Some women complain that men won't pull over to ask for directions, much less admit that they're lost. Well, asking directions won't even be an option for those who participate in the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop. The survival skills class teaches women how to stay alive with just a little water, some matches, a pocket knife, and a poncho. More important, they learn how to use a map and a compass to avoid getting lost in the first place. The nationwide program offers classes in Florida four times a year, twice in the Ocala National Forest near Gainesville, and twice at J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area west of Palm Beach Gardens, where the next installment takes place today through Monday. Kayaking, fishing, backpacking, off-road biking, photography, and powerboating are among eighteen classes offered. Participants choose four classes, and the price is $100, which includes meals and lodging. Registration is required. Call 561-625-5122.
The Endeavor has landed. No, not the space shuttle -- the replica of the sailing ship in which Capt. James Cook circumnavigated the globe between 1768 and 1771. It's docked at Peanut Island off Palm Beach today through March 15 for its only Florida stop. The 110-foot ship is a faithful re-creation of the original, except for bathrooms, engines, and modern navigation equipment. It probably smells better, too. Visitors will be thankful for that while checking out the living quarters of Cook and his crew. Also on view are the ship's work areas, where maps and charts of newly discovered lands were drawn (Australia was the biggie), and flora and fauna from around the world cataloged. Cook sailed from England, but the replica's three-year world tour began in 1996 in Australia, where the ship was built. Tours of the H.M. Bark Endeavor take place today through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors travel from Currie Park (Flagler Drive, one mile north of downtown West Palm Beach) by ferry to the ship's berth. Admission is $8.95 to $12.95. Call 561-863-0006.
The first caber-tossing contest must have been inspired by at least a wee bit of Scottish ale. How else to explain the Scots' idea to throw tree trunks around as a sport? However caber-tossing began, it's now part of Scottish heritage, as are tossing the hammer, stone, and iron weights for distance, sports that will be played during the Scottish Heavy Athletics portion of the Southeast Florida Highland Games today. Since the Scots' penchant for throwing heavy stuff is equaled by their taste for bagpipe music, the Eastern Florida Pipe Band Championship is part of the festival, too. Entertainment will also include Scottish folk singer Alex Beaton, the South Florida Celtic folk group Avalon, the Canadian folk quartet Brigadoon, and Seven Nations, which plays both traditional and contemporary Celtic music. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 Fig Tree Dr., Plantation. Admission is $2 to $10. Call 954-792-8017.
Shopping for a new home in our solar system, aliens decide to check out Earth. As they hover in orbit, they notice some nearby asteroids and comets, which could easily wipe out their potential new neighborhoods. And what about those nearby stars? If those suckers explode, they'll bathe the entire planet in radiation. If these sound like doomsday scenarios, it's because the new Buehler Planetarium show, Cosmic Catastrophes, makes use of an alien perspective to consider what may eventually destroy our planet. Set up to look like a series of monitors aboard an alien spacecraft, the planetarium's domed screen is filled with images of meteoric projectiles, erupting volcanoes, and the effects of global warming. Eventually the extraterrestrials decide to hang out for a while, to see if humans will wipe out the planet before anything else can. The show runs on weekends through March 31. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 to $5. The planetarium is located at Broward Community College, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie, 954-475-6681.
When you think of a classical trio, you don't think of throwing drums into the mix. But that's exactly what the Core Ensemble has done: Hugh Hinton plays piano, Andrew Mark plays cello, and Michael Parola is a percussionist. Of course a new kind of combo demands a new kind of composition, and British composer Bernard Rands came up with "Triple Concerto" specifically for the ensemble. The unusual piece begins with the cello, which is soon joined by piano, then timpani. After the opening solos, a full orchestra is introduced in three sections. Musicians on the left side of the stage back up Hinton, the center section Mark, the players on the right Parola. What the audience sees and hears, according to Rands, are three individual concerts that somehow work as one. For two upcoming concerts, the Core Ensemble will be accompanied by the Florida Philharmonic. Tonight's concert begins at 8 p.m. at Florida Atlantic University Auditorium (777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, 561-297-3737). On Wednesday the concert starts at 8 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-761-5380). Also, for both concerts, guest conductor Derrick Inouye leads the orchestra and pianist Leon Fleisher in selections from Dvorak. Ticket prices range from $15 to $75.
It was a black comedy just waiting to be written, according to Davie playwright Michael McKeever, whose Don't Tell the Tsar is a retelling of a real-life monk's murder just prior to the Russian Revolution in 1917. At the time, Grigori Rasputin was Tsar Nicholas II's religious adviser. Being tight with the Romanovs certainly had its perks (plenty of Faberge finery around the palace, for one), but Rasputin's timing was terrible. The Russian peasants, led by one Vladimir Lenin, were restless, and many felt that the monarchy would soon go down. Rasputin had the tsar's ear, but the Russian aristocracy saw him as a nut whose association with the royals further fueled public hatred. So a buffoonish cast of killers poisoned, shot, then drowned Rasputin, just to make sure they job got done. McKeever adds a comic spin to the material, in order to point up the irony: It took a bunch of dukes and army generals to kill one unarmed holy man. Staged readings of McKeever's play will be given by the Caldwell Theatre Company (7873 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton) during its Playsearch Series today at 2 and 7 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested. Call 561-241-7432 or toll-free 930-6400.
Ballet performed with swords may sound dangerous, but you can bet it's a lot more exciting than Swan Lake. The Three Musketeers, which is based on the 1844 Alexandre Dumas novel, follows Porthos, Athos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan as they traipse around seventeenth-century England and France, fighting on behalf of their queen. A couple of questions have to be asked: Is anyone really going to be intimidated by guys wearing tights? And if there are four musketeers, how did Dumas come up with that title? (Actually, D'Artagnan joins the other three later in the book.) Anyway, the requisite themes of passion and guile are infused with comedy in this ballet performed by the Royal Ballet of Flanders. And the score is provided by Giuseppe Verdi. The curtain for the one-night engagement rises at 8 p.m. at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Ticket prices range from $20 to $45. Call 800-572-8471 or 561-832-7469.