Weekend preview: Romance, kittens, beer and other good causes

Ross B. says the singles gathered for the 16th annual Bachelor and Bachelorette Dream Date Auction in downtown Fort Lauderdale Friday night will get a glimpse into the future when he hosts the event with Mrs. B., also known as sassy Y100 radio personality Ninalicia.

“We fight and bicker like an old married couple, onstage, in front of people,” Ross says. “She’s got a very strong Spanish, Venezuelan personality. And she lets the crowd know if I did something wrong onstage.”

OK, we think he’s kidding. It’s just his little jest at the expense of his media-star wife. This is how you roll when your wife knows you still hold the $10,000 bidding record for a bachelor at the Dream Date event. What’s more, it had to be split between two women who wanted him.

“I have no freaking clue why,” Ross says of his popularity. “But it’s an important cause.”

Ross, who began his affiliation with the Dream Date Auction more than six years ago while on the job with his event-planning company Rock With U Entertainment, now donates his time to help Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, which raises money to grant wishes for local children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The auction will feature special date packages with South Florida singles on the catwalk at Off the Hookah (111 SW Second Ave.) in the Himmarshee District. Raffles and food and drink specials are part of the auction, which has raised $425,000, enough to grant 85 wishes.

In a chat before last year’s auction, Ninalicia said she might be tempted to spend $10,000 for a dream date with Michael Buble, in which she imagined him crooning to her into the night.

Ross isn’t much of a crooner (“No, I don’t sing. I’m screwed,” he says with a laugh), but he understands the attraction. His own dream date would include the vocal stylings of Sofia Vergara or Kate Upton. Maybe both.

“Yes, if they came to my house one day, they’d be allowed to hang out,” he says.

The Make-A-Wish Dream Date Auction is at 8 p.m. Friday, with doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $30 advance, $35 at the door (includes two drinks), $75 VIP (includes open bar) Info: DreamDateAuction.net, SFLA.Wish.org.

Of course, you've had high hopes for the new Mary N. Porter Riverview Ballroom that is part of the Broward Center’s beautiful Huizenga Pavilion expansion along the New River. And maybe you made a list of acts you wanted to see when the room made its public debut. But even you could not have predicted they’d book JohnnySwim, the soulful Los Angeles duo of Jacksonville native Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez, daughter of the legendary Donna Summer. If you saw them on Daryl Hall’s “Live From Daryl's House” a few months ago, then you know. The Riverview Ballroom will open July 27 with an 8 p.m. performance by JohnnySwim. Tickets: $22.50. Info: BrowardCenter.org.

Home-brewing Miami Dolphins Pro Bowler Brandon Fields will be at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park on Sunday to get a taste of a beer he helped create for a good cause. The Turtle Power for James Edwards Fundraiser will begin at noon, with 100 percent of the proceeds helping to cover medical costs for James Edwards, a 2-year-old who nearly drowned in the pool of his Coral Springs home. The beer, called Turtle Power to salute James’ heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, mimics the candy with elements of caramel, chocolate and pecans. The Funky Buddha is at 1201 NE 38th St., in Oakland Park. Hit the link for more on the Turtle Power for James Edwards Fundraiser


A technology-linked kerfuffle over access to the recently announced $20 tickets for the inaugural Coral Skies Music Festival has prompted host Live Nation to extend the deal through 11:45 p.m. Monday, July 21. The lineup for the Oct. 26 concert at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach includes Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas and the Voidz, City and Colour, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bleachers, Tokyo Police Club and the Hold Steady, among others. Info: CoralSkiesFest.com.

Saturday brings the annual RedEye ReBoot party at ArtServe (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) where live music, spoken word, dance, body art and other creative outletting will over-fill the downtown gallery on the edge of Holiday Park. It’s a worthy fundraiser for the eclectic ambitions of the nonprofit ArtServe,  a space that might host everything from graffiti artists to your daughter’s first piano recital, but it’s also a party well known for  attracting a quality crowd of scene shapers.  Tickets are $8 advance, $12 at the door.  VIP tickets are $40/$60 (and get you special parking and access to the VIP Lounge, where signature cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served). Info: ArtServe.org.

The charity-minded Bus Loop trolley tour on Saturday will hit spots from downtown Delray Beach to Delray Marketplace to raise money for the Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square. Cost is $30 advance, $35 at check-in, which gets you a free drink at spots such as Cabo Flats, Burt and Max's, TAP Global Beer Collection, the Vintage Tap, Shula Burger, Bella Amici, the Grind and O’Connor’s. For info on hotel deals and upcoming Loops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, go to BusLoop.org.

Here’s a random curiosity: Saturday night’s Cruzan Amphitheatre show by the Dave Matthews Band is sold out, but there are tickets remaining for Friday’s show.  Weird. Tickets are $40.50-$89.70 via Ticketmaster.com. Both shows start at 7 p.m., with DMB doing two sets (acoustic and electric), making them their own opening act. Be prompt!