It's Thursday night, and you're probably thinking, "Only one more day till the weekend... But I can't wait that long!" Well, there's nothing like a little rhythm and blues to soothe your soul, which, at this point in the workweek, probably is a bit agitated. Maybe you should start your weekend early and head over to Cheers Food & Spirits (941 E. Cypress Creek Rd., Fort Lauderdale) for some live music by Merge. The band, something of a regular at Cheers, fuses R&B with classic rock, with a little reggae thrown in for good measure. Another reason for starting the weekend early: Thursday is ladies night, with free drinks from 9 to 11 p.m. Plus, there's no cover charge, and the night doesn't end till 4 a.m. It's a win-win any way you look at it. Call 954-771-6337.
Beauty comes in different forms. And in different sizes too. The bigger, the better, right? That's what the South Florida Big Beautiful Women/Big Handsome Men Dance Club says. The club regularly holds its "Big Beautiful Dance" events specifically for heavy-set individuals, offering an environment in which they can meet, greet, and boogie without fear of being judged by the Lara Flynn Boyle types. And on Friday, the big-boned beauties get down at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). In addition to the nonstop dancing, there'll be vendors, promotions, prizes, and more. Every body is welcome: big, small, round, tall -- even you oh-so-perfect size fours. The dancin' starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $8. Call 954-463-9005.
Want to see your tax dollars fly by faster than you can say, "But, Mr. IRS Man, that deduction is legit"? Check out the giant infomercial for the U.S. military, cleverly disguised as the tenth-annual Air & Sea Show. Massive battleships and shiny aircraft will be on display at Fort Lauderdale Beach (A1A and Sunrise Boulevard), and pricey toys like the Navy's F-14 Tomcat and the Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber will whiz through the skies in a "patriotic tribute... to thank the men and women of our armed forces." As you watch the aviation spectacle, imagine these death machines dropping 200-ton bombs to shock and awe your suddenly very mortal-feeling self. Dennis Kucinich's idea for establishing a Department of Peace never seemed so brilliant. On Saturday, from 7 to 10 p.m., jazz artist Chuck Mangione performs with the BBS All-Stars (formerly UB40), followed by a fireworks display. Festivities continue on Sunday. Call 954-527-5600, ext. 4, or visit www.nationalsalute.com.
Tom Callinan is an enigma. At the end of the cold war, when he penned tunes like "Glasnost to Go" and "They're Not Evil Anymore," he seemed like an independent, peace-loving guy. Then, in 1991, he cozied up to lawmakers by writing a song called "Connecticut's Lifeline: I-91," which convinced legislators to appoint him as the official state troubadour. A decade later, the songwriter got all aggro with the post-9/11 tune "These Colors Don't Run." Still, you gotta give props to any guy who can play the guitar, banjo, penny whistle, and bones (!) and whose personal mission is to keep alive the lost art of playing spoons. In conjunction with National Week of the Ocean Inc. (National Week of the Ocean is incorporated?), Callinan performs a sing-along concert of sea chanteys at Secret Woods Nature Center (2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach). Keep an ear out for "It's All for Me Grog" and "You Can't Eat the Oysters." Call 954-791-1030. (DF)
Contrary to what our TV-obsessed society may have you believing, you do not have to go on The Bachelor to meet a bachelorette, and you do not have to subscribe to the History Channel to experience history. Hit the off button on the remote and join the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation for a walking tour of mid-century modern homes. This and numerous other tours are happening in celebration of National Preservation Week. Meet at the corner of Monroe Street and Southlake Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-462-5180.
The campy 2003 film Die, Mommie, Die -- which shows at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale) Tuesday night -- revolves around a past-her-prime pop singer named Angela Arden (played by over-the-top screenwriter/playwright Charles Busch) who kills her husband (with a poisoned suppository!) so she can hook up with her hot young lover -- played by 90210 Peach Pit honey Jason Priestley. Angela's daughter is none too happy about mom's escapades, and she plots "Electra-like" revenge. Along the way, Angela trips out on LSD and "gets it at both ends from hot movers," and pretty boy Priestley locks lips with Angela's son Lance. Hot stuff for cool kids! The film screens at 5 p.m. and again at 7:30. The cost is $6. Call 954-525-FILM.
Contrary to popular misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's day of independence; that day falls on September 16. May 5, rather, honors Mexico's 1862 victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. That's right -- back when the French government truly was full of bad guys (unlike now, when it's bad only in the hyperactive imagination of the Bush Brigade). While Cinco de Mayo largely is a regional celebration for Puebla, the festivities, which revolve around food and drink, are commonly celebrated in the States as well. And what better place to hold a Cinco de Mayo event than a Mexican restaurant? That's why it'd be a good idea to drop by Ole Ole Mexican Grille (300 SW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale) for drink specials (domestic beers, five for $10; imports, five for $15), giveaways, and a live radio broadcast by Big 106 FM. The fiesta takes place from 7 to 11 p.m. Call 954-527-5969.