Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Week Ahead: May 20 to 26


What: Sick Puppies Comedy Troupe

Where: Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $15, with a two-drink minimum

Contact: 561/833-1812,

For the past year and a half, Boca Raton’s only improv comedy troupe, the Sick Puppies, have built a devoted, often sold-out following with their monthly shows at the Showtime Theater in Royal Palm Place. But recently, the Puppies have gotten sicker, expanding their reach to other amenable venues in the tri-county area. Wednesday marks the team’s first appearance at the estimable Palm Beach Improv, South Florida’s largest comedy club, for an improv show with a twist: Standup comedians will perform their own scripted material, and the attentive Puppies will absorb every word of it and then perform improvised sketches based on the comedians’ content.

What: Jean-Michel Cousteau

Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35.05 to $101.75

Contact: 954/462-0222,

The first son of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has followed in his father’s wet footsteps, first diving into the ocean with an aqualung at age 7. Though he has had several public and legal run-ins with his father, Cousteau has nonetheless forged his own career in a similar field, producing some 70 environmental films since 1993 – one of which, “Voyage to Kure,” prompted President George W. Bush to designate a marine monument in northwestern Hawaii as one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world. The author of “My Father, My Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau” will conclude the Broward Center’s inaugural speaker series.


What: BBAD Live!

Where: Boynton Beach Arts District, 410 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach

When: 7 to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free


It’s that wonderful time of the month again, when the Boynton Beach Arts District opens its gallery studios well into the night, and live bands and open-mic performers join food and merch vendors for a night of funky and eclectic entertainment. This week’s BBAD Live event is a special one, because it includes a performance from headlining act Timb! (pictured), a veteran singer-songwriter from South Florida who is an endless fount of creativity. He’s sort of like our region’s answer to Robert Pollard, boasting 10 jam-packed solo albums, a number of EPs and tributes to other bands, and side projects ranging from the psychedelic band Los Torsos to the intriguingly named act The Chocolatey Shatners. Check out his website, where he gives away many of his releases for free.


What: Opening night of “Thrill Me”

Where: Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $20-$30

Contact: 866/811-4111,

Outre Theater Company, the Boca-based company known for producing unusual and edgy works, has its strongest track record when it explores pared-down material, drawing outsized emotion from minimal resources. And as far as musicals go, they don’t get much more minimalist than “Thrill Me,” from writer-composer Stephen Dolginoff. It’s an account of the Leopold and Loeb murder case, in which the titular killers comprise the entire cast, and a solo piano provides the music. Played in this production by Mike Westrich and Conor Walton, Leopold and Loeb brought theatricality to their deed, famously slaughtering a 13-year-old boy in 1924 in their efforts to “commit the perfect crime.” If such a phrase sounds Hitchcockian, it’s because it is: Hitch’s “Rope” was one of the many works of art to take its inspiration from the case. But expect “Thrill Me” to better analyze the psyches of these “thrill killers.” According to artistic director Skye Whitcomb, “their love for each other is so dark, so twisted, that it fascinates and repels us at the same time.”

What: Eldar Djangirov Jazz Trio

Where: Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $40

Contact: 561/243-7922,

Born in the Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan, jazz musician Eldar Djangirov was no slouch as a child: He started playing piano at the ripe old age of 3. At age 9, he was discovered by New York City jazz aficionado Charles McWhorter, who saw Djangoriv perform at a festival in Serbia; he then established his virtuosity in the States, most notably Kansas City. Seemingly born with a profound understanding of the 88 keys, Djangirov just may be the reincarnation of Art Tatum. En route to the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Djangirov will make this rare South Florida stop, accompanied by bassist Armando Gola and drummer Alfonso Ludwig.


What: Blackalicious

Where: Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $15-$20

Contact: 305/377-2277,

California-based hip-hop duo Blackalicious often concludes its set lists with the song “Chemical Calisthenics,” in which vocalist Gift of Gab—an appropriate stage name if there ever was one—raps through much of the periodic table of the elements and describes, with wit and gusto, how they play off each other. It’s both wickedly catchy and actually educational, something They Might Be Giants could have written if they ever decided to pursue a hip-hop career. The song, while showcasing DJ/producer Chief Xcel’s musical eclecticism, is illustrative of Blackalicious’ lyrical penchant for brainy esoterica, which has helped the duo foster a fan base of indie rock nerds like myself. This rare and implausibly affordable tour appearance will support Blackalicious’ recent digital reissue of its groundbreaking first EP, “Melodica,” and will likely include some songs from its forthcoming album “Emoni.”


What: Memorial Day Comedy Festival

Where: James L. Knight Center, 400 S.E. Second Ave., Miami

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $38.50-$86

Contact: 305/416-5978,

An Earthquake is coming to South Florida. Thankfully, I’m only talking about the comedian Earthquake, lesser known as Nathaniel Martin Stroman, a former U.S. Air Force Sergeant who shifted his career to standup comedy and enjoyed a recurring role on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Chris.” Earthquake will shake up, and headline, the popular Memorial Day Comedy Festival, now an annual Miami tradition entering its seventh year. The opening comics include Peabody award-winning radio personality J. Anthony Brown, cop-turned-comic Gary Owen, and actress/comedienne Luenell.

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