The lights dim, the music starts, and the dancers appear to have been eaten by the giant Gila monster crawling across the stage. Huh? No, there wasn't a peyote button in your taco -- it's Opus Cactus, the latest offering by dance illusionist group MOMIX. Although it sounds like the name of a computer program, MOMIX is a wholly organic performance unit that combines dance, gymnastics, and illusion to create a series of stylish and entertaining vignettes of the Arizona desert. That means the Gila monster you see is really a group of conjoined dancers, as are the rattlesnake and the giant leering cactus that is the show's namesake. The two-act performance -- created and directed by Moses Pendleton -- is as much about agility as grace. It's sort of like watching a Road Runner cartoon come to life, complete with tumbleweeds and -- yes -- flames shooting from the feet of the quick-moving dancers. Add to that a cache of sculpturally intriguing props, and you've got a show that is sure to please the most wily coyote. MOMIX performs Saturday and Sunday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $39.75. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.browardcenter.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Keeping It Vague
The music's nice, but is it farm-city?
Apparently the Philadelphia trio known as Maggi, Pierce, and E.J. doesn't want to be pigeonholed. Their self-ascribed tag line is "down-home farm-city junk music." Now really, what does "farm-city" mean? Does it describe, say, a combine stuck on Andrews Avenue? Goats on neighborhood watch? A condo board sporting John Deere caps?
Fortunately, MPE's music is good enough to overcome the mushy marketing. And, indeed, it's wide-ranging. Those who enjoy The Grateful Dead, Norah Jones, or Union Station will likely be drawn to MPE's rock/blues/folk fusion with jazz and bluegrass in the margins. But there we go again, trying to define things.
For a better understanding of farm-city, catch MPE Saturday night at the Yoga Warehouse (508 SW Flagler Ave., Fort Lauderdale) for an alcohol-free, smoke-free, and shoe-free (screw the health department!) performance. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 954-525-7726, or visit www.yogawarehouse.org. -- Jason Cottrell
The Rockabilly Filly rides again
She may look like the demure sweetheart of the rodeo, but Rosie Flores has riled up her share of boot-scootin' rowdies in her time. As a teen in the early '80s, the Texas-born Flores fronted the all-female punkabilly outfit the Screaming Sirens. Since then, she's settled into a more traditional, upbeat rockabilly sound, letting her reverence for old-time country songbirds like Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline shine through her sharp songwriting, while the influence of fiery Tex-Mex six-stringers like Stevie Ray and Dwight Yoakam echoes in her spirited soloing. Flores shakes a leg Friday at the Bamboo Room (25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth). Tickets cost $15. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Call 561-585-2583. -- Jonathan Zwickel
From the Heart
Where would bands like 3 Doors Down be without '90s alt-pop stalwarts Better Than Ezra? Certainly not performing at the presidential inauguration (those evil bastards). Despite the emergence of nu-metal, BTE managed to survive and stick to its guns, choosing earnestness over affectation. The trio performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Seminole Paradise (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). And sure enough, it's free. Call 954-583-3250. -- Jason Budjinski