Beer drinkers know there's a difference between bland generic brews (look for the red, white, and/or blue labels) and the top brands, which offer a variety of delicious flavors. Well, the same goes for sake, the Japanese rice wine. In its native country, fatsu-shu is generic sake. The high-end version is tokutei-meisho-shu, which is divided into categories dictated by the ingredients used to make the wine and the way it's brewed and stored. If it all sounds confusing, tonight's sake tasting at Red Bowl restaurant (Powerline and Palmetto Park roads in Boca Raton) may clear things up. Pearl, Silver, and Gold varieties of sake will be served with a sampling of Asian appetizers. The tasting, a singles event put on by Upscale Productions, costs just $15, about the price of a six-ounce bottle of Gold. And at the end of the event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., the restaurant's signature "saketinis" will be served. You guessed it: They're martinis made with sake. Call 954-537-3103.
The U.S. Pro Waterski and Wakeboard Tour returns to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, and because the top male and female competitors in wakeboarding are both from Florida, observers will have a chance to root for the home-state favorites. Both Tara Hamilton of Lantana and Parks Bonifay of Winter Park are 17 years old. Wakeboarding may sound relatively safe, but these kids actually fly as high as two stories during big-air jumps. Jump and slalom competitions are also part of the event at Mills Pond Park (2201 NW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission prices range from $4 to $7 in advance, $5 to $10 at the gate. Call 800-334-6541 for more information.
While U.S. and NATO planes are busy bombing the hell out of Slobodan Milosevic's troops, kids with visions of becoming cockpit commandos will see the most graphic recruiting commercial imaginable on Fort Lauderdale beach. During the 1999 Air and Sea Show this weekend, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team will thrill spectators with wingtip-to-wingtip precision stunts and shake up nearby homeowners with low-altitude jet engine noise. Inspired spectators can step up to the armed services recruiting booths set up at the show. Sea events include military hovercraft and civilian watercraft demonstrations. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and the action takes place between Oakland Park and Las Olas boulevards. Admission is free. Call 954-527-5600, ext. 88.
Nothing like this ever happened to the Brady Bunch. If you recall, when Carol and Mike got married, they turned two families of four into one family of eight, and everybody lived happily ever after. But in the case of The Playroom, one 14-year-old girl named Judy doesn't react too kindly to the idea that her father is going to remarry and add a stepdaughter, 10-year-old Ellen, to the family. Soon after Ellen arrives, she disappears. And when the cops begin investigating, Judy and her snooty friends are less than cooperative. Turns out Judy was just carrying out a practical joke as a way to get back at her father. But the joke becomes a matter of life and death after her plan backfires. The Playroom runs through May 9 at the Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 NW Ninth St., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $15. Performances Tuesday through Saturday begin at 8 p.m.; matinees take place Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 561-272-1281. See "Stage"listings for a complete schedule.
There is no T-shirt or cap giveaway. No star like Sammy Sosa or Mark Maguire. So what's the incentive for heading to Pro Player Stadium tonight to see the Florida Marlins play the Milwaukee Brewers? If you're a true baseball fan, you don't need much prompting to kick back with a beer, munch some peanuts, and watch the action unfold one pitch at a time. If you need a little drama to get you to the ballpark, keep in mind that the Brew Crew will be defending its 9-and-0 lifetime record against the Fish. Hey, we didn't say it was going to be earth-shattering. Ticket prices range from $2 to $45, and game time is 7:05 p.m. For more information call 954-835-8326 or 561-835-8326.