Blackzilla's Comin'!

SAT 5/10

Dave Chappelle is not a fan of subtlety. His new Comedy Central show includes a skit in which he plays a blind white supremacist who doesn't realize he's actually black. His screams of "White power!" confound his incredulous onlookers, and his superfluous use of the n-word elicits a response of "cool" from a car full of white teenagers. In another irreverent skit, Chappelle plays Tyrone Biggums, a crack addict who visits schools to talk to kids about drug awareness. If that's not offensive enough, how about the recently discovered series of bloopers and outtakes from Roots; a look at MTV's The Real World with an all-black cast and one really white guy; and the unveiling of Wu-Tang Clan's new financial consulting firm. Not since In Living Color has there been a show in which political incorrectness is so intoxicatingly funny. But Chappelle isn't arbitrarily poking fun. He wants you to pay attention. If you're offended, he's done his job. The star and writer of Chappelle's Show and films such as the ingenious stoner gem Half Baked has been doing standup comedy for close to 16 years. He began his career in Washington, D.C., at age 14, gigging local comedy clubs, many of which his mother had to accompany him to. He's starred in feature-length films such as Robin Hood: Men in Tights and The Nutty Professor and has plans to direct a film about late street comedian and mentor Charles Barnett. But comedy is what gives Chappelle his razor-sharp edge. The bulk of his jokes, as witnessed above, are about race. He's made an art out of taking comedic but unapologetic jabs at racial stereotypes and social prejudice, and it's no surprise that his standup is full of personal observations. He has the power to make us crackers look around and wonder: "Should I laugh at this?" Chappelle doesn't need to push the envelope; he has more fun pushing our buttons. Dave's Blackzilla Tour attacks the Jackie Gleason Theatre, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $30 to $35. Call 305-673-7300 for ticket information. -- Audra Schroeder

SAT 5/10

Traveling Troubadour

Callinan shares a dying art

Tom Callinan, the official state troubadour of Connecticut, and Cynthia Hancock, president of Fort Lauderdale's National Week of the Ocean, met by sheer accident. "I was up in Maine at the National Marine Educators Association conference," Callinan remembers. "I was doing a workshop on how to integrate sea songs into a variety of curricular areas. Afterward, she [Hancock] came up and asked me if I would come to Florida. My first trip was 20 years ago this year, and I've been coming down ever since." The annual South Florida tours of the Connecticut-based folk singer have involved a week or two of shows, always with one gig highlighted as part of Ocean Week. This year's show takes place at Secret Woods Nature Center (2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. This being Ocean Week, the singer performs a concert of sea chanteys. While you may imagine this means "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum," the truth is quite a bit different. "A sea chantey, technically, is a work song," Callinan explains. "They're songs that were used by crews on sailing ships in the 18th and 19th centuries and into the early 20th century to coordinate the work of a variety of tasks, be it raising the anchor or pumping out the bilge or warping the ship around the pier or, of course, raising the sail or bunting the sail." -- Dan Sweeney

FRI 5/9

An Earle and Some Dukes

Steve Earle wonders why we can't all get along

Although certain all-female trios have shaken up country music by saying the wrong thing, a lot of folks would be hard-pressed to think of a country star who is singing the wrong thing. Those people have not heard Steve Earle's latest album, Jerusalem. While not an explicit indictment of the Bush regime or its policies, the record's view of September 11 and the war on terrorism is the kind of material that's rarely seen in country music. While Alan Jackson sobs and Toby Keith threatens terrorists with America's collective boot up their butts, Earle describes how a kid can go from all-American to Taliban with "John Walker's Blues." The album ends with the title track, which suggests that war and violence will only beget more war and violence and we'll only win over those who hate us by demonstrating love and peace. Whoa! Somebody arrest this guy! But before that happens, catch Steve Earle and the Dukes at the Carefree Theatre (2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach) at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30. Call 561-833-7305. -- Dan Sweeney

SAT 5/10 Whine, Bitch, Eat

Misery may love company, but it loves food even more. "Art, Food, and Misery" teams noted standup comic and professional neurotic Richard Lewis with the rather well-rounded John Pinette at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts' Au-Rene Theater (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Lewis has been touting his deeply personal and therapeutic brand of comedy -- or, as he may see it, his comedic brand of therapy -- for nearly 25 years, most recently on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Pinette, on the other hand, finds therapy in food, and lots of it. Hey, he's a big guy; whaddaya expect? And in case you want a little performance art on the side, self-proclaimed "extreme artist" Jean Francois enthralls the audience with his high-action oil-painting technique. He'll use anything to splash paint on a canvas -- just not a paint brush. The event will benefit Gilda's Club South Florida (named for Gilda Radnor), and it will be a therapeutic night indeed. Tickets cost $35 to $85. Call 954-763-6392. -- Jason Budjinski

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