This is the weekend I’ve been waiting for at the Classic Film Festival at Fort Lauderdale’s Classic Gateway Theatre. But not without some unease.
The four-week series offers favorite films in the big-screen format that shows them off best, with screenings of four films each in a daily rotation Friday through Thursday. Week 3, beginning Friday night, includes “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “An Affair To Remember” and “The Graduate.”
I’ve always wanted my kids (7 and 11) to see a big-screen version of the first title, Frank Capra’s holiday classic with Jimmy Stewart in a career-defining role. Mainly for the communal spirit of a crowd all laughing and sniffling at the same time.
But the tougher question is “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” David Lean's seven-time Oscar-winning WWII epic thick with lessons about duty, discipline, loyalty, sacrifice and honor that all kids need to know, and especially 11-year-old boys.
But, yes, there will be blood.
The arbiters at CommonSenseMedia.org had this to say: “Parents need to know that … there's ample wartime violence in this movie, with characters stabbed or shot to death, and the body count of the main characters is tragically high in the end. The now-taboo, once-common term "Japs" is used to refer to Japanese. Unrated on its original release, the restored version carries a PG.”
But, after all that, the site gave it a green light for 11-year-olds.I’m sure his mother would be appalled at the thought of him sitting through "The Bridge on the River Kwai." So I just won’t tell her.
The Classic Gateway Theatre is at 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd. Tickets cost $10, $8 before 4 p.m.; seniors, students and 12 and younger $8. All tickets cost $7 on Tuesdays. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Sun-Sentinel Children's Fund. Info: 954-763-7994, ClassicGateway.com.
The West Palm Beach Bus Loop rolls on Saturday, connecting you with hotspots from Clematis Street to City Place and Northwood Village beginning at 6 p.m. with check-in at Blue Martini CityPlace and World of Beer on Clematis. Cost is $35, with proceeds going to the Palm Beach County Gator Club Scholarship Fund and the West Palm Beach Downtown Neighborhood Association. Other bars and restaurants taking part include Tin Fish, Les Rendezvous, O'Shea's, Palm Sugar, Tequila Cowboy, Sunset Bar & Grill, Sports Page and the Brass Tap. Info: 954-760-6000, BusLoop.org.
Meanwhile, you can get $20 tickets for the inaugural Half-Way to St. Patty's Day! Irish Pub Bus Loop in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 21 if you buy them by Saturday. After that, advance tickets jump to $30, before going to $35 (cash only) at check-in at the Briny Irish Pub (220 SW Second St.) and Stout (3491 Andrews Ave.). All proceeds benefit the Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, Covenant House Florida, Broward County Gator Club and Jack & Jill Children's Center. Info: 954-574-6000, BusLoop.org.
KEEP ON FOOD TRUCKIN’, BABY
There are two prime locations to tighten up with your favorite food truck this weekend: From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, the Miami Food Trucks will be out front of Hallandale Beach City Hall on Federal Highway, across the street from Gulfstream Park, for the monthly Second Friday on Federal gathering, with Pinchadiscos 305 spinning suitably eclectic sounds. On Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight, the Art Walk-aligned Wynwood Street Food Fest (210 NW 22nd Lane, Miami) will draw many of the same trucks, including Che Grill, gastropod, Latin Burger & Taco, Ms. Cheezious, Purple People Eatery and Sugar Yummy Mama. Pinchadiscos 305 will be there, too. Info: MiamiFoodTrucks.com.
PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE
In his review of last weekend’s “Delta Machine” tour stop in Brooklyn, Ben Ratliff of the New York Times called Depeche Mode “the Pink Floyd of synth-pop: a deep-meaning head space of its own.” But we’ve always had more trivial impulses when it comes to the band. Friends who saw that same show from pretty good seats say they look great, especially Dave Gahan. And we’ve always rated their songs by how much our toe taps (figuratively speaking, sort of). So forgive us if we have “Just Can’t Get Enough” at the top of our must-hear list Sunday night at the BB&T Center. Tickets: $35.75- $85.75 at Ticketmaster.com.
TICKET ALERT: KANYE WEST
Kanye West will take time off from fatherhood to bring his 23-city Yeezus Tour to Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena on Nov. 29, with Kendrick Lamar the strong opening act. The AEG Live tour is his first set of live dates since his 2011 Watch the Throne collaboration with Jay Z. Kanye has not toured as a solo act since the Glow in the Dark shows in 2008. Tickets for the Miami concert cost $39.50-$150, and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at all Ticketmaster locations and at 800-745-3000.
The AutoNation IMAX Theater at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale on Friday will launch a series of classic-rock-oriented shows called the Laser Light Experience, with four 45-minute segments titled “Laser Vinyl” (Aerosmith, AC/DC, ELP, Van Halen, Journey, Kansas … you get the drift), “Laser Zeppelin,” “Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon” and “Pink Floyd’s The Wall.” Along with the massive screen, the theater has 42 speakers delivering 15,000 watts of digital sound, absolutely necessary for such lyrics as “California sunlight, sweet Calcutta rain, Honolulu star bright, the song remains the same.” Tickets: $9, $8 members. Info: 954-713-0930, MODS.org.
West Palm Beach indie-rock quartet Surfer Blood covers the Clash’s “Spanish Bombs,” which can be downloaded for free as part of Google Play’s five-part documentary on the British punk legends titled “Audio Ammunition.” Google Play also has newly re-mastered versions of Clash albums available for purchase. Surfer Blood is currently on a headlining North American tour that will culminate Nov. 10 at the Coastline Festival in West Palm Beach. Info: Play.Google.com, SurferBlood.com.
BOOKS AND BEER
Books and Books in Coral Gables, which wrote the book on inventive bookstore outreach, will attempt to demystify the hazy world of craft beer with the Academy of Beer, a four-week series of Thursday-night instruction and tastings led by a to-be-named beer expert from Brown Distributing. The series costs $99 and runs 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 4, 10, 17 and 24. There will be a final exam (blind tastings), diplomas and a beer-pairing dinner by chef Allen Susser. Like college, you need to register before the class fills up. RSVP to cafe general manager Irving Fields at Irving@booksandbooks.com.
This is what happens when you beat the Florida Gators: You get a visit from Finesse Mitchell, whose resume lists a walk-on role with the Miami Hurricanes football team in the early ‘90s, right next to his stint with “Saturday Night Live.” Mitchell has plenty to say about pop culture and ladies, but we hope he’s written some new lines about, oh, going for a two-point conversion in the first quarter. Mitchell will perform through Sunday at the Miami Improv (3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove). Tickets: $15-$17. Info: 305-441-8200, Miami.Improv.com.
SPEAKING OF FUNNY
You wouldn’t think there’d be much of a demand for a Midwestern comic who works clean, but Louie Anderson, who’s got three shows at the Palm Beach Improv this weekend, was merely named by Comedy Central “one of 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time.” See why at 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The club is at 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach. Tickets: $22.50. Info: 561-833-1812, PalmBeach.Improv.com.
I must have missed the memo where JP Soars said he was going out of town for what feels like forever. But the popular bluesman is back with a series of dates this weekend: the Big Easy in Hollywood on Friday, the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Saturday and the Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District 5-8 p.m. on Sunday. And he has a new Facebook page to help me keep better track. Info: Facebook.com/JPSoars.