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Weekend preview: Spilling the beans on Daymé Arocena

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

My son is one of those kids for whom the borders between inhabitants on his dinner plate are inviolate. A trip to one of our favorite spots for a weekend meal, for the comfortingly simple dishes of Cuba, Mexico and Spain prepared at Fort Lauderdale’s Tipico Café, is usually distinguished by a sad comedy routine.

The rice and the black beans must not interact until the beans, penned behind a network of no-legumes-land canals, are inspected. Sometimes a wall of plantains is employed. Often the beans are deemed “too” something or other and rejected. Because the wall has come in contact with the beans, the plantains also are somehow tainted. It’s an expensive wall.

I make the same rote argument: The magic is in the mixture, I say, watching his face congeal in horror as I pour the beans directly onto the rice, even allowing some of it to infiltrate my masas de puerco. Yes, each individual serving is tasty, but together they create a new flavor, a sensation that must be experienced, not explained.

He has his ways. He is an old man in a 14-year-old body. And he has time to grow out of it.

Billboard recently named young Cuban jazz vocalist Daymé Arocena one of the “10 Latin Artists to See” this week at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, where they are mixing things up a little with the Sounds of Cuba showcase. While a recommendation of her show is a good (obvious) thing, Billboard’s segregating it into such a perfunctory, pre-fab list feels a little tone-deaf.

This is, after all, a singer whose 2015 album, “Nueva Era” (Brownswood Recording), was one of NPR’s 50 best albums of the year and who The Guardian (London) described as having the potential to be “the next major Cuban star.”

Arocena is one of the 10 artists to see, regardless of ethnicity and location, be it SXSW or South Florida.

Sandwiched around her SXSW performance in Austin on Friday, the 23-year-old Arocena will be at the ninth annual Global Cuba Fest for shows on Thursday and Saturday at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St., Miami). The 8 p.m. concerts, sponsored by Miami Light Project and FUNDarte, cost $25, $50. Info: 305-576-4350,,


It isn’t often that a movie-theater audience breaks out in applause, repeatedly, and greets the closing credits with a standing ovation, but that’s what happened opening night at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival screening of “Where to Invade Next.” This misleadingly titled (intentionally, yes) travelogue follows documentarian Michael Moore’s global search for ideas to “steal” for his homeland on subjects such as education, employment, health care, childhood nutrition, sex and other issues. This is Moore at the height of his upbeat goofiness, which only somewhat obscures his more serious arguments. Spoiler alert: The rest of the world doesn’t do things the way we do, and they’re pretty OK with that. The film arrived in South Florida theaters in February, but if you missed it, like I did, know that Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood is bringing it back. Weekend screenings are 11:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 p.m. Sunday. It’s really a film best enjoyed as a group. Info:


The melting pot that is South Florida may be seen and heard in all its hot ooziness when Miami’s Cuban-born timba band Tiempo Libre, R&B legend Sam Moore, pianist Lola Astanova and others join conductor Eduardo Marturet and the Miami Symphony Orchestra for a concert called Miami Rocks, 6 p.m. Sunday at the Arsht Center. Tickets start at $44. Info:


Celebrated South Florida poet Campbell McGrath will discuss his new book, “XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century (Ecco),” 7 p.m. Saturday at Books and Books in Coral Gables. As the title suggests, McGrath takes a large, long look at how time and cultures continue to reverberate and inspire. In an interview with Sliver of Stone magazine, McGrath called himself a “citizen of the Twentieth Century, and so my story is part of that larger story. In the book we see Picasso painting his famous ‘Family of Saltimbanques’ painting in 1905, and then Rilke writing a poem about it in the 1920s, and then there I am, in 1979, 17 years old, standing in front of that same picture, in the National Gallery, when I worked there as a dishwasher. That’s how time works — the past forms and influences us, and we pass it on, altered and transformed, to the next generation, as parents, as writers, as teachers. The past is alive within us.” Info:


This is Time Travelers’ Weekend at the Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park, which includes the Victorian-themed Steampunk Saturday and a Sunday devoted to all kinds of “time-traveling pioneers, aliens, Browncoats, Federations and Empires.” Me, I’d like to go way back to 2015, when the festival still had its Bodacious Bodices Weekend. Without that circle on my calendar, I’m just lost. Be aware that the Ren Fest comes to a close March 26-27 with a weekend called Carnivale Masquerade, which does have bodacious possibilities. Info:


Erik Griffin, the annoying Montez Walker on Comedy Central’s long-running hit “Workaholics,” will be at the Fort Lauderdale Improv Friday-Sunday to share observations from the unique perspective of someone whose race and ethnicity is delightfully hard to presume. Info:


The Craft Beer Cartel (557 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) turns 1 on Saturday with a carnival from 2 to 6 p.m. that includes food, beer, live music and games. Julian Siegel, defacto mayor of Beer Town, at the crossroads of Craft Beer Cartel and the Riverside Market, will man a dunk tank ($5 for three balls) and kiss babies (free). Wristbands for drinkers cost $5. Proceeds go to the Peanut Butter & Jelly Project, the nonprofit organization that serves the local homeless and veteran communities ( More info:


Barrel of Monks Brewing (1141 S. Rogers Circle No. 5, Boca Raton) on Monday will throw another of its “secret” beer dinners called the Brewery Throwdown, this time joining forces with Copperpoint Brewing of Boynton Beach and Chef Jessie from Sweetwater Bat & Grill. As you may recall, it’s four mystery courses, and each brewery brings four beers; when the contents of the dishes are revealed, the breweries pair a beer to each course. You eat, drink and vote on which brewery did it best. Simple, fun. Doors open at 6 p.m., with seating at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $53.74. Info:


If you’ve seen Seth Rudetsky do his thing, perhaps at his Parker Playhouse collaboration with singer-actor Cheyenne Jackson a while back, you know that his piano playing is just part of what he brings to a performance. There also is plenty of antic energy, Broadway gossip and self-deprecating wit (thankfully not exclusively). His pairing with the lustrous Vanessa Williams on Tuesday night, back at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, will be great entertainment. Tickets: $46.50-$126.50. Info:


A few tickets remain for the beer dinner at 26 Degree Brewing (2600 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach) at 7 p.m. Wednesday (March 23). Chef Darrell’s five-course meal begins with a creamy potato soup and crispy fried pork belly paired with Baseline Pale Ale and concludes with Ziko's Rage Imperial Stout served with a blackberry parfait layered with fresh blackberries and light chocolate mousse, finished with a vanilla cream syrup. For information on the three courses that come in between, go to Tickets: $69.57.


One of just six stops on a U.S. tour,  New Order’s  show on Wednesday (March 23) at the Fillmore Miami Beach is, not surprisingly, a sell-out, with a scattering of general-admission tickets available via resale (see The influential electro-new wave group (founding members Bernard Sumner,  Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, joined by longtime keyboardist Phil Cunningham and bassist Tom Chapman) can be counted on to reach back into a rich discography that includes club hits “The Perfect Kiss,” “Age of Consent” and “Blue Monday,” but they also will draw from the  shimmering stream of new sounds on the album “Music Complete.” Info:  


Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for a June 24 Taste of Chaos tour stop by South Florida-bred Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday (both recently listed on Rolling Stone’s 40 greatest emo albums of all time) at Miami’s Bayfront Park. Tickets are $30.75-$56.70 at Also enticing is a report by Brooklyn Vegan of a supergroup consisting of Dashboard’s Chris Carrabba, Chris Conley (Saves the Day), Mike Kinsella (American Football, Cap’n Jazz, Owen) and Jim Suptic (the Get Up Kids), scheduled for a performance in New York’s Irving Plaza on May 7. Probably a one-off, but maybe not.


Miami’s Sweat Records celebrates its 11th anniversary on Friday with a free all-ages party at 7 p.m. featuring the Smiths tribute band Ordinary Boys, free beer from PBR Miami and delicacies from Fireman Derek. While there you can get the dope on what they’ll have uncrated on Record Store Day on April 16. Info:


Soulful guitarist Joel Da Silva plays World of Beer on Clematis in West Palm Beach 6 p.m. Friday ( …  Local groove masters Suenalo do a free show at the cozy Ball & Chain in Miami 9:30 p.m. Friday ( … The multiday South Florida Ukulele Fest brings plucky quirkiness to ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale begnning 6 p.m. Friday ( …  The Diane Ward Band performs at the Luna Star Cafe 9 p.m. Saturday ( … Local legends KC and the Sunshine Band are at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood 8 p.m. Saturday ( … Fort Lauderdale roots rockers Sosos are at World of Beer on Clematis in West Palm Beach 8 p.m. Saturday  ( … The Johnny Clegg Band’s African-influenced rock fills Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale at 8 p.m. Saturday ( … Gainesville-bred ska rockers Less Than Jake play two nights at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday ( … Carly Jo Jackson, once of “America’s Got Talent,”  plays the Blind Monk in West Palm Beach 8 p.m. Tuesday ( … Rusted Root plays Fort Lauderdale’s Revolution Live 7 p.m. Wednesday ( …

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

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