Thursday, August 18
Comedian Mark Viera is like Sam Kinison — if Sam Kinison were the kind of guy you'd run into at a PTA meeting and not the kind you'd want to stick in a clown costume and plant at a children's birthday party as a sick, nightmare-inducing joke. Viera doesn't share that darker side in common with Sammy K., but he commands the stage with a similar level of volume, his voice reaching, screeching, and piercing toward its highest octaves, nearly achieving Gottfriedian levels of eardrum battery before relaxing into a therapist's muted levels — and then rising once again with the next impassioned observation. Only it's not a gimmick or a comedic crutch for Viera. For this Bronx native, you get the impression that loudness runs — nay, sprints — in his family, and when his larynx works extra-hard, it's because he's simply that excited to convey his point to a roomful of the likeminded. This attitude is of a piece with Viera's wholesome demeanor: In the filthy world of standup comedy, he's a clean throwback, expanding on stories of marriage and fatherhood with only the occasional "ass" warranting a PG rating. Feast your ears at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Improv (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $17. Call 954-981-5653, or visit improvftl.com. John Thomason
Hiding behind drab dollar draft beer nights, sipping sad house wines when you crave a little variety — no one is more bored to tears by your drink selections than you, with the exception of the bartender. Veering off the path of the carefully selected standards can be scary at first, so leave it to the professionals to guide you into the fine art of cocktail creation. At Apothecary 330 ("Fort Lauderdale's only true cocktail bar and event space"), cocktail masters make an evening of it, creating a themed night of drinks such as Thursday's Hollywood Paparazzi Party. During this Taste Makers Series event, Beverly Hills' own Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey is the star of the show. The night's specialty cocktails include the Lust Word (a steamy play on the classic Last Word cocktail, featuring Hilhaven, Génépi Alpine Liqueur, and — yes — maraschinos); the Nip Slip (a raised glass to the wardrobe malfunctions of yesteryear with Hilhaven, St-Germain, and Honeycrisp apples); the Glitter Funk (a champagne float of fresh herbs, agave, and Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey); and the Hollywood Hustler (a mix of vanilla-bean-spiced Hilhaven, cognac, Bénédictine, and exotic bitters). The fun starts with a Party Animal Punch Bowl at 8 p.m. and continues through the night with $5 cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at Apothecary 330 (330 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-616-8028, or visit apothecary330.com. Terra Sullivan
Friday, August 19
It's back-to-school time again already. Rather than testing your patience with the insane rush for school supplies at South Florida department stores, try a Really, Really Free Market. For the second year in a row, you can get some of these supplies for free at a RRFM — where there is such thing as a free lunch. Food Not Bombs is known for at least two things: providing free and nutritious vegan and vegetarian food and starting the RRFM movement. Think of it as something of a sharing/trading/alternative gifting economy wherein participants temporarily gather in public places such as parks to bring goods and services to trade or share and unneeded items to give away. One of the first U.S. RRFMs happened in Miami, but the idea has been adopted globally. This year, the second-annual Back 2 School Really, Really Free Market will be held starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in Stranahan Park (10 E. Broward Ave. in Fort Lauderdale). Bring items such as backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, markers, art supplies, toiletries, etc. Food Not Bombs will be serving free meals in the gazebo as they do every Friday afternoon, despite the city’s ban on sharing food. Call 954-828-7275, or visit foodnotbombs.net/florida.html. David Minsky
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Saturday, August 20
In some South Florida vacation spots, there seem to be two sets of prices: what tourists pay and what locals pay. But Himmarshee Village invites everyone to have a good time and attend the Drink Like a Local on Himmarshee block party. If you like beer, you're in luck. Buy a $20 ticket before Friday at 10 p.m., and you get access to ten craft beer samples from Fort Lauderdale-based Stephens Distributing, which distributes beers from Blue Point, Goose Island, Beck's, Kona, and 10 Barrel. The street will be closed off for the festivities, which include Top 40 hits performed by local band High Tolerance. Within the immediate proximity are bars, restaurants, and clubs if you feel like exploring. Tickets will still be on sale at the gate for $25. Proceeds go toward the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale and the Downtown Himmarshee Village Associations to promote and enhance the Himmarshee District. The event will go on rain or shine. No refunds will be given, and you must be at least 21 to enter. The party runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 201 SW Second Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-468-1541, or email email@example.com. To buy tickets, visit blacktie-southflorida.com. David Minsky
Oktoberfest will soon be upon us. South Florida is more than a Caribbean melting pot, and while it might not be apparent at a quick glance, there is a long-lived and sizable community of German folks and people of Germanic descent here. And you can’t have a German community without some form of an Oktoberfest celebration. This Bavarian tradition, dating back to the opening decade of the 19th century, is more than beer and merriment; it is an exaltation of Germanic culture and a reminder of community and tradition. For 43 years, the American German Club of the Palm Beaches has been doing just that, and for the last three, they've crowned a Miss Oktoberfest for their two-week long festival of merriment. This gala evening, powered by the boompah sounds of Alpine Express and a full bar, will crown the club's "Goodwill Ambassador," and though contestants are preferred to be of German stock, people of all backgrounds are welcome to compete. The winner will receive a cash award, a custom dirndl, gifts, and a sash and tiara. Cocktail attire or a German tracht are required of guests for this ticketed, reserved-seating event. Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 20, at the American German Club of the Palm Beaches (5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth). Tickets cost $30. For reservations, call 561-294-2770, or visit eventbrite.com. Abel Folgar