Your Week Ahead: Dec. 11 to 17

A Tim Burton cult film gets the live symphonic treatment, a Grateful Dead tribute act throws a holiday party, and Infinite Abyss remixes a Dickens classic. Plus, Brian Wilson, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Indie Craft Bazaar and more in your week ahead.


WEDNESDAY

What: Brian Wilson

Where: Hard Rock Event Center, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $45-$105

Contact: 800/745-3000, myhrl.com

Most Christmas music, having been pumped relentlessly into the ambient soundscapes of life since roughly the first of November, has usually outstayed its welcome by the time of the holiday itself. That’s never been the case with the Beach Boys’ classic Christmas Album, though. On the contrary, I find excuses to drop the needle on it throughout the year, because the four-part harmonies are so rich, the music so lushly layered, the bells so jingly. Released in 1964, it contains its share of standards, but it’s the whimsical originals—like “Little Saint Nick” and “The Man With All the Toys”—that bring the most joy to the world. For the first time, the Beach Boys’ bandleader Brian Wilson will perform the album in its entirety, along with selections from What I Really Want for Christmas, his solo album of 2005. Current and former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin will help him deck the halls.

THURSDAY

What: Opening night of “Legally Blonde”

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

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $47-$60

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Come for the live bejeweled Chihuahua scampering across the stage; stay for the upbeat tunes, delightful choreography and feel-good message of women’s empowerment in a man’s world. OK, so the protagonist of this book turned movie turned musical—a sorority girl who charms her way into the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School in order to win back an ex-boyfriend—isn’t exactly Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But she’s a role model nonetheless, the daffy breaker of a hot-pink ceiling. Critics praised the 2007 Broadway premiere of “Legally Blonde” in spite of themselves, conceding the copious charms buried under reams of silliness and implausibility. Audiences were even kinder, contributing $1 million a week to the production. It’s taken the show 11 years to make it to South Florida regional theatre, courtesy of the Broward Center’s resident troupe, Slow Burn. It runs through Dec. 30.

What: Disney in Concert: “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”

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

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $35-$155

Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org

Surely the only animated Christmas movie in which a little boy finds a severed head in his stocking, Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a cult classic unlike any before or since. As influential for its striking, stop-motion animation style as for its macabre plot, it follows the machinations of Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween town, who stumbles through a portal into Christmas town and tries to unseat its more beneficent ruler, Santa Claus. The movie has been reissued in theaters three times in the 2000s, but this is an extra-special screening, with the South Florida Symphony Orchestra performing Danny Elfman’s transportive, Golden Globe nominated score live.

What: Opening night of “An Abyss Christmas Carol”

Where: The Foundry at Wilton Theater Factory, 2306 N. Dixie Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $25

Contact: 954/990-3622, infinite-abyss.org

If “The Nightmare Before Christmas” isn’t a spooky enough spin on holiday cheer, consider this original offering from Infinite Abyss, Fort Lauderdale’s horror-themed theatre company. “An Abyss Christmas Carol” transforms the intimate Foundry theater into a bar called Scrooge & Marley’s, a watering hole run by the tyrannical Ed Scrooge and bartended by his long-suffering employee, Benita Cratchit. It appears to be another humbug-ish Christmas Eve for both, until Ed’s late partner, Jake Marley, appears as a living corpse with a few lessons for his crotchety old friend. You know the rest of the Dickens story, but you’ve never seen it quite like this—an immersive and novel spin on a classic. Scrooge & Marley’s will be open, so do drink up! “An Abyss Christmas Carol” runs through Dec. 29.

FRIDAY

What: Opening day of “Shoplifters”

Where: Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

When: Show times pending

Cost: $6.50-$9.50

Contact: 561/549-2600, fau.livingroomtheaters.com

“Shoplifters,” the remarkable and heartbreaking new feature from Japanese humanist Hirokazu Kore-eda, follows a family of five on the margins of society, who live in a cramped dwelling, largely off the grandmother’s small pension, while stealing what they need from local merchants. Surprising, then, that this penurious, tight-knit group, which includes an disabled day laborer and a sex worker, would “adopt” another member—a 4-year-old girl named Yuri, whom they find outside the child’s abusive household and take in as their own. Teeming with rhythms and rituals, omens and superstitions, “Shoplifters” overflows with the joys, hardships and misgivings of life. Yuri sees the universe in a marble, and Kore-eda likewise sees all of life (and death) in this unorthodox family, whose illusory nature only unravels in the film’s stunning final act. As it muddies the moral clarity we associate with depictions of criminal behavior, “Shoplifters” upends our expectations with a gut punch few films share, critiquing its audience’s generous capacity to fill in relationships when none exist. It runs at least through Dec. 20.

What: Spiral Light with David Gans

Where: Gleason Room at the Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

When: 9 p.m.

Cost: $15

Contact: 305/673-7300, fillmoremb.com

The Grateful Dead never released a Christmas album, and aside from the occasional seasonal performance of “Run Run Rudolph,” the band tended to ignore yuletide sentiment in its set lists. That doesn’t mean the Dead’s legions of tribute artists can’t throw a rockin’, spirited Christmas party. On Friday, Delray Beach-based Spiral Light, South Florida’s eminent Grateful Dead tribute act, will welcome the holidays with a selection of Dead favorites supplemented by a psychedelic light show. The show is timed to honor the 53rdanniversary of the Dead’s first performance at the Fillmore West, and it will feature a Dead expert sitting in: Davis Gans, author, musician and host of SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Hour, will join Spiral Light and perform a “solo electric” opening set at 9 p.m. Arrive at 8 p.m. to speak with Gans and purchase a copy of his most recent book, This is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead.

SATURDAY

What: “The Chipper Experience!”

Where: Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $35

Contact: 561/832-7469, kravis.org

Growing up, Chipper Lowell’s father was a Ringling Bros. clown and his mother was a circus aerialist, so it’s safe to say that show business was ingrained in his blood from the time he was in the womb. But instead of following his parents into the Big Top, he became a professional magician, and over the past 20 years his act has evolved into a catcher’s mitt of talents and sub-specialties, from music and improvisational humor—he studied with the Groundlings—to astonishing illusions, canny mentalism, and even juggling, ventriloquism and prop comedy, delivered with a manic energy and a hyper-caffeinated relentlessness. Chipper, indeed!

SUNDAY

What: Indie Craft Bazaar

Where: Revolution Live, 100 S.W. Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: $5

Contact: indiecraftbazaar.com

This Sunday marks the final Indie Craft Bazaar of the season, which also means it’s your last opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind gifts for the special people on your Christmas list—whether it’s an artist print, a handmade shirt, an artisanal candle, a charming succulent, gemstone jewelry and much more: More than 65 local vendors are expected to offer new, vintage and repurposed arts, crafts and collectibles in the sprawling complex of Revolution Live, Stache and America’s Backyard. As always with ICB, the first 100 entrants receive a swag bag with gifts and coupons, and there will be food trucks on site all day. Free DIY holiday activities, henna tattoos and $3 mimosas sweeten the deal.