For more than 30 years, radio wise guy Paul Castronovo’s affection for life in South Florida has encouraged him to critique and satirize its shortcomings, its lotioned and flip-flopped laissez faire, its “pyramid scheme of ineptitude and sloth,” to quote Pulitzer Prize-nominated Miami Beach poet Campbell McGrath.
But one of the things that has impressed Castronovo about the days that followed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been the passionate, articulate and organized response of Douglas students and other teens around South Florida.
Standing in the center of national media coverage about the tragedy, these young people may be changing the prevailing perception about this corner of the nation.
“The teenagers are blowing me away,” says Castronovo, the host of the eponymous morning-drive show on classic-rock radio station Big 105.9-FM. “On a national level, I think it’s shown that these kids have heart and soul and that they’re going places. And that they’re really pissed, and they’re doing something about it.”
On Feb. 19, after days of call-in catharsis and debate on “The Paul Castronovo Show” among students, parents, teachers, law enforcement, gun advocates and, unprompted, Sen. Marco Rubio, its host decided to create a fundraiser for the families affected by the shootings.
Taking place 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, at Anthony’s Runway 84 in Fort Lauderdale, the Meatballs & Martinis benefit will send all proceeds to the nonprofit Broward Education Foundation’s fundraising effort. The evening includes food and drink and a wide array of auction items (from resort stays to Smashing Pumpkins tickets and Dolphins-Jets tickets).
Sponsors include Plantation Ford, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Shaw-Ross International Importers.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Castronovo says, acknowledging that many of his celebrity friends will be on hand, and most of them called him before he called them.
Among the guests expected are Kim Bokamper, Helio Castroneves, Jeff Conine, Billy Corben, Dave Barry, Anthony Fasano, Ron Magill, Ryan Hunter-Reay and a certain Pro Football Hall of Famer.
“[Dan] Marino is the busiest guy I know, and he’s, like, ‘I’m coming,’ ” Castronovo says.
Tickets to the event cost $250 and went on sale 8 a.m. Wednesday. They were gone an hour later.
The son of an “expert marksman” and former special agent with the U.S. Customs Service, Castronovo owns a handgun, purchased years ago for personal protection. He has no patience with people who call his show advocating for the type of AR-15 weapon used at Douglas High School.
“Lots of parents I know — by the way, Republicans and Democrats — all of them are, like, this is BS. I don’t know anybody who can give me a good reason that you need to have that [weapon] unless you’re in the Army,” he says.
On March 24, Castronovo will be in Washington, D.C., with his family for the March for Our Lives rally. It was an idea brought to him by his 17-year-old son, a Boca Raton High School lacrosse player who faces Douglas High School twice a year.
“It was really neat to see that my son wanted to do this. Because, you know, teenage kids, they’re mostly caught up in their own lives,” Castronovo says. “When we were teenagers, all we cared about was where are we going to the beach and where can we get beer. It may have happened in the ’60s, this activism, but I don’t think I’ve seen it since.”
For more information, visit Facebook.com/PaulCastronovoShow.
Vibe Ultra Lounge in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday will host the MSDSTRONG Benefit, a fundraiser with a twist: It’s a teen-oriented, parents-optional affair. The 4-7 p.m. event, created by a group of community-minded Broward County high school students called Florida Girls Giving Back, will feature DJ Vinny Vinsane (recently a contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelorette”) and Y100’s DJ Frankie P. Tickets cost $20 in advance or $25 at the door (tax deductible), with food included (water and soda extra). Every dollar collected during the event will be matched by Florida Girls Giving Back. And, yes, kids, Vibe owner Tim Petrillo says you can check your parent at the door. For tickets and more information, visit MSDSTRONG.Eventbrite.com, FloridaGirlsGivingBack.org.
NEW FOUND GLORY
Coral Springs pop-punk heroes New Found Glory, with frontman Jordan Pundik and bassist Ian Grushka former students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have announced a #ParklandStrong benefit concert for the Broward Education Foundation fund on May 16 at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater, joined by Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Ryan Key, formerly of Yellowcard. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Monday, March 5, at PBAmp.com and AXS.com. In a statement, NFG said: “There are no words that we can say or do to fix this in any way, we wish to let you know that our hearts are heavy with the pain that this event has caused to so many. We want to stress that the most important part of the grieving process is to focus on the healing of those affected by this senseless act. As some of you may or may not know, half of our band went to MSD, so it is important to us that we do as much as we possibly can to help the school and families of the victims. They deserve our love, support and help, and we will help in any way we can.” Visit Facebook.com/NewFoundGlory.
BEER FOR GOOD
At noon Sunday, 26 Degree Brewing Co. in Pompano Beach will hold a fundraiser for the Broward Education Foundation’s Douglas High fund, with a silent auction, a fine lineup of music (the Copper Tones, the Shane Duncan Band and the All Access Band), and the donation of the day’s tips and proceeds from sales of their popular IPA1A, renamed MSDStrong. Visit Facebook.com/26Brewing.
BILL IS DUE
Comic actor Bill Murray reading James Thurber — this must be heaven, right? (Wait, is it just me?) Murray will be at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. Festival of the Arts Boca performance of “New Worlds,” a mashup of symphonic music led by cellist Jan Vogler (playing Saint-Saëns, Gershwin, Bach, Leonard Bernstein and Van Morrison) and readings of Thurber, Hemingway, Whitman and Twain. Tickets start at $75. Visit FestivalOfTheArtsBoca.org.
RIBS AND TUNES
Uproot Hootenanny, Maggie Baugh, Emily Brooke and Nikki Lickstein are among the locals performing at the WIRK Rib Roundup at Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach at noon Saturday with headliners Jake Owen, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and LANco. Tickets start at $30. Visit RibRoundupSouthFlorida.com.
NoBo Brewing in Boynton Beach will celebrate its first anniversary 1-6 p.m. Saturday with a cascade of 20-30 specialty releases, live music and food trucks. Along with such in-house temptations as NoBo’s HCB (Hazelnut Coffee Blonde) and Coconut Chocolate Russian Hacking, you’ll find guest pours from others in the South Florida brewing community, including Devour, Copperpoint, Due South, Accomplice, Bangin' Banjo and Holy Mackerel. Individual beer tickets will run $5 for 8 ounces to 12 ounces, depending on the beer. VIP tickets, good for unlimited samples and VIP-only beers in a signature NoBo anniversary glass, are $45. Visit Facebook.com/NoBoBrewing.
This is one of the Renaissance Festival’s more popular dress-the-part, themed weekends, “Bodacious Bodices & Wenches,” if we’re still allowed to say that. The festival is set up at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach through March 25. Tickets cost $25, $12 ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and younger. Visit RenFest.com.
BODACIOUS BODICES II
Local Hooters staffers will be competing this weekend to move closer to a spot in the 22nd annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant, which draws contestants from around the world for a shot at $30,000 and the cover of the next Hooters calendar. You may remember that Sable Jade Robbert, who works in the Pembroke Pines restaurant, won the 2016 Miss Hooters International pageant in Las Vegas and appeared on the 2017 calendar. The local swimsuit events, hosted by Robbert, take place 7:30 p.m. Thursday (March 1), at the Hooters in Doral (8695 NW 13th Terrace, Miami) and 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Hooters in Pembroke Pines (7990 Pines Blvd.). Visit HootersFlorida.com.
Handsome, bodybuilding brothers who sprang from the womb at the same time are probably just the guys you are looking for to get advice on sex and relationships. The YouTube-famous Hodgetwins will get pumped 7 p.m. Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv in West Palm Beach. General-admission seats start at $25 (plus a two-drink minimum), $35 for the meet-and-greet option. Visit PalmBeachImprov.com.
A week after his Respectable Street show, rap icon KRS-One needs to drop more knowledge on South Florida from his album “The World in Mine,” performing 9 p.m. Saturday in Miami at Churchill’s Pub. Visit ChurchillsPub.com.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Singer-songwriter and keeper of the flame Jim Wurster will host an eclectic slate of locals at Luna Star Café in North Miami on Friday night. The Jim Wurster Experience Presents show includes Rob Elba from Shark Valley Sisters, singer-songwriter Karen Feldner, punk-rock teacher Eric Adzima, and Jim Wurster & the Rusty Blades (with guitarist Jack Shawde, bassist Vinnie Fontana and Diane Ward on drums). Visit JimWurster.com, LunaStarCafe.com.
BOISE BOB REMEMBERED
The music and mirth of South Florida showman Boise Bob will be celebrated during a memorial for Hal Spector on Sunday at Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Miami. DJ Skidmark will spin the music that made Boise Bob and the Backyard Band an irreverent fixture in South Florida’s diviest bars, tattoo shops and festivals. Other tributes will come from Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers, Dave Razors, Mark Zolezzi, Rob Elba, and the Backyard Band. Spector, of Hollywood, died Dec. 13 from complications of cancer and a stroke. The memorial is BYOB and takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. The gallery is at 5900 NW Second Ave. Visit Facebook.com/Steven.Toth.96.
OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
JP Soars & the Red Hots will warm up Hullabaloo in downtown West Palm Beach 11 p.m. Thursday (March 1) and head up the street to Voltaire on Sunday at 8 p.m. ( Facebook.com/JP.Soars.3) … Keith Johns will be joined by Gabriela Ferrer for the free 8-11 p.m. folk-and-roots-oriented First Fridays series at Wynwood Yard in Miami (Facebook.com/KeithJohnsMusic) … The Rachelle Coba Band plays the free Live on Lincoln series 1-4 p.m. Saturday on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road mall (RachelleCoba.com) … Rena Jones and a half-dozen other local performers are on the bill at the Station Music Festival at Elizabeth Ave Station in West Palm Beach 5 p.m.-midnight Saturday (Facebook.com/TheStationWPB) … The Pitbull of Blues Band is at Kelly Brothers Irish Pub in Fort Lauderdale 8 p.m. Saturday (ThePitbullOfBlues.com) … Red Light Motel and Yardij play Dada in Delray Beach 11 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/RedLightMotel, Facebook.com/Yardij) …