Normally a wildlife photographer has to work with smaller publications for years before getting his or her stuff published in Audubon magazine. But during the Corkscrew Swamp Photo Safari Adventure today through Sunday, photographers will learn wildlife photography skills from professional photogs Moose Peterson and Franklin Viola and then submit the photos they shoot in the Everglades to the nature mag. Today's agenda includes an orientation and a barbecue dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, participants will hike through the 'Glades with the professionals from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During that time they'll shoot with their own 35mm cameras, but the lenses are provided by the event's sponsors. Fuji provides the film, and one of the photos will be picked to appear in the May-June issue of Audubon. Another photo will be chosen as a contest winner, the prize for which is a package of high-end camera gear. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located 25 miles northeast of Naples, off County Road 846 (Immokalee Road); take exit 17 off I-75. Daily admission prices range from $3.50 to $7. For accommodations information call 800-451-7111. For event information call 212-979-3101.
Many of us have seen magic shows only on TV, and skeptics believe that TV trickery is behind the "magic" that takes place on stage. But Experience the Extraordinary is a stage show that involves plenty of audience participation, so viewers will get a close look at how Craig Karges, who calls himself an "extraordinist," works his brand of magic. Karges is known for his paranormal performances on The Tonight Show and Larry King Live, and he claims he can bend a spoon with nothing but his brain and call out the serial numbers of currency provided by the audience while blindfolded. Levitation is also part of his act, as is a guess at the one word an audience member picks out of a 5000-word book. Should skeptics remain unconvinced, Karges says he'll donate $25,000 to charity if someone can prove his tricks are setups. The show takes place at 2 and 8 p.m. today at the Crest Theatre, Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $23 or $28. Call 561-243-7922.
As horse trainers put thoroughbreds through their final workouts in preparation for last Sunday's opening at Gulfstream Park, John Choquette made sure the surgical gloves and the specimen cups were in stock. The operations specialist works for the State of Florida, overseeing a crew of 17 people who keep racing on the up-and-up. Following each race the top three horses are taken to a barn, scrubbed down by a groom, walked for 30 minutes, then led into a stall, where each horse is supposed to, well, pee in a cup. The urine samples are sent to a state lab, where they're tested for illegal substances; but they aren't always easy to get. Choquette used to obtain the samples himself, but these days one of his crew holds the cup at the end of a stick and encourages each horse to urinate on cue. A little straw tossed their way agitates some horses into action, Choquette says, and others respond to a soft whistle that resembles running water. "They are just like people," he adds. "They're all different characters." Racing begins today at 1 p.m., and a concert by Jefferson Starship begins at 2 p.m. Grandstand admission is $3; clubhouse admission $5. Gulfstream is located at 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale. Races are run daily except Tuesdays through March 16. Call 888-574-6773 or 954-454-7000.
The treasures of King Tutankhamen, the Egyptian Pharaoh who died while still a boy, toured the United States during the late '70s. (Remember Steve Martin's big hit, "King Tut"?) But following that trip, the Egyptian government forbade the artifacts leaving their home country. Luckily for those who missed it the first time around, replicas of the fancy, gold-encrusted stuff -- including a funerary mask, a coffin, and a royal scepter -- have since been created and are now on tour as the King Tutankhamen Exhibition. (Martin, we're told, is working on a new song: "King Faux Tut.") Appropriately enough the items are on view through January 30 at the Broward Mall, University Drive and Broward Boulevard, Plantation. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-473-8100.
The year that World War II ended, and Allied forces liberated Holocaust prisoners at the Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps was the same year the first Jewish Miss America was crowned. Bess Myerson spent 1945 making public appearances, modeling evening wear, and speaking out for tolerance on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. She was also turned away from a restricted country club because she was Jewish. Myerson went on to become New York City Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, breaking barriers for women in politics as she had done for Jews in the beauty pageant. In her book, Miss America 1945: Bess Myerson and the Year That Changed Our Lives, she recounts, with the help of author Susan Dwork, her exceptional life story. She'll talk about it today at 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 11820 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Admission is free. Call 954-441-0444.
Playwright-composer Jonathan Larson died in his New York City apartment in the East Village of an aortic aneurysm just before the opening of his show, Rent. He was only 35 years old, but the musical encapsulates his life and that of the other edgy artist-types among whom he lived. The show, sort of an update of Puccini's opera La Boheme, follows a cast of avant-garde characters more interested in pursuing artistic careers than doing the nine-to-five thing. Consequently they're always short on money for rent. Despite the show's hundred-year-old source material, Rent is definitely a contemporary story, complete with rock-opera score, up-to-date sexual politics, and characters dealing with the fallout from AIDS. The show, which has already racked up major theater awards, including a 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical, continues its run at the Broward Center For the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) through January 17. Evening performances continue through Sunday at 8 p.m.; matinees continue Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $55. Call 954-462-0222.