You can live forever. But here's the deal: You have to spend eternity exclusively on the island of Manhattan. Yikes! The stress of that city might be enough to do away with any immortal, but that is the predicament of reporter/artist Cormac O'Connor, protagonist of illustrious journalist Pete Hamill's ninth novel, Forever. Hamill, past editor of both the New York Daily News and the New York Post and legendary hard drinker, reads from his book, which unfortunately shares a title with a racy Judy Blume tome, at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408.
Famed actor Danny Glover will lend his sonorous voice to local writer E. Claudette Freeman's historical musical From the Porch, during a series of events at Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) dubbed Impressions in Black History. Before enjoying the play, you can feast on delicious food and visit the Impressions Marketplace, also at the arena, which will offer arts and crafts, paintings, photographs, textiles, and more created by black artists. Showtimes are 7:30 tonight, and 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets range from $15 to $45. Call 305-530-4400.
A big twenty years old this year, the Miami International Film Festival, which suffered a turbulent nineteenth year, comes back with a vengeance. Spanish director Emilio Martínez Lázaro's light comedy El Otro Lado de la Cama (The Other Side of the Bed) kicks things off tonight at 7:30. Running through Sunday, March 2, the fest will spread its wings, showcasing movies from all over the world at venerable old stomping ground Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.), Regal Cinema South Beach (1100 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), Sunrise Cinema Intracoastal (3701 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach), and on the beach at First Street and Ocean Drive (those screenings are free but require tickets). Tickets for opening and closing films cost $25; other flicks will cost you $11. Call 305-348-5555. See "Film," page 55, for reviews, or log on to www.miamifilmfestival.com for details.
Grace Slick and now Jane Seymour. What's up with all these celebrities masquerading as artists? And why are they all coming down here to hawk their art? We'll refrain from answering that question long enough to tell you that seeking serenity after her third divorce, Seymour grabbed a brush and paint and has been decorating canvases à la Monet, Matisse, and Dufy ever since. What does that mean? Think colorful flowers in a jug, in a vase, in a coffeepot, and on a vine. Oh, and kiddies wearing hats, frolicking in the sea, sitting in the grass, and standing butt-naked against a wall. The question is: Do you spring for a Seymour now or keep saving for that limited-edition Thomas Kinkade? Seymour shows herself and her stuff from 6:00 to 10:00 tonight and noon to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow at Bal Harbour Gallery, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-864-5800.
Local emerging artists will get their final chance to emerge during the closing Gen Art Event being held at Soho Lounge (175 NE 36th St.) from 8:00 to midnight. Among the many showcasing work: fashion designers Dulce de Leche Menswear and Ash Rana, musical group Against the Echo, filmmakers Harriette Yahr and Jesus Rodriguez, visual artists Katrina Del Mar and Ali Prosch, and DJs Irv and Jody McDonald. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-460-3244.
If George Washington were alive today, would he be dragging his 116-year-old butt up and down Biscayne Bay in a bullseye, catboat, or a mud hen? Granted, he might be retired and living in South Florida, but as for him spending his time courting skin cancer on a sailboat, we doubt it. You, however, are a different story. There's nothing you'd rather do than skim around the bay in a boat during the Washington's Birthday Regatta, commencing at noon on the water behind the Barnacle State Historic Site (3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove). Stick around until 4:30 p.m. for an awards presentation. Proceeds benefit the Barnacle Society, which helps take care of the home that originally belonged to Coconut Grove pioneer and Biscayne Bay Yacht Club founder Ralph Middleton Munroe. He put together the first regatta in 1887. Admission is free for spectators; ten dollars if you want to race. Call 305-448-9445 to enter.
Russian master musician Mstislav Rostropovich -- his friends call him Slava -- brings his enormous talent and regular-sized cello to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 8:00 tonight courtesy of the Concert Association of Florida. The 76-year-old maestro, also a celebrated human rights activist, will join the Florida Philharmonic, led by guest conductor Stefan Sanderling, for Dvorak's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B Minor and Prokofiev's Excerpts from the Ballet, Romeo and Juliet. Tickets range from $35 to $85. Call 305-808-7446.
Composer David Yazbek has described The Full Monty, the show he wrote with Terrence McNally based on the 1997 movie of the same name, as "a sports story. It's not about stripping," he has claimed. "It's a bunch of guys who get together and form a team." Oookay, could have fooled us. Yes, the guys form a team -- of strippers! Unlike the feature film, though, this story of unemployed steelworkers who transform themselves into, er, exotic dancers and take it all off to help a friend is set not in Sheffield, England, but in Buffalo, New York. The kind of place where you could freeze your girders off this time of year! But really, what could be more heartwarming than good naked men triumphing over adversity? Nothing we can think of. Starring big Broadway names Cleavant Derricks, Christian Anderson, Carol Woods, and Robert Westenberg, the show opens tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and runs through Sunday, March 2. Tickets range from $25 to $60. Call 305-673-7300.