Powder Porn

SAT 10/29

Five-year-old Bridger Giles stands about three apples tall -- the size of a Smurf. Which makes it easy for him to maneuver around obstacles on skis and avoid a Sonny Bono-esque introduction to a pine tree. The precocious racer is fascinating to watch -- if you can distinguish him from the gust of fresh powder he kicks up as he speeds down a mountainside. Thank goodness, then, that he's been captured on film -- in Higher Ground, the latest big-screen candy from director Warren Miller. Miller basically invented the genre of action sports films and, at 81 years old, continues to drop a new ski/snowboard movie every winter.

Part documentary, part visual fix for adrenaline junkies, Higher Ground also shows Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom being dropped by helicopter onto a wild mountaintop in British Columbia and mountaineer Dave Barlia wearing a "winged suit" that allows him to travel down powdery slopes ten feet off the ground -- at 130 miles per hour. Hot-dogging ambassador Glen Plake bumps along moguls and knocks out crowd-pleasing tricks. In the film, he shows up and shows off with his signature mohawk, which is about four times taller than Bridger Giles. Higher Ground screens at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.browardcenter.org. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Puppets Gone Wild!

Pinocchio's rolling in his grave

THU 10/27

The last time you encountered a puppet show for the over-5-year-old set was probably in sex-ed class. And it probably made you blush. Here comes another equally befuddling and X-rated show: The Diva Madame stars in "Divas Gone Wild" at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Madame debuted on TV ten years ago on Hollywood Squares with the late puppeteer Wayland Flowers. She's since been adopted by comedian Jerry Halliday. According to their website, "they both deny any romantic connection," but "Jerry does spend a great deal of time with his hand up her skirt." Shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $35. -- Deirdra Funcheon