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Best events this week: 'A John Waters Christmas,' Whitehorse, 'Star Wars' marathons

Say, "Ho, ho, ho" with John Waters at @ArshtCenter in Miami.

 

Monday

"I give a trigger warning for anyone religious," John Waters recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his touring holiday show, as if his name alone weren't a trigger warning. Now an annual tradition, "A John Waters Christmas" finds the filmmaker responsible for "Serial Mom" and "Pecker" expounding on what he once described to the New York Times as "the steamroller of Christmas," sharing monologues that touch on the sexual proclivities of Santa Claus, how to handle horrible relatives and the rudeness of gift cards ("it means you think the person is stupid and has no interests," he told the Times). If there ever is a real War on Christmas, we want Waters as our general. 8 p.m. $45-$65. 305-949-6722 or ArshtCenter.org.

 

Tuesday

In good roots-rock tradition, the songs of Toronto duo Whitehorse know from wickedness. "I broke hearts like they were teeth," Melissa McClelland sings on "Fake Your Death (And I'll Fake My Mine)," just one of the agile, bewitching songs on "Leave No Bridge Unburned," the group's most recent album. McClelland plays the part of disenchanted raconteur well, and the music she creates with husband and Whitehorse partner Luke Doucet whips and whirs with restless intelligence. The musicians are as comfortable sounding like country classicists (as on the honky-tonking "The Walls Have Drunken Ears") as they are rock 'n' roll polyglots ("Downtown," "Evangelina"). Even the slow songs ("Dear Irony," "Tame as the Wild Ones") hum with energy. Back on the road following the 2014 birth of their son and the March release of "Leave No Bridge Unburned," Whitehorse will perform 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. $15. 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org.

Wednesday

Since its 2004 debut in London, "The History Boys" has been rewarded with a Tony Award for Best Play and a well-received film adaptation. Now, the comic drama about a group of boys at a fictional English prep school in 1983 has been given what SouthFlorida.com theater critic Rod Stafford Hagwood describes as a "sure-handed production" by Palm Beach Dramaworks. "The cast is magnificent," Hagwood writes, adding that "it's hard to catch them acting." A statement on the pursuit of higher education and the acquisition of knowledge, "The History Boys," despite its 1980s setting, resonates in the age of social-media-abetted narcissism and anti-intellectualism. The play is running through Jan. 3. at the Don and Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). 8 p.m. Wednesday. $64. 561-514-4042 or PalmBeachDramaworks.org.

Thursday

Thirteen hours and 23 minutes. That's the combined length of the first six "Star Wars" movies, which is a tremendous amount of time to spend watching a bunch of space cowboys fire lasers at one another and say things such as, "My father didn't fight in the Clone Wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter." It is also a long time to sit inside a movie theater for a single stretch, but rabid "Star Wars" fans will do just that beginning early Thursday morning, when theaters throughout South Florida will hold marathon screenings of George Lucas' mythic creation. Beginning not with the 1977 film that started the phenomenon, and at the time confused moviegoers with its "Episode IV: A New Hope" subtitle, the marathons will open with "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace," the 1999 stinker that presented Darth Vader as a boy and Obi-Wan Kenobi as played by the guy from "Trainspotting." All this is, of course, leading up to the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which may be the most anticipated sequel of all time. That is, until James Cameron gets off his butt and finishes "Titanic 2." The marathons will begin 1 a.m. at AMC Theatres (AMCTheatres.com/StarWars and 3 a.m. at Cinemark theaters (Cinemark.com/Star-Wars-Marathon. For more theaters, go to StarWars.com.

Friday

The annual pop-music shopping spree known as the Y100 Jingle Ball returns to the BB&T Center (1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise) Friday with a lineup of familiar names (Nick Jonas, The Weeknd, Demi Lovato) and big-for-now acts (Zedd, Hailee Steinfeld) commonly broadcast by the touring concert's local presenter, the radio station Y100. The Philadelphia Inquirer's review of the Jingle Ball's Dec. 9 stop in the City of Brotherly Love decried its overwhelming sameness, in which "every song and every dance move blended together, almost as if a huge radio were on in the background while you were doing the dishes." As if teenagers do the dishes. Showtime for the Jingle Ball is 7:30 p.m. $51-$251. 800-745-3000 or TheBBTCenter.com.

Saturday

Because absolutely nothing is sacred, the annual holiday pub crawl known as SantaCon Fort Lauderdale has hitched its alcohol-powered sled to a certain new sci-fi movie, christening (in the loosest sense of the word) this year's event "SantaCon 2015: The Farce Awakens" and encouraging attendees to give their Santa costumes a "Star Wars" theme. Loosely affiliated with the event born in 1994 in San Francisco and now taking place in cities around the world, SantaCon Fort Lauderdale will begin 6 p.m. Saturday at Mangos (904 E. Las Olas Blvd.), and end in Himmarshee Village to the west. The route is only a suggestion, organizers say, though a list of participating venues should appear before Saturday at SantaConFtL.com/Route. SantaCon has become a point of controversy in some cities, most prominently in New York, where, as the New York Times recently reported, "badly behaved Santas led to community backlash" and bars "banded together to block the Santas from their neighborhood." That has yet to happen in Fort Lauderdale, where SantaConners are being asked to bring gift cards, clothing, school supplies and other donations for the South Florida charity Kids in Distress. SantaConFtL.com.

Sunday

Stories of forgiveness and redemption abound this time of year, and a particularly striking one is being told at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. As SouthFlorida.com's Phillip Valys reported in his preview, the exhibition "Tiny: Streetwise Revisited — Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark," which opened Dec. 10, depicts "in intimate black-and-white photos a cycle of hardship and pain, spanning Tiny's homeless teenage years, drug addiction, motherhood and middle age." Tiny is Erin Blackwell, a now 40-something former prostitute whom photojournalist Mark discovered in 1983 on the streets of Seattle. The show's 60 photographs trace the 30-year friendship of Mark and Blackwell, who has experienced no shortage of hard luck and self-abuse, including teenage pregnancy and crack addiction. But as Mark collaborator Melissa Harris told Valys: "People may see this expectation that Tiny is having a devastating life. She's not. She's having a tough life. But there's an innate intelligence that comes through, and she's an incredible survivor." $12. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 561-832-5196 or Norton.org.

jcline@southflorida.com

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