Night & Day
The members of Britain's hottest new swing combo, Big Six, have all played in other top U.K. bands, making them a sort of swing "supergroup." What's amazing is that they can find the time to practice and locate socks to match their plaid suits. The band takes its retro look as seriously as its progressive tunes, a hybrid of swing, funk, rock, ska, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and doo-wop. The genres in the band's music, it seems, intersect as often as the stripes in their matching suits. And the overall effect is just as loud. Big Six plays two sets tonight at FU*BAR, 909 E. Cypress Creek Rd., Fort Lauderdale. Swingers (the musical type) age 18 and older are welcome. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $8. Call 954-776-0660 or 305-532-4035.
Anyone planning to go to the Fort Lauderdale Fall Home & Garden Show in the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) this weekend should dust off the old lyrics sheet for "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." Local topiary artist Michel Buchard has lined the entryway with yellow boulders, paving stones, and plants. The road leads, of course, to the "Land of Oz," a 20-by-30-foot area decked out with hundreds of plants sculpted into bizarre designs. Forget plants shaped like Toto or the Tin Man, though. The animal-shaped plants at Disney World, Buchard says, are tied into shape with wires; his stuff is all natural. "They're weird Oriental and modern shapes," he says. Admission prices range from $2 to $7. The show's hours are 3 to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. Call 954-966-0704.
Anyone who's ever been trapped in an elevator with someone else should be able to relate to the characters in Brilliant Traces. The play opens with lonely Henry Harry, who's in his isolated Alaskan cabin, trying to sleep through a blizzard. He's awakened by a knock at the door, and in comes Rosannah DeLuce, a woman running from her fiance in Arizona. Although Henry would like to be left alone, he can't turn her away, and the two end up exploring their painful pasts. They alternately get along and stomp on each other's nerves. In the end they're able to pull out of their pissed-at-the-world funk. The Actors' Project Theatre Company production of Brilliant Traces opens tonight and runs through September 27 at the Studio Theatre, 640 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22.50. Call 954-340-8063.
Inner Circle -- the local reggae band that performs the catchy Cops theme song "Bad Boys" -- will headline the Peanut Island Reggae Rendezvous today. So the question is, "watcha gonna do" Labor Day weekend? No one's holding a gun to your head, but in addition to Inner Circle and other bands performing reggae all day, the festival features food and frozen drinks. Admission prices are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. Admission includes a ferry ride to the island, located off Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County. Air-conditioned VIP boathouse reservations cost $100. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; the ferry will run from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., departing from the Riviera Beach Marina, 200 E. 13th St., Riviera Beach. Call 561-832-6397.
During Curtain Up!, patrons who have enjoyed shows from theater seats at the Broward Center For the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) get to see the joint from a different perspective. The annual open house lets visitors roam backstage areas, rehearsal spaces, and the "bowels" of the theater -- the catacomb of corridors that allows props and performers to get where they need to go without notice. But slick stagecraft isn't a concern during the event. In fact, while volunteer performers from professional and community dance, theater, and music groups fill the center's stages, other acts will demonstrate their skills in lobbies and hallways. The highlight of the day is a preview performance of the Miami City Ballet's production of the Don Quixote Pas de Deux. Admission is free. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 954-462-0222.
Like the Egyptians, the ancient Celts buried their dead with objects they might need in the afterlife. But before dropping the objects in the grave, the Celts "killed" them in ceremonies of ritual destruction. Ohio computer artist Peter Patchen's ancestors were Celtic, and he's picked up on the tradition. To create the pieces in his "Evidence of Ritual Damage" series, Patchen wrote mythical tales, made clay pots, and emblazoned them with digitized images to go with the stories. He then broke the pots and buried the shards. Next he conducted an "archaeological dig," unearthed the pieces, and photographed the scene. The shattered pots, the texts, scans of the photos, and computerized images of the unbroken pots were then combined into collages in "Evidence Boxes," also of his construction. Patchen's work appears in the "Chaotic Connections" installation at Broward Community College Fine Arts Gallery (3501 SW Davie Rd., Building 3, Davie). The show, on view through September 26, also includes a large, mechanized construction by Fernando Orellana of Chicago. Admission is free. Call 954-475-6500.
What do English novelist Jane Austen (17751817) and American writer Aldous Huxley (18941963), who once experimented with mescaline, have in common? Well, both excelled at using satirical wit to make biting social commentaries. And Huxley (Brave New World) cowrote the 1940 screen adaptation of the 1813 Austen book Pride and Prejudice, which tells the story of five sisters and their matchmaking mother who cruise the English countryside for bachelors. During the '30s and '40s, Hollywood was in the habit of hiring top literary talents to rework scripts. For this project top actors were also tapped, including Laurence Olivier and Maureen O'Sullivan. At today's installment of Tuesday Afternoon at the Movies, former Palm Beach Post film critic and current New Times art critic Michael Mills will lead a discussion following a screening of the film. The free presentation is at 2 p.m. at Anne Kolb Nature Center, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood. Call 954-926-2480.
Lack of mountains doesn't stop the mogul-hoppers of the Gator Snow Ski Club from having their winter fun. Some of the group's 1000 members will head for Breckenridge, Colorado, in December for skiing and a white Christmas. A spring trip is planned for Mammoth Mountain, California, where there's almost always snow. In between, they'll trek to Canada, Utah, Wyoming, and Switzerland. Club membership is required, and annual dues are $30 for individuals, $50 for families. The trips themselves are another story: They generally range in price from $1000 to $1200, which includes air and ground transportation, lodging, and lift tickets. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. meeting, however, is free, and details on the trips will be available. It will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 4000 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-588-8717.
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