Anyone who's acted in a play knows how much rehearsal time goes into preparing for a show. But even those who've burned plenty of midnight oil should consider the members of the Nrityagram Odissi Dance Ensemble of India. The four female dancers perform in the classical Odissi style from northeast India, which dates back to the Second Century B.C., making it the oldest dance form in India. The precise yet flowing movements of the sari-wrapped, barefooted dancers are set to the ethereal twang of sitar music. Before they began performing, the women lived together for six years in isolation in Nrityagram, India's only village set up for the purpose of preserving the country's seven classical dance styles. While the women perfected their steps, they also learned Indian mythology, Sanskrit, poetry, yoga, meditation, and martial arts. No wonder it took them six years. The ensemble performs tonight at the Duncan Theatre, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show cost $20, $25, and $30. Call 561-439-8141.
The hell with Viagra. In the play Mixed Emotions, 65-year-old Herman Lewis and 61-year-old Christine Millman are plenty frisky without it. They used to be just friends, but now that their spouses have passed away they're, well, more intimate. Christine, however, is determined to move to -- where else? -- Florida. When a couple moving guys walk in and out of their conversations, they get an earful of pretty steamy talk, most of it coming from Herman, who's trying to get Christine to stay and marry him. Apparently Herman is a persuasive guy, because before long the aging pair is doing more than just talking. The romantic comedy, written by Richard Baer, runs through April 4 at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs. Tonight's curtain is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-344-7765. For a complete schedule, see "Stage" listings.
Four thousand people aren't exactly what you'd call an intimate crowd. But compared to the megaconcerts Natalie Merchant played during the recent Lilith Fair tour, her "Evening With" solo stop at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave., Sunrise) will provide fans with a close encounter of the theatrical kind. The former singer for 10,000 Maniacs, Merchant went solo with Tigerlily in 1995. Her follow-up, last year's Ophelia, departs from Tigerlily's stark arrangements, instead offering lush orchestration, layered vocals, and a spate of guest musicians, including Daniel Lanois on a trippy guitar excursion and jazzy trumpet by rising star Chris Botti. Merchant utilizes such varied soundscapes as backdrops for her poetic lyrics, which, like the music, span the emotional spectrum. On "My Skin" she laments, "Contempt loves the silence/It thrives in the dark/With fine winding tendrils/That strangle the heart," while in "Life Is Sweet" she urges listeners to make the most of life before it passes them by. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show cost $25.50 and $32.50. Call 954-523-3309.
Humans didn't exist when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but Hollywood knows that throwing the two species together makes for big box-office returns. Case in point: Jurassic Park, in which dinosaurs genetically cloned from DNA terrorize a modern-day resort. In T-rex: Back to the Cretaceous, humans step into the world of the original "thunder lizards." Ally, the daughter of a paleontologist, travels back in time when one of her father's specimens comes to life, and she somehow manages to observe the dinos in their habitat without becoming a dino-snack. By combining IMAX 3-D film technology and the latest dinosaur research, the filmmakers deliver a 45-minute take on the Cretaceous period. T-rex is joined by a cast of other computer-generated beasts in a lush, Land of the Lost-like setting that dates back 65 million years. T-rex is screened daily at the Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $7 and $9. Call 954-467-6637 or see "Showtimes" listings for the schedule of screenings.
Poetry isn't all iambic pentameter and rhyme schemes. For more than a century now, poets have been fiddling around with free verse, and when the Beats appeared back in the '50s, spoken-word poetry pushed the envelope even more. So if you're an aspiring poet who's experimenting with different forms, where do you publish? Poets in Print, a new workshop series that begins today at Borders Books and Music in Fort Lauderdale, should provide some answers. During the workshop, writers will critique each other's work, then poet Pat Baxter, a workshop facilitator, will lead a discussion on how to get published. Baxter says that conducting the workshop in a bookstore enables the writers to check out the magazines and journals to which they might want to submit poetry. Helpful reference books are also on hand. And after the seminar poets are welcome to test their material on audiences during one of the bookstore's regular open-mic nights. The workshop takes place on the second Tuesday of every month. Admission to the 6:30 p.m. workshop and readings is free. Borders is located at 2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-566-6335.