The hustle and bustle of the season is officially upon us this weekend, with holiday lights, seasonal music and spicy beers and cocktails popping up all over, dueling farewells for the Miami Book Fair and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, and my typing the word “Nutcracker” for the first time. God bless us all, everyone.
The tidings of the season provide that warm and fuzzy feeling inside, but what about that warm and fuzzy feeling outside — like maybe rubbing up against your leg? The fourth annual Bark Back Benefit, 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday, brings popular South Florida bands and DJs, food trucks (Charm City Burger Co.!) and a herd of adoptable dogs to a fundraiser for the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League at Mathews Brewing Co. in Lake Worth. Performing on two stages, bands include Spred the Dub, the Copper Tones, Hell & Hollar and Uproot Hootenanny, to name a few. The evening also will include First Responders Walk the Rescue Runway, with members of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the Boynton Beach Police Department walking some of the adoptable dogs to give you a better view. Mathews Brewing Co. also will dedicate a dollar from every pint sold to the cause. Tickets cost $10 in advance. Visit Facebook.com/PeggyAdamsARL and Facebook.com/MathewsBrewing.
Wedges of seats on the side of the stage are now available for Marc Anthony’s shows on Friday (starting at $61) and Saturday (starting at $131) at Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena (AAArena.com) … Plenty of tickets are available (starting at $103.50) for John Legend’s A Legendary Christmas show at the Fillmore Miami Beach 9 p.m. Saturday (FillmoreMB.com) … You can still get tickets ($28) to Big Gigantic (joined by locals Paperwater) 7 p.m. Sunday at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale (JoinTheRevolution.net) … Pockets of seats are available (starting at $45) for rock legends Stephen Stills and Judy Collins 7 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts (BrowardCenter.org) … Just a few dozen seats remain (resale starting at $79, venue tickets at $109.50) for Il Divo 8 p.m. Sunday at the Fillmore (FillmoreMB.com) … Looking ahead a little, Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour stop at AmericanAirlines Arena 8 p.m. Nov. 24 is a sellout (verified resale tickets start at $160 at Ticketmaster.com).
Reminder, tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday to see Muse on their Simulation Theory World Tour at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on March 24. Tickets will cost $39.50-$94 at Ticketmaster.com. … Tickets for guitarist Gary Clark Jr. on March 9 at the Fillmore Miami Beach also go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for $42.50. Visit LiveNation.com.
The gift of beer
Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park is getting sweet on us. Discounted early-bird tickets went on sale Thursday for its Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival on Jan. 12, the brewery’s annual celebration of an elixir that has achieved a kind of holy reputation in these parts. The perfect holiday gift for the beer drinker who has everything, tickets purchased through Nov. 30 cost $55 for general admission, $110 for GA entry and four bottles of MBCP, and $225 for VIP access and a case (12 bottles) of MBCP. … On Monday the cinnamon-y Belgian style-tripel Saint Toddy (aged in bourbon and apple-brandy barrels) will be available in 22-ounce bottles ($20) in the taproom. … On Wednesday (Nov. 21), their Thankswigging celebration will include 32-ounce crowler fills of Sweet Potato Casserole ale for $8. Visit FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival has its arms wide open on closing weekend when screenings offer, yes, something for everyone. Auto-racing legend Hurley Haywood, whose decision to come out as gay inspired the documentary “Hurley” (actor-racer Patrick Dempsey is executive producer and narrator), will be honored at an 8 p.m. patio party and a 9 p.m. screening of the film on Friday at Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20 for the film and party. … FLIFF will pay tribute to prolific filmmaker Gary Ross after a 3:45 p.m. Saturday screening of his provocative 1998 comic fantasy “Pleasantville” in Bailey Hall at Broward College in Davie. At 6:15 p.m. Saturday in Bailey Hall, FLIFF will present the Florida premiere of “Sharkwater Extinction” by Rob Stewart, the documentary filmmaker who died while shooting scenes for the film off Islamorada. Stewart’s parents will attend the screening to present FLIFF’s first Rob Stewart Environmental Film Award. A single ticket for both films costs $20. … At 6 p.m. Sunday, the annual FLIFF Wrap Party will take place at Fort Lauderdale Country Club, where a “drive-in” screening of the Bill Murray-Rodney Dangerfield comedy “Caddyshack” will be viewed on the fairway by guests seated in 100 golf carts, with live music a picnic buffet and several bars nearby. “Caddyshack” cast member Cindy “Lacey Underall” Morgan will attend the screening. Tickets cost $100. Visit FLIFF.com.
The partiest party of the weekend is the free HechaEnMiami Block Party 2 p.m. Saturday at Veza Sur Brewing Co., celebrating its first anniversary with a 12-hour fiesta of live music, food and local beers. The strong music lineup includes Uma Galera (4 p.m.), Patrick & the Swayzees (7 p.m.), Suénalo (8:30 p.m.) and the Spam Allstars (11 p.m.). Visit Facebook.com/VEZASUR.
Riverside Market Plantation also celebrates its first anniversary this weekend, which warms the heart for many reasons. The block party at 6900 Cypress Road begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and will include food and drink specials, a DJ and a bounce house (kids only!). Visit Facebook.com/RiversidePlantation.
Notwithstanding it’s beckoning slogan, “Get Lit,” the annual Light Up Lauderdale events 7-10 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 15) will encourage downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District to put on its best face as a wave of families overtakes the plastic-cup bar crowd for a few hours to welcome the season. Along with the flipping of the switch on the city’s official display of lights in Esplanade Park, you’ll find vendors, pony rides, the Fort Lauderdale Symphonic Winds and, most importantly, Santa. Visit Facebook.com/RiverwalkTrust. … In case you were wondering, Christmas on Las Olas returns for a 56th time on Nov. 27.
‘Mouse’ in the house
A perennial sellout, the family-friendly holiday musical “Mouse King” — the brainchild of “Sesame Street” veteran Noel MacNeal and South Florida rock ’n’ roll Renaissance man and children’s musical theater composer Jim Camacho — will be expanded to two weekends this year at Miami’s Mandelstam Theater. Performances of “Mouse King,” a puppet-style retelling of “The Nutcracker” from the point of view of the mice, will be Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16. More tickets, but they’ll disappear quickly. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now at MouseKingTickets.com.
The Elbo Room at 80
The venerable Elbo Room on Fort Lauderdale beach is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a weekend of events that include live, retro music and DJs noon-1 a.m. daily, an old-school prom night with costume contests on Saturday night and a through-the-decades bikini contest on Sunday. The weekend kicks off with a retro happy hour on Friday with special guest Connie Francis of “Where the Boys Are” (a romantic comedy shot on Fort Lauderdale beach nearly 60 years ago) signing autographs from 4 to 6 p.m. God bless her. Visit Facebook.com/FtLaudBeach.
Another classy dame
The free Emilio Estefan-produced Miami Design District Performance Series that takes place 6-9 p.m. each Friday on the lovely Palm Court goes big time this weekend with two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters performing with the Miami Symphony Orchestra. Really, for free. Visit Facebook.com/MiamiDesignDistrict.
The laidback listening party known as Classic Album Sundays returns to Sweat Records in Miami 5 p.m. Sunday with Sadé’s classic “Stronger Than Pride” (remarkably 30 years old now) and the self-titled debut by the London soul collective Jungle. Tickets for the all-ages gathering are $10 at the door and, as always, there will be complimentary pizza, PBR and Deep Eddy cocktails while they last. Visit Facebook.com/SweatRecords.
The Miami Book Fair closes on Sunday with the final day of the popular Street Fair, events aimed at the more casual literature consumer outside the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. Among the musical highlights will be a 1 p.m. Sunday performance by Ample Samples, the Miami supergroup led by Adrian Gonzalez (Oigo) and featuring members of Suenalo, Afrobeta, Shenzi and others. Visit MiamiBookFair.com.
Actor Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”), who has turned to stand-up comedy to express himself, is someone whose story you think you know. But Piven seems to be treating his comedy appearances, including this weekend’s shows at the Palm Beach Improv, as an introduction of sorts.
In a recent interview with the Jewish Journal, he said of audiences: “I think they’re a little taken aback by who I actually am, that I come from a theater family and that we grew up very modestly. Basically, my parents are hard-working artists and there were times when we were living in a retirement home to save money and I remember coming home and the couch was stolen and the coffee table was gone. I said to my mom, ‘We’ve been robbed!’ But no, [we were] actually using it for the set of Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull.’ We used our own furniture and our own wardrobe. And nobody knows my journey maybe because I’ve played a character who was in a position of power or maybe because I’m viewed as a white guy who has come up through a privileged lifestyle. There may be some misconceptions about me. So it’s just an honor to be able to travel and speak my truth on stage.”
Piven performs at the Palm Beach Improv 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $30. VIP meet-and-greet tickets for all three shows are sold out. Visit PalmBeachImprov.com.
The free Boots & Bourbon Country Music Festival returns to the main beach parking lot in Deerfield Beach 2-9 p.m. Saturday, with a variety of bourbon and a lineup of country music led by nationally touring band Parmalee, who will share their three Top 10 singles (“Carolina,” “Close Your Eyes” and “Already Callin’ You Mine”) from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. Again, admission is free, with a variety of beer and bourbon packages available for purchase. Bring two nonperishable food items and get a free beer ticket. Visit Deerfield-Beach.com.
Because the Celebrity Beach Soccer Match on South Beach 11 a.m. Saturday is the inaugural event, your attendance will encourage them to make this an annual affair, if you’re into that kind of thing. The updated lineup for the seven-on-seven matches includes actor Ryan Phillippe; former NFL stars Chad (No Longer Ochocinco) Johnson, Rashad Jennings and Santana Moss; and former MLS and men’s national team star Landon Donovan; joined by Sports Illustrated swimsuit models Olivia Culpo, Kate Bock, Camille Kostek, Myla Dalbesio, Robin Holzken, Hunter McGrady, Samantha Hoopes and many others. A benefit for Best Buddies (BestBuddies.org), tickets start at $100, 12 and younger $20. Visit CelebrityBeachSoccer.com.