In the political Ping-Pong game that gay rights have become, it's up to activists and organizations to keep gay culture from being marginalized -- organizations like ArtsUnited, which celebrates Gay Pride Month with its "United and Proud" exhibit at the main branch of the Broward County Library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The annual exhibit features 50-odd mixed-media works by local gay and lesbian artists, like Elizabeth Jurado's Las Tres Marias, a multi-ethnic threesome of topless women in various poses, and photographer Kelvin T. Stansberry's Pool Party, a festive shot of bikini-clad men crowded by the poolside. The exhibit is open now through June 29. Call 954-828-9127, or visit www.artsunitedonline.org. (JB)
Sure, you could get your Greek dinner at Taverna Opa, where bellydancers jump on the tables, but if you prefer your souvlaki minus the toejam, better to dine at Kefalonia (3003 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach), a 7-month-old Mediterranean restaurant. "Our ceiling is low," says owner Ken (who'd rather not give his last name). "We didn't want any dancers' heads to go through it." So he's lined up a different sort of entertainment. Tonight, Kefalonia holds its first comedy night, featuring Eric Nussbaum (who runs a funeral home and a comedy traffic school), Joel Lawrence (who does a self-deprecating Woody Allen-type shtick), and special guest AZ (who has said, in his high-pitched voice, "I wanted to sound like Barry White. Instead I sound like Betty White"). Miami homeboy Tomahawk emcees. There's no cover charge; just order dinner. The show begins at 9 p.m., and reservations are required. Call 954-933-0078. (DF)
Like Citizenship Day (September 17) and World Sauntering Day (June 19), the meaning of Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday, is about as easy to comprehend as Paris Hilton's appeal. But we did our homework and learned that serious Jews count the days from the first night of Passover (which celebrates the Exodus from Egypt -- the physical birth of the Jewish nation) until Shavuot (the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai -- the spiritual birth of the Jewish nation). This is called the Sefirah period; in total, it's 50 days. You'd think those would be happy days, but, alas, they're considered a mourning period. Why? Because 1,850 years ago, 24,000 Jewish students died in a plague. So, during the Sefirah, weddings, music, and haircuts are forbidden. There is, however, one day in this period -- the 33rd day, the day the plague ended -- when sadness is forbidden. Instead, families go on picnics, children "go into the fields with their teachers with bows and arrows," according to one scholarly website, and "God is showing one a smiling face." The folks at Sonar niteclub (2006 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood) planned to celebrate Lag BaOmer on its actual date, in May, but sometimes God is not showing his smiling face and things happen. So they moved the party to tonight. "Come and get a taste of how it is to go clubbing in Israel, Germany or India," promoters say, "with the best electronic dance muziq (psytrance/techno) that you won't hear anywhere else in Florida." Five DJs, two VJs, and a $10 cover -- now that's better than bows and arrows, don't ya think? Call 954-920-8777, or visit www.sonarnite-club.com. (DF)
When your father is the founder of a famous folk band like the Irish Rovers, you should hope that the folk gene is not recessive. Fortunately, for Ian Millar -- son of Rover Joe Millar -- it was the dominant gene. A staple of the local Irish music scene, Millar's band, Fire in the Kitchen, regularly plays at Sally O'Brien's in Fort Lauderdale; the singer has also emceed Hollywood's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade. But today, Millar goes solo at Up the Hill (3030 NW 113th Ave., Sunrise), sharing selections from his CD Raised on Songs and Stories. The show starts at 1 p.m., though you might want to show up at noon for some mimosas and bloody marys (or coffee and tea, if that's your thing). Tickets cost $15. Call 954-741-7233. (JB)
What, you've never seen a 26-year-old play kickball in a cape? You're not accustomed to guzzling a beer while simultaneously covering third base? Clearly, you have not had the pleasure of participating in the World Adult Kickball Association, which is accepting players for, oh, another week or so. Register today by visiting www.worldkick-ball.com and clicking on "FL-Beach Division." Games are played on Thursday evenings beginning July 14 at Mills Pond Park (2201 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale). It costs $64 per player. (DF)
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Pembroke Pines indie-rockers Madelyn Mason is probably used to hearing jokes about the band's name, what with the obvious similarity to Marilyn Manson. But that doesn't mean there's any musical resemblance. Madelyn Mason sounds like a band that would fit perfectly on a Drive-Thru Records compilation. Oh, wait... the band is on a Drive-Thru Records compilation. Maybe that will help the guys as they embark on a national tour, which kicks off tonight at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). On its EP, Just Maybe You Should Sit Down for This... , the six-piece mixes emo-flavored pop-punk ("Kensington Parc") and emo-flavored folk ("Anatomy of a Girl's Bedroom"). Yes, leave it to an emo band to explore the anatomy of a girl's bedroom. Madelyn Mason performs after openers Unwanted Superheroes, For the Taking, and the Mercy League take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 to $8. Call 954-564-1074. (JB)
Judging by the way she spells her name, one might assume that singer/songwriter Regina Spektor put the k in there to avoid any perceived link to Phil Spector, legendary producer, alleged murderer, and victim of the worst hair day of 2005. In truth, though, the k denotes her Russian upbringing. While she has lived in New York City since age 9, Spektor still has a thing for Soviet Kitsch, giving that title to the album that propelled her from NYC's antifolk scene to the international stage. Spektor's bittersweet tunes are much more folky and jazzy than punky. She performs tonight at Revolution (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), opening for Keane (see music section). Tickets cost $23, and doors open at 6:30. Call 954-727-0950. (JB)