S.J. Watson at Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach; 7 p.m.; free; 561/279-7790 or www.murderonthebeach.com
All first-time novelists should be as lucky as S.J. Watson. Right out of the gate, his debut mystery, “Before I Go to Sleep,” made Amazon’s Best Books of the
Month for June, with critic Miriam Landis dubbing it “one of the best debut literary thrillers in recent years.” The book’s premise is delectable: It’s about Christine, an amnesiac who wakes up every day not knowing who she is. Her husband Ben is a stranger to her, and he has to explain her life to her every morning. The couple gets by until Christine discovers a passage from her daily journal that suggests she shouldn’t be trusting Ben. Sounds like a thriller version of “50 First Dates,” which is fine by me. Watson will speak and sign copies at this free event.
U2 at Sun Life Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami; 7 p.m.; $30 to $250; 888/346-7849 or www.ticketmaster.com
Though the concert is just two days away, U2 fans may still be crossing their fingers that it actually happens. As part of the band’s “360” tour, U2 was supposed to play South Florida July 9, 2010, only to cancel that date, among others, after Bono injured his back. At the time, when the band announced a summer 2011 make-up date, it seemed an eternity to wait; needless to say, this is one of South Florida’s most anticipated concerts of the year. Technically, the group is still supporting its 2009 release, “No Line on the Horizon,” but expect to hear an extra dollop of greatest hits -if only because Bono will feel guilty for making us wait a whole damn year.
Opening day of 60th Annual All Florida Juried Art Competition and Exhibition at Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $6 to $14; 561/392-2500 or www.bocamuseum.org
The state’s oldest annual juried art exhibition, All Florida, turns 60 this year. Typically the museum’s most popular exhibition of the year, the show gathers new work by familiar names and relative unknowns from Key West to Jacksonville for an art survey that is alternately soothing, shocking and occasionally perplexing. It is sure to put the “sex” in “sexagenarian.”
Opening night of Summer Shorts with Jai Rodriguez at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 7
p.m.; $45; 954/462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org
Since 1996, City Theatre’s “Summer Shorts” festival has been as static and unchanging as rush-hour traffic or a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast. An ensemble of mostly local actors perform two programs of eight to 10 one-act plays, pared down from hundreds of entries to fill the live-theatre lull each summer in Broward and Dade. Now, thanks in part to a plunge in state arts funding (from $25,000 to $2,448), the tried-and-true formula will be truncated to one program of nine shorts, with the added twist of a special guest. “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” cast member and Broadway star Jai Rodriguez will join the ensemble.
“Art After Dark”at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; 5 to 9 p.m.; $5 to $12; 561/832-5196 or www.norton.org
In celebration of its terrific costume show “Out of This World,” the Norton’s latest “Art After Dark” theme is science fiction. Titled “Superhero Thursday,” this week’s festivities include instructions on how to construct and design a futuristic fashion line, an acoustic performance by musician Suzanne Cannon, a figure-drawing demonstration and a screening of the 1987 Mel Brooks classic “Spaceballs.” To honor “Spaceballs,” the museum’s Cafe 1451 will be offering a three-course meal of “ball”-themed dishes: Tomato/mozzarella balls, meat balls and ice cream balls for about $24 bucks.
Psychedelic Furs at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 8 p.m.; $25; 954/564-1074 or www.cultureroom.net
The Psychedelic Furs tend to tour more than any other ’80s new wave act, playing South Florida at least once a year in hit-filled set lists that don’t tend to change much (after all, the band hasn’t released an album of new music since 1991, after which it went on a 10-year hiatus). But Richard Butler and company aren’t getting any younger, and I wouldn’t bank on many more appearances to come. Enjoy period classics like “Pretty in Pink,” “President Gas” and “Heartbreak Beat” on the intimate Culture Room stage, and dance like it’s 1984.
The Surfaris and Jacuzzi Boys on the 500 block of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach; 5 p.m.; free; 561/833-4660
The Surfaris may not be a familiar name, but you certainly know their biggest hit, “Wipe Out,” the surf anthem released in 1963. The second half of a 45 RPM single, “Wipe Out” is arguably the most famous B-side ever released. Hear them perform this and other wave-catching classics as part of the grand opening ceremony for the surf-themed restaurant Longboards, at 519 Clematis St. The excellent and most-buzzworthy Miami band Jacuzzi Boys will open the show in a rare appearance north of Dade.
Shabba Ranks at Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 10 p.m.; $30; 954/449-1025 or www.jointherevolution.net
For the past month or so, Revolution Live has been closed to the public for a super-cool reason: It was a filming location for the upcoming blockbuster movie adaptation of “Rock of Ages.” Back to business, Revolution will be hosting Jamaican dancehall legend and reggaeton pioneer Shabba Ranks. One of the first Jamaican deejays to gain worldwide acceptance, the gravel-voiced Ranks boasts an impressive resume, having worked with everyone from Chuck Berry to KRS-One. Tiger, Ichechi, Supa Twitch, King Waggy Tee and Richie D will perform as well, so expect an all-night party.
Kevro Art Bar’s Four-Year Anniversary Party at Kevro, 166 S.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach; 5 p.m.; free; 561/278-9675 or www.kevroart.com
Celebrate a local anniversary on Independence Day as one of downtown Delray Beach’s most popular hangouts turns 4 on the Fourth. Kevro’s is one of the area’s go-to places to see local open-mic talent, spawning the career of future “American Idol” contestant Brett Loewenstern, among others. At the anniversary party, which runs from 5 until late, singers, musicians, poets and comedians will perform, and local artists will participate in a “Collaborative Community Canvas Creation.” The venue also promises a great view of the city’s fireworks display.