With her 1995 album -- and without the publicity of a live tour -- she pretty much swept the country music awards in 1996: Billboard No. 1 Top Country Album Artist, Grammy for Best Country Album, Album of the Year from both the Academy of Country Music and the Canadian Country Music Awards. Canadian native Shania Twain has finally decided to take her act on the road for the followup to 1995's The Woman in Me, last year's Come On Over. And while Twain is mostly country, she's a little bit rock 'n' roll, too; her live shows have been described as more Patti Smith than Patti Loveless. The crossover isn't surprising, considering her childhood exposure to her parents' record collection, an eclectic mix of Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, the Mamas and the Papas, and Stevie Wonder. Twain's rising star landed her on the cover of the August 18 issue of Rolling Stone -- the first female country artist to appear there since Parton in 1980. Apparently Twain chose her stage name well. In 1990 she dumped the name Eileen for Shania, an Ojibwa Indian name that means "I'm on my way." She plays at 8 p.m. at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Ticket prices range from $19.75 to $35.75. Call 561-793-0445.
ArtWalk in Hollywood might be more appropriately called ArtDance this month. The monthly event usually has art lovers browsing the wares of downtown galleries while enjoying live music. Tonight, though, the crowd is encouraged to join the largest conga line in city history, which will snake from Anniversary Park to the nearby Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St.) for the opening of the art exhibition "Splendors of the Samba." Before revelers samba they'll watch three dancers and forty drummers from Paulo Gualano's Brazilian Unidos de Miami Samba School perform the Brazilian festival dance and music in the park. At the art show, they'll see ornate Brazilian carnaval costumes from the collection of Gualano, a samba teacher. With a price tag of more than $10,000 each, the beaded and sequined gowns with huge headdresses and bird feathers take a year to create. But as beautiful as they are, viewers will be glad they weren't actually wearing one to samba in: Each one weighs in at more than 100 pounds. Admission to ArtWalk, which begins at 7 p.m., is free; exhibition admission is $5. Call 954-921-3274.
No doubt that 1998 will go down, in part, as the year of Oscar Wilde, the Irish-born, 19th-century writer whose dramatic rise and fall have been the subject of numerous plays, movies, and books. The parade continues with Diversions and Delights, a play running every weekend through September at the Caldwell Theatre Company (7873 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton). Actor John Felix, the Carbonell Award winner who portrayed the homosexual author in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde earlier this year at the Caldwell, picks up where he left off. Indecency covered the trial, and Diversions looks at the results. The toast of London literary society in the late 1800s, Wilde lost his case and was thrown in the can for two years on charges of "gross indecency," mainly for being gay. In 90 minutes of anecdotes, poems, narratives, and parables, Felix takes audiences through Wilde's history, focusing on his life after prison. Wrecked physically by prison work and mentally by the loss of family and friends, the author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray found himself unable to pen another work and died penniless. Curtain is Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15. Call 561-995-2331.
If you're watching TV but you missed seeing the goofball who committed the game-losing fumble, you know you don't have to worry, because you'll get to see the slo-mo instant replay. Though we usually take such technology for granted, we should be thanking Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist, teacher, and photographer Dr. Harold Edgerton (19031990) -- if he were alive, that is. He pioneered new ways of visualizing previously unseen phenomena, including the use of high-speed photography and stroboscopic and electronic flash to capture moving objects on film. But it wasn't sports replays he was concerned with. His pictures were scientific evidence: birds in flight, the first millionth of a second of an atomic blast, a diver's trajectory from board to water. The photos also might be considered objects of art. In the exhibition "Seeing the Unseen: Dr. Harold E. Edgerton and the Wonders of Strobe Alley," however, the shots are only part of the story. Set up like the scientist's lab, known as "Strobe Alley," the show includes pieces of Edgerton's equipment, his early film footage, and a strobe activity area. "Unseen" runs through October 25 at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Admission is $2 to $5. Call 561-832-5194.
Gilda Pianelli is the director of acting at the University Center For the Performing Arts. She's also the newly appointed associate producer at DiLorna Productions of Coral Springs, which is finishing production on the film Zero, starring Mimi Rogers, Jonathan Silverman, and Lea Thompson. In her adult acting classes, offered to beginners as well as advanced students every Monday, she utilizes the intense Eric Morris System, a stripped-down version of the Method school of study. Pianelli's big-screen connections might not get you into a film, but plenty of her students are working actors, including Nathalie Paulding, who plays character Erica Kane's daughter on the soap opera All My Children. Cost is $110 per eight-week session, and class begins at 8 p.m. The center is located at 2240 SW 70th Ave., Davie. Call 954-475-3000.
The Science Fiction Discussion Group doesn't just review books; it discusses the many issues raised by the works, according to moderator Steve Dailey. After reading Frank Herbert's Dune, for example, the group ruminated about messiahs and religion. This week, it'll tackle The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre, an award-winning fantasy writer who's concocted an "alternative" version of history. Her book is set in 1693 Paris, during the reign of King Louis XIV. She did her research in France and invests the story with intricate details of court life. But in her version of history, a Jesuit priest presents the king with two humanlike sea creatures thought to hold the secret to everlasting life. The male, already dead, is dissected by the priest, while the living female -- which has two tails, golden eyes, and a lilting voice -- sings to the priest's sister, who is painting a portrait of the creature for the king. The sister soon finds herself moving away from the male-dominated monarchy and the Church toward the beautiful creature, which is symbolic of feminine intelligence. You can just guess what tonight's discussion will be about. The talk begins at 8 p.m. at Borders, 525 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach. Admission is free. Call 561-734-2021.
The International Film Series at Florida Atlantic University's Broward campus was such a success last year that the school has revived it for the fall. The series, which runs every Wednesday through March, offers mostly subtitled foreign-language films, and each screening is followed by a discussion. This week's selection is the 1971 Italian film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, about the progressive persecution of Italian Jewry in prewar Europe. In 1938, as Mussolini steps up anti-Semitic policies in Italy, the aloof, aristocratic Finzi-Contini family holes up in its vast walled estate, ignoring the specter of being sent to a concentration camp -- until it's too late. The sad, haunting movie won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Tickets cost $4. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Call 954-236-1272.