FRI 5/14 The dress code for tonight's Alter Ego fetish party is strict -- rubber, leather, vinyl, goth, fetish glam, uniforms. No jeans. No black streetwear. Critics might say this could all just be classified as "drag." But all dress codes are some form of drag, from the plaid halls of Catholic school to government's wool-suited backrooms. Maybe it's naively optimistic to wish 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would loosen up every few weeks, externalize the jackboots of their souls, and spray on some latex... except for Condi, whose everyday Meet the Press outfits and pearls already make her the ultimate ice queen dominatrix.
The dress code for the Alter Ego party will be enforced at the door until 3 a.m. In addition to dancing, expect performances by sexy, chameleon-like fetish model Masuimi Max, a fire-eating contortionist from Las Vegas who recently appeared on Fear Factor (see her at www.iamtrouble.com). Max will also emcee the night. Erotic aerialist Chain Goddess Brandy, currently on tour with the Genitorturers, will do up her stylized after-hours version of Cirque du Soleil.
Tonight's party is similar to other monthly Alter Ego soirees thrown by the Fetish Factory, Fort Lauderdale's leather megastore. But it also commemorates the Fetish Factory's ninth anniversary as a pioneer in the local scene, not only as purveyor but also as community resource and matchmaker (it holds bimonthly, members-only parties that include less dancing and more lounging). Fetish Factory has been at it since the spring of 1995, which itself was an oddly calm moment preceding Bush America's scary moral reawakening. In May of 1995, W. was a prodigal, failed oilman just beginning his unlikely first term as Texas governor.
The Alter Ego fetish party is for ages 18 and up at the Copa Nightclub (2800 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Buy tickets ($10) in advance at the Fetish Factory store (855 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, www.fetishfactory.com) or at the door ($15). Call 954-563-5777. -- Dave Amber
Tippin' the Scale
Fall down the rabbit hole
You're Alice, and this is Wonderland. Or so it feels when you visit Eaton Fine Art (435 Gardenia St., West Palm Beach). On display are works from several artists who mess with our concept of scale. Local painter Sam Perry shows a collection of 20 small (about seven inches by seven inches) abstract paintings. "In this day and age, making abstract paintings is not exactly fashionable," gallery owner Tim Eaton says, but Sam executes them "with gusto, panache, and gravitas." No, you haven't just downed a bottle labeled "Drink me"; you're looking at photos by French artist Bernard Plossu, who shoots vast desert scenes and then prints in small format, presenting "jewel-like miniatures." On the flipside, you feel like Mini-me as you walk through the sculpture garden to peruse the giant sculptures of fruit, produced by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz, both West Palm Beach artists. Says Eaton: "They're taking something that's a normal size and blowing it up to surrealist proportions." The long, strange trip kicks off with a reception on Thursday, May 13, and you can crawl back out of the rabbit hole when the exhibit closes on June 26. Call 561-833-4766, or visit www.eatonart.net. -- Deirdra Funcheon
... a sea of hip-hop wannabes
If you go to the hip-hop workshop led by Britney Spears' choreographer and MTV host Wade Robson, you'll have to squeeze into a sea of nearly 1,000 participants dressed in skimpy, stretchy clothes. Whoa there, tiger. The bulk of 'em will be underage. Robson comes as a guest instructor for Pop Starz Inc., a Boca-based company that wants to do for local kids what P. Diddy did for the guys on Making the Band: give them a taste of stardom. Robson's bringing Tyler Banks, who won the reality show/dance competition The Wade Robson Project; Eddie Garcia, who choreographed the movie Bringin' Down the House; Glenn Douglas Packard, who has choreographed for Marc Anthony and Pink; and Shane Sparks, who choreographed the film You Got Served. If you've got the body that rocks the party and you can fit into the ballrooms at the Westin Diplomat Hotel (3555 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood), you'll be grouped by age and ability and learn a dance from each choreographer. It costs $120. Call 561-997-1188, or visit www.popstarzinc.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Shakin', Not Stirred
Gin or vodka? Olives? Dirty? Social Fusion's throwing a potentially personal mixer for martini gluttons looking to meet other Bond-ers. Tonight's Interactive Team Martini Making and Tasting is part of the "edu-tainment" series, during which young professionals socialize and network, then pucker up to make Rush Street's award-winning sour apple martini and other favorites. First you get a colored recipe card with an ingredient (pay attention, now), and then you have to mingle and find the other ingredients for your concoction. It's like a cocktail seminar, team building, and happy hour all rolled into one -- "an experience, not an event," Social Fusion founder Chris Muccio says. Food, prize drawings, and other giveaways top off the evening. Things get shakin' at Rush Street (220 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $29 for the one "experience," cheaper if you enroll in Social Fusion's frequent fling plan at www.socialfusion.com. Call 954-663-2759. -- Michele D. Omenson