The comparison is inevitable, and it goes beyond the signature braids. Both Willie Nelson and Pippi Longstocking sport the same hairstyle. Both are fiercely independent and massively beloved. They were both abandoned by their parents, and they both have, at all times, a helluva good story ready to be rolled out. Come to think of it, we've never seen Willie and Pippi in the same room at the same time... Verrry suspicious!
Actually, Willie's real-life story is stranger than fiction. In addition to being an honorary Texas Ranger and an admiral of the Texas navy, Nelson, throughout his 70 years on Earth, has worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman, started a pig farm, launched the Farm Aid festivals, and kissed African-American country singer Charley Pride on the lips on-stage at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas. In 1978, Nelson smoked a joint -- or, as he called it, "a big fat Austin torpedo" -- on the roof of the White House while Jimmy Carter snoozed in a bedroom below. And there was, of course, that infamous $16.7 million bill from the tax man in 1990 that forced him to sell his houses, his ranch, and his golf course... all of which he eventually earned back.
And then there's his music! Before becoming a successful singer in his own right, Nelson penned hits for other artists, including "Crazy," which was made famous by the clear, aching vocals of Patsy Cline and remains the number-one most-requested jukebox song of all time. Included on the 230-plus albums that Willie has released are some of the world's most famous duets: "Pancho and Lefty," which Willie sang with fellow "outlaw country" artist Merle Haggard; "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," with Waylon Jennings; and "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," with Julio Iglesias.
These days, Willie is, as his famous song goes, "On the Road Again." In fact, he rarely gets off the road, performing about 150 shows each year. When he's not touring, Willie hosts the biggest Fourth of July picnic in Texas, films commercials for H&R Block's tax services, and stumps for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Catch this lovable character at 8 p.m. at Mizner Park Amphitheatre (433 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Call 561-962-4109. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Loving a lie
Mr. Right told a fib
Finding the perfect spouse is not easy, especially when you hold your potential mate to a rigorously high set of standards, the foremost of which being possibly our biggest weakness: honesty. Oscar Wilde made a career of skewering our attempts to hide our everyday peccadillos, taking special pleasure in those that lead to scandal (rather ironic, given the master of irony's own career-ending scandal). As in other Wilde plays, the protagonist in An Ideal Husband is torn between coming clean and saving his rear. Faced with this dilemma, Sir Robert Chiltern struggles to hide the truth regarding the origins of his wealth, both from his wife and from the public (he serves as Britain's undersecretary of foreign affairs). Should Chiltern lie to protect his marriage and career, or should he confront his shadowy past and accept the consequences? Does the end justify the means, or will the means only expedite the end? Find out when An Ideal Husband comes to the Broward County Main Library Theatre (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale) March 5 and 6. You may not walk away a paragon of integrity, but you'll be entertained. Call 954-784-0768.
Blues You Can Use
Better than brunch: the Seth Yacovone Band
SAT 3/6 Get out of bed by noon and catch the prodigious Seth Yacovone Band in a set at 12:45 p.m. at the Langerado Festival. By effortlessly shifting from gritty blues/rock to sizzling jazz improvisations, the group's funky, psychedelic sound garners comparisons to Frank Zappa, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Howlin' Wolf, and Cream.
Twenty-four-year-old Seth Yacovone was discovered at the age of 15 by Phish's Trey Anastasio in the snowy mountains of Vermont. Anastasio's attention launched Yacovone, along with bandmates Tom Coggio (bass) and Steve Hadeka (drums), on an exceptional journey, with a lot of encouragement from a host of top-notch mentors and musicians. SYB performs more than 100 shows a year and has independently released five acclaimed albums. The band has shared the stage with musical heavyweights such as the Who, Derek Trucks, Phish, and B.B. King. This lucky-stars course allows SYB to worry less about mass appeal and concentrate more on sonic exploration. The Seth Yacovone Band appears at the Langerado Festival at Young Circle Park (Hollywood Boulevard and Federal Highway, Hollywood). Tickets cost $32.50 in advance. Call 800-594-8499, or visit www.sethyac.com. The concert starts at 11 a.m. and costs $10 to $20. Call 954-885-1466. -- Vanessa Hodgkinson
Imagine this for a new reality show: Ten people, each masking a dark secret, are marooned. But unlike Survivor, in which the contestants fight to survive the natural elements, they must struggle against a cunning serial killer. In Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, an unknowing cast of victims is invited to a byzantine mortuary without having met the host, who mysteriously puts off making an appearance. Meanwhile, the guests die off, one by one. As the signs point to a particular guest as the murderer, the suspect dies, and the tension continues to build until the final curtain. Ten Little Indians will be performed today and Saturday at the Pine Island Multi-Purpose Center (3801 S. Pine Island Rd., Davie). Call 954-797-1163. -- Jason Budjinski