“Witches” prep their brooms and bikes for another ride for charity, the Delray Beach Historical Society celebrates the season, and Thinking Cap Theatre shows off its new digs. Plus, more local Halloween fun, and more in your week ahead.
What: Halloween Fall Fest
When: 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Delray Beach Historical Society campus, 3 N.E. First St., Delray Beach
Contact: 561/274-9578, delraybeachhistory.org
This eighth-annual, low-cost gathering in the heart of historically preserved Delray Beach is the best bang for your Halloween buck this spooky season. Bring the entire family and gallivant among the haystacks, as this Rotary Club-sponsored event includes a wide variety of activities, including a craft pumpkin patch, a costume contest, vintage games, a “ghostly” story hour and specialty baked goods, along with pizza, hot dogs, popcorn and adult beverages, plus a screening of the timely movie “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” The Delray Beach Historical Society’s current exhibits will be on display as well. The event is free for members—ever more reason to support this vital nonprofit with a membership.
What: Robert Watson: “Forgotten Frontlines: The Nazi Titanic”
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Levis JCC Sandler Center, 21050 95th Ave. S., Boca Raton
Contact: 561/852-3200, levisjcc.org
As resplendent in its design as it was nefarious in its function, the German ocean liner the SS Cap Arcona was considered the most impressive luxury liner since the Titanic. Built in 1927, the ship would, in fact, stand in for the Titanic in a failed propaganda film directed by Joseph Goebbels; it would later transport German soldiers and civilians across the Baltic Sea and, in its dark final days, become a mobile concentration camp on its way to becoming mistakenly bombed by the British Royal Air Force, suffering a fate not much different from the Titanic itself. We know much of its history thanks to the prolific Lynn University professor Robert Watson, who unearthed new information about the Cap Arcona for his celebrated 2017 book The Nazi Titanic, which Alan Dershowitz praised as “a must-read for anyone who cares about the brutality of war.” More recently, Watson directed a documentary film, “Forgotten Frontlines,” adapted from his book. This multimedia evening includes a screening of the hour-long movie followed by a discussion and book signing with Watson.
What: “Something Scary”
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: 102 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach
You probably know about Florida’s most (in)famous haunted attractions, from Fright Nights in West Palm Beach to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando. But for one night only, there’s a haunted house a lot closer to home that, given the early hours of operation, is probably a bit more kid-friendly than the gruesome revelry of these other purveyors. A ticket to “Something Scary,” produced in conjunction with Delray’s DDA, includes one visit to the haunted house, one meal box and unlimited games. The evening also includes a costume contest, a live DJ and dancing and a bake sale, with proceeds benefiting the Community Classroom Project. It’s part of a big night of events in downtown Delray Beach; just down Swinton, at the amphitheater at Old School Square, the Zac Brown tribute band Zac N’ Fried will take the stage for a free concert beginning at 7 p.m.
What: Opening night of “Tango Palace”
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Broward Center, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Cost: $45 ($20 for student rush tickets)
Contact: 954/462-0222, browardcenter.org
Following a yearlong residency at MAD Arts in Dania Beach, the semi-nomadic Thinking Cap Theatre (TCT) is changing its home venue for the 2023/2024 season. But thankfully, the company’s programming remains entrenched in the experimental and avant-garde, a space that it alone occupies in all of Broward and Palm Beach counties. TCT’s first production in Broward Center’s intimate, cabaret-style Abdo New River Room is “Tango Palace,” the debut play from renegade Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés (1930-2018). The play, a “tango” of sorts between an androgynous clown figure and a naïve youth, is defined by the playwright’s preference for character over plot, and by an absurdist, stylistic wit akin to Samuel Beckett, whose “Waiting For Godot” greatly inspired Fornés. A wild ride in the Off-Off-Broadway tradition, “Tango Palace” runs through Nov. 3.
What: Witches of Delray ride
When: 7 to 10 a.m.
Where: Downtown Delray Beach
Cost: Free to attend, but donations support the Achievement Centers for Children & Families
Contact: 561/266-0003, witchesofdelray.org
As far as we know, the hashtag #KeepDelrayWeird has never caught on, but if it did, events like this one would be central to the mythos. Always celebrated on the last Saturday of October, the Achievement Centers for Children & Families’ signature autumn fundraiser celebrates its 12th-annual event, once again welcoming hordes of grown-ups who get to play whimsical dress-up just like their beloved offspring. Expect to see plenty of pointy black hats, brooms and maybe even some pale-green face paint as teams of cyclists propel their decorated bikes to the finish line. Some costumes take a liberal approach to witchy wear—favoring a Day of the Dead or kitschy flamingo theme—which is all in good fun. At the end of the course, which traverses A1A and Atlantic Avenue, prizes are typically awarded for Best Decorated Bike, Best Witch Costume and Best Witch Cackle.