Elvis Presley may be considered the King of rock 'n' roll, but Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller -- the songwriting team responsible for "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock," among others -- were penning songs long before Presley was even prince. Both were born in 1933 and began their partnership in 1950, when they discovered they had a mutual love for boogie-woogie and the blues. By the time they were twenty years old, some of their songs had been recorded by Ray Charles. After "Hound Dog" burned up the charts in 1956, they continued to write a string of hits through the '60s, including "Love Potion No. 9," "Stand by Me," "Yakety Yak," and "Charlie Brown." Nine dancers perform in vignettes set to those songs and more in Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, which runs today through February 8 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets range in cost from $34.50 to $53.50. Call 800-572-8471 or 561-832-7469.
If you don't know the difference between a hammock -- which hangs between trees -- and a hammock -- a dry coastal forest area -- the South Florida Ecosystems class series is for you. Considering all the concrete and steel we see in our cities every day, it may not be apparent that Broward County is really a microcosm of South Florida, which is home to a myriad of natural habitats. Adults can learn all about hammocks, pinelands, wetlands, and the animal species dependent on those habitats for survival during the series of Wednesday lectures (7:30 to 9 p.m.) and Saturday hiking field trips (9 to 11 a.m.) offered by the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division today through February 28. "It's definitely going to promote a stewardship for South Florida, an appreciation for what we have right here in our back yard," claims Dan Cotter, a Secret Woods Nature Center park naturalist and a teacher in the series. Cost for the series is $22. Preregistration is required. Call 954-791-1030.