What: “Sunset Boulevard” radio theater
Where: Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 to $30
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” is known for its iconic images—the giant pool housing the corpse of the story’s dead narrator, and the decaying Hollywood manse where aging, delusional silent-screen diva Norma Desmond relives her once-glamorous past. For Wednesday’s Arts Garage Radio Theater season-closer, the talented production team won’t have visuals like that in their toolbox, which means you’ll have to conjure them yourselves in the limitless theater of the mind. What you will get are vintage sound effects, actors reading dramatically off script, and of course the great lines that have long outlived Gloria Swanson and William Holden: “All right, Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up” and “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small.”
What: Lily Tomlin
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 to $100
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Who knows what Lily Tomlin will want to talk about, or what persona she will inhabit at Wednesday’s Kravis engagement, though I’d be awfully surprised if it turned out to be a traditional stand-up gig. Tomlin, who claims she “wasn’t funny as a child” but honed her craft by studying the likes of Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca and others, has long established herself as one of the funniest comedians/actors in the country, not to mention an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. Her film roles have been eclectic and thoughtful, from 1975’s “Nashville” on through to 2007’s “The Walker,” but she’s still most known for her recurring telephone operator on Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In.” Here’s hoping she brings to life some of the other indelible characters she’s developed over her nearly 50-year television and Broadway career.
What: “Gerald Ford Superfreak”
Where: Backstage @ the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
When: 8:30 p.m.
Contact: 305/673-7300, madcattheatre.org
You may think of Gerald Ford as a minor figure in the annals of the American presidency—a man who was duly elected to neither his vice presidential nor presidential post, and who is remembered largely for pardoning his criminal predecessor and for inspiring the career of Chevy Chase. But according to the folks at Miami’s eccentric Mad Cat Theatre Company, there’s more to Ford than meets the eye; we just don’t know about it yet. Their world premiere workshop production “Gerald Ford Superfreak,” which runs for one night only as an appetizer to this year’s South Beach Comedy Festival, posits how decisions made during Ford’s brief presidency have rippled into the year 2112. Expect another wild ride in this offbeat comedy scripted by Mad Cat founder Paul Tei and company members Jessica Farr and Theo Reyna. Acclaimed actor Ricky Waugh will portray Ford.
What: Opening night of Palm Beach International Film Festival
Where: Cinemark Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($10.50 for regular festival screenings)
Contact: 561/362-0003, pbifilmfest.org
The 19th annual Palm Beach International Film Festival opens Thursday with a film that will likely see a larger release this spring, but you can be the first to see it while enjoying the lavish opening-night party at Bogart’s Bar and Grille, located on the second floor of Cinemark Palace. The film is called “Belle,” a socially conscious, fact-based costume drama about an illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral, whose dark skin denies her the privileges awarded to her class. It stars Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Gugu Mbatha Raw. Screenings of dozens of world, national and state premieres of features, documentaries and shorts will continue through April 10 at Cinemark Palace, Muvico Parisian at CityPlace, Cobb Downtown at the Gardens and the Stonzek Theater in Lake Worth. For reviews of a handful of festival entries, visit bocamag.com on Friday.
What: “Artists For Others” benefit concert
Where: Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, 1000 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan
When: 7 to 10 p.m.
Amy Grant’s legion of fans generally don’t need a motivation to see the six-time Grammy winner in concert. The Christian singer-songwriter turned crossover sensation, who is supporting her latest album “How Mercy Looks From Here,” will draw a large audience wherever she plays, but if you need some extra motivation, this gig in Manalapan is particularly inspiring. Grant is headlining the Eau Palm Beach Resort’s debut “Artists for Others” event, which will benefit Agape International Missions, which rescues children from sex trafficking. The event’s producers promise a sumptuous cocktail reception, a raffle of unique gifts and a full lineup of live music, including Kip Winger, formerly of the glam metal band Winger, along with live painting from David Garibaldi, the acclaimed performance painter from California.
What: Opening night of “Rhinoceros”
Where: FAU’s Studio One Theater, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 800/564-9539, fauevents.com
The FAU theater department’s 2013-2014 season, which has already offered up such handsome classics as “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” will conclude on its weirdest and arguably most ambitious note: “Rhinoceros,” the rarely staged, three-act masterwork by Eugene Ionesco, the theater world’s master of the absurd. It presents a small provincial French town in which only one inhabitant does not turn into a rhinoceros; in the process, the play examines mass movements, philosophy and morality. Gvozden Kopani, chair of FAU’s theater department, told me this last year: “You’re talking about mid-century drama, and Ionesco is generally a political commentator as well. He is dealing with the political struggles that you’d hear about prior to the Second World War and then immediately after the Second World War, and that is our struggle for political dominance between democracy and communism and fascism, and the individual’s struggle for identity.” “Rhinoceros” runs through April 13.
What: Amos Lee
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $37 to $47
Contact: 954/462-0222, parkerplayhouse.com
When a critic for the New York Times wrote about a product in 2011 as being “light amber, mildly sweet, a touch of grain,” he wasn’t writing about a brew. He was describing the “honeyed” voice of Amos Lee, a soul-pop exemplar of the American dream. In 2004, Lee was working two jobs as a second-grade teacher and bartender, while playing original songs at open-mic nights during his less-than-copious time off. It was then that a promoter discovered him and offered him an opportunity to open for BB King. The rest is history, with Norah Jones helping him secure a deal with the legendary Blue Note Records. He’s since been compared to Jones about as often as he’s compared to ‘90s-era Bob Dylan. Always in demand as a stellar opening act—for both of these aforementioned influences, by the way—Lee will bring his accessible, poetic blend of soul, rock and folk to the Parker Playhouse three years after hitting No. 1 on the Billboard charts with “Mission Bell,” his best album to date. His latest release is “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.”
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $6 per person, free for babies 18 months and younger
Contact: 561/544-8600, mizneramphitheater.com
Rather than take your little one to see “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” for the second or third time this weekend, why not take advantage of this special Easter-themed event at the Amphitheater? Egg-a-Palooza, sponsored by the Sun Sentinel’s South Florida Parenting newspaper, will feature a bevy of activities for audiences under a certain age, including an ongoing egg hunt—with the eggs filled with candy, toys or special prizes—visits from the Easter bunny, magic shows, a scavenger hunt, face painting, inflatables, games and contests. There will be food and drink vendors on-site, and participants are required to bring their own egg baskets.