What: Chris Berman
Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
When: 7:30 p.m.
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
As an athlete, you know you’ve arrived in the big leagues when Chris Berman has turned your name into an elaborate pun. When he eventually retires, the ESPN anchor will be remembered as much for his oddball sense of humor as for his analysis. His sly, goofy, occasionally brilliant nicknames for players include LaMarr “Where Does it” Hoyt, Chuck “New Kids on” Knoblauch, Scott “Supercalifragilisticexpiala” Brosius and my personal favorite, Hideo “Ain’t Gonna Work On Maggie’s Farm” Nomo. It takes a singular sort of genius to come up with material like this, and it has helped keep the outspoken commentator on ESPN’s airwaves since 1979, making him one of the network’s longest-tenured employees. At this rare appearance, courtesy of Broward College’s 2015 Speaker Series, the broadcaster known affectionately as “Boomer” will discuss the early days of ESPN—when it was, in his words, “a startup run out of a trailer”—on through its status as the nation’s sports authority, more than 30 years later.
What: Steve Earle & the Dukes
Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 954/564-1074, cultureroom.net
Not many country music stars would even think of hosting a radio program on the now-defunct liberal network Air America, but Steve Earle isn’t most country music stars. Growing up in San Antonio and Houston and later moving to Nashville, Earle gained his musical personality in these roots-music strongholds, worshipping at the altar of Townes Van Zandt and helping to invent the nascent genre of alternative country with his sensational debut, 1986’s “Guitar Town.” Since then, he’s released 14 other albums, surviving failed marriages, debilitating drug addiction and imprisonment in the process. The impressively bearded songsmith has turned much of this history of hard living into his fiction writing, his political activism and his timeless music, which has hopped genres from hard rock and psychedelic rock to bluegrass, folk and indie, with his die-hard fans expanding their musical consciousness along with him. He performs with his band The Dukes in support of their latest album, “Terraplane.”
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
What: Harid 2015 Spring Performances
Where: Countess de Hoernle Theater, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact: 561/997-2677, harid.edu
A classical Russian ballet, a Nina Simone tribute, and an excerpted dance from “The Sleeping Beauty” are among the selections at this annual showcase of the latest graduating class of the Harid, Boca Raton’s world-class dance academy. Four ballets, separated by a couple of intermissions, will provide a full program of surprises and repertoire favorites, opening with the U.S. premiere of “Miroirs,” Canada-based choreographer Mark Godden’s five-movement ballet to the music of Ravel. Next, the dancers will take on “The Garland Dance,” the “Sleeping Beauty” number associated with Aurora’s 16th birthday party. “It’s a nice piece for younger kids to get out their pointe shoes and show off their classical technique,” says Gordon Wright, director of the Harid. The program continues with Martin Fredmann’s “A Little Love,” which is performed to five Nina Simone compositions, and it concludes with “Paquita,” the Minkus ballet originally staged for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. It features a pas de deux, numerous soloists and a corps de ballet. “It’s done fairly often by schools, because it’s such a good show piece for kids and gives them a variety of challenges,” Wright says.
What: Brazilian Voices
Where: Arts Garage, 180 N.E. First St., Delray Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/450-6357, artsgarage.org
Musical director Loren Oliveira and internationally acclaimed vocalist Beatriz Malnic formed the Brazilian Voices choir in 2001 with the goal of stimulating social change through the multicultural exchange of music, acting as ambassadors for their country’s beloved bossa nova and samba. Their work has paid off in numerous awards, with the group accruing such accolades as Best Brazilian Group in the U.S. and Best Brazilian Samba Show in the U.S. from the International Brazilian Press—all from its home base in South Florida. The group, whose roster of heavenly vocalists can reach up to 40 singers onstage at one time, has excelled at themed genre crossovers from jazz, lounge and Afrobeat to its “Women of Rock” program, complete with guitars and drums. The choir sings some of its tunes in English, but even in Portuguese, its members’ voices are irresistible.
What: Opening night of “Barefoot in the Park”
Where: Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 N.W. Ninth St., Delray Beach
When: 2 and 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/272-1281, delraybeachplayhouse.org
Even theatergoers numbed to the ubiquity of Neil Simon comedies in South Florida can find reason to see “Barefoot in the Park” again. One of Simon’s most revered plays is also one of his most prestigious, originally running for three and a half years on Broadway, winning a Tony and helping to make a star out of Robert Redford; it has even been revived on the Great White Way twice since the turn of the 21st century, to great acclaim. Like “The Odd Couple,” it’s a comedy of culture-clashing pairs—two pairs, to be exact. A young newlywed couple, one of them free-spirited and the other more uptight, discover the emotional surprises only matrimony can bring, while dealing with the elders in their life: The wife’s long-suffering mother and the eccentric new neighbor in the New York City walk-up apartment. “Barefoot in the Park” runs through June 7 in this community theater production.
What: “The Evil Dead”
Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
When: 11:30 p.m.
Contact: 786/385-9689, gablescinema.com
When it was unleashed to the world at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982, Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” instantly attracted praise from none other than Stephen King, a tough sell when it comes to all things horror. Since then, the sky has been the limit for this movie turned multimedia franchise, a mix of grisly horror and black humor that returned $2.6 million on its $400,000 budget. It’s about five friends who gather at a cabin in the remote woods—a storytelling trope that has been Xeroxed countless times by low-budget horror auteurs—only to encounter a Sumerian version of the Book of the Dead and a tape recording of incantations. Pretty soon, as Wikipedia succinctly puts it, one character “is attacked and raped by demonically possessed trees,” and all Hell literally breaks loose. This is the movie that turned Raimi into a cult director and Bruce Campbell into a cult star, and this is your chance to see it for a discounted rate (plus free popcorn!), on its original 35mm projection format to boot.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
What: Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival
Where: Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events season in Delray isn’t over quite yet, but this Memorial Day tradition is one of the city’s last big hurrahs as spring melts into scorching summer. The Craft Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary at the cusp of downtown, where crafters from across the nation offer handmade wares for all price ranges, including paintings, jewelry, glasswork and pottery. Plus, there will be a Green Market with gourmet sauces, handmade soaps and live orchids.
MONDAY, MAY 25
What: Palm Beach Jerk and Caribbean Culture Festival
Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 W. Southern Blvd.
When: 2 to 11 p.m.
Contact: 561/247-1366, palmbeachjerkfestival.com
This Memorial Day staple enters its 12th year of presenting the best in reggae music and Caribbean culture to South Florida audiences, and it hopes to top its record-breaking attendance of 2014. This year’s live performers include the Grammy-winning Jamaican artist Beenie Man (pictured), who has earned his distinction as the world’s “King of Dancehall;” Romain Virgo, a “lovers rock” singer who won a vocal competition at age 17 and has since topped many charts with his cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me;” Morgan Heritage, the reggae five-piece with 20 years’ experience; and British-born Maxi Priest, whose sound fuses reggae with R&B. There also will be an art sale, a Kids Zone and plenty of food options, with vendors competing to win a “Jerk Cook Off” competition.