Get ready to bare your midriff and shake your hips when local belly dance sensation Tamalyn Dallal slithers in to Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) tonight at 8:00. Dallal, who runs Miami Beach's Mideastern Dance Exchange, won't be teaching a master class. She'll be discussing her new book, They Told Me I Couldn't: A Young Woman's Multicultural Adventures in Colombia. Dallal's escapade began when she "took off for Colombia with four costumes, a sword, and twenty dollars." Oookay. Expect the sequel to be about how she survives in a place that's even wackier than South America -- South Beach! Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408.
Basketball season is over, so Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning is out of competitive-sports-guy mode and into nice-guy-fundraiser mode for his annual three-day charity extravaganza Zo's Summer Groove, which helps raise money for the Children's Home Society and 100 Black Men of South Florida. The groove gets going at 7:30 tonight when comedian Sinbad hosts the Mega Groove Concert starring Faith Evans, 702, Dave Hollister, Ginuwine, Destiny's Child, and Tyrese at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.). Tomorrow night from 6:30 to 11:00 Mourning and friends get together for a black-tie dinner at The Hyatt Regency (400 SE Second Ave.). The event, dubbed Evening in Paradise and hosted by NBC sports analyst Bob Costas, features entertainment and an auction of exotic trips and one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia. On Sunday the action moves back to the Miami Arena, where a free block party takes place outside from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. DJ Skribble, actor Malik Yoba, and radio personality Al B. Sylk will be on hand as entertainment. Then at 6:00 p.m. the All-Star Basketball Game gets under way. Hitting the courts along with Mourning will be Jamal Mashburn, Patrick Ewing, Glen Rice, Juwan Howard, Voshon Lenard, Dikembe Mutombo, and many others. Tickets cost $9.99 for the concert, $250 for the dinner, and range from $5-$100 for the game. Call 877-476-3300.
You don't own a tux? So what! As long as you include a black tie somewhere on your self, you could don a brown paper bag (so environmentally conscious!) or envelop yourself in yards of plastic wrap (it comes in all those fantastic colors now!) and still attend New Directions of the American Cancer Society's Creative Black Tie party. See, the idea is to be creative: That means don't even think about wearing one of those stupid old tuxedo T-shirts! The party runs from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at the Port of Miami (1015 N. America Way, Terminal 12). Tickets cost $35 in advance and $45 at the door and include one drink. Call 305-594-4363, ext 224.
Get a taste of downtown Hollywood and hear more than 75 musical acts live at LoveFest. Begun in 1996 as a fundraiser for local artist, musician, and businessman James Morlock, who battled pancreatic cancer, LoveFest has grown into a huge six-hour event featuring demonstrations by alternative health and healing practitioners, an art and cool-stuff auction, and many styles of music outdoors and in several restaurants and clubs all over Hollywood's Young Circle, as well as on Harrison Street and Hollywood Boulevard. Who you might hear: Jazz man Randy Bernson, R&B act the Hush Brothers, funk band Rudy, Latin rockers Fulano de Tal, and more. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hepatitis C Awareness, the Hollywood Firefighters' Children's Burn Center, and LoveFest's summer music program for at-risk youth. Showtime is 4:00 p.m. Five dollars buys you a wristband that gets you into all venues and the auction. Call 305-954-922-2971.
Another July Independence Day celebration gets going today. This time it's for Colombians. Along with tons of fun and food, Latin entertainers galore (Grupo Niche, Frankie Negron, Kinito Mendez, and Joe Arroyo) will serenade you from noon till 10:00 p.m. at the Colombian Independence Festival at the Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way. Admission is twelve dollars for adults; kids age ten and under get in free. Call 305-223-7060.
Give cameras to Maitland photographer Faith Amon, farmwork students, community volunteers, and the staff of Winter Park's Crealde School of the Arts, and what you get back is a series of stark black-and-white images documenting the environmental and social effects of Central Florida's changing agricultural industry. Concentrating on the closing of vegetable farms around Lake Apopka, the group contributed to the photographic exhibition The Last Harvest: A History and Tribute to the Life and Work of Farmworkers on Lake Apopka now on display at South Dade Regional Library, 10750 SW 211th St. This traveling show runs through August 4. Admission is free. Call 305-233-8140.
Most classical-music lovers know Giacomo Puccini for his opera La Boheme. You know, the one whose plot was copped to create that odious Broadway musical Rent. Well Pooch did write a couple of lesser-known works and that would include La Rondine (The Swallow). Written in the style of a light Viennese operetta, La Rondine is set in turn-of-the century Paris and involves the conflicts that ensue between a set of idealistic women of not-so-sterling reputation and the wealthy men they are not married to but who, er, support them. The division of vocal arts at Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus presents the opera at 7:30 tonight in the auditorium, room 1261, at the Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave.). Tickets cost seven dollars for adults and five for students, even if they are adults too. A deal! Call 305-237-3170.