Built to Spill at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 7:30 p.m.; $18; 954/564-1074 or www.cultureroom.net
The best thing to come out of Boise, Idaho since – I don’t know, corn? – the quintet Built to Spill has asserted itself among the hierarchy of indie rock royalty since it formed in 1992. Remaining an organic guitar-drum-and-bass group while other top acts have gravitated toward electronic instrumentation, Built to Spill began as a simple rock band with punk influences before constructing more complex arrangements with lengthy song durations and freewheeling guitar noodling, all featuring frontman Doug Martsch’s idiosyncratic lyrics. At its live shows, the group plays a balanced set list of hits and rarities past and present; tonight’s concert is an off-album show, so expect the song selection to be an even more unpredictable mixed bag. Helvetia and Sister Crayon will open the show.
“8” play reading at Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; 8 p.m.; $40; 561/586-6410 or www.lakeworthplayhouse.org
Granted, most play readings don’t cost $40, but this is no ordinary reading, and no ordinary play. Penned by award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “J. Edgar”), “8” is a dramatization of the real-life legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which in 2008 outlawed gay marriage in a state that had already ratified it. A cast of more than 20 will read from a work inspired by actual court transcripts, firsthand observations and interviews with plaintiffs and their families. A passion project for both Black and Lake Worth Playhouse Artistic Director Jodie Dixon-Mears, this reading will raise funds for the Playhouse, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Lake Worth and the Palm Beaches.
The XVII International Ballet Festival of Miami at Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $28 to $38; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
This year, Miami’s International Ballet Festival makes a cameo in Broward for this one-night only celebration of contemporary dance performance – an edgier, avant-garde departure from traditional ballet. Tonight’s production will include pieces by the award-winning Vortice Dance Company of Portugal – known for its powerful renditions of “Dracula” and “Soliloquy About Wonderland” – as well as the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, which concluded a prolific and edifying season in its home country this past May.
Chris Isaak at Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; $39.50 to $69.50; 305/673-7300 or www.livenation.com
Singer-songwriter and onetime VH1 “Sexiest Artist” nominee Chris Isaak is known for brooding, atmospheric and occasionally haunting songs like “Wicked Game” and “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing,” hits that were made iconic in movies by David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. But for his latest release, “Beyond the Sun” – his 15thalbum in an illustrious 28-year career – Isaak is fully surrendering to his rock roots, performing 25 songs originally recorded at legendary Sun Studios by the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and others. Expect to hear these indelible rock chestnuts alongside Isaak’s own material at tonight’s performance.
Optic Nerve Film Festival at Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 N.E. 125thSt., North Miami; 7 and 9 p.m.; $5 adults or $3 seniors and students; 305/893-6211 or www.mocanomi.org
There are filmmakers, and then there are visual artists whose medium happens to be cinema. Miami’s Optic Nerve Film Festival, now in its 14thprestigious year at the Museum of Contemporary Art, caters to the latter category, in which visual innovation trumps storytelling mechanics. Selected by an expert panel from 271 national submissions, the festival will present 16 films and videos running less than five minutes in length. Some of the most anticipated works include Bill Fontana’s “Acoustical Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge;” Lee Hunter’s horror-film-inspired “Last Night;” Yuliya Lanina’s “Dodo Valse,” a vision of Arcadian bliss; and Carl Despain’s “Timbre,” a stop-motion animation piece. Reservations are required, as space as limited.
Friday and Saturday
Kyle Ryan at Tamarac Theatre of Performing Arts, 7143 Pine Island Road, Tamarac; 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; $15; 954/726-7898 or www.ttopa.org
When he was in eighth grade, Coral Springs-based magician Kyle Ryan only won third place at his school’s talent show. Since then, he’s proven his mettle as an entertainer, winning more-prestigious awards from groups like the International Brothers of Magicians. In his act, audience participation is common, and Ryan is known for avoiding the clichés of yesterday’s magic – you won’t get any top hats, white rabbits or black canes. A regular performer at Beef O’Brady’s in Coral Springs as well as numerous private parties and corporate events, Ryan will bring his combination of “mind-blowing” magic and comedy to the Tamarac Theatre of Performing Arts, a theater venue that is expanding its programming repertoire.
“50 Artists/50 Bucks” at Armory Art Center, 1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach; 5:30 p.m.; $10; 561/832-1776 or www.armoryart.org
Fifty of South Florida’s best artists will be put to the test of time – literally – all evening, when they will be summoned to create an original work of art in just three hours. Spanning on all genres, the artists will be provided with a blank 16-by-20-inch canvas at 5:30 p.m.; at 8:30, the new works will be auctioned off starting at $50 each. Other than this description, a preview of the night’s specifics is up in the air, dependent on artists’ whims, which sounds pretty exciting to me. Participating artists include Anthony V. Pugliese III, Marvel Mejia, Frances Lynn, Ariel Bowman, Crystal Bacchus and Casey Waterman. The $10 cover includes a glass of wine or beer, and food trucks will supply the nosh.
Screening of “Broken Embraces” at Mandel Public Library, 411 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 2 p.m.; free; 561/868-7701 or www.mycitylibrary.org
“Broken Embraces,” from 2009, may go down in history as one of the most underrated films in the career of Spanish virtuoso Pedro Almodovar. Preceded and followed by such sensational box-office successes as “Bad Education” and “The Skin I Live In,” it’s easy to overlook this equally stunning work of pure cinema, the director’s foremost tribute to his medium of choice. Rooted in film-history iconography – Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, Roman Polanski, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe echo across its canvas – this motley drama follows a blind writer and former filmmaker forced to reconstruct a past life involving an ever-shifting object of desire, aptly played by Penelope Cruz. This afternoon’s screening is part of the library’s “iCinema” series.