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Weekend preview: Date nights and love songs

23 things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond.

You have erred, misspoken, forgotten, mistook, insulted, refused, hurt, upset, offended, slighted, snubbed and blundered. Again. Or you are about to. Remember who we’re talking about.

So you are in need of a date night to make up for your trespasses. Or as down payment for the future. After all, the NCAAs are getting really good and MLB’s Opening Day is just around the corner.

The folks at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale have got you covered with this weekend’s premiere of the Courtyard Cinema series, with a different film screening at sunset in the John Mager Courtyard each night through Sunday, complete with full bar and a rotating lineup of food trucks. Guy’s gotta eat.

The series’ debut weekend opens promisingly, with "The Graduate" on Thursday, but then devolves into films that you would never in your right mind watch. Which is the whole point, you sensitive guy, you. Included are Richard Lester’s “Robin and Marian” on Friday, the Meryl Streep Abba-fest “Mamma Mia!” on Saturday and the weepy Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner affair “The Bodyguard” on Sunday. Talk about taking one for the team.

Not that she needs to know this, but tickets to these 7:30 p.m. screenings are a mere $5. We mentioned the bar and food truck, right? Info:


Now, if you’ve really screwed up, we direct you to the Earth, Wind & Fire-Chicago double bill at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Make it all spur-of-the-moment, like: “Hey, honey, let’s groove tonight. I’m taking you to see Earth Wind & Fire!” Spontaneity alone should earn you enough points to watch the NCAAs right through finals. Tickets are $18.95-$118 (plus fees) at


Miami-based soul singer Timmy Thomas loves everybody, and he wants you to love everybody, too. He is best known, again, for his 1973 anti-war hit “Why Can’t We Live Together,” which reached No. 3 on the pop chart the first time it was released, and now can be heard as the bedrock for Drake’s inescapable “Hotline Bling.” Thomas, who just got back from a showcase at SXSW, will perform old hits and music from an upcoming Overtown Records album during a night of classic Miami Soul beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at  the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., Miami). Admission is free. Info:, Hit the link for a Timmy Thomas interview.


Old School Square in downtown Delray Beach kicks it, uh, old school Friday night with a mini rock festival featuring Everclear, Candlebox and Sister Hazel, along with food and drink vendors set up all around from 6 to 10 p.m. Can you hear “Santa Monica” too many times? Admission to the Rock the Square party is $25 (lawn), $50 (bleacher seating) and $100 (VIP). Info:


The new Friday Night Sound Waves series on Fort Lauderdale beach (Las Olas and A1A, which your hosts are calling “the Hub”) this weekend offers Rus Anderson’s "Rocket Man" tribute to ‘70s Elton John music and all the wacky fashion that entails. It’s not “Madman,” but it’ll do. Plus, Friday is Sir Elton's birthday (68). The rest of the free concerts, 5:30-8:30 p.m. every Friday through Nov. 18, include a nice range of top South Florida musicians, including Ed Calle, Electric Piquete, Joel DaSilva, Suenalo, Eugene Gray, Spred the Dub, JL Fulks, Uproot Hootenanny, Sosos and Palo! Info:


This is the final weekend of the Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park, with a theme called Carnivale Masquerade. Sounds like ‘70s Elton John to me. Info:


Who knows if “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will have the original plate-smashing charms to go with original stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett when it debuts this weekend? If it’s enough to inspire your local Greek place to celebrate the movie in some noticeable way on the menu, what’s not to like? Or your local movie theater could celebrate the food. Silverspot Cinema (4441 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek) will do it during Big Fat Tapas Tuesday, 6-8 p.m. March 29, with a family-style Greek dinner, music and dancing for $15. Among the eight Silverspot screenings on Tuesday are dinner-friendly showings at 4:55, 7:10 and 9:25 p.m. Info:


I like my beer like I like my beer. I like it to taste like beer. Coffee, too. I put coffee in my coffee cup. Nothing else. So, Due South Brewing (Boynton Beach) this week has its Café Ole Espresso Porter in cans. Beer and coffee together. I should not like this. But the beer is from Due South, and the coffee is from Argyle Coffee Roasters (Fort Lauderdale), both consistent sources of thoughtful taste-making. So I trust. Info:,


Surfing celebrity and motivational speaker Bethany Hamilton, whose recovery from a shark attack was chronicled in the film “Soul Surfer,” will make an appearance 4-6 p.m. Friday at BC Surf and Sport (1701 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale). A portion of the proceeds from sales of Hamilton’s signature sandal collection will be donated to Friends of Bethany (, a nonprofit organization supporting shark-attack survivors and amputees. Hamilton lost her left arm in her attack at age 12. The first 200 customers to buy the sandals will get access to an exclusive autograph meet-and-greet. Info:


You likely have not seen love expressed in the way it will be revealed at the ninth annual Surfers for Autism beach festival, which returns to the Deerfield Beach Pier April 1-3. The South Florida-based SFA organization  exists to offer kids with varying degrees of autism and their families a therapeutic day in the surf, an experience that can have magical properties. The weekend includes food trucks, surf-gear vendors and plenty of live music at night. Friday’s schedule, beginning at 5 p.m., includes Islanders All, Buddy Sparrow, Jersey and the Shores, Holidazed, Hillside Spirit Revival and the Copper Tones. Performing on Saturday night are Brett Stask, Fireside Prophets, Bushwood, Army Gideon and the Resolvers. The surfing event for the kids takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Info:


The Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ annual uniform-unveil party set for Wednesday night aboard the Anticipation IV on downtown Fort Lauderdale’s New River reached capacity in less than a day, which says something about something. The Strikers begin their 2016 season 7 p.m. April 2 against newcomers Miami FC, a match that may soon rival those against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and New York Cosmos for anthem-singing, name-calling intensity. Tickets start at $12. Info:


The Smashing Pumpkins this week kicked off a new leg of their acoustic-electro tour called “In Plainsong,” which is scheduled to conclude May 1 at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts. In the 2015 edition of the In Plainsong tour, frontman Billy Corgan and bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin and Jeff Schroeder performed acoustic versions of Smashing Pumpkins songs, as well as selections from Zwan and Corgan's solo catalog. Tickets for the show, which not incidentally includes Liz Phair as the opening act, cost $49.50-$79.50 at


Reminder: Burt Reynolds, Molly Ringwald and Eriq LaSalle are among the celebrity authors scheduled to take part in the Palm Beach Book Festival, April 1-2 at Palm Beach Dramaworks and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. Info:


Filmmaker Courtney Marsh will take part in a Q&A after a screening of her Oscar-nominated short documentary, “Chau, Beyond the Lines,” next month at her alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale. The title character of the 34-minute film is a teenager living in a Vietnamese hospital for kids disabled by the chemical Agent Orange and, despite malformed arms and legs, dreams of becoming an artist. “Chau” will be shown at 7 p.m. April 18 in the school’s Bienes Center for the Arts (2801 SW 12 St.), and will be preceded by a meet-and-greet with Marsh. Tickets: $6. Info:


Brendan O’Hara is at Copper Blues at CityPlace in West Palm Beach on Thursday ( …  Earnest young songwriter Sarah Cate will perform 8 p.m. Friday at cozy  C Street Café in West Palm Beach, followed at 9:30 p.m. by another local voice, Grace ( …  Actor-rapper 50 Cent will do a showcase at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale Friday night, but it’s invite-only via radio station 99Jamz ( …  Barefoot bluesman Selwyn Birchwood is at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Saturday ( … Experimental indie rockers Lavola play Saturday night at Propaganda in Lake Worth ( … Electric Piquete plays the terrace at Hialeah Park Saturday night ( … Krisp does an outdoor show at Wynwood Yard at 3:15 p.m. Saturday ( … Ball & Chain in Little Havana has Tito Puente Jr. for a free show Saturday night ( … DJ Le Spam, Erick Paredes and Mr. Brown are among the DJs performing at the free, all-ages pop-up festival called Miami is an Island, 1 p.m. Sunday at Gastropod in Wynwood ( …    

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email:

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