Can we still learn a little more about the facts of life?
Audiences seem to think so, as Eve Ensler's smash hit The Vagina Monologues goes into its fourth year of production since its original off-Broadway run in 1999. The play reveals almost everything you've ever wanted to know about the vagina but were afraid to ask. The upcoming production at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts will feature Kim Fields, the sassy preteen star, Tootie, of the 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life and more recently, Living Single. Fields will share the stage with New York-based actors Gretchen Lee Krich and Joyce Lee.
Based on more than 200 interviews with women from around the globe, The Vagina Monologues has become an international phenomenon. Having been performed in more than 40 countries, it is currently booked into more than 160 cities in the U.S. and Canada. It has been translated into more than 35 languages. The play covers the gamut of vagina possessors -- older women, young women, married women, single women, lesbians, college professors, corporate professionals, African-American women, Hispanic women, and Asian-American women -- while sticking to the universal themes of birth, death, and sex. The result is an ensemble of provocative soliloquies that are moving, thoughtful, and often downright hilarious.
The Vagina Monologues comes to the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs, on Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 4. Evening performances Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m.; matinee performances are Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, at 2 p.m. Call 954-344-5990 or visit www.coralspringscenterforthearts.com. -- Mia Leonin
Israel in the USA
This festival is from Israel, not about Israel, with vendors imported directly from the Holy Land. Expect the real thing at Sunday's IsraelFest 55, like items from Jan Elazar's Ora Gift Shop. Food, crafts, and children's games will re-create the atmosphere of a real Middle Eastern souk -- marketplace -- where you can buy candles, tapestries, musical instruments, works of art, clothing, skin care products, jewelry, and religious artifacts from the Middle East. The sponsoring Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is running a series of lectures. The festival and parking are free; hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 9901 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton. Call 561-852-5058. -- Karen Dale Wolman
Written in Stone
Bible Codes a fraud? No!
Michael Drosnin made money and headlines in 1997 with the release of The Bible Code, a book that claimed that by using equidistant letter sequences, one could spell out hidden messages in the Bible, particularly the first five books. Rational statisticians laughed this off, saying it could be done with any large sample of writing. Drosnin wittily responded by saying in Newsweek, "When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I'll believe them." Mathematician Brendan McKay then proceeded to find Moby Dick predictions for the killings of Indira Gandhi, Rene Moawad, Leon Trotsky, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Whoops! Still, Bible Code II: The Countdown came out subsequently, tracking events from September 11 to the all-too-soon end of the world. Jewish scholar Rabbi Yossi Hecht offers his somewhat skeptical analysis at the Chabad of West Boca Raton (9040 Kimberly Blvd., Boca Raton) at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 561-994-6257. -- Dan Sweeney
It takes a village... to drum and dance
The Anne Kolb Nature Center's Mangrove Hall (751 Sheridan St., Hollywood) hosts "The Village Gathering" this Sunday and, for that matter, the first Sunday of every other month. But why wait until July 6 and the dog days of summer to enjoy the multicultural experience? From 5 to 8 p.m., adults age 18 and older take in a drum and dance show led by local African drum and dance teacher Ndakhte Ndiaye. The show blends the dances of West Africa with costumes for a taste of the Dark Continent. Open-mic performances follow, for those who get their kicks as participants, not spectators, and everyone is invited to join in a drum circle, with drums provided. Dinner is available -- an exotic blend of African and Asian cuisine. Admission is $15, which includes the show, food, and the drum circle. Call 954-926-2480. -- Dan Sweeney
SAT 5/3 Don't Eat the Worm
On May 5, 1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated more then 8,000 French soldiers at the Battle of Puebla. As a result, we have Cinco de Mayo, an unofficial day of celebration associated with drinking, eating, drinking, and... oh yeah, more drinking. But this often saturnalian holiday can also include sober, clean, family fun. Wait, come back! Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach) presents a multicultural day of family entertainment, featuring ethnic food and beverages, face painting, a bounce house, live music, folkloric dance, and colorful costumes. Starts at noon, and admission is free. Call 561-243-7922. -- Audra Schroeder