It's been in production for slightly more than two centuries, yet Mozart's Don Giovanni still has the stuff to keep modern operagoers enthralled. First there's the music. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was no slouch as a composer, so of course the music kicks. He also knew just what type of story line would propel his sublime score. Set in seventeenth-century Spain, the tale of Don Juan -- Don Giovanni in Italian -- follows the infamous and sexually insatiable character as he flees his spurned lover Donna Elvira to pursue the already betrothed Zerlina. The cad. Directed by John Pascoe, who also designed the set and costumes, the Florida Grand Opera's staging of Don Giovanni emphasizes the opera's intense sexual energy while never forgetting the strong presence of the tsk-tsking Catholic Church. Don Giovanni, the first offering of FGO's 57th season, plays the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, at 8 p.m. today through Saturday. Tickets range in cost from $18 to $125. Call 800-741-1010 or 954-462-0222.
Some say she "lived dying." Mexican artist Frida Kahlo brought to her canvases the pain of her life, having contracted polio at age six and suffered serious injuries in a bus accident as a teen. Kahlo -- who married, divorced, and remarried the artist Diego Rivera -- was born in 1907 and died in 1954, the year after her first solo exhibition. Filmmaker Paul Leduc has devoted an entire film to the life of Kahlo -- considered by many to be the most important woman artist of the Twentieth Century. His documentary Frida has been called "freewheeling and intricate," while Leduc himself has been lambasted by Latin-American feminist critics for taking a misogynistic stance in his other historic films. Judge for yourself. Tickets for the film, shown at 3 and 7:30 p.m. as part of the Florida Atlantic University International Film Series, cost $4 and $5. A discussion will be held after the evening screening. University Theatre, Schmidt College of Arts and Humanities, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Call 561-297-3737.
You'd never know it by our sultry, still-sizzling weather, but it's (snow) ski season. The best barometer here in our sunny clime is the annual unveiling of Warren Miller's latest snow-freak flick. This year it's Snowriders2... The Journey Continues. Riders in exotic locales -- from Kazakhstan, in the former U.S.S.R., to Mount Cook, New Zealand -- outrun an avalanche, kayak through snow at 50 miles an hour, windsurf on fresh powder, and even mountain-bike through the fluffy white stuff. It premieres locally at the grand reopening of Cinema Cafe (formerly Southport Cinema and Draft House), 1455 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, where viewers dine as the film unspools. Showings will be held at 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $7.50 in advance, $8.50 at the door. Call 954-522-0274.
Acting and the theater are demystified in David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre. The play's 26 scenes follow a seasoned actor and a novice through a cycle of roles and changes -- both on- and off-stage -- to depict the stage's mysteries, illusions, and codes of behavior. Robert, the older actor, and John, the younger, gradually reverse roles as they perform snippets of plays, covering everything from melodrama to pure spoof. By play's end Robert is deferring to John, his former student. The New York Times has called the play "a glorious comedy... an evening of pure theater." Mamet, who won an Obie Award for American Buffalo and a Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross, is a playwright with a genuine love for the theater. Life opens tonight at Florida Playwright's Theatre, 1936 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, for a run through January 4. Curtain goes up at 8 p.m. tonight, as well as for all Thursday through Saturday stagings; Sunday matinees, 2:30 p.m. Call 954-925-8123.
They're calling it "The Event of the Decade," and for its promoters at Women in Network, it undoubtedly is. For WIN's 10th Anniversary gala -- which celebrates the group's continued commitment to providing local lesbians with business and social networking opportunities -- organizers have secured a stellar lineup of gay talent and gay-lifestyle-affirming inspiration. Guest speaker Virginia Apuzzo is President Clinton's assistant for management and administration, the highest-ranking openly gay appointed official in U.S. history. Also appearing: lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, who appeared on HBO's Comic Relief VII and whose HBO special was nominated for cable's highest honor, the ACE Award; comedic musical duo Romanovsky & Phillips, who have been called the "gay Simon & Garfunkel" and have helped pioneer the now-popular gay-and-lesbian comedy movement. Tickets cost $25 for the performance, plus an additional $25 for an after-show reception with the entertainers. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Coral Springs City Centre Theatre, 2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. Call 954-344-5990.
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Learn about reefs, beaches, and inland habitats while helping the creatures that call those places home during the Coral Reef Celebration. Also during this sixth annual fundraiser for the Ocean Impact Foundation, view nautical-themed art by more than 35 artists while listening to live rock and blues music from the Sheffield Brothers band. Face painting, a silent auction, a raffle, food vendors, environmental exhibits, and animal demonstrations are included in the day of family fun to help raise money for the foundation's rehabilitation center, which aids sick, injured, and orphaned Florida marine and inland critters. It all happens from 2 to 7 p.m. at Sailfish Marina, 98 Lake Dr., Singer Island. Free admission. Call 561-471-3403 or 561-640-4810.
She was born in Wichita, Kansas, and spent her high-school years in Des Moines, Iowa, but jazz diva Marilyn Maye has long been associated in musical circles with Kansas City, Missouri, and its sound. She spent the early days of her professional career there and has since taken Kansas City Jazz all over on her travels. "There is a light, easy swing to it," she told one interviewer by way of explanation. "A swing-happy jazz feeling. It isn't so important, so intense. Everyone has fun with it." The fun comes to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, at 8 p.m. tonight, when Maye performs with Peter Nero and the Florida Philharmonic Pops. Tickets cost $20 to $60. Call 954-522-5334.
The fifth annual Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Tradewinds Park has expanded its glittering route to more than two miles of bulbs and displays at which to oooh and aaah. The metal frames strung with lights represent festive holiday scenes, each sponsored by a local business or group. The annual holiday tradition won't wrap up until January 3, so there's plenty of time for all to enjoy the sparkling spectacle while driving slowly through the park. Admission is $5 per carload (fewer than twenty people) Monday through Thursday, and $8 Friday through Sunday. Cars with more than twenty occupants pay $35 at all times. Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek. Call 954-968-3885 for more information.
Compiled by John Ferri