What: Opening night of the Second City
Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary Chicago-based troupe the Second City, a sketch-comedy and improv organization responsible for launching the careers of Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and countless others. With a talent roster like that, you can bet that only the crème de la crème of the comedy world will be permitted to grace a Second City Stage, and the touring performances provide fans the opportunity to see tomorrow’s stars today. This production, titled “Happily Ever Laughter,” will celebrate the institution’s half-century milestone with selections from its archives as well as new skits. The show continues through Sunday, April 13; look for a review of this performance on Friday at bocamag.com.
TUESDAY TO THURSDAY
What: “Alien Abduction” screenings
Where: Tower Theater, 1508 S.W. Eighth St., Miami
When: Show times vary
Cost: $8 to $10
Contact: 305/643-8706, towertheatermiami.com
The haunting visage of a bug-eyed alien fills the poster art for “Alien Abduction,” a horror film, distributed by IFC and produced with some South Florida talent, that is enjoying its Florida premiere this week at the Tower. But extraterrestrials are only part of the story, a found-footage thriller that many critics have lauded as a game-changer in this now-familiar genre. It’s inspired loosely on the Brown Mountain Lights UFO sightings in North Carolina, where, in first-time director Matty Beckerman’s movie, a family’s camping vacation begins to go horribly awry when they lose their GPS connection. Pretty soon, bird corpses are falling from the sky in terrifying hordes, and the family’s life is put in ever-increasing danger. I must say, even the trailer is pretty darn chilling, and if that’s any indication, “Alien Abduction” looks like a winner.
What: Fine Wines and Canines
Where: Monument Plaza at Royal Palm Place, at the corner of South Federal Highway and Southeast Mizner Boulevard
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $30 advance, $40 at door
Contact: 561/955-8553, propelyourfuture.com
More than 20 local restaurants will provide samples of their cuisine at this fifth annual fundraiser for the nonprofit organization PROPEL, which connects local at-risk youths with important role models. The cover charge is a modest one, especially considering the value of this cherished nonprofit and the entertainment bang for your buck. Canines are welcome, of course, so you can pooch-watch all the glamorous Boca Raton haute dogs over wine and nosh, while chatting it up with the evening’s special guests: New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley, Giants wide receiver Preston Parker, pop musician Kendra Erika and Ultimate Fighter Abel Trujillo.
What: Trampled Under Foot
Where: Delray Beach Center for the Arts
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/243-7922, delraycenterforthearts.org
This acclaimed blues act launched circa 2008 as a family band comprised of vocalist Danielle Schnebelen and her brothers Nick and Kris, whose maternal grandmother was a big band singer. But it’s on Trampled Under Foot’s third album, “Badlands,” released last summer, that the group fully established its reputation as a powerhouse, debuting at No. 1 on the Amazon and Billboard blues charts, and receiving a nomination for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards. Danielle Schnebelen’s incredible vocals can sing you to sleep or, when she wants them to, can peel the paint off your walls; the group’s version of “It’s a Man’s World” rivals the James Brown original in its raw intensity. It’s easy to see why critics and fans alike have gravitated to the band, which is named after a song by Led Zeppelin—a group likewise known to fuse blues riffs and rock energy.
What: The Dead Milkmen
Where: Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/377-2277, grandcentralmiami.com
Nerds have secretly been cool in pop music since the days of Buddy Holly. But the world of punk rock, with open invitation to all outcasts and stragglers, has been an especially fertile ground for geeks with three chords and sardonic senses of humor. Along with The Descendents, Philadelphia’s The Dead Milkman were the standard-bearers of proto-nerd-punk, releasing such tongue-in-cheek records as “Eat Your Paisley,” “Beelzebubba” and “Not Richard, But Dick” throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s. They even established an audio footprint on MTV with the endearing, catchy anthem “Punk Rock Girl.” In 2011, the group reunited for its first album in 16 years, “The King in Yellow,” and the Dead Milkman have been touring ever since, bringing their snotty sense of humor to the Miami for this rare appearance. Humbert and Sandratz will open the show.
What: Bluegrass in the Pavilion
Where: Flagler Museum, 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach
When: 3 p.m.
Contact: 561/655-2833, flaglermuseum.us
In the world of bluegrass, there are few figures more prominent than mandolin player Doyle Lawson, a student of the “founding father” of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Doyle and his Grammy-nominated group Quicksilver have released a whopping 35 albums since 1977, including last year’s “Sing Me a Song About Jesus” and its current release, “Roads Less Traveled.” The group once again will perform at the Flagler’s Bluegrass in the Pavilion event, the 10th annual concert for lovers of fast-picking, harmonic music. They’ll be joined on the intimate outdoor stage by Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, a group most known for winning the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year an unsurpassed seven consecutive years.
What: Dailey & Vincent
Where: Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach
When: 3 p.m.
Contact: 561/655-7226, fourarts.org
Doyle Lawson and Russell Moore aren’t the only hit bluegrass acts to rouse Palm Beachers this weekend; you can enjoy the rest of what has been dubbed Palm Beach Bluegrass Weekend by visiting the Society of the Four Arts for the final concert of its season, a special appearance by a group that has, in fact, performed with Lawson. Dailey & Vincent, which despite its name is usually a quintet, is a prolific band existing on the nexus of bluegrass, country and gospel; it has already released six albums since forming in 2007. Dailey & Vincent have received a whopping 13 awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and they received their second Grammy nomination last year; needless to say, this is a great “get” for the Society of the Four Arts.
SUNDAY AND MONDAY (APRIL 13-14)
What: Spyro Gyra
Where: JAZZIZ Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
When: 7 p.m.
Contact: 561/300-0730, jazziznightlife.com
Chances are that outside of cell biologists, most of us know very little about spirogyra, a genus of algae found in freshwater areas. There are more than 400 species of the algae, which is only slightly higher than the number of songs released by Spyro Gyra, the modern jazz supergroup whose name it inspired. The band formed in 1974 in Buffalo, which was, believe it or not, once a happening musical incubator akin to Chicago. Within a few years, the group, despite having only a couple of permanent members, became a dynamic live act and a top seller for MCA Records, mixing R&B, funk and pop into its smooth jazz framework. With 29 albums on its résumé, the group returned to its roots as a jam band for its latest record, 2013’s “The Rhineback Sessions,” an album entirely written and recorded over a three-day session in the Hudson Valley town of Rhinebeck.