1998 NOVEMBER 26 - DECEMBER 2
Next time you're feeling sorry for yourself, think about the poor British colonialist who went on safari in India during the holidays. Instead of snuggling fireside with the wife and kids at Christmas, he'd be stuck in a tent with rifle and manservant. Sounds rough, doesn't it? Well, think again. After a hard day of hunting, our fearless colonialist got to kick back in his tent, the floor of which was covered with an ornate rug. His comfy cane chair was equipped with foldout bars so that he could dangle his legs while the servant removed his boots. Next to him, on a carved Indian chest serving as a side table, sat his bottle of Bombay gin. And just outside the tent flap was a palm tree decorated with Christmas ornaments. This scene was played out again and again when the British ruled India (1857-1947), and it's been re-created in the vignette "The British Raj Observes Christmas on Safari" at Cornell Museum (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach), where seven other themed vignettes illustrate "The Holidays Throughout the World." The show remains on view through January 10. Admission is free. Call 561-243-7922.
Guitar hero Jimi Hendrix would have been 56 years old today. But would he have still been setting fire to his guitar and picking the strings with his teeth? Metal guitar strings can be tough on dentures, so who knows. But Hendrix, renowned for his on-stage antics and the new vocabulary he brought to the rock guitar, could easily have relied on his roots in blues, jazz, or R&B as he mellowed. In fact, before he hit it big, he spent the summer of 1966 covering Top 40 tunes while on tour with the Isley Brothers. And if it weren't for the Animals' bassist-turned-manager Chas Chandler, Hendrix may never have realized his potential. After hearing him play in the States, Chandler invited Hendrix back to England, where he hooked him up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to create the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix made it through three albums with that band and one with Band of Gypsys before his death in England from a suspected drug overdose in 1970. For Hendrix's birthday Studio 21 (3850 Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton) will host Jimi Hendrix -- A Music and Video Celebration today and tomorrow. Studio owner and blues guitarist Daryll Dobson and two guest musicians will play Hendrix covers, and video monitors will flash vintage footage of Jimi, his own bad self. Tickets cost $10. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Call 561-393-1214.
While a slew of blues-guitar wunderkinds -- including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, and Chris Duarte -- try to claim the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's mantle, newcomer Hadden Sayers and his Hadden Sayers Band have found their own niche. Sayers was definitely influenced by Vaughan, but he and his band pump out a version of Texas blues-rock that hovers somewhere between Vaughan and ZZ Top. "That was the vibe we were shooting for, because that is what we were listening to," explains Sayers. "I wasn't a blues purist when I was 12. I was listening to Kiss and ZZ Top." By the time he graduated from Texas A&M University in 1990, he was gigging in a blues trio with veteran B.B. King sidemen Tony Coleman and Russell Jackson. In 1995, interested in expanding his songwriting and singing duties, he formed his own band, renowned for its knockout live shows. The band plays tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the Back Room, 16 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Cover is $5. Call 561-243-9110.
They say an elephant never forgets, an enviable ability so long as one of the mammoth pachyderms isn't holding a grudge against you. During the filming of the large-format IMAX movie Africa's Elephant Kingdom, a crew in a four-wheel-drive got a little too close to a female elephant tending some youngsters. The mad matriarch charged the truck as the driver pulled away slowly, trying to let her get as close as possible for a great shot. But she was faster than he thought. The massive mama lunged for the truck, her tusks flanking the camera and making for a spectacular shot. But the crew members had had enough; they shouted at the driver, he stepped on the gas, and, before the truck could get out of range, the elephant raised her trunk and spat on the lens. The entire scene, shot while the crew was following an elephant family around Kenya's Amboseli National Park for a year, is included in the 40-minute film, which runs daily at the Blockbuster IMAX Theater at the Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Admission prices range from $7 to $9. See "Showtimes" for the daily schedule. Call 954-467-6637.
She studies at the same music conservatory that nurtured pianist-composer Leonard Bernstein. She's played at the White House. And she's only 11 years old. Music critics are already hailing violinist Stephanie Jeong as a star of the 21st Century. And although she is the youngest student at New York City's prestigious Curtis Institute (she got in at age nine), Jeong isn't waiting around for the millennium. She joins the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for the opening concert of its Prelude Series tonight at Coral Springs City Centre Theatre, 255 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. Showtime is 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $40. Call 954-344-5990. The series continues Tuesday at Bailey Concert Hall in Davie and concludes Wednesday at Florida Atlantic University Center Auditorium in Boca Raton. See "Concerts For the Week" for details.
It figures that a guy who grew up in Minnesota -- Land of 10,000 Lakes -- would end up writing the history of Chris Craft, the manufacturer of the sporty wooden speedboat. Author Jeffrey L. Rodengen now lives in Fort Lauderdale, and the story of the Illinois boat company, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year, was the first history book he wrote. Now the author of hundreds of technical and general interest articles and 23 books on American technology and history, Rodengen didn't even start writing books until 1980. Before moving to Florida that year to write about the evolution of American industry -- including The Legend of Dr Pepper/7-Up and The Legend of Goodyear: The First 100 Years -- he spent 15 years in the entertainment industry producing, directing, or writing some 30 films, television specials, and stage revues. His next book is The Legend of Pfizer: Part of the Cure For 150 Years, about the pharmaceutical giant. He'll talk about his work today at 2 p.m. at the North Regional/BCC Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek. Admission is free. Call 954-969-2600.
You know him as Captain Stubing from The Love Boat. But this time around, actor Gavin McCloud is starring as... an actor, in Moon Over Buffalo. The comedy by Ken Ludwig revolves around a pair of not-so-happily married actors who find themselves winding down their careers running a second-rate theater company in 1953 Buffalo. And with the ragtag troupe performing the swashbuckling Cyrano de Bergerac and the comedy Private Lives in repertory, there's plenty of opportunity for over-the-top farce, as well as door-slamming, sword-fighting, mistaken identity, and extramarital affairs. The play -- which was nominated for two 1996 Tony Awards -- has all the obvious camp one can handle. It opens tonight at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse (70 Royal Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach) for a two-week run before moving on to the Parker Playhouse on December 15. Ticket prices range from $46.50 to $49. Call 561-659-3310 or see "Stage" listings for details.