Forget all about steroid scandals and get ready for some all-American athletes doing their thing. Yes, a giant Wheaties box will come to life tonight when members of the current men's and women's Olympic teams and 2003 World Championships team in gymnastics come to town to bounce around during the Tour of Gymnastic Champions. Gals include adorable little gold and silver medalist Carly Patterson, who just got her braces off; bronze medalist Courtney Kupets, courageously coming back from an Achilles tendon injury; and silver medalist/animal lover Courtney McCool. (What's up with all the cutesy names beginning with "C"?) Among the guys hitting the mats: silver medalists Jason Gatson, Brett McClure, and Guard Young. And lest we forget, tiny trampoline queen Jennifer Parilla will be in the house too. Get peppy at 7:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets range from $19 to $85. Call 786-777-1000. (NK)
Missed a few installations and exhibitions over the years at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami)? Don't despair: "In Situ: Installations and Large-Scale Works in the Permanent Collection," the exhibition opening with a reception tonight at 6:30 will give you the chance to revisit a few of the best. Stare into a room-sized pool in Teresita Fernandez's Untitled (1996) or do the robot in front of Jennifer Steinkamp's animated video projection Smokescreen (1995) and temporarily become part of the work. (Steinkamp will deliver a lecture at 7:00 p.m.) Raymond Pettibon, Mariko Mori, Dara Friedman, and Matthew Ritchie are among the other big-name artists who have pieces on display. The show runs through Sunday, October 31. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-893-6211. (NK)
At your typical rave, when you feel an overwhelming wave of global unity wash over you, that's probably the drugs sizzling your brain cells to a golden crisp. At the annual Earthdance Global Celebration, you'll earn that feeling in sweat. More than 200,000 booty shakers in over 50 nations, along with innumerable cyberspace attendees, join in a 24-hour synchronized dance festival for peace. This year marks the addition of Drums of Peace, an initiative spearheaded by legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. The goal is to break the Guinness world record for the largest-ever percussion circle, uniting more than 3,300 Earthdancers from South America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa, beating out rhythm live via webcam. Groovy. Dance to 60 artists, including Dubtribe, Galaxy Girl, and the Spam All-Stars among others. Shake your ass, save the planet at Studio 57, 5748 NE Fourth Ave. Tickets start at $20; get them at www.earthdance.org. Dancing begins at 5:00 p.m.; the worldwide prayer for peace is at 7:00 p.m. Call 305-949-6271. (PEGY)
During slavery, the griot was storyteller, historian, human library, a tangible link to the past, and a vital lifeline for the preservation of traditional African culture. Tonight, the Rising Son, Inc., stages Nganga the Griot, where music and dance track the path from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean, from the earnest melodies of traditional slave music to the throbbing insistence of rap, the platform of choice for America's modern-day griot. The storytellers, Tallaha Queen Mother Boatenma and Ettosi Brooks, will weave oral tradition into a vibrant musical jam together with the SASA Dance Theater and The Children of the Rising Son, Inc. The journey begins at 5:00 p.m. at the William & Joan Lehman Theater, Miami Dade College North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave. Tickets range from $10 to $15; $5 for children. Call 305-305-7254 or visit www.queenmotherboatenma.com. (PEGY)
A person's taste in music can reveal so much. Allegedly, one of George W. Bush's favorite songs is John Fogerty's "Centerfield." "Fortunate Son" would be much more apt, no? Learn more about the favorite tunes of America's presidents and their families when Elise Kirk, one of the board of directors of the White House Historical Association, discusses Music in the White House, a musical lecture, if you will. This presentation is part of Celebrating American Democracy and Diversity, the University of Miami's multifaceted effort that culminates with the first Presidential debate on Thursday, September 30. The presentation begins at 3:00, at the Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall, 5501 San Amaro Dr., Coral Gables. This event, along with Kirk's American Opera lecture on Wednesday, September 22, is free courtesy of the Stamps Family Distinguished Visitors Series. Call 305-284-4940, or visit www.music.miami.edu. (PEGY)
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Broadway musical Mamma Mia! is becoming like Cats: It just won't die. The perky show about a single mom and her soon-to-be-married daughter, who doesn't know which daddy will walk her down the aisle, is back in South Florida for a second run. Maybe it's the 22 ABBA songs squeezed into the story line that keep people coming back. Or is it the idea of happily living on a mythical Greek island? Whatever it is, Benny and Bjorn (the songwriting brains behind the Swedish supergroup) are still smiling all the way to the bank. Showtime is at 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show runs through Sunday, September 26. Tickets range from $20 to $64. Call 305-673-7300 (NK)
If you've ever found yourself starry-eyed, wistfully gazing at the end of a Disney film, thinking, "Gee, I sure wish I could go see costumed imitators of these animated characters swish around on ice skates," you're in luck. Be our guest, be our guest, and take the kids to the opening night of Disney on Ice's special presentation of Beauty and the Beast. This tale as old as time is only here for a brief run, today through Sunday, September 26, at the Office Depot Center (2555 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise). You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you could be a great ice skater too, and briefly, you'll consider a gigantic, furry, ice-skating creature as having viable romantic potential. Opening night begins at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $12 to $50. Call 305-358-5885 or visit www.disneyonice.com. (PEGY)