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Weekend preview: Oscar stars, real stars

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

This is the weekend when we focus on moving pictures, this year’s Academy Awards in particular a must-see for what may be historically moving remarks from Oscars host Chris Rock. He’s fine and everything, but what’s any awards telecast but a stage for you to share uncommon wit and pop culture proficiency with others?

For the telecast of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival folks, as always, will host an irreverent party to soak it all in on a big screen at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale (503 SE Sixth St.) beginning at 6 p.m. Still intoxicated by the celebration of its 30th anniversary, the nonprofit FLIFF is hoping you’ll come to party like it’s 1986, with prizes for best red-carpet fashion and music ranging from Madonna to disco. The evening also offers a buffet, drink specials at the patio bar, raffles and contests, including Oscar balloting ($5 each).

You’ll also find that you have a rooting interest: Former St. Thomas Aquinas High School student Courtney Marsh’s film, “Chau, Beyond the Lines,” is one of five nominees in the best short-subject documentary category. A story of courage and nobility, “Chau” is a portrait of a teenager Marsh discovered in a Ho Chi Minh City facility for kids disabled by the Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange. Unable to use his arms and legs, Chau clenches a paintbrush in his teeth to create art that he hopes will carry him to a better life. "Chau" screened at FLIFF in November and received the festival's best short documentary award. (See

If you want to check it out before Oscar night, “Chau” will have weekend screenings as part of the Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts Program B series, showing at 8 p.m. Thursday at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale (503 SE Sixth St.), and 7 p.m. Friday and 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Cinema Paradiso Hollywood (2008 Hollywood Blvd.). More of the Oscar-nominated shorts, from live-action to animated films, are screening through March 3 at both Cinema Paradiso theaters. Info:

As the Chicago Tribune said of the Documentary Shorts Programs: “See the year’s gems in one place … Judging from the five nominated short films in the live-action category, the motion picture academy’s problems of blinkered, whitey-white Oscars selection could be solved if the voters (and nominators before them) simply looked around the world.”

Admission to FLIFF’s Oscar watch party is $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Info:


The award for best pictures in the portable category goes to “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World,” a fascinating photography exhibition opening Friday at the Morikami Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach, curated by Takahiro Kitamura, also known as Ryudaibori, an author, California tattoo shop owner and advocate for the study of Japanese tattooing as an art form. Such is the interest in this show that Ryudaibori’s tattoo symposium at the Morikami (4000 Morikami Park Road) on Saturday afternoon (with onetime “Miami Ink” star Chris Nuñez, among others) is sold out. In an interview with the Morikami, posted on the museum's website, Ryudaibori reveals he was introduced to art in the conventional way: TV, punk rock and skateboards: 

“My first memory of Japanese tattooing was the chambara television show ‘Toyama no Kinsan,’ which is actually about a historical figure — a tattooed magistrate,” he told the Morikami in an interview posted on its website. “In the epic and predictable fight scene at the end of every episode, he would whip off his kimono sleeve and reveal his sakura-fubuki tattoo. I was mesmerized! Later in life, as a punk rocker and skateboarder, I was further introduced to Japanese tattoo art by books published by Don Ed Hardy. But I must say, the interest was just there … I know that does not sound profound, but it’s the truth, I was instantly drawn to them. I think real art should hit you like that — instantaneous and intoxicating.”

Because the Morikami is crazy like that, it has a slate of related kids' activities set up on Saturday, including the Kids’ Tattoo Shop, where your little one can test drive a temporary tattoo. “Perseverance” is up through May 8. Info:


I’m always looking for something to do with my toughest audience, my kids. On Saturday, the fourth annual Dark Sky Festival at the Okeeheelee Nature Center (in Okeeheelee Park, 7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach) will celebrate the night with a variety of astronomy-themed activities highlighted by a screening of Boca Raton-based photographer Max Jackson’s beautiful short film “Pitch Black Light: A Journey Through America’s Darkest Skies.” The collection of night-sky time-lapse images that Jackson captured on a cross-country journey to some of the darkest areas of the country is a stunning and spiritual communion with the stars and planets that may make you reconsider your place in the galaxy. The Dark Sky Festival is 6-10 p.m., and includes stargazing with local astronomers, night photography lectures, exhibits, vendors, nature walks, a children’s activity area, food trucks, a campfire and more. Admission is free. Info:


On Friday, when Netflix premieres the reboot of his old show, “Fuller House” (it’s now daughter D.J., played by Candace Cameron-Bure, who is widowed with kids to raise), Bob Saget also can be seen at the Palm Beach Improv not being Danny Tanner. Not at all. The comic, who just came off a nine-week Broadway run duking it out with a demonic hand puppet in “Hand to God” (“‘Sesame Street’ meets ‘The Exorcist’,” the New Yorker gushed), will perform 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $30 (plus two drinks). Info:


Miami City Ballet’s Program Three, at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach Friday-Sunday, opens each performance with Justin’s Peck’s “Year of the Rabbit,” featuring an orchestration (by Michael Atkinson) based on Sufjan Stevens’ 2002 collection of electronic blips, squawks, scratches and fuzz called “Enjoy Your Rabbit.” “Swan Lake” this is not. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $20. Info:,


According to Sun Sentinel weather forecaster and former blues tuba player Ken “Blind Sunny Lemon” Kaye, this weekend will be among the most beautiful of the year when the 26th annual Riverwalk Blues Festival sets up along the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. We have heard good things about Nikki Hill, performing 8:30-10 p.m. Friday in Esplanade Park; Johnny Rawls and Jason Ricci & Bad Kind are the Saturday headliners; and the Sunday lineup on the outdoor stage at the Downtowner Saloon is hard to beat when it comes to leading local bluesmen: Josh Rowand (noon), Joel DaSilva (2 p.m.), Joey Gilmore (4 p.m.) and Albert Castiglia (6 p.m.). Tickets: $15 Friday, $25 Saturday, free Sunday. Info:


Copperpoint Brewing (151 Commerce Road, Boynton Beach) reports: “Our dog-friendly deck is now fully operational!” On Saturday evening, the temperature is expected to dip into the 50s. From 3 to 11 p.m., as the mercury drifts lower, T.C. Melts will be there serving gooey grilled cheese and other comforting food. To recap: You, dog, sweater, beer, grilled cheese. Info:,


Yes, it’s looking like a s’mores kind of weekend. Which is perfect for the final Friday of Lake Worth beach bonfire season. The family-style series flames out 6-9 p.m. Friday on the sand at 10 S. Ocean Blvd. More info:


As the name implies, the Green Planet Festival on Saturday is aimed at those seeking to live healthfully and with more consideration toward this sphere we call home, matching them with speakers and vendors who can help them do it. The schedule includes 150 exhibitors, live music, speakers, movie screenings, food, and a wine and beer garden. There are plenty of yoga discussions and demos planned, including “Yoga for Athletes,” for the ballplayer in your house. The festival is 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at the Broward Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets: $14.95. Info:


Saturday brings nice, cool strolling weather and the Third Avenue Art District’s annual art walk, an artists’ open house in downtown Fort Lauderdale made even more special by that word “annual.” Free trolleys will run 6-10 p.m. with eight stops on or within a block of Northeast Third Avenue, from the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Blvd.) on the south end of the route to studios on the north side of Broward Boulevard, including the space that is home to the works of Francie Bishop Good and the Girls Club Collection (117 NE Second St.), Glavovic Studio (724 NE Third Ave.) and Studio Henning Haupt (823 NE Fourth Ave.). Recommended garage parking is near the museum and between City Hall (100 N. Andrews Ave.) and Third Avenue. For trolley stops, look for the banners and twinkling lights. Info:


The Sistrunk Parade returns to the historic boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale at 9 a.m. Saturday, with marching bands, twirlers, step teams, classic cars and decorative floats leaving from Lincoln Park (600 NW 19th Ave.) and arriving at the Urban Street Festival taking place on Sistrunk between Northwest Ninth Avenue and Northwest Twelfth Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll find food, drink, vendors and live music from Jimmie “Bo” Horne with N2Nation, Jon Saxx, Brandon Williams (Urban Mystic), Con Funk Shun and T-Soul. Admission is free. Info:


Neil Young will take part in a live video Q&A during the intermission at screenings of his musical-comedy “Human Highway” and the concert documentary “Rust Never Sleeps” in a handful of South Florida theaters on Monday (Feb. 29). Young will be joined by “Human Highway” cast members Gerald V. Casale (Devo), Russ Tamblyn and Charlotte Stewart in a conversation moderated by filmmaker Cameron Crowe. The 8 p.m. screenings, packaged as “An Evening With Neil Young” and co-sponsored by Warner Bros. Records and the AARP, are at the Royal Palm Stadium 18 and Parisian 20 in West Palm Beach, Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton, Cinemark Boynton Beach 14, Silverspot Cinema @ Coconut Creek, Muvico Broward 18 in Pompano Beach, Cinemark Paradise 24 in Fort Lauderdale, Aventura Mall 24 and Sunset Place 24 in B. The running time is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Tickets: $15. Info:


You’re younger than Neil Young, professional and like to do good. Find your crowd on Wednesday (March 2) when the Young Professionals for Covenant House get together for a few drinks and socializing from 6 to 8 p.m. at Boatyard (1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets: $10, includes a drink and light appetizers. Info:

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

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