Valentine's Day is a bummer for singles. But the love-scorned can take their revenge (legally) by pushing pins into voodoo dolls with red heart patches sewn onto their chests or giving their unspecial someone a black leather rose with a barbed wire stem. Those items, plus a selection of dark art, are included in the Broken Hearts Art Show from the cheery folks at L'Art Noir Studios and Gallery (842 SW 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale). The bizarre exhibition of "happy" skeleton art, cemetery photos, bondage leatherwork gift baskets, dark paintings, and sculptures of dismembered heads and faces is an alternative to all of the lovey-dovey stuff going on this week. The event takes place SoHo-style in the apartments of the artists, which are located in a '20s home in historic Sailboat Bend. It's free and runs Friday (7 to 10 p.m.), Saturday (6 to 10 p.m.), and Sunday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Call 954-728-9533.
Wexford, Ireland, native Larry Kirwan sings of young lovers parting ways with kisses and promises as one of them heads off to America. Bandmate Chris Byrne ups the emotional ante with trills from a haunting tin whistle. Sound like a scene from a quaint Irish pub? Not quite. Byrne is an Irish-American from Brooklyn, and his and Kirwan's band, Black 47, is a Celtic-based outfit whose songs are a mix of raucous rock, New Wave, even jazz. The New York-based group will perform tonight as part of Irish Fest '98. No, we don't have the wrong date; South Florida's proud Irish-Americans just couldn't wait until Saint Patrick's Day for a big party. The festival's lineup includes Celtic-Cajun music from the Steve Riley Band on Saturday and a Gaelic Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday, followed by a performance by Irish comedian Hal Roach. Ceili dancing and an Irish food fair are also part of the festivities at the Dublin Pub Tent -- billed as Florida's largest Irish pub. It's set up in Bubier Park, Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10. Call 954-946-1093.
For "Animal Athletic Adventures," kids from preschool to age twelve will compete with animals to learn all about the creatures and their habitats -- sort of. Let's face it: Letting the tykes and animals go head-to-head would involve detailed disclaimer forms -- and probably unfit-parent charges. So, instead, kids and critters will compete indirectly. For example, after the zoo staff teaches a lesson on kangaroos and how far they leap (up to 26 feet), the kids will measure their best efforts against a "kangaroo jump" diagram on the ground. They'll also match animals with their habitats (e.g., fish to water). The educational games are part of Parenting Plus magazine's We Care Kids Fair, which features face painters, magicians, a bounce house, sand art, clowns, and live music. It takes place at the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park (1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach), and admission is $4 to $6. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday. Call 561-533-0887.
As explicit as the fourth-century Hindu sex manual Kamasutra is, its authors -- who wrote it for married couples -- would probably blush while watching John Bachman spread neon liquid-latex paint over the bodies of two male and four female dancers on stage. The spectacle takes place tonight for the Valentine's Day bash Kama Sutra. The dancers will writhe to progressive house music on the main floor of the Theater nightclub while drum 'n' bass songs pulsate upstairs in the Prop Room. Following the dancers will be an erotic fashion show, featuring leather, latex, and rubber clothing and fetish wear. Partygoers with a VIP hand stamp ($35) will conclude the evening with an after-show party, while those who paid the regular price ($20) dance the night away. The Theater is located at 3339 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5522.
Builders may not be the most popular people in South Florida today, but pioneer builder Ed King did a bang-up job when it came to constructing his own house in the heart of then-burgeoning Fort Lauderdale. In 1907 he found prime land near the New River, then built the frame house using super-durable Dade County pine. Because King's daughter, Louise, married Bloxham Cromartie, scion of another prominent family, the place is known as the King-Cromartie House, which is designated as a Fort Lauderdale Historic Site. Recently renovated, the house features an early 1900s icebox, a wood-burning stove, and tiger-oak furniture, which are on view as part of the Sailboat Bend House and Garden Tour and Park Festival today. Six historic homes and two other historic sites are part of the trolley tours, which depart from the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (219 SW 2nd Ave.) from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $10. The festival runs during the same hours at Maj. William Lauderdale Park (SW 11th Avenue and SW 4th Street) featuring a bake sale, antiques, and art. It's free. Call 954-779-7913.