Vaudeville acts -- the lousy ones -- used to be rousted off the stage with rotten tomatoes. But during the stage version of The Rocky Horror Show, the audience is expected to hurl objects and verbal insults at the actors. So bring along some rice for the opening scene of the '50s horror-film send-up when the Florida Atlantic University Department of Theater continues its Festival Rep '99 series tonight at the Broward Center For the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). As the musical begins, superstraight couple Brad and Janet get married, then get stranded on the way to their honeymoon and end up at Dr. Frank-N-Furter's spooky castle. A wild party ensues, and the flimsy plot about the couple's introduction to kink serves mostly to bide time between campy rock tunes like "Dammit Janet" and "Time Warp." Those who've seen the "Picture Show" movie version can sing along and will know just when to respond to the actors' lines with zingers of their own. Check your maturity at the door for tonight's 8 p.m. performance. Tickets cost $15 ($25 for a repertory subscription). The other rep selection, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, will be performed Saturday at 8 p.m. Call 954-462-0222. See "Stage" listings for a complete schedule.
The Orange County, California, residents who make up the band Hate Dept. will bring their mix of punk and industrial-goth electronica to Home tonight. While drummer Charles Hunt, guitarist Mark Greco, and keyboardist Jeff Smith are definitely members of the band, frontman Seibold is Hate Dept. The vocalist and multi-instrumentalist plays keyboards, guitar, and percussion, and he's a sought-after studio whiz who's produced albums for Berlin and Information Society. In addition to providing musical direction for Hate Dept., which he formed in the early '90s, Seibold supplies the "hate." On the band's third album, the recently released Technical Difficulties, his raspy vocals focus on what he considers societal shortcomings, including the persistence of the flower-child movement. "Drugged out hippie in a flowery dress you smell/You won't change a thing.../I think you should leave now," he wails on "Leaving." Other upbeat titles include "Coming Down," "Anger Impulse," and "Little Let Down." But who's listening to the lyrics when the music is so damn loud? The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and the cover is $5. Home is located at 3841 Griffin Rd. in southeast Broward County. Call 954-965-0042.
Groping groupies, drug rehab, and the paparazzi aren't the only downers when it comes to being a rock star. Superstardom's biggest bummers are often related to court appearances, and in the book They Fought the Law: Rock Music Goes to Court, entertainment attorney Stan Soocher details the most famous (and infamous) cases. Based on first-hand accounts, interviews with participants, and reams of court documents, Soocher's book presents the inside story on how Elvis Presley's estate battled the King's manager, Col. Tom Parker, over publicity rights and broke new legal ground for artists in the process; how the Beatles fought Capitol Records for a decade over millions of dollars in royalties (resulting in the largest settlement ever between recording artists and a record company); and how Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne fended off claims that their music had prompted teen suicides. Soocher will discuss and sign copies of his book at 7:30 p.m. at Liberties, 888 Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-522-6789.
How much more patriotic can you get than watching a play about founding father Thomas Jefferson on the Fourth of July? Twilight at Monticello, performed by its author, J.D. Sutton, opened Friday and runs through August 8 at the Hollywood Boulevard Theatre (1938 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood). Today's performance begins at 3 p.m. Although he lives in Orlando, Sutton grew up in Philadelphia and was immersed in U.S. history as a child. But it wasn't until he took a trip to Monticello, Jefferson's estate in Virginia, in 1993 that he was inspired to create his one-man show. After touring the former plantation during the 250th anniversary celebration of the third President's birthday, he began extensive research on Jefferson. "It was five years of reading everything I could get my hands on: biographies, his letters, histories, and things other people wrote and said about him," recalls Sutton. Although 95 percent of the script is Jefferson's own words, Sutton discovered that Jefferson was a terrible public speaker with a soft, reedy voice. So, while the tall, trim Sutton resembles the former Prez physically, he doesn't try to emulate Jefferson's vocal mannerisms in the show, which features Jefferson sitting in his study, recounting his achievements and failures. Audiences will be able to query Sutton, still in character, during a question-and-answer period following each performance. Tickets cost $10, $18, and $20. Call 954-929-5400. See "Stage" listings for details.
Some folks believe in poltergeists, others that they've been kidnapped by aliens and taken aboard their ships for testing. The formation of the new Paranormal Studies Group, therefore, should come as no surprise. Members -- whether they believe in this stuff or just find it fascinating -- will talk ghosts, magic, UFOs, and other supernatural and unexplained phenomena during 7:30 p.m. meetings every Monday at the Unitarian Fellowship of Hollywood (1812 Roosevelt St., Hollywood). Meetings, which will feature guest speakers and the examination of a different topic each week, are free. "We're all pretty intellectual here, so we like to discuss a lot of different, bizarre topics," says the Rev. Edie Crews. "It's going to be an X-Files-type thing." Call 954-925-1917.