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Flame On

Just in time for the subtropical splendor that is springtime in South Florida, Tiki Torch Night returns to the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale. After the venerable, ready-made paradise took a nasty hit from Hurricane Wilma, avid tikiphiles worried that the Mai-Kai had hosted its last luau. The storm damage, it seems, was restricted to the exterior — the glass atrium housing the man-made waterfall was crushed, and a fair amount of the landscaping in the back garden was stripped. Thankfully, the extravagant interior remained unharmed, and the rum barrells and pu pus have been flowing freely. That's good news for the Haole Kats, a threepiece retro-groove band from Tampa that specializes in swing, lounge, and exotica music, which will provide the boozin' sounds for this Torch Night's hepcats and kittens. And it's great news for those tikiphiles who are gearing up to celebrate the Mai-Kai's 50th anniversary this fall. Which means now's the time to get your hula in gear.

Tiki Torch Night, featuring the Haole Kats, starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at the Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-563-3272. Tickets cost $5.


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