When you're trudging through an untamed mangrove, art, music, and literature are probably the last things that come to mind. Much less a steaming cup of joe. But in the program Mangrove Cafe -- A Literary Coffeehouse, a swath of swamp has become remarkably civilized. It's actually the Ann Kolb Nature Center (751 Sheridan St., Hollywood), and beginning at 6 p.m. today, in the Center's beautiful natural setting, musician Scott Goldblatt performs a selection of original, environmental-themed music. Ocean scenes captured by Goldblatt, who is also an amateur photographer, are displayed at the Center along with a multimedia presentation of works by artist Fredric Shore. At 7 p.m. authors Nancy Kane of Plantation and Fort Lauderdale's Marilyn Jordan share their experiences as romance writers. The well-read nature excursion, which occurs the second Thursday of each month, is free. Call 954-357-8190.
Get a huge musical bang for your buck -- actually five of them -- during the fourth annual City Link Music Fest. Five dollars sets you off on a night (early morning, mostly) of carousing in the bars and clubs of downtown Fort Lauderdale, where you flash your stylish wristband to enter any of thirteen participating venues. On-stage more than 100 South Florida bands dish out a diverse menu of music -- from jazz and blues to rock and Latin-inflected pop. (See "Bars & Clubs" for individual club bookings.) And if you're not a regular nightclub prowler, be sure to take a nap: The event starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 3 a.m. (Those under age eighteen must leave clubs by midnight under city curfew.) Wristbands also provide club-hoppers with trolley transportation between gigs -- they're available tonight only. For sales locations call 954-463-1255 or 561-638-1255 ext. 3090, both numbers.
Performance artist John Kelly is up to his audience-astounding trickery again. In Paved Paradise, Kelly transmogrifies physically and vocally into folk/pop/jazz superstar Joni Mitchell. This chameleonlike charade was unveiled on Labor Day 1984 at the inaugural WIGSTOCK Festival in New York City's East Village, with Kelly interpreting Mitchell tunes in his countertenor. He expanded his Mitchell homage to a formalized, full-length production in 1987, adding a Vincent van Gogh character on bass and guitar, and Georgia O'Keeffe on piano. That's the show audiences will experience at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday when John Kelly & Company perform at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. All seats are $25. Call 800-572-8471 or 561-832-7469.
Atlantis has resurfaced, and during the millennia (or is that eons?) since its submerging, the Lost City's inhabitants, it seems, have acquired turntables and a penchant for rave culture. Beginning at 11 p.m. tonight, they will gather for a massive electronica dance-happening headlined by Trip Theory, Spiritual Beings, Soul Searcher, and V.O.R.T.E.X., who will be joined by more than a dozen other DJs in three indoor halls and on the patio at Convention Studio 183 -- the risen Atlantis -- at the intersection of SW 27th Avenue and 183rd Street, two blocks south of Pro Player Stadium in northwest Dade County. Tickets cost $18. Call 954-791-3036.
No, it's not a doddering old man talking to himself. It's actor John Amos telling stories to... a comet. Perhaps best known for his role as the adult Kunta Kinte in the TV miniseries Roots, Amos channels his powerful acting into a parade of characters in the one-man show Halley's Comet. His humorous, emotional portrayals take audiences through a lifetime of memories as seen initially from the perspective of an 87-year-old man who witnessed Halley's Comet as an eleven-year-old in 1910. In a soliloquy to the comet -- whisking by Earth on its 76-year-orbit -- Amos brings the tailed orb up to speed: There have been world wars, nuclear bombs, and the rise of fast-food chains since it last passed by. The unique history lesson is given at 2 and 8 p.m. today at the Crest Theatre, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $20 and $25. Call 561-243-3198.
When South Florida Record Collectors was founded in the mid-Seventies, vinyl was still plentiful and meetings consisted of 25 or so devotees trading platters and banter at someone's home. Now 300 or more diehards might show up at one of the group's Record Collectors' Swap Meets, all in search of a rare LP or 45. That was the turnout for the last meeting, anyway, according to club president John Miller. "Now there are CDs and everything else at the shows, but if you're looking for something you can't find anywhere, it's the place to go," explains Miller, who owns a local record shop. "I have people come in looking for things I can't even get ahold of, but they might find it there." The convention will be held at the Red Carpet Airport Inn, 2440 State Rd. 84, Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $2. Call 954-926-4545.
Step back in time to the days before "talkies" as the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra provides the live musical soundtrack and sound effects at The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival. Two of the Little Tramp's silent films -- The Adventurer (1917) and The Rink (1916) -- will be screened while the orchestra plays each film's original score. Regarded as one of the leading purveyors of vintage American popular music, the twelve-piece ensemble was formed in 1988 following director Rick Benjamin's discovery of thousands of early-twentieth-century orchestral scores, a treasure trove that once belonged to Victrola recording star Arthur Pryor. During an interlude between pictures, the group will perform a selection of rags, marches, waltzes, and blues from the period. Tickets cost $15 for the festival, which will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call 800-572-8471 or 561-832-7469.
It's 1995. Emerging musicians Paula Cole and Sarah McLachlan are plugging along on a two-woman tour. The whole women-in-rock thing is an issue still being hashed over in music mags. "Believe it or not, we encountered opposition about having two females on the same bill," the now star-status Cole told MTV News in July. "And when we finally went out there, we realized, 'This is great. The audience loves it.'" McLachlan figured that if a dual-female bill was good, a full-fledged Femalepalooza would be even better. And so she created the Lilith Fair. Although Cole is absent from the current lineup, South Florida fans can see McLachlan, the Indigo Girls, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliot, and Luscious Jackson on the main stage. K's Choice, Letters to Cleo, and Chantal Kreviazuk perform on the second stage; a third features Mary Karlzen, Kacy Crowley, and Ana Gasteyer. A village of vendors, artisans, and nonprofit organizations will be on site, and concertgoers are asked to bring clothing, toy, and food donations for the YWCA Harmony House Domestic Violence Shelter. Music starts at 4:30 p.m. Tickets range in cost from $17.75 to $37.75. Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach. Call 561-795-8883.