The most popular characters on kids' TV are no longer turtles, purple dinosaurs, or color-coordinated crime fighters. They're babies, stars of Nickelodeon's Emmy Award-winning cartoon Rugrats, and they're tops with the grade school set. The show's star, Tommy, a brave, diaper-clad one-year-old, leads the talking tots through antics that often teach meaningful lessons (don't tell the kids). Now the network brings the precocious ones to the stage in Rugrats: A Live Adventure, starring six-foot foam versions of the toddlers (can Teletubbies be far behind?). Unlike many productions for kids, this one has a plot: Tommy invents a machine that brings objects to life, but it falls into the hands of tyrannical four-year-old Angelica. The babies team up to get it back, in two 40-minute acts plus intermission. Ex-Devo leader Mark Mothersbaugh scored the music. The 'rats scurry into the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets range from $14.50 to $26.50. Call 305-530-4400. (AD)
What to do when you live in the shadow of a father who was considered one of the greatest figures of modern jazz? Become a jazz musician yourself, of course! T.S. Monk, son of the amazing pianist and composer Thelonious, has his own combo, the T.S. Monk Sextet, and the guys smoke. Listen for yourself tonight at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables (see "Music," page 83, for more details). Call 305-448-7421, ext. 20. (NK)
If watching a bunch of women in shorts running around wildly chasing a ball sounds like your idea of fun, then consider attending the United Systems of Independent Soccer League's W-2 Women's National Championships tonight and tomorrow at Flamingo Park Memorial Stadium (Michigan Avenue and Twelfth Street, Miami Beach). For the past year Miami has had its own USISL team, the Gliders, whose 9-3 season put them at the top of their conference. Miami was chosen to host the league's championship matches, and the Gliders will be one of the teams on the field. Semifinal matches will be played today at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. The championship match kicks off tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Admission ranges from six to ten dollars for each game. Call 305-532-5080. (NK)
Yes, Yes is still around, and no, Yes isn't playing the Button South. For the Open Your Eyes tour, celebrating their 30th anniversary, the progressive supergroup is still going strong; they have a rabid fan base, sell out concert halls the world over, and are backed by a fanzine and museum. Although they have weathered umpteen personnel changes, the current lineup consists of original members Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire, along with newcomers guitarist Billy Sherwood and keyboardist Igor Khoroshev, and Alan White, who joined the group in the early Seventies. Tonight, as in the Seventies when they were one of the first groups to tour with quadraphonic sound, Yes is going high-tech with a surround sound system in Coral Sky Amphitheatre (601 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach) at 7:00 p.m. Opening the show is the Alan Parsons Live Project; the local band Kickback plays first at 5:30. Tickets cost $16, $26, and $36. Call 800-759-4624. (LB)
More dancing and drumming than you can shake your hips at will take place tonight at 9:00 during Caribbean Night at Power Studios (3701 NE Second Ave.) On the bill: music from Haiti, West Africa, and Cuba, and performances by the Iroko Afro-Cuban Dance Theater, Haitian dance by Ayizan Kreol, and West African Ewe dance by Corina Fitch. Tickets cost ten dollars. Call 305-604-9141. (NK)
Just how far would you really go to see funny man Bill Cosby? To Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or maybe even Branson, Missouri? Well, tonight you need only hop on the Tamiami Trail and head west to see the Jell-O pitchman and former star of the Cosby Show and the woefully underappreciated comic romp Leonard, Part 6. It seems that enduring the recent trial of the man who murdered his only son hasn't kept Cosby from doing what he does best: make people laugh. The indefatigable comedian will do his stand-up routine at 6:00 and 9:00 tonight at Miccosukee Indian Gaming, 500 SW 177th Ave. Tickets cost $40 and $50. Call 800-741-4600. (NK)
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He is singer Nat King Cole's younger brother, but Freddy Cole has developed a smooth voice of his own and a deep appreciation for a fine love song. Hear the pianist-crooner perform tonight and tomorrow, along with bassist Don Wilner and drummer James Martin, at Van Dyke Cafe (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). He'll be belting out selections from his new album To the Ends of the Earth, which features a medley of Nat's songs. Showtimes are 9:00 and 10:45 p.m. Cover charge is ten dollars. Call 305-534-3600. (NK)
So your kids fancy themselves junior Ethel Mermans or budding Adam Pascals, the guy who made such a dent in the Broadway musical Rent? Haul them over to the Children/Youth Summer Theatre Workshop, which will take place today through August 21 at Plymouth Congregational Church (3400 Devon Rd., Coconut Grove). FIU associate professor of theater Phillip Church and fourth-grade teacher and drama coach at Sunset Elementary Mana Heistand will instruct aspiring thespians ages nine through thirteen in communication, concentration, physical coordination, and speech skills. The workshop culminates in a huge celebration during which the kids will perform scenes that they wrote. The workshop costs $250 and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Call 305-348-3358. (NK)
Major League Soccer meets the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues when the Miami Fusion and the Miami Breakers take to the field for an exhibition game. Keep an eye out for flaky Fusion midfielder Carlos Valderrama, the player whose behavior is sometimes as wild as his blond corkscrew curls. (He should be back in action following his little disagreement with new Fusion coach Ivo Wortmann, which cost him $10,000 and almost got him traded.) It's all about raising money. No, not for Valderrama's bank account. The proceeds collected from this Miami Breakers vs. Miami Fusion game will go to bankroll youth soccer programs in Miami Beach. The ball gets rolling at 7:30 p.m. at Flamingo Park Memorial Stadium, Michigan Avenue and Twelfth Street, Miami Beach. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-532-5080. (NK)
Christine Federighi knows clay. The sculptor has been up to her elbows in the stuff for the past 30 years. Federighi, a professor in the University of Miami's department of art and art history and a recipient of numerous grants and awards, maintains studios in Miami and Colorado, but she shows off her work during the Florida Artists Series exhibition at the Lowe Art Museum (University of Miami, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). Her figures range from angular and spare wall formations to elaborately decorated spheres painted in lush jewel tones. Images of houses, plant forms, and depictions of healthy cells (she is now fighting cancer) influence her work as well. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-284-3535. (