The twelfth-annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival features art exhibitions, gala parties, workshops, and -- of course -- plenty of films. Emmy- and Oscar-winning composer Leonard Rosenman talks about music's influence on the mood of a film in the seminar "Music for Motion Pictures" 9 a.m. today at Artserve Auditorium, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. The Free Senior Matinee Series (for those age 55 and older) screens The Philadelphia Story at 2 p.m. today at AMC Coral Ridge 10, 3401 NE 26th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Also at Coral Ridge 10 each weekday (except Monday) during the fest is the Lunchtime Shorts series. Friday's opening-night films at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., include Sidney Lumet's Critical Care and Emanuele Crialese's Once We Were Strangers. The festival continues through November 16. For showtimes, prices, and a complete schedule, call the box office at 954-564-2820.
Bubier Park, the Riverwalk, and the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale slip into a deep blues funk today through Sunday during the eleventh annual Blues Festival at Riverwalk. Main stage performers the Blue Birds, Kenny Neal, Son Seals, Roomful of Blues, Tinsley Ellis, R.L. Burnside (see "Music," page 55), and Magic Slim are joined by a dozen other national acts. Five additional stages will host 40 regional and local bands. New this year is a blues history area near the Downtown Saloon -- it features lectures, workshops, storytelling, and panel discussions with festival performers. Tickets cost $8 to $10; three-day passes, $25. Festivities begin 5:30 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For details call 954-761-5934.
The road from outre Sixties rock to traditional jazz, blues, and soul seems like a long one, but for pianist Dr. John, a.k.a. Mac Rebennack, it was just a return from a lengthy detour. He spent the mid-Sixties in Los Angeles, but the New Orleans native returned to his roots in the late Eighties with the release of In a Sentimental Mood, a collection of old blues and saloon standards that earned for him his first Grammy. He'll no doubt draw largely from that part of his repertoire in tonight's House of Blues Presents show with 1997 Grammy winner Keb' Mo' and Charlie Musselwhite. Tickets range from $15 to $30. Showtime is 8 p.m. Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222.
It's a controlled stream of consciousness, but comedian Paula Poundstone's ability to infuse her act with freshness night after night gives that quick-witted, off-the-cuff feeling that lets audiences enjoy the daft spontaneity of it all. The title of her most recent HBO special, Cats, Cops, and Stuff, epitomizes her range of subject matter, and whether she's talking about Pop Tarts or personal hygiene, her bizarre take on the topic has others doing a double take -- and doubling over. See what Paula's ranting about these days during her Fort Lauderdale appearance at the Au-Rene Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $19.50 to $27.50. Showtime is 8 p.m. For information call 954-462-0222.
You've been waiting for a place where you can go to satisfy your thirst for fresh-squeezed vegetable juice, organic beer, and ... modern dance. Well check it off the list, because Pulse 2000 has arrived. The club/performance space in the Carefree Theater complex in West Palm Beach holds its grand opening tonight and Saturday with a three-hour performance by the Corps Chameleon Dance Company, its troupe in residence. Chameleon's work has been described as "haunting, fluid, and severe," while its artistic director Patrick Ryel has been acclaimed for his previous work by The New York Times. Additionally Pulse 2000 will be home base for the group Riversticks -- featuring percussionists Michael Moses and Abbey Rader and multihorn player and flautist Richard Brookens -- which will celebrate the release of its new album during the fete. Usual bar fare will be supplemented on the club's menu by healthy alternatives, including the aforementioned juices. During the day the space will be used for rehearsal and education, offering instruction in music, dance, yoga, drumming, and nutrition. Admission to both nights' opening festivities, including a buffet, costs $20, with hours from 6 to 10 p.m. Carefree Theater Complex, 2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-7305.
Flowing, flashy-footed Gregory Hines calls Rhapsody in Taps "tremendous." The Los Angeles-based troupe of six dancers and five musicians pushes the bounds of tap, choreographing its moves to unlikely musical partners such as classical and nontraditional percussion scores, in addition to the jazz you'd expect. Working relationships with tap masters have been a focus of the group, which shortly after its inception in 1985 brought in ace dancer Eddie Brown as a soloist to develop a repertoire that balanced tradition with innovation. In 1990 the group commissioned new choreography by dance and film artist Hines. The creation and premiere of Hines' new piece, Toeing the Third and Fifth, was supported by Rhapsody's first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets range from $20 to $25. Performances at 2 and 8 p.m. Crest Theatre, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-243-3183.
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The social commentary of country music consisted mostly of cheatin' lovers, pickup trucks, and drinkin' before bands such as Sawyer Brown started gettin' all serious. Lighten up! Thankfully the group reversed direction for a back-to-basics approach on its most recent album, This Thing Called Wantin' and Havin' It All. "Man, we are a garage band," declares singer/songwriter Mark Miller. "That was the whole feeling I wanted to recapture." This Thing is dominated by up-tempo songs celebrating the lives of everyday Americans. (We're with you, man.) The band comes out of the garage to play on the grandstand stage at the Fair at Gulfstream Park tonight at 7:30 p.m. Reserved seat tickets, $10; general admission free. Federal Highway and Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hallandale. Call 954-454-3247.
The Violent Femmes bring their folk-punk, high-energy angst to Florida Atlantic University for a show with special guest Goldfinger, who'll kick out its brand of ska-inflected pop. The Milwaukee-spawned Femmes hit the scene in the early Eighties with a stripped-down acoustic sound and the intensely personal lyrics of frontman Gordon Gano, croaking about relationships gone bad and the like. It's six albums, one career-spanning retrospective CD, and fourteen years later, and Femme favorites such as "Add It Up" are still dance-club staples on retro nights everywhere. Tickets are $5 to $10, free for FAU students with ID. Showtime is 7 p.m. FAU University Center Auditorium, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton; 561-367-3737.
The sexy, risque megamusical Chicago makes its way from Broadway -- via Miami -- to Fort Lauderdale for a run through November 23. Gangsters, flappers, and gin figure prominently in this tale of love, murder, and instant stardom that steps out to a high-energy musical score including "All That Jazz," "Razzle Dazzle," "Roxie," and "Mr. Cellophane." Tickets cost $36.50 to $45. Showtime is 8 p.m.; matinees Wednesday through Sunday at 2 p.m. Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-462-0222.
It's almost de rigueur to put on a few pounds during the holiday season, yet in our continuing quest for all things healthy, even holiday meals have "heart-smart," low-fat, alternatives. Find out how to keep Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners simultaneously delicious and dietary at the Healthy Heart Holiday Cooking seminar from the folks at the West Boca Medical Center. This free talk starts at 7 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, 9887 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. For more information call 561-883-5854.