Eddie Griffin is lucky he's so damn funny. His movie resumé contains more bombs than a Lockheed-Martin warehouse. Coneheads. House Party 3. The Mod Squad. Armageddon. You can currently catch Griffin on the silver screen, pimpin' all over the world in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Despite his list of cinematic stinkers, Griffin always comes out smelling like a rose. Why? Because even though he always plays the same streetwise loudmouth, Griffin is still cool, funny, and memorable. As evidenced by his edgy work in DysFUNKtional Family, this comedian shines brightest when he's producing his own material. His three-night stint at the Miami Improv (3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove) will deliver what fans of envelope-pushing, no-nonsense comedy have been craving. Get a straight dose of pure Griffin tonight at 8:30. Tickets cost $26.75. Call 305-441-8200, or visit www.miamiimprov.com. (PEGY)
Whether you prefer the animated Ariel or Daryl Hannah's Madison, mermaids are as fetching as they are feisty. In central Florida, the sexy swimmers at Weeki Wachee Springs are asking the community to help "Save Our Tails" as they battle The Man known as the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Now you can enjoy an art show devoted to these legendary sea creatures at the "Tails of the Sea: Mermaids and Other Ocean Creatures" exhibition. Thanks to Atelier (3860 Shipping Ave., Miami), the One Ear Society -- the nonprofit group of Coconut Grove artists who recently lost their space at the Mayfair -- will have a new place to hang its stuff this month. Artists participating in this watery show include Dan Bondroff, Hans Feyerabend, Sheri Friedman, Rafael Manresa, and Audrey Scott. Tonight's opening reception from 7:00 to 10:00 coincides with the First Friday Gallery Walk in Coral Gables, so put on your walking shoes and wine-sipping poncho. The exhibit runs through October 1. Call 305-569-9990, or visit www.atelier.bz. (LO)
Vegan Fest began as a grassroots event, a meet-and-greet potluck for Miami's artistic herbivores. The loosely arranged event was a huge success, resulting in abundant vegetarian delights. "After it was over, there were, like, three extra tables covered with the food people brought; amazing things that you'd never guess were totally vegan," remembers Gregg Dinwoodie, one of the event's organizers. Gregg and co-organizer Bryan C. Crook are calling on their proactive network of concerned environmentalists for En-Volve, a vegan potluck that still manages to be different from its predecessor. "Last time it was all about veganism, and now it's more inclusive of other environmental and social issues," explains Bryan. Representatives from Alaskan Coalition, Amnesty International, Bridges Without Borders, and PETA2 will be on hand. Also come for live musical inspiration and awesome arts, crafts, and environmentally friendly products. Go green today beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Sweat Records, 2320 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is five dollars, but you can get in free if you bring a vegan dish. Call 305-804-2266, or visit www.envolve.tk. (PEGY)
If you're tired of the typical beauty queen being a slender, bland vision of the feminine ideal, you'll enjoy the Miss Ethnic World International pageant. Despite the event's moniker, contestants of every creed and race are welcome. That doesn't mean the competition isn't fierce. Chasing the Crown, a fascinating documentary that recently aired on the WE: Women's Entertainment channel, took a behind-the-scenes look at the pageant. Regardless of age, size, or ethnicity, these ladies do what it takes to win the title. Celebrate all-inclusive beauty tonight at 7:00 at the Crown Plaza Miami Airport, 950 NW Le Jeune Rd., Miami. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and the price includes admission to the official coronation ball. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.missethnicworld.com. (PEGY)
A recent New York magazine article featured a story about the lost boys of Zoo York, a legendary group of Seventies East Coast skateboarders -- including Andy Kessler, Ricky Mujica, and Jaime Affoumado -- who didn't receive the silver screen glory of their California counterparts. But their biggest complaint isn't the lack of cinematic respect; it's that today's young skate punks think Zoo York is only the cool Ecko Unlimited-owned skateboard and skatewear company. So, before you skater dudes head out to today's Zoo York Jump Off Tour autograph-signing and demo, do a little research and impress your friends with your gnarly knowledge of skateboarding history. The new crop of Zoo York skaters on tour includes Forrest Kirby, Kenny Hughes, Joey Pepper, Rob Welsh, Zered Bassett, and Kevin Taylor. The autograph session (with free giveaways!) begins at 3:00 at M.I.A. Skate Shop (229 Ninth St., Miami Beach) and is followed by a demo at Control Skatepark (380 NW 24th St., Miami). Admission is free. Call 786-621-3511, or visit www.miaskateshop.com. (LO)
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The marketing geniuses behind Scion, Toyota's hip car series that includes the instantly recognizable refrigerator-shaped XB model, know how to appeal to today's rebellious youth. The car company's execs have set their sights on the fashionable urban market, and their latest outreach effort is the Scion Route 05 Independent Film Festival. The traveling fest is coming to town to promote edgy, interesting films as well as affordable, attractive automobiles. The first film in the screening series will be Bomb the System, a passionate, award-winning ode to graffiti artists, by young director Adam Bhala Lough. Be at South Beach Stadium (1120 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) tonight by 6:00. The screening begins at 6:30. Stay after the flick for a question-and-answer session with the director and complimentary Dos Equis brews. Admission is free when you RSVP to www.scion.com/route, but seating is limited. Call 305-674-6766. (PEGY)
Sure, we all could use extra cash, but what is the secret to making the big bucks legally? The Institute of Cuban and Cuban American Studies is hosting a four-part lecture series to give you a clue. How to Make Money in America: The Cuban American Experience begins tonight with Manuel Jorge Cutillas, former CEO of Bacardi Ltd., who knows a little something about cashing seven-digit checks while sipping tasty tropical rum-spiked beverages. The lecture begins at 7:00 at Casa Bacardi, 1531 Brescia Ave., Coral Gables. The cost is $15 per lecture or $50 for all four. UM faculty, students, and staff are admitted free with proper ID. Refreshments will be served. Call 305-284-2822, or visit casabacardi.iccas.miami.edu to reserve your spot. (LO)
By Lyssa Oberkreser and Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik