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This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 17

The Las Vegas Comedy Festival is to standup comics what South by Southwest is to rock bands — that is, a really big freakin' deal. As it turns out, there's only one venue in Florida where aspiring comics can audition for the 2006 Las Vegas Comedy Festival — the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Auditions are open to amateurs and working comics. However, if you claim to be a working comic, you need a list of verifiable credits. Having won "class clown" in your high school yearbook won't cut it. Call 561-470-6887, or visit (JB)

FRI 18

Last we heard of Tommy Chong, the 67-year-old comic was doing time for (surprise!) selling bongs. Now Chong's out of the slammer and back to his old ways — performing in a comedy duo, that is. But this time around, it's not Cheech and Chong but Chong and Chong. Yep, the high-humored jokester joins his wife, Shelby, for a night of stonerific laughs at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., Ste. 250, West Palm Beach). This is hardly the first time the couple has worked together; Shelby appeared in Cheech and Chong's 1981 flick Nice Dreams, playing a bodybuilder. And since her husband's role as Leo on That '70s Show can't last forever (are we on the final season yet?), now's a good time to hit the road, man. The Chongs perform tonight through Sunday. Tickets cost $23.43. Call 561-833-1812, or visit (JB)

SAT 19

There's no crying in baseball. So what? There's no patting each other on the butt in the National Hockey League, and that's why this rough-and-tumble sport should be the national pastime. We're not saying that hockey players are all gruff, mean, manly men. Why, look at the Florida Panthers — with 12 Canadians, two Czechs, three Slovaks, two Finns, one Russian, one Swede, and one American on the team, it's like a mini United Nations. That is, if the United Nations body-checked everyone it met while a stadium full of drunken people cheered and a person dressed up like a stuffed animal skated around throwing T-shirts into the crowd. Tonight, pass your time at the BankAtlantic Center (1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise) when the Panthers take on the New York Islanders at 7:30. Call 954-835-PUCK, or visit (DF)

SUN 20

Regina Porten's pewter flower pots sure would make a good holiday gift for Grandma, as would John Elder's earthen-style teapot. But time's a tickin'. With only a month to go before holiday shopping devolves into a survival of the rudest, you might as well get those familial gifts purchased at today's Art Sale at the Armory Art Center of the Palm Beaches (1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach). Unlike the sweatshop-manufactured arts and crafts at Wal-Mart, proceeds from the armory's sales go to the people who made the items — armory faculty and members like Porten and Elder, as well as other painters, photographers, and jewelry makers. So start your shopping now. Unless, of course, you enjoyed all those long lines after Hurricane Wilma. The sale takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and today from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Call 561-832-1776, or visit (JB)

MON 21

When a rock climber makes the first ascent up a particular route on a rock face, she'll map it and name it, creating a blueprint for others to follow. The best route names possess an artful, almost literary quality, for example: "Handsome and Well Hung" at New River Gorge, West Virginia, "Doesn't Anybody Work Around Here?" at Owens River Gorge in California, and "Weasels on Drugs Crawled Up My Bunghole (a.k.a. Richard Gere's Crack)" at Joshua Tree National Park. Inside the Coral Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing Center (3400 SW 26th Ter., Fort Lauderdale), you can shimmy up a nice little ditty rated 5.8 (pretty easy) that starts with two mound-like hand holds. Its name? "Boobies." Don't let South Florida's dearth of mountains stop you from getting high. Famed mountaineer Alex Lowe suggested that altitude wasn't necessary: "The best climber in the world is the one that's having the most fun." Coral Cliffs is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. A one-day pass costs $15; equipment rentals and lessons cost extra. Call 954-321-9898, or visit (DF)

TUE 22

Technically, if you put a George W. Bush mask on a statue of a monkey, you've created multimedia art. But that doesn't put you in the same league as Yvonne Rainer, who embraces every medium, from vintage photography to videotaped performance pieces. In Yvonne Rainer: Radical Juxtapositions, 1961 to 2002, no medium is left unturned. As the title states, Rainer's work spans four decades. While the exhibit features some two-dimensional elements (posters, journals), particular emphasis is placed on dance. The art of juxtaposition is about creating contrast, and Rainer has it down pat. Now get back to work on your "Radical Similarities" piece (call it Curious George W.). "Radical Juxtapositions" is open now through January 21 at Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt Center Gallery (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Call 561-297-2966. (JB)

WED 23

DJ Khaled, who controls the airwaves on WEDR 99 Jamz is throwing a party to "celebrate life and music in honor of his existence," according to the invitation. As the man who decides which records get airplay and which ones get thrown in the trash bin, he is perhaps the most powerful man in Miami. He has friends in high places too: Funkmaster Flex is, like, his BFF, and Shaq was going to host tonight's party but, alas, had to cancel. Khaled is of Palestinian descent, and in addition to running a radio station, he operates a recording studio in a secret locale; its name is "Jerusalem." Tonight's party at Mansion (1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), accordingly, is called The Temple, and a load of Khaled's disciples will perform: Lil Wayne, T.I., PSC, Young Jeezy, Fat Joe, Pitbull, and Smitty. Advance tickets cost $30. Call 305-438-9488, or visit (DF)

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