What: Opening night of “Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy”

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $34.75 to $114.75

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Monkeys, lizards and giraffes, oh my! These are just three examples of the colorful fauna that will hop and jump and slither across the stage during “Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy,” the critically acclaimed Broadway hit from stage impresario Neil Goldberg. They won’t be real animals, but don’t tell it to the circus performers portraying them: “Jungle Fantasy” as an immersive journey into the wildlife of your dreams, complete with precarious balancing acts, soaring aerialism, remarkable juggling and award-nominated costumes. Par for the cirque course, you’ll see bodies effortlessly contort themselves into positions bodies aren’t supposed to inhabit. “Jungle Fantasy,” which holds the distinction of being the first cirque show to open on Broadway, runs through Sunday only at Broward Center.


What: Screenings of “The Shipment”

Where: Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

When: 6 and 8 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 813/220-1546, thinkingcaptheatre.com

As an appetizer before its Aug. 8 opening of Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee’s play “Church,” Fort Lauderdale’s Thinking Cap Theatre has joined forces with the area’s only single-screen art-house for a filmed version of one of Lee’s plays: “The Shipment,” first produced in New York in 2008. Lee, who runs a nonprofit company in the Big Apple that produces her work, has been called “one of the best experimental playwrights in America,” and “The Shipment” is right up her avant-garde alley. It is her attempt to create, as she put it, a “black identity politics show.” Five African-American actors take the stage, with a few basic props and otherwise no set. Driven as much by impromptu dance, music and body movement as by dialogue, the play explores hidden racial biases in a supposedly “post-racial” United States, and has garnered universal raves. 


What: Opening night of “Hot Days Cool Flicks” festival

Where: Movies of Delray, 7421 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

When: 4 p.m.

Cost: $10

Contact: 877/318-0071, palmbeachjewishfilm.org

The next Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival won’t commence for another six months. But the durable festival, which turns 25 in January, is not simply taking the summer off: It’s presenting six Jewish-themed films from the U.S., Israel and Poland—one film a week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays—at select Palm Beach County cinemas through Aug. 27. Future titles range from “Hora 79,” a documentary about a legendary Israeli folk-dancing troupe (Aug. 5-6); to the romantic slice-of-life American comedy “Dorfman in Love” (Aug. 12-13). The festivities kick off this week with the Palm Beach County premiere of “Dolphin Boy,” a touching documentary tearjerker about a traumatized Arab boy and the dolphins who brought him out of an abyss.


What: “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus LIVE”

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Men and women may never really understand each other—not completely—but you can’t blame John Gray for this communicative disparity. The relationship counselor has spent more than 20 years educating the world about the polarities between these two interplanetary species, to the tune of more than 50 million books sold and translated into 50 languages. He’s written 21 books about gender differences, but it’s his pioneering, enduring original, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, that has inspired this new one-man show in the vein of “Defending the Caveman.” Comedian Peter Story will star in a production that men and woman have agreed is equal parts hilarious and emotional—a good date activity, no matter what planet you’re from.


What: Aaron Lebos Reality

Where: Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25 to $35

Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org

A graduate in Jazz Performance at both the University of Miami and Florida International University, homegrown guitarist Aaron Lebos released a couple of respected jazz albums in 2010 and has been heard on live appearances by local chanteuse Nicole Henry. But it’s his latest project, Aaron Lebos Reality, that has been turning heads lately, more for what it isn’t than what it is. It’s hardly a traditional jazz album, taking the term “jazz fusion” to new directions. Like the best jazz, it’s unpredictable, full of melodic surprises. But it’s also loud, rollicking and absolutely rocking. Lebos recently told the Miami Herald that his latest album, Turning Point, is a “pretty aggressive record … far from what people might consider traditional jazz.” At this performance at Arts Garage, you’re likely to hear the influence of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Talking Heads and Bloc Party in an eclectic stew of rock, jazz, funk and world music.


What: Opening reception of “Dogs”

Where: Paul Fisher Gallery, 433 Flamingo Drive, West Palm Beach

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/832-5255, paulfisher.com

If you’ve ever thought a an art opening would be more fun with little furry friends scurrying about the gallery—and honestly, as a dog owner, I’ve entertained this thought many times—then now is your chance to help make it a reality. Four-legged friends are welcome at the opening of “Dogs,” a showcase of canine sculptures, paintings and drawings by Skip Hartzell. Whatever medium they’re presented in, Hartzell’s pooches endear themselves with a sort of primitive rawness: They seem as much informed by how dogs see the world as how we see them. Woofgang Bakery will offer special treats at Friday’s opening, and 20 percent of sales from this exhibition will benefit Furry Friends Rescue. The show runs through Aug. 26.


What: The first “Best Movie Fest Ever”

Where: Cinemark Palace and XS, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton

When: Various show times

Cost: $15 for three movies

Contact: 561/395-4695

More than any other chain cinema, Cinemark has done its share to exhibit not just new releases but re-mastered classics, presented in stunning high definition for a dedicated niche of film lovers. This tendency will expand over the coming months thanks to the “Best Movie Fest Ever,” a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox that will see some of the studio’s classic films enjoying new life on the silver screen. The monthly film series will begin Saturday with three classic musicals, running all day for the price of one ticket: “Hello, Dolly!” (11:15 a.m.), “Moulin Rouge” (2:20 p.m.) and “Oklahoma!” (5 p.m.). All of these musicals will be digitally restored, but the latter title is the biggest news of all: The Rodgers and Hammerstein warhorse will be presented in a 4K restoration, and will be screened at 30 frames per second, matching the movie’s frame rate when it was released in 1955. For laymen, that means the movie hasn’t looked this perfect since its opening in 1950s movie palaces. 

MONDAY (July 28)

What: Jefferson Starship

Where: Jazziz Nightlife, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $60

Contact: 561/300-0730, jazziz.com/nightlife

At its peak, Jefferson Airplane headlined the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969.  But the group only lasted seven influential years; by 1974, three of its members had re-emerged with Jefferson Starship, a name change that suggests an even higher flight into cosmic musical stratospheres. Steeped in science-fiction lore, Jefferson Starship’s irrepressible arena rock was decidedly of its time in the 1980s, meaning it looks and sounds affectionately cheesy today. But judging by recent set lists, the group’s more fatuous material of the ‘80s has been largely dispensed in favor of its earlier psychedelic/folk-rock approach. Recent set lists have included plenty of Jefferson Airplane material, along with covers by like-minded acts Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Catch the band perform all of this and much more on its 40th anniversary tour, in the intimate confines of Jazziz. (Jefferson Starship also performs Tuesday, July 29 at Jazziz.)