Kevin James at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 8 p.m.; starting at $25; 561/832-7469 or www.kravis.org
Last September, envious entertainment and real estate bloggers gushed over the news that comedian Kevin James purchased an $18.5 million mansion in Delray Beach. Word has it he may be settled in; he was spotted a couple of times at Gary Rack’s Fish House + Oyster Bar in the span of a week recently. If the “King of Queens” funnyman is indeed a permanent South Florida resident, we may get more shows like this one. James’ cinematic output has been spotty – insert derisive joke here about “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” or “Here Comes the Broom” – but he’s still a comic powerhouse when on a stage by himself.
Darren McGrady at Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 2 p.m.; $25; 561/243-7922 or delraycenterforthearts.com
Surprisingly, as the British royal family’s pastry chef turned personal chef for Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana for 15 years, Darren McGrady describes his salary as “pretty lousy” in his 2007 book “Eating Royally.” But he’s not complaining; after all, he got to hobnob with world leaders, provide kings and queens with potent sugar rushes, sail in the HMY Britannia, attend annual balls and charity events at Buckingham Palace and travel to places like New Zealand, Nepal, France, Italy, Cypress and the Channel Islands. And today he’ll be here in Delray, discussing royal eating habits and some of his employers’ favorite recipes, like “Her Majesty’s Birthday Chocolate Cake” and “Poached Eggs Suzettes.” Joe Gillie, artistic director at Delray Center for the Arts, has assured us that a cooking demonstration will be a part of McGrady’s lecture, so come hungry.
Opening night of “Lysistrata” at Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 7 p.m.; $20; 800/564-9539 or www.fauevents.com
It turns out that one of the world’s earliest sex comedies is also one of its most insightful, at least in the hands of modern translators. Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” originally performed in classical Athens in 411 B.C., is built on an ingenious premise: To end the Peloponnesian War, its title character leads a revolt in which the women of Greece will withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers until the warring factions negotiate a peace treaty. Sex being the universal language, it’s tempting to think a similar tactic couldn’t be attempted in our war-torn regions today; in fact, as recently as last year, a civil-rights lawyer in the African nation of Togo called on Togolese women to withhold sex to protest corrupt president Faure Gnassingbe. FAU’s theater department will take on this ambitious classic, which often has a cast of more than 20.
Opening night of “The Savannah Disputation” at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 7:30 p.m.; $45; 305/949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org
Moral relativism aside, all religions are not borne equal; even within large umbrellas like Christianity, you’re likely to find internecine squabbling. This is the premise behind Evan Smith’s southern-fried comedy “The Savannah Disputation,” which centers on a conflict between two Christian sects. In what looks to be marvelous casting, Barbara Bradshaw and Laura Turnbull play Roman Catholic sisters living in a quiet Georgia neighborhood. They’re soon visited by their new next-door neighbor, a perky Evangelical blonde (played by rising star Lindsey Forgey), who insists that the sisters be saved, lest they burn in eternal damnation. The ladies corral their local priest (John Felix) and, naturally, all hell breaks loose, regardless if any of these hidebound theologians actually end up there. The comedy runs through April 28 at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theatre, courtesy of Miami’s award-winning Zoetic Stage.
Bluegrass in the Pavilion at Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach; 3 p.m.; $30; 561/655-2833 or www.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” (Doyle rededicated his life to Christ in 1985) and its current release, “Roads Less Traveled.” The group will headline the Flagler Museum’s ninth annual Bluegrass in the Pavilion Concert, an essential afternoon for lovers of the fast-picking, harmonic music. They’ll be joined by Audie Blaylock & Redline, traditional blues artists with a boatload of No. 1 singles to their credit, and all proceeds will benefit the South Arts’ emergency planning for Gulf Coast cultural institutions.
Delray Beach Chorale at First Presbyterian Church, 33 Gleason St., Delray Beach; 3 p.m.; $20 adults, $5 students; 800/984-7282 or delraybeachchorale.org
The poster for Delray Beach Chorale’s latest event, “Bernstein and Sondheim,” depicts the titular composers superimposed on top of George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s chiseled faces on Mount Rushmore. Some may object to this, but any lover of musical theater would no doubt approve of this editorial suggestion. Backed with instrumental accompaniment, Delray Beach’s very own 60-voice chorale will play hit tunes from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, borrowing from shows like “West Side Story,” “On the Town,” “Sweeney Todd” and “A Little Night Music.” Stick around after the show for a reception.
Saturday and Sunday
Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach; 11:30 a.m. to around 9:30 p.m. both days; $149; www.tortugamusicfestival.com
As we previously reported here at bocamag.com, there’s a new music festival in town, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s no better location for it than Fort Lauderdale Beach, and no better cause than the Rock the Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit supporting ocean conservation efforts, which will receive proceeds from every ticket purchased. The lineup is a little bit country – Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and Jake Owen (pictured) are among the marquee acts – but the more you delve into the lineup, the more diversity appears, in the form of Americana (The Avett Brothers), pop-rock (Sister Hazel), classic rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd), reggae (the Wailers) and indie rock (Bright Light Social Hour), among other genres.
Sunday to April 16
Symphony of the Americas: “The Five Beethovens” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 2 p.m. Sunday and 8:15 p.m. April 15 and 16; $25 to $75; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
Symphony of the Americas has promised us a blockbuster finish to its landmark 25th anniversary season: Live performances of Beethoven’s five piano concertos, performed over a three-day period. This is newsworthy in itself, but this mini-festival’s performer makes this event a must-attend: It’ll be Conrad Tao, the 18-year-old prodigy who had already mastered Mozart around age 8. As well as being granted his own PBS special and winning eight consecutive ASCAP Young Composer awards, Tao is a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts; during all of this time, he even managed to enroll in a Columbia/Juilliard joint degree program and record a synthpop album. We think he’ll be the perfect match for Beethoven’s evocative concertos.