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Night & Day

April 29
The band hasn't signed to a major label yet, but tonight might be your last chance to see the pop-punk outfit River Fenix -- at least with that name. The quartet, which in fact has been courted by the majors since the kickoff in early April of its tour with ska-punk group Buck-o-Nine and power-pop-punkers HomeGrown, took its mutated moniker from the late actor River Phoenix. But it seems River's mom isn't too happy. Lawyers recently contacted the band's current label, Drive-Thru, about the name. Band members claim to love the actor and say they mean no disrespect. Whether they can prove that to Phoenix's estate and salvage the name is another story. At least for now, they'll keep plugging their self-titled album while finishing the triple-bill tour, which makes a stop tonight in Hallandale at Button South (100 Ansin Blvd.). Tickets cost $10 and $12. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the all-ages show. Call 954-454-3301.

Beer drinkers know there's a difference between bland generic brews (look for the red, white, and/or blue labels) and the top brands, which offer a variety of delicious flavors. Well, the same goes for sake, the Japanese rice wine. In its native country, fatsu-shu is generic sake. The high-end version is tokutei-meisho-shu, which is divided into categories dictated by the ingredients used to make the wine and the way it's brewed and stored. If it all sounds confusing, tonight's sake tasting at Red Bowl restaurant (Powerline and Palmetto Park roads in Boca Raton) may clear things up. Pearl, Silver, and Gold varieties of sake will be served with a sampling of Asian appetizers. The tasting, a singles event put on by Upscale Productions, costs just $15, about the price of a six-ounce bottle of Gold. And at the end of the event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., the restaurant's signature "saketinis" will be served. You guessed it: They're martinis made with sake. Call 954-537-3103.

April 30
The U.S. Pro Waterski and Wakeboard Tour returns to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, and because the top male and female competitors in wakeboarding are both from Florida, observers will have a chance to root for the home-state favorites. Both Tara Hamilton of Lantana and Parks Bonifay of Winter Park are 17 years old. Wakeboarding may sound relatively safe, but these kids actually fly as high as two stories during big-air jumps. Jump and slalom competitions are also part of the event at Mills Pond Park (2201 NW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission prices range from $4 to $7 in advance, $5 to $10 at the gate. Call 800-334-6541 for more information.

May 1
While U.S. and NATO planes are busy bombing the hell out of Slobodan Milosevic's troops, kids with visions of becoming cockpit commandos will see the most graphic recruiting commercial imaginable on Fort Lauderdale beach. During the 1999 Air and Sea Show this weekend, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team will thrill spectators with wingtip-to-wingtip precision stunts and shake up nearby homeowners with low-altitude jet engine noise. Inspired spectators can step up to the armed services recruiting booths set up at the show. Sea events include military hovercraft and civilian watercraft demonstrations. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and the action takes place between Oakland Park and Las Olas boulevards. Admission is free. Call 954-527-5600, ext. 88.

May 2
Nothing like this ever happened to the Brady Bunch. If you recall, when Carol and Mike got married, they turned two families of four into one family of eight, and everybody lived happily ever after. But in the case of The Playroom, one 14-year-old girl named Judy doesn't react too kindly to the idea that her father is going to remarry and add a stepdaughter, 10-year-old Ellen, to the family. Soon after Ellen arrives, she disappears. And when the cops begin investigating, Judy and her snooty friends are less than cooperative. Turns out Judy was just carrying out a practical joke as a way to get back at her father. But the joke becomes a matter of life and death after her plan backfires. The Playroom runs through May 9 at the Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 NW Ninth St., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $15. Performances Tuesday through Saturday begin at 8 p.m.; matinees take place Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 561-272-1281. See "Stage"listings for a complete schedule.

May 3
There is no T-shirt or cap giveaway. No star like Sammy Sosa or Mark Maguire. So what's the incentive for heading to Pro Player Stadium tonight to see the Florida Marlins play the Milwaukee Brewers? If you're a true baseball fan, you don't need much prompting to kick back with a beer, munch some peanuts, and watch the action unfold one pitch at a time. If you need a little drama to get you to the ballpark, keep in mind that the Brew Crew will be defending its 9-and-0 lifetime record against the Fish. Hey, we didn't say it was going to be earth-shattering. Ticket prices range from $2 to $45, and game time is 7:05 p.m. For more information call 954-835-8326 or 561-835-8326.

May 4
In the film The Matrix, the universe is run by computers using farm-bred humans as bioelectric energy sources. Someone who isn't controlled by the artificial intelligence network known as the Matrix is able to tap his or her full potential, which includes superhuman agility and psychic powers. While crafting their action-packed piece of metaphysical sci-fi, writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski mined fertile ground. As the millennium approaches, the more anxious among us are searching for the meaning of existence. Some espouse the ascension theory, which claims human beings will soon be able to move from a three-dimensional existence to a five-dimensional state of being. In plain English that means you'll be able to use your full brain capacity to live a life independent of the flesh and the constraints of time and space -- just like those who exist outside the Matrix. (Of course, those who believe in the afterlife have known about the fifth dimension -- or something very similar to it -- for centuries.) For the bargain-basement admission price of $15, you too can learn about the ascension theory at Spirit, Mind, and Body, 10621 Atlantic Blvd., Coral Springs. The lecture/discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. Call 954-227-1313.

May 5
By combining photos from her childhood in the '50s with nude photos of herself as an adult, Coral Springs artist Beth Ravitz is making a statement about the many facets of womanhood. She came of age as the women's liberation movement was gaining momentum, and she put off having a family while establishing a thriving commercial art business in New York City. She eventually had three kids and raised two stepchildren, moving her family to Florida in 1990 in order to concentrate on her kids and the fine arts. She also began examining her role as a woman, wife, and mother. Her girlish innocence, for example, is contrasted with the sensuous side of womanhood in a black-and-white collage that juxtaposes a snapshot of Ravitz as a little girl on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., with a tasteful nude shot. The show "Portraits," which includes the works of four other artists in various media, is on view through June 20 at the Coral Springs Museum of Art (2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs). Admission is $3. Call 954-340-4200.

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