Playwright Ronnie Larsen certainly knows how to get our attention. He called his first play Ten Naked Men. He followed that with Making Porn. Then came All-Male Peep Show. You get the point. Is he smart? Or merely lazy? On www.bringdown.com, where people can make "citizen's arrests" on any "offender of the arts," critics suggest that Larsen relies too heavily on raunchiness and that his success is not deserved. One of the offended even quips, "Ronnie Larsen is running around socializing with porn stars and throwing parties for himself at places like the Nob Hill Male Show Palace while real playwrights eat their Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner." Wah!
Well, self-righteous playwrights can whine all they want. The (big) audiences who attend Cocksucker: A Love Story or Sleeping with Straight Men (other Larsen titles) surely aren't expecting Shakespeare when they buy their tickets. When Ten Naked Men hit Los Angeles, it enjoyed three months of sold-out shows.
Soon enough, ten naked men will be gracing the stage at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale) for a production of Larsen's first play (which was inspired by his real-life experiences). In it, wannabe stars graze Hollywood's streets searching for their one big, elusive break. Yes, the plot sounds like the makings of a soft '80's metal ballad -- except that this is funny in a deliberate way. In the comedic tale of prostitution and the entertainment industry, ten men -- three hustlers, a banker, two producers, a photographer, an actor, and two agents -- show that we're all prostitutes in our own quest for the holy trinity of fame, fortune, and happiness.
We know you're wondering... and yes, the entire cast does indeed get fully nekkid, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Remember, sunny South Florida is the home of humidity -- and its dreaded effect on the naked male genitalia is something that Howard Stern called "Bat Wings." Ten Naked Men runs through March 6. Tickets cost $25 to $35, with an extra $5 charge for priority seating. Call 954-537-3718. -- Terra Sullivan
A Melodic Melange
Dreadlocked and Loaded
Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR) thinks Björk is the "greatest composer of our time. She typifies the kind of artist I want to be. She's a very curious and brave person, and her music reflects that."
In his own compositions, DBR mixes hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical, and soul music. He holds a doctorate in music and plays more than 20 instruments. He's been known to sample interviews with his landlady (speaking about her history with Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington) over string quartets, and he is credited as the first artist to shake Carnegie Hall with hip-hop grooves. Tonight at 8, DBR performs a show called "Rockestra" with his band the Mission (a string quartet + a DJ + a keyboardist + a drummer) at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium (5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami).
Born and raised in South Florida, a graduate of Dillard High School for the Performing Arts in Sunrise, DBR, 32, praises his parents for his success. "It's really about gratitude and appreciation. I'm grateful for my parents, who are Haitian immigrants who both defy and define the American dream." Tickets to DBR's show cost $5 to $15. Call 305-237-3010, or visit www.culture.mdc.edu. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
A Wave of Support
Tsunami benefit rocks for relief
As unexpected as the devastation was last month in Asia, nearly as unprecedented but much more reassuring was the outpouring of American aid. You can bet that somewhere, Sally Struthers is sitting back with a smile on her plump face. If you've been looking to help but are unsure how, a benefit show Saturday at Luke's Place (3558 S. University Dr., Davie) is an opportunity to give while getting a little bang for your buck. Sponsored by Big 105.9, the event offers a full day of live music featuring blues rockers the Helldorados, plus five other local acts you can listen to as you peruse the display of custom motorcycles. And if you're feelin' lucky, there's a raffle for an electric guitar (donated by MAE Music) as well as gift certificates for local restaurants and tons of other fun stuff. All proceeds and contributions go directly to the American Red Cross. The event takes place from noon to 9 p.m. Call 954-764-2931, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Paul A. Leone
Don't Just Sit There!
Bummed about the election results, a breakup, or your expulsion from school? Well, look at the bright side: At least you've grown. You've realized that you can't put all your hopes and dreams in one basket... or candidate or school counselor or girlfriend, etc. And maybe you've realized that times of uncertain political climate or personal downfall are always rich for action and the creative arts. The Take Action Tour has been following that philosophy for a few years now with the help of politically minded punk and hardcore acts -- from NOFX to America's favorite problem solver, Andrew W.K. This year, the tour teamed up with the Youth America Hotline (1-877-YOUTHLINE) to help teens who are in crisis. Tonight, unleash your angst with Sugarcult, the Early November, Hawthorne Heights, Head Automatica, and Maxeen at Revolution (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $14. Call 954-727-0950. -- Terra Sullivan