreme Volleyball Professionals will invade Delray Beach, for the second year in a row, for their $6,000 national championship. The “city vs. city” structure will feature Delray Beach’s own top volleyballers vying against 23 other professional teams from across the country. The fun ‘n’ sun continues on Sunday, at the same location, with the Sunshine State Games, another tournament that is free and open to the public to watch. Expect the Seagate’s beach volleyball courts to be jam-packed for these events; it is recommended to show up before 8 a.m. to have a prime view of the action.
Opening performance of “Pablo Cano: The Toy Box” at Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 N.E. 125thSt., North Miami; 2 p.m.; $10 to $15; 305/893-6211 or www.mocanomi.org
When classical composer Claude Debussy originally conceived his children’s ballet “La Boite a Joujoux” in 1913, he intended this love story between three dolls to performed with marionettes. The limitations of his time never allowed this to happen, and that’s where contemporary Miami artist Pablo Cano comes in. Cano created the marionettes from found objects – his ballerinas, monarchs, soldiers, elephants and ducks were created in a Cubist style from such non-traditional materials as coffee cups, vintage piano keys and seat cushions. With a set design inspired by the pioneering German Expressionist film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” Cano first realized Debussy’s dream in 2004 in a puppet show he called “The Toy Box.” It’s back at MoCA in North Miami for a limited run in honor of Debussy’s 150th birthday, with live piano accompaniment. There will be four additional performances through Nov. 3, and when not in performance, the marionettes and stage set will be displayed in the museum’s main gallery.
South Florida Ballet Theatre at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 6 p.m.; $20 to $50; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
In this one-night only twilight gala, South Florida Ballet Theatre will pay tribute to the greatest pas de deux – a fancy dance term denoting duets in classical ballet – of all-time. National and international ballet dancers will perform “Coppelia Pas de Deux,” “Diana and Actaeon,” Act III of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Flames of Paris,” “Remember Me,” “Peter and the Wolf” and other important numbers.