From the culture that brought you the Matzoh Ball comes "Cousin Richie," who was awarded his nickname on his first cousin Howard Stern's radio show, where he advertised his Bread of Life health food store with the line, "Don't panic, go organic."
Richie Gerber now fronts A Few Jews Blues Band, which also features his teenage son, Isaac, and several members of his temple. Every six weeks or so, they turn Friday night services into Friday Night Live. But this Sunday's 2 p.m. performance at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center (5850 Pine Island Rd., Davie), in which Rabbi Lewis Littman and Cantor Wendy Autenrieth sit in with the band, combines music and comedy to raise money for a good cause. All proceeds benefit organizations that help disabled Jewish children and young adults.
Richie and Isaac both play tenor sax, but Richie is the family comedian. "We take 10 percent off of every song we play," he snaps apropos of nothing. "We felt there were too many words and too much music." Isaac gets a big charge out of playing with his dad and other adults. "It's really fun to play jazz, especially with these guys, because they know what they're doing," Isaac says. "The fact that they know what they're doing makes me sound like I know what I'm doing." Not that he always gets the instruction he needs. "My dad has a habit of not actually having music for me to play. He plays one note for me, doesn't tell me what it is, and says play that."
Tickets to Sunday's show cost $10 or four for $30. Call 954-434-0499. -- Karen Dale Wolman
Out of the Ort-inary
For those who consider Ringling Brothers to be as outdated as Kid n' Play, you might want to catch the Orts Theater of Dance, a modern dance troupe which incorporates eye-catching visual projection with flying trapeze acrobatics. But don't go thinking Cirque Du Soleil. Orts avoids imitation by creating new forms of aerial dance with a music and video backdrop. Based out of Tucson, Arizona, the group continues to reinvent the wheel by using "flying mobiles" in their act. Check out this unique dance show for yourself when Orts appears at 8 p.m. at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood). Call 954-921-3274. -- Kiran Aditham
New Times gets a sense of humor
It's tax day. You need a good laugh. In view of these troubled times, New Times has graciously coordinated "So You Think You're a Fu#@ing Comedian?" to give everyone something to smile about. And since everyone thinks they're so fu#@ing funny these days, Uncle Funny's hosts the event in order to separate the actual comedic talent from the intoxicated hecklers. Then it's up to you to decide whether they're hot or not. The audience favorite goes on to compete in Los Angeles for a shot at fame and fortune. Note to winner: Do not do AT&T or 10-10-220 commercials. Add cheap drink specials to the mix, and there's a recipe for a fu#@ing good time. Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Uncle Funny's Comedy Club (9160 State Rd. 84, Davie). Call 954-474-JOKE for reservations and info. -- Audra Schroeder
Twine-Filled Hollow Men
This Is the Way the Morphine Ends
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When Morphine leader Mark Sandman dropped dead of a heart attack (onstage, no less, during a 1999 gig in Rome), he left his bandmates in a helluva bind. Built upon Sandman's inimitable voice and two-string bass, Dana Colley's baritone sax, and Billy Conway's drumming, Morphine possessed a singular dark, sultry noir sound that fully explored itself over the course of five albums. Recorded in the same Massachusetts studio where Morphine created its material, Twinemen is an attempt to recapture Morphine's nocturnal spirit and, at the same time, expand it. Colley and Conway have been forced to redefine and inflate their roles: the latter even sings on one tune while the former picks up Sandman's unique "low guitar" on several others. New singer Laurie Sargent sounds rather lost in the narco-haze, but still adds a feminine face to the soundtrack. Twinemen open for Concrete Blonde Sunday, April 13, at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-564-1074. -- Jeff Stratton
If Tony Ruled the World
Though vocal jazz and classic pop are not exactly en vogue these days, one must give credit where credit is due. A career spanning more than 50 years comes along only rarely in the music industry, but Tony Bennett can claim that and more. Not only has the old boy been around for half a century, but he has enjoyed more comebacks than Cher. His 1950s heyday gave way to a late 1960s renaissance. And while he slipped off the radar in the 1970s, the late 1980s and early 1990s saw an inexplicable appreciation among rock fans, mainly due to clever marketing that paired Bennett with Generation X heroes like k.d. lang. So expect all ages when Bennett performs this Friday at 8 p.m. at Mizner Park Amphitheatre (Federal Highway at NE Mizner Park Boulevard, Boca Raton). Tickets cost $37.50 or $52.50. Call 561-447-8144. -- Dan Sweeney