We don’t like to think in terms of conspiracies, but how did Mother’s Day weekend get layered with so many distractions? How’s a guy supposed to stay focused on a weekend that includes the Fort Lauderdale Air Show (the first civilian exhibition to include two F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, worth $100 million each), the Kentucky Derby (can Nyquist pull an American Pharoah?), the NBA playoffs back in Miami (LeBron who?), and the arrival in theaters of “Captain America: Civil War 3D”?
It’s a balancing act, of course, in finding something you can do together that will earn you enough points to do what you really want to do this weekend. We have some ideas.
'SOUP' TO NUTS
Your wife loves him and, admit it, you do, too. A respected source of news for the millennial generation for more than a decade as the dashing anchor of E!'s “The Soup,” Joel McHale will share his thoughts on culture and “Community” at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv. Take her to a Friday show and you’ve got your weekend free, man. Tickets: $35. Info: PalmBeach.Improv.com.
MOJITO AND MASSAGE
Colada Cuban Coffee House & Eatery in downtown Fort Lauderdale (525 N. Federal Highway) celebrates its first anniversary with a block party from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday featuring limited releases from some of your favorite local breweries, including Wynwood, Barrel of Monks, Funky Buddha and 3 Sons Brewing Co. of Dania Beach. They’ll also have bottomless sangria, mojitos and mimosas, there will be live music, raffles, massages, which sounds like her, right? A portion of proceeds benefit Deliver the Dream (DeliverTheDream.org). Good karma, if we may be so cynical. Tickets: $30 advance, $35 at the door. Info: Facebook.com/ColadaHouse.
THE VIVES EFFECT
A couple of tickets to Carlos Vives may make up for your recent thoughtlessness, as she luxuriates in the Colombian singer’s charismatic way with his vallenato roots and modern ballads (he can still rock, too). Vives performs 8 p.m. Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Tickets: $21-$181 at Ticketmaster.com.
Friends who recently did a Girls Night Out at Gulfstream Park reported how impressed they were by the unexpected energy they found in its grandstand, bars and restaurants. There will be no shortage of events celebrating the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, of course, including the traditional Derby Divas and Darlings Hat Contest (sponsored by the Diplomat Resort), and assorted games and giveaways leading up to the race at 6:30 p.m. (Note: The Heat-Raptors game is scheduled for 5 p.m.) Info: GulfstreamPark.com. On Sunday, Mother’s Day specials can be found at many of the restaurants in the Village at Gulfstream Park. For instance, the Yard House will have complimentary chocolate soufflé for all moms. (Get there at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and, what do you know, LeBron will be taking the floor in the NBA playoffs.) Info: Facebook.com/ShopGulfstream.
BILL IS OVERDUE
Bill Burr, once of “Breaking Bad,” has a new series on Netflix called “F is for Family,” which may just confirm that he is a man after your own heart. “It's fun making fun of stuff,” he told the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker recently. “I don't really hate 'Star Wars.' I just don't give a [expletive]! I'm an adult. I don't need to see how C-3PO became C-3PO." Burr performs 8 p.m. Friday at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. Tickets: $40$85. Info: MyHRL.com.
The Coen Brothers’ classic “Fargo” was instantly memorable for the spasms of bloody violence that splattered onto the white stillness of this black comedy set during a bleak Minnesota winter. But none of it would have worked to the degree that it did (seven Oscar nominations) without the indefatigable sunshine of mother-to-be Marge Gunderson, the Brainerd police chief played by Frances McDormand, who is seven-months pregnant when she is confronted with the first three bodies in “Fargo.” Shortly after capturing the most violent killer, while he is feeding his comrade into a wood chipper, Marge addresses her prisoner in a squad-car soliloquy filled with maternal poignancy: “So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there,” she says, softly. “And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know? Don't cha know that? And here ya are. And it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.” McDormand won the best-actress Oscar for her performance. The Coral Gables Art Cinema will offer a special screening of the 4K-restoration of “Fargo” at 11:45 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $7 and include a free popcorn and two-for-one beer and wine. Info: GablesCinema.com.
Bracketed by the murals of Wynwood Walls, the patio at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (2550 NW Second Ave., Miami) is one of the best spots to relax in an environment that seems wholly South Florida, made even more inviting this weekend with a new assortment of summer menu items. For my mother-in-law, the main course is always dessert, and her list of must-tries includes the Soft Vanilla Cheesecake (with cookie crumble, berry compote and a honey butterscotch drizzle) and the Quesillo, a Venezuelan treat made with condensed milk custard and caramelized sugar. My wife’s eye likely goes toward the new drink menu, including the Wynwood Inferno ($14), with Don Julio Silver, passion fruit and lime juices, muddled jalapeño and cilantro. Happy Mother’s Day! Info: WynwoodKitchenAndBar.com.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Scheduling the Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival during the buttoned-up military pageantry of this weekend’s air show and Fleet Week traditions has to be Broward College’s idea of yet more sly humor. Well played, y’all! This uncensored, unjuried live theater event is a two-day celebration of local stagecraft that comes in short bursts, with plays running from 20 to 60 minutes inside and outside buildings on the college’s downtown campus (225 E. Las Olas Blvd.). This year’s works again run the gamut of inspiration, most of it youthful examinations of millennial urgings, with cultural totems such as Christopher Walken, zombies, Nicki Minaj, Tinder and Walter Mercado humorously invoked. After Thursday’s opening party from 8 to 10 p.m., performances will run noon-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5-$10, with all proceeds going back to the artists. The popular, family-friendly street fair is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. Info: FortLauderdaleFringe.com.
Megan Gailey is a nice Midwestern girl who describes herself as “a sorority girl chip on her shoulder and say-anything attitude.” Which should make for a night of universal laughs at the guys’ expense beginning 8 p.m. Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv. A bonus, perhaps, for the guys in the room: She’s a big NFL fan with an opinion on how new Dolphin Laremy Tunsil’s issues compare with other recent controversies (say, Jameis Winston’s). Tickets: $15. Info: PalmBeach.Improv.com.
If she needs to dance, or at least listen to music that one could dance to (if she weren’t with, you know, you), try Ball & Chain in Little Havana for the infectious funk of Suenalo at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Great band, great bar, great vibe and, it’s free. Info: BallAndChainMiami.com. If you need to go country, the Tom Jackson Band will energize the Sounds at Sundown concert series in Margate (Margate Boulevard and State Road 7) 5-10 p.m. Saturday. It’s also free and comes with a phalanx of food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, and more. Info: MargateFL.com. The sunny rhythms of headliner Bachaco will be joined by music from Rabanes and Johnny Dread during the Miami Beach Reggae Festival 2 p.m. Saturday at the North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach. Tickets: $25. Info: NorthBeachBandshell.com. Speaking of dance and romance, the next installment of the Rhythm Foundation’s Dance Band Night is May 12, and is dedicated to the tango. As you may recall, Dance Band Night begins at 7 p.m. with a happy hour and dance lesson, followed this time by an 8-10 p.m. performance of tango music from the Anibal Berraute Quartet. Admission is free, with a $5 suggested donation. Info: RhythmFoundation.com.
The new weekly series Magnetic Pompano, a moveable feast of art, music and cultural events, makes its debut at Pompano City Centre (1955 N. Federal Highway) at 7 p.m. Friday. Opening night will include artwork from locals including Diana Contreras, Nate Dee, Alejandro Mazon, Adam Collier Noel, Tin Ly and Aquarela Sabol; experimental African dance; and a session of spoken-word, music and cocktails led by Eccentrich. These events will take place in suites 104 and 204 at the center, near the carousel. “Pompano is becoming a major draw for great talent. Hence our name Magnetic,” said Byron Swart, the artistic director and curator of the cultural center, in a press statement. Info: MagneticPompano.org.
PLAY THE FLUTE
Perhaps you screwed up last Mother’s Day to the extent that you need something special, as in the Mother’s Day Brunch at Bianca in the swank Delano Hotel on South Beach. Served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the menu includes bottomless Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Belvedere Bloody Marys for $95 (plus tax/tip) per person. She won’t remember a thing. Reservations: 305-674-5752. Info: MorgansHotelGroup.com/Delano.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (the nonprofit mobile studio that exposes local students to the latest art, music and film software and technologies) will return to the Betsy Hotel on Miami Beach 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, with L.A.-based pop singer-songwriter Linney on hand to share her industry experience. Linney also will perform in the hotel’s Lobby Bar at 9 p.m. Info: Facebook.com/LennonBus, TheBetsyHotel.com, Facebook.com/LinneyOfficial.
OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
Reggae icon Bunny Wailer performs 8 p.m. Friday at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room (CultureRoom.net) … Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama are at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach 8 p.m. Friday (Kravis.org) … Bluesman Albert Castiglia plays the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton 9 p.m. Friday (FunkyBiscuit.com) … South Florida pop singer Chloe Dolandis hits Tryst nightclub in Delray Beach 10:30 p.m. Friday (Facebook.com/ChloeDolandisMusic) … Miami post-punk veterans Astari Nite will be joined by Lavola and Sci-Fi Affair for a record-release party for their album, “Until the End of the Moon,” on Saturday at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach (Facebook.com/AstariNiteMusic) … New Orleans-born piano virtuoso Henry Butler is at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach 8 p.m. Saturday (ArtsGarage.org) …