Thursday, August 25
Before Clayton English earned his laughs, he was a laughingstock. An Atlanta native and Florida A&M grad, English found himself the topic of a Creative Loafing (an Atlanta alt-weekly) cover story in 2006 detailing the struggles of recent grads paying off their college tuition. English, then portrayed as a telemarketer trying to make ends meet, was quoted at large in the article and even appeared in an accompanying graphic bearing an oversize dollar sign while dressed in his cap and gown. Little did he know then that the big old cosmic joke would eventually turn in his favor. Last fall, he won NBC's Last Comic Standing and took home $250,000 — an amount that surely covered any outstanding student loans. English has worked his way through the harsh world of standup comedy. He's come a long way from the nine bucks an hour he used to pull and is doing well in the club, college, and festival circuits with his brand of topical and observational humor. He's even had the recurring guest role of Peanut in Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Not bad for a guy on the rise. Catch English at the Fort Lauderdale Improv (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood) at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday. General admission tickets cost $20. Call 954-981-5653, or visit ftl.improv.com. Abel Folgar
Shorts Gone Wild, the short play collection conceived by Island City Stage and City Theatre, hasn’t always lived up to the “wild” part of its title. Expect that to change for the better this month in the companies’ fourth-annual collaboration, because this time, the plays fall under a theme that’s as bonkers as can be: politics. Seven playwrights, including five of our finest local scribes — Chris Demos-Brown, Jessica Farr, Michael Leeds, Michael McKeever, and Stuart Meltzer — contributed new ten-minute plays as part of Shorts Gone Wild: Election 2016. Because it’s an Island City Stage coproduction, many, but not all, of the shorts will address LGBTQ issues. In McKeever’s Things My Grandmother Taught Me, a friendly dinner date becomes a verbal steel-cage match between far-left and Log Cabin contingencies; Meltzer’s Lips Like Crocus centers on a couples therapy session in which cable news makes a startling cameo; and Leeds’ The Lie features an aging country-music couple that develops a novel solution to recapture the limelight. Farr’s satirical comedy might just have the bitterest sting of them all: Bernie Singles Dot Com imagines a “dystopian future of disenfranchised Bernie supporters” scavenging the web for partners with whom to survive the next apocalyptic four to eight years. The production runs Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday through August 28 at Island City Stage (2304 N. Dixie Hwy., Wilton Manors). John Thomason
Saturday, August 27
When animal-rights advocate and publisher M Butterflies Katz went vegan 38 years ago, it was a solo event. No thriving local community of like-minded plant eaters to meet up with; no Publix frozen section stocked with Gardein, Boca burgers, and every other mock-meat imaginable; and no plethora of online resources — just odd looks and awkward shrugs when asking the local diner for its vegan options. Fast-forward to 2016, and Katz is putting the final touches on the inaugural South Florida VeganFest. She says it's a much different scenario today — they almost don't want to advertise anymore because they may be reaching capacity for the venue. South Florida VeganFest 2016 — an "all-day educational community service event and celebration of veganism" — will feature a day's worth of inspirational speakers, animal advocacy, food demos and samples, exhibitors, and community. Speakers include Dr. Michael Klaper, the Advocacy of Veganism Society's Sarah Woodcock (who will speak about a social justice approach to veganism), and Eriyah Flynn of Vegan Shift. Plus, there will be a special talk with Katz. In addition to the talks, expect fresh-pressed juices, free and delicious plant-based eats, and vegan bodybuilding demos with Torre Washington and Korin Sutton. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Tamarac Community Center (8601 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac). Admission is free. Visit southfloridaveganfest.com. Terra Sullivan
Remember that Shakespeare class in college in which the professor said that good old Bill tackled all of his writing projects after imbibing 36 shots of alcohol? No? Well, neither do we, but the Outré Theatre Company seems to think that's a good way of channeling the spirit of the Bard. If anything, Outré has been steadily proving their commitment to the theatrical arts with a firm grasp on established theater and a ballsy spirit of experimentation. As stated on their site, they "strive to create theatre which stimulates thought, provokes reflection, and encourages activism." Well, for this fundraiser, there will certainly be stimulation, reflection, and a serious dose of activism. In Drunk Shakespeare at Boca's The Irishmen (1745 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton), six actors will hit that happy hour hard, get their fill of Dutch courage, and give attendees a Shakespearean experience like no other. Will Hamlet get the best of Mercutio while any of the Richards fumbles at Desdemona's fancy? Will Julius Caesar tame the twelfth night during Henry's tempest? Give us a break — you put that much booze into an actor with Shakespeare in the air and tell us those aren't possible. Heck, they might even cajole the crowd into joining the performance. In any case, this is doing the Bard right in our books at 8 p.m. Saturday. General admission tickets cost $10, $5 for students with ID. Call 954-300-2149, or visit outretheatrecompany.com. Abel Folgar
Veganism isn't simply cutting meat from your diet but all animal products — including milk and eggs. If you want to take it a step further, it's not just a diet but a lifestyle. That means not wearing your favorite leather coat anymore. But let's get back to the food: Atlas Meat-Free Deli in Hollywood is a vegan establishment that serves healthful, nutritious, and delicious food. As the Atlas name suggests, the grub is fit for a bodybuilder. Skeptical? Ask Billy Simmonds, Patrik Baboumian, and Jim Morris. Or simply look at their menu of made-to-order sandwiches using fresh ingredients and their fine selection of vegan "cheese." Meat-eaters might even be convinced. Give it a try at the Atlas Vegan Pop-Up Feast from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at LauderAle Brewery (3305 SE 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Everything will be served à la carte, so you can try what you want and skip what you don't want. The cost is $12.99 for a large sandwich with a cold side. You know the best part of being a vegan? You can still drink beer. Call 954-653-9711. David Minsky
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Wednesday, August 31
What in hell is Exploding Kittens? It's a NSFW card game — created by Matthew Inman, the artist behind the online comic The Oatmeal — for people who love kittens and a little morbid humor. If you enjoy those two things, you probably like drinking beer. Bangin' Banjo Brewing Company founders Matt Giani and Adam Feingold have added the game to their repertoire for Wednesday game night. Don't worry if don't know the rules — Exploding Kittens is easy to learn, and it's a bunch of fun too. The tournament will be played in Swiss format, meaning you won't be eliminated if you lose; simply continue playing and earning points. The four players with the most points after three rounds will compete for prizes which include $40 in beer tabs, some cool Bangin' Banjo glasses, and beer. (Besides the games, at least come for the beer.) The tournament will run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bangin' Banjo Brewing Company (3200 NW 23rd Ave. #500, Pompano Beach). Call 954-978-3113 or visit facebook.com/banginbanjobrewing. Check out explodingkittens.com and theoatmeal.com. David Minsky