This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

 THU 29

You might think it's a strange idea to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with a topless party, but if you've ever seen Salma... What's that? You say it's a tapas party. Ohhh. That makes loads more sense for an event hosted by the Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Today is the Fourth Annual Fiesta de Tapas, with tons of those sexy Spanish finger foods that are perfect for evening cocktail soirees under the stars. As the auxiliary volunteer group behind the Boca Art Museum, BAM will open the museum's beautiful Sculpture Garden to Latin-themed performances by Dance Sport USA and Jazz & Company. Tasty tapas are provided by Casa L'Italian, while Bacardi keeps the rum drinks flowing freely. In case rum isn't your thing, there's a full cash bar with many more options. And if you do decide to go topless, chances are you'll make a few new friends. Fiesta de Tapas runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $15 to $25. Call 561-392-2500, ext. 216. (Jonathan Zwickel)

FRI 30

Stone casts a spell on the Palm Beach Photographic Centre.
Stone casts a spell on the Palm Beach Photographic Centre.

Just because Craig Shoemaker was a guest on Hollywood Squares doesn't mean he's some kind of comic has-been. After all, this is the guy who won Male Standup Comic of the Year at the 1997 American Comedy Awards. And with his recent standup special on Comedy Central and regular radio appearances, Shoemaker needs Hollywood Squares like Donald Trump needs The Apprentice (sans the power trip, of course). Having grown up without a father -- Daddy Shoemaker left when Craig was a baby -- much of the comic's material comes from having a mom who played both parents ("Wash the dishes! Pull my finger!") and, having sisters, being the only man in the house ("My first shave was with an Epilady!"). Shoemaker performs Thursday through Saturday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $18.02 to $21.20. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. (JB)

SAT 1

Oh boy. There's a whole heap of bands piled onto tonight's lineup at Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). There's Dead Hookers Bridge Club, the Van Orsdels, the Mutiny, the Obscene, Stay Hitt, Modern Day '84, FATE, the Reckless, the Insolent, and the Flesh Rockets. So what's the occasion? It's simple -- they're all eager to open for one of England's rockingest punk bands to emerge from the legendary class of '76 -- the Vibrators. This is a good chance for all those kids reared on Good Charlotte and Simple Plan to learn what punk sounded like before MTV dipped it in sugar. Though the Vibrators' Pure Mania is heralded as pure punk gold, the band has a lot more in its catalog than its first wave of releases. And unlike many of its peers, the band didn't succumb to the '80s synth-pop craze. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $12. Call 305-757-1807. (JB)

SUN 2

Why are the most bizarre dreams the ones we remember best? You know, the type that involve being surrounded by demons and gargoyles and wearing nothing but your tighty-whiteys. Local artist Stephanie Lowe is well aware of this. She aims to breathe life into such dreams not by dousing a canvas with a spattering of random forms but through realistically sculpted figures. Lowe's exhibit "Art Floats on Masked Winged Dreams" tells all manner of surreal stories, one figure at a time. But for all that is revealed, even more questions remain. For instance, the Buddha-like winged creature in American Gargoyle is strange enough in itself, so why is it wearing a duck bill mask? And why is there a head growing out of the mountain of brain matter in Beehive? Perhaps there is no reason; it's just there... like a dream. Lowe's exhibit is open now through October 31 at the RaZoo Gallery (3038 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-663-3888, or visit www.razoogallery.com. (JB)

MON 3

Those Haitians and their wacky voodoo beliefs. Why can't they believe in something sensible like American Catholics, who think that woman came from man's rib? Uh-huh. Fortunately, there are people like photographer Les Stone, whose exhibit "Vivid VOODOO" seeks to disprove the negative and erroneous stereotypes we often attribute to Haiti's religion. The 50-piece exhibit examines voodoo rituals in lurid detail -- from demonic red masks to possessed dancing -- painting a human face on what many in the States often view as the work of the devil. How's that any stranger than eating the body of your messiah every Sunday? "Vivid VOODOO" is open now through November 12 at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre (55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach). Admission costs $3. Call 561-276-9797, or visit www.workshop.org. (JB)

TUE 4

Any band with Top 40 aspirations knows full well the hit-maker potential of The O.C. , Fox's rich-kids-in-paradise sitcom. But MTV has its own real-life version, so to speak -- Laguna Beach. So when Long Beach Shortbus' "California Grace" rocked the soundtrack of an episode last November, the SoCal reggae-rock veterans were glad to still be in the game. Far from being a group of wild-eyed youngsters looking for a quick break, LBS has a lengthy, turbulent history, starting with the famously tragic demise of Sublime, the former band of LSB bassist Eric Wilson. After the death of Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell in 1996, Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh formed the Long Beach Dub Allstars. When personality clashes killed that band in 2002, the Shortbus rolled in -- and the groovin' resumed. Get on the Shortbus tonight as it pulls into the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Boxelder opens at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 to $15. Call 954-564-1074. (JB)

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