The Delray Beach Playhouse may be doing more harm than good by hosting a Special Singles Night Performance of Murder at the Howard Johnson's -- or it may be doing singles a favor. The play revolves around Arlene, an underappreciated wife, Paul, her used-car salesman husband, and the couple's dentist, Mitchell. Looking for attention, Arlene allows herself to be seduced by Mitchell, who considers himself something of an orthodontic Don Juan. Once the affair is under way, Arlene decides she doesn't want to hurt Paul by asking for a divorce, so she and Mitchell agree to kill him. Paul has a similar plan for ending the adulterous affair. After seeing the show, singles who were eyeing each other at the 7 p.m. wine reception beforehand might have second thoughts about marriage and just how life-threatening it can be. But at least they will have enjoyed a fast-paced, slapstick comedy filled with sight gags. The play, which begins at 8 p.m., runs through Sunday at the playhouse, located at 950 NW Ninth St., Delray Beach. Admission is $15. Call 561-278-3523.
When your biggest hit songs are covers, why mess with the formula? Britain's UB40 has perfected the art of transmogrifying pop tunes into reggae-inflected hits. The group has had some success in its homeland with albums of originals since it formed in 1978, but is best known in these, the former English colonies, for its syncopated rendering of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine," which became a U.S. hit in the late '80s. The song actually appeared on 1983's Labour of Love, the band's first all-covers album, but the Diamond-penned tune didn't become a number one hit in the States until 1988, when a Phoenix radio station added it to their playlist and other stations followed suit. The next covers collection, Labour of Love II (1989), climbed to No. 6 on the U.S. charts on the strength of the single "The Way You Do the Things You Do," the reggaefied version of the Temptations' hit. On the band's third all-covers outing, Labour of Love III, released last year, UB40 revisits another Diamond tune, "Holly Holy," and covers Peter Tosh's "Legalize It." The band performs at 8 p.m. tonight at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $22.50 and $25. Call 954-946-2402.
Seattle doesn't exactly come to mind when you think of belly-dancing, probably because the undulating stomach movements and barefoot dance steps can't be seen under raincoats, flannel shirts, and rubber boots. Nonetheless, the star attraction at tonight's Belly Dance Gala Show -- which is part of this weekend's Belly Dance Convention in Hollywood -- is Delilah, a renowned belly dancer from Seattle. At least she's renowned among aspiring belly dancers, who buy her instructional videos and flock from around the world each January to her ten-day belly dance blowout in Hawaii. Delilah will perform tonight at 7 p.m. along with Kalina, a hula dancer and instructor from Largo, Florida, and a harem of local belly dancers. Tickets for the show cost $10. Delilah and Kalina will conduct seminars through Sunday for $50 per day, and belly dance costumes, jewelry, and accessories are for sale at the convention. The show and convention take place at the Italian-American Club, 700 S. Dixie Hwy., Hollywood. Call 954-929-7155.
German artist Barbara Pflanz-Nagasawa is known for her multimedia collages and paintings, but the exhibition "Figuratively Speaking," which concludes today at the Museum of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth), features a series of her anatomically correct drawings and paintings of human figures. Starting with a sketch of a model, she creates the finished image by adding charcoal, ink, watercolor, pastel, and/or tempera to the canvas, partially erasing or covering one layer with another. Deciphering the anatomical correctness, therefore, takes a little squinting. For example, it's hard to tell if the figure in the watercolor-and-charcoal piece Let's Go Dancing is endowed with an exceptionally long, pointy phallus, or whether that's a horn protruding from its belly. Decide for yourself. Admission is $2. Call 561-582-0006 for more information.
In the play Sylvia, which is being staged by the Caldwell Theatre Company, the title character is -- get this -- a talking dog. And Sylvia's owner has to decide whether to send the aging dog to a farm or let her remain in the city. Sylvia, of course, has plenty to say about the issue, and when Sylvia producer Kenneth Kay and his wife, Kim Cozort, who plays Sylvia, were shopping for dog-related gifts for the rest of the cast, they stumbled upon a book purportedly written by dogs. Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs, includes works created by the pets of literary luminaries such as John Irving, Edward Albee, and Roy Blount, Jr. "Wind," a poem by Bob Shacochis' dog, Frank, consists entirely of this brilliant line: "Leaves -- I thought they were birds." The cast of Sylvia will give a benefit reading of the book tonight at 7:30 to raise money for the Tri-County Humane Society. Several canines will be present and available for adoption -- though they won't be reading. The Caldwell is located at 7873 N. Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton. Tickets cost $10. Call 561-241-7432.
Remember when a bankrupt Chrysler made a comeback under Lee Iacocca in the early '80s? If you do, Bob Edelson of Miami is at least partly responsible. At the time he was in the advertising biz in New York City and helped make Iacocca a household name. Edelson retired in 1985, after 30 years in advertising, to work full-time at his first love, photography. Turns out he was good at that, too. He split his time between New York and Miami Beach, shooting award-winning photos of SoHo as New York's once-neglected industrial slum transformed into an artists' enclave. He also documented Miami Beach's turnaround as the city revitalized its Art Deco neighborhoods. Edelson's pictures ended up in major art shows, and his third book, New American Street Art, includes photographs of impressive graffiti murals. In fact, one reason he put the book together was to show that graffiti is more than just scrawled gang signs. Edelson recognizes imaginative "tagging" with a two-page spread that features a wall full of vividly colored, spray-painted insignias in downtown Miami by MSG, named Best Graffiti Crew in this paper's "Best of 1998" issue. Edelson appears at 7:30 p.m. at Borders, 12171 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. Admission is free. Call 954-723-9595.
Back in early 1998, Clarence Clemons, the former saxman in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and a Singer Island resident, was holding court a couple nights per week at clubs in West Palm Beach and Hollywood, where he let local musicians jam with him on stage. Update: Bruce has since reconvened the E Streeters for his current tour. But the Boss has given the Big Man a little time off, and Clemons and his own sextet, the Band of Faith, will play shows today and July 7 at Monkeyclub (219 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). The band -- which includes guitarist Billy Livesay, bassist Steve Argy, violinist Randi Fishenfeld, keyboardist Paul Pettitt, and drummer Keith Cronin -- lays down grooves featuring funk, soulful blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll every Wednesday at the club, and Clemons adds his distinctive horn to the mix whenever he's in town. Sets begin at 9 and 11 pm. Cover is $10. Call 561-833-6500.