Books: For some reason, Palm Beach County has never had a books festival all its own, despite examples to the south in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Key West, but that changes Saturday. At the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, the one-day festival will include talks from a number of prominent writers and a little bit of celebrity juice. Actor Alan Cumming, whose searing autobiography, Not My Father’s Son, was published late last year, is interviewed by Christopher Bonanos, and longtime Palm Beach Post books editor Scott Eyman convenes a panel on mysteries, thrillers and crime with guests Linda Fairstein, Andrew Gross and James Grippando. The festival ends with a closing-night soirée from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Colony hotel in Palm Beach, in which the authors will mingle with guests, and Joe Klein will interview thriller mega-writer James Patterson. The festival and the party are sold out, but perhaps someone will take pity on you. Visit www.palmbeachbookfestival.com.
Film: This may be a first for me, but I am recommending a Ben Stiller movie. It’s While We’re Young, which recently wrapped the Palm Beach International Film Festival and moves into multiplexes this weekend. Stiller works again with writer-director Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) and together they have come up with a thought-provoking comedy about mistrust between generations, the creative process, ambition and deceit. Stiller and Naomi Watts play a childless married couple in their 40s, worried they are no longer young and hip. So when a couple of 20-somethings (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) worm their way into their lives, they embrace the intrusion until ulterior motives surface. Charles Grodin gives impressive support as Watts’s dad, a renowned documentarian in late career.
Theater: Granted that 2010 was a weak year for musicals on Broadway, but the winner for the top Tony Award (as well as for best score and best book), Memphis, is to be admired for its effort to chart progress in race relations and the crossover of rock ‘n’ roll from black culture to white in 1950s Memphis. David Bryan of Bon Jovi supplies the period pop, rock and gospel score, well sung by sultry Zuri Washington and goofy Daniel S. Hines as lovers from opposite sides of the color divide. Yes, better musicals like Dreamgirls and Hairspray will come to mind, but this derivative show is sufficiently soulful to fill the entertainment bill. At the Kravis Center’s Dreyfoos Hall through Sunday.
Music: The Symphonia Boca Raton ends its season this weekend with a guest appearance by James Judd, who will lead many of the same players he once directed as the head of the Florida Philharmonic. Among them is Jeff Kaye, the orchestra’s artistic director, who will be the soloist in the Trumpet Concerto of Haydn; the program also includes Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and the Second Symphony (in C, Op. 61) of Schumann. The concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Roberts Theater on the campus of St. Andrew’s School in western Boca Raton. Call 866-687-4201 or visit www.bocasymphonia.org.
If you’ve got a different vibe in mind, you might want to slide on down to Fort Lauderdale this weekend for the third Tortuga Festival, a two-day music festival dedicated to ocean conservation efforts. This year’s lineup is heavily country, and heavy hitters at that, with Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, the Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town and the Band Perry among them. It’s a strong lineup, and the cause is a good one, organized Rock the Ocean founder Chris Stacey, also a Nashville music executive. And if the pictures on the website are any clue, it’s going to be a classic Florida beach weekend. Visit tortugamusicfestival.com for tickets.