Rapper-actor L.L. Cool J has managed to maintain his street credentials while cultivating a family-friendly image -- at least for most of his career. He dropped out of high school at age sixteen when his first single, "I Need a Beat," sold 100,000 copies. That was way back in 1984. By 1985 his first album, Radio, was receiving widespread critical praise. But fans who heard his 1989 album, Walking With a Panther, felt L.L. had sold out; he was booed at the Apollo Theater and later admitted he was out of touch with the rap scene at the time. He came back with 1990's Grammy-winning Mama Said Knock You Out. Despite the album's title, he says that he's against violence, and he portrays an upstanding ex-jock on TV's In the House. L.L.'s latest rap release is the Top 10 Phenomenon, and he performs at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave., Sunrise) tonight at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $22.50 to $34.50. Call 954-741-7300.
After seeing an opera by the Moscow Theater for Children, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (18911953) was asked to pen an original piece for the company. He decided to write something that would not only appeal to kids but also teach them about the orchestra. So in his narrated musical play Peter and the Wolf, featuring Peter and his woodland friends outwitting a wolf, each character is represented by a specific instrument. Prokofiev had no way of knowing, of course, that animated movies, TV specials, and video games would eventually co-opt Peter. In its "Concerts for Kids" series, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra recreates the piece in its original format: a concert at which kids experience a live orchestra. The concert takes place today at 10:15 and 11:40 a.m. at the Florida Atlantic University Auditorium, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $5. Call 954-930-2997.