This Week's Day-by-Day Picks
What would Jesus do? That is, if he were alive today and planning his Thursday night? Would he stay in and watch The Apprentice (which is getting real good now that it's down to the final few contestants), or would he venture out to offer his two cents on the The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's controversial film? The movie depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus' life and has been described by critics as "violent," "important," "anti-Semitic," and, believe it or not, "fun." If you've managed to sit through the graphic scenes of Christ's suffering on the cross and you've got something to say about it, join the folks at Trinity United Methodist Church (9625 N. Military Trl., Palm Beach Gardens), where the Rev. Clark Pickett leads a discussion beginning at 7 p.m. Call 561-622-5278.
Growing up black and female at the turn of the past century, author Zora Neale Hurston knew many hardships, starting with the death of her mother (when Zora was 13) and continuing through her struggle to succeed as a writer. In The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston, local actress Bhetty Waldron attempts to re-create what Hurston experienced. Hurston, best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, grew up in the all-black township of Eatonville, Florida, before moving to New York City in 1925 to enroll in college. Hurston arrived just as the Harlem Renaissance was taking off and soon dived into the lively circle of talented writers, artists, and musicians in New York at the time. Their Eyes was published in 1937 and met with mixed reviews. Hurston's story is one of paradox: Her color fueled both her literary voice and the voices of critics who felt she insufficiently addressed the problem of racism. Waldron's one-woman performance opens at 8 p.m. at the Cuillo Centre for the Arts (201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). Call 561-835-9226.
While Irish-Americans prepare to celebrate their heritage later this month, those of Scottish descent have their own celebration planned at the annual "Southeast Florida Scottish Festival and Games." Now in its 21st year, the event features bagpipe bands and solo pipers, drumming, Highland dancing, Scottish country dancing, athletics, folk singing, children's games, craft demonstrations, and plenty of live Scottish music. Wanna prove your strength? Try your hand at the rock throw, weight toss (for distance and height), sheath toss, and the caber toss (a giant, telephone-pole-like object). If that 's not your thing, there'll be plenty of live music and dancing, including competition for Highland dancing, piping, and drumming. And for you knowledge seekers, the festival provides an abundance of info on Scottish history. So put on your kilt and swing on by to C.B. Smith Park (900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines). Call 954-296-1242.
If you've been putting off getting a haircut, thinking it can go another week, now's your time to quit procrastinating and get that mop cropped. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the City of Hope National Medical Center holds "HopeCuts 2004." Stylists at salons throughout South Florida -- like Beauty and the Beach (3356 NE 33rd St., 954-566-7546) -- will help "cut out" cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other potentially deadly diseases. They'll snip your hair for the normal price and donate proceeds toward research, treatment, and education to combat life-threatening diseases. You can be stylish while supporting this worthy cause. Make your appointment now; space is limited. For a list of participating salons, call 954-566-7546.
Vibrant, spray-painted walls of New York City buildings fascinated the husband-and-wife photography team of Karla and James Murray. So they snapped photos of the expressive, bold, and sometimes-criminal art form, from simple graffiti scrawled on the sly to elaborate and expansive multi-artist pieces. The Murrays, part-time residents of New York and Broward County, compiled about 200 photos and dozens of interviews with graffiti artists into a book called Broken Windows -- Graffiti NYC. They discuss the artists' various styles, techniques, influences, and motivations at 6 p.m. at the West Regional Library (8601 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation). Photos from their book, published in 2002, are on display at the library throughout the month. Call 954-831-3300.
Dubbed the "Wild Man of Berlin," German-born artist and part-time Dania Beach resident Peter Keil doesn't paint flowers and smiley faces. Instead, he aims his paintbrush in a different, less cheery direction, focusing on the fringe elements of society: drug addicts, pimps, and whores. Having grown up amid the ruins of World War II (in which his father was killed), Keil has retained a sense of the reality that surrounded him. His paintings are a mixture of oils and acrylics on a variety of surfaces, and they embody his belief that man intrinsically is a social being. His technique is neo-expressionistic, but his subject matter is startlingly real, lending voice to his keen social commentary. The Wild Man's art can be viewed at the RaZoo Gallery (3038 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). The exhibit runs through April 15. Call 954-663-3888.
South Florida's homeless population isn't limited solely to humans. There are plenty of dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other domestic animals that have been left to roam the streets. The good news is that there are organizations like Fort Lauderdale's Abandoned Pet Rescue that provide temporary homes for the neglected animals. However, the number of abandoned animals is overwhelming, leaving a heavy burden on such pet rescue organizations. To help Abandoned Pet Rescue with its mission, a fundraising concert has been set up at the Poor House (110 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The show features a raffle with plenty of prizes, as well as live music by Ponderstick, Basketcase, Southern Flaw, and the Mary Tyler Whores. Call 954-522-5145.
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What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.