Laura Pausini: Less than four years ago Laura Pausini, a teenage girl from a small town near Ravenna, Italy, won the new-talent competition at the 1993 San Remo Song Festival, propelled by her tender vocal style and sincere, emotive delivery. Within the year Pausini's career skyrocketed -- her self-titled debut album shot to number one in Italy and sold more than two million copies throughout Europe; her second album, 1994's Laura, sold twice as many. After succeeding in Europe, she recorded a collection of her previously released pop songs in Spanish that became a hit in Latin America and sold more than a million copies in Spain, making her the first non-Spanish singer to do so as of 1994. Her 1993 hit single, "La Solitudine," was translated into English by famed Broadway lyricist Tim Rice. Pausini makes a stop on her world tour tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE Second Ave.). Tickets range from $28 to $45. Call 372-0929. (GC)
Maximum Dance: The Miami dance scene gets an injection of new blood as artistic directors David Palmer and Yanis Pikieris unveil their new contemporary ballet company tonight through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove). In the spirit of the new, Maximum Dance will present world premiere works by Palmer and Pikieris -- Moments, and an untitled work (set to music by David Goldstein, Jolly Kunjappu, and Mark Schubert) -- as well as the Miami premiere performance of City Ballet of Sao Paulo artistic director Ivonice Satie's Shogun, which was underwritten by Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus Center for Cultural Collaborations International, an organization that supports collaborations between Hispanic and non-Hispanic artists. The program also features the Miami premiere performances of Julia Adam's The Medium Is the Message, and Kevin O'Day's Viola Alone (With One Exception) (accompanied by music by composers Brian Carson and Paul Hindemith). Maximum Dance has assembled an impressive cast of dancers, including some currently or formerly with Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet Florida, Twyla Tharp and Dancers, and the San Francisco Ballet. Tickets cost $15, $25, and $35. Call 259-9775. (GC)
Coral Gables Congregational Church Summer Concert Series: Jazzy sounds reach the rafters of the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables) tonight at 8:00 p.m. as its summer concert series continues with jazz vocalist Mark Murphy and his trio. Six-time Grammy Award-nominee Murphy, who was voted best male vocalist in Down Beat magazine's 1997 readers' poll, has released about 40 albums in 40 years. He is considered one of the few remaining true jazz hipsters, thanks to his phrasing and impeccable sense of timing. His work with jazz luminaries Bill Evans, Clark Terry, and Wynton Kelly has earned him a spot in the jazz pantheon. Tickets cost $25. Call 448-7421. (GC)
Adrian Castro: Local poet Adrian Castro has rhythm in his blood, in his soul. His works, which can be found in Paper Dance: 55 Latino Poets; Little Havana Blues; and A Century of Cuban Writers in Florida, are imbued with an intrinsic African beat reminiscent of the Afro-Cuban tradition pioneered by poets Nicholas Guillen and Luis Pales Matos. The songlike quality of Castro's poetry is just as compelling as his subject matter, as he explores issues of cultural identity and continuity, religion and mythology. Castro reads from and discusses his poetry based on the art of Felix Gonzalez-Torres tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) as part of "Words & Images," an installation of works by Castro and fellow writers Fred D'Aguiar, Tananarive Due, and Alexander Stuart, and visual artists Gonzalez-Torres, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Leonardo Drew, and Doris Salcedo. Admission is free. Call 375-3000. (GC)
RATT: They're baaaaack. First Vince Neil reunites with Mstley CrYe; now this. The return of the Eighties metal bands is a frightening reality, but one of the least offensive bands of the genre, RATT, is out of the cellar and back for more, ready to go round and round again with its new album Collage. Back in the heyday of spandex, headbands, and giant hair, RATT (a name derived from the pornographic cartoon character Mickey Ratt) became one of the few bands to have five consecutive platinum albums, including 1984's Out of the Cellar, 1986's Dancin' Undercover, and 1990's Detonator. Now the band's three core members -- vocalist-guitarist Stephen Pearcy, lead guitarist Warren DeMartini, and drummer Bobby Blotzer -- have reunited and taken the show on the road. Tonight at 9:00 p.m. RATT infests the Button South (100 Ansin Blvd., Hallandale) with openers Hair of the Dog and Dirt Cheap. Tickets cost $17. Call 954-454-3301. (GC)
Maximum Dance: See Thursday.
Weinerville Live: Nickelodeon's Weinerville is weird. Weinerville is wild. Weinerville is, well, difficult to describe. This live-action children's television program is the brainchild of the undoubtedly demented Marc Weiner, who creates elaborate puppet-show sets through which he pokes his often wigged and made-up head, in effect making himself one of the puppets. Experience the weirdness of Weinerville yourself today at 1:00, 4:00, and 7:00 p.m. at the Coral Springs City Centre (2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs). Tickets cost $12.50. Call 954-344-5990. (GC)
Cadetes del Espacio: Local producer and Orgasmic Bliss rhythm guitarist Marthin Chan and Miami-based indie label Space Cadette Records are working together this summer to release a rock en espanol compilation of the best new local talents. The fifteen bands that will participate will be chosen during two shows at Rose's Bar & Music Lounge (754 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), taking place tonight and July 12. Tonight's show features Telequenesis, Carlos Daniel, La Tribu, Sandra Dohnert, Envicio, Sygma, Tereso, Idos, Don Pepe, Seres, Armada, Impacto, Isla, and Sociedad Maldita. The July 12 show includes Sedante, Ella, Maldito Sur, Cola E' Diablo, Enemigo Sol, Aramis Lorie, Volumen, Dominique, Fuga, Jorge Moreno, Vulcano, Sofia, and Los Super Heroes. Judges from Jam magazine, MTV Latino, BMG, Spec's, and New Times will rate the bands in various categories. Admission is seven dollars. Showtime is 9:00 p.m. Call 532-0228. (GC)
Wild Kids' Day: If your kids are bouncing off the walls from all the sugar and preservatives they're eating, maybe it's time to show them how to eat and live healthy. Wild Oats Community Market (2501 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), the health-food megastore, is sponsoring an all-day series of events for children, including storytellers, handwriting analysis, a screening of the film Babe, a performance by singer/songwriter Magda Hiller, and a reading of Peter and the Wolf by Mark Gore, accompanied by flutist Laura Sue Wilonsky. Of course, various proponents of the "natural" lifestyle will also be on hand to try to wean your kids off the candy and sodas they live for. We wish them lots of luck. All events are free and open to the public; the fun starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 5:00 p.m. Call 954-566-9333 for more details. (JO)
Maximum Dance: See Thursday.
Charles Aznavour: He is called the French Frank Sinatra. Sure, they both started out as slim, charismatic, big-voiced youths hiding behind their mike stands. But Ol' Blue Eyes never wrote as many songs, nor did he sing his own songs exclusively, as Aznavour does. In fact, singer-songwriter-actor Aznavour has written about 700 songs and still writes music every morning, his creative muse keeping him active at age 71. Melancholy tales of lost love are Aznavour's favorite subject, it seems, judging by his international hits "Yesterday When I Was Young," "Isabelle," and "I in My Chair," among others. Aznavour croons in concert tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets range from $30 to $65. Call 673-7300. (GC)
Gospel Breakfast: Celebrate Black Music Month as fast-food giant McDonald's sponsors a gospel breakfast offering performances by local ensembles and artists at the Park Plaza Hotel (7707 NW 103rd St., Hialeah) today at 9:00 a.m. The program highlights performances by Rev. Melvin Dawson of Florida City's Great St. Matthew's Holiness Church and the 30-member Genesis Ensemble, which recently had a Billboard Gospel Top 40 hit with "Jesus Stepped In," off the album Sign of the Times, as well as Rev. Connail Johnson and his ensemble Prophesy, and Dr. B.J. Love and Charro Moore. Admission is free; tickets are available through WEDR-FM (99.1). Call 358-7949 or 623-7711. (GC)
Birds of Paradise: Okay, it's the end of the month and you really have to do all that laundry that's been piling up around your bedroom, honey. We know you're busy, but you can always wash your clothes at the coolest 24-hour laundromat, Clean Machine (226 Twelfth St., Miami Beach). Why the coolest? Because it is the only laundromat that regularly displays works by local artists (so you have something to look at other than your clothes flying around in the dryer or that drag queen folding her fuschia dainties). Tonight is your last night to catch Carlos Villa's "Birds of Paradise," three-dimensional paintings inhabited by imaginary rain forest dwellers created from scraps of lumber, nails, bottle caps, and feathers. Admission is free, of course, but bring your dryer sheets and lots of quarters. Call 534-9429. (GC)
Stomp: Grab some earplugs and head over to the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) for a truly (body) moving experience. The musician-dancers of Stomp beat out marvelously complex percussion arrangements on pots and pans, trash cans, paper bags, brooms, newspapers -- everything including the kitchen sink! Called "brilliant" and "a sure-fire crowd pleaser" by the New York Times, the show runs tonight through July 6, with performances through Thursday, July 3, at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, July 4, at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, July 5, at 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday, July 6, at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $31 to $46. Call 673-7300. (GC)
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Beethoven by the Beach: James Judd and the Florida Philharmonic challenge the artistic doldrums of the off-season with a three-week festival of performances of all the Beethoven symphonies, with soloists performing all the piano sonatas. The series begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) with a Beethoven piano sonata-thon featuring pianist Seymour Lipkin. More sonatas will be performed by Lipkin tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Broward Main Library Auditorium (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $20. The festival takes a break on Thursday, July 3, and Friday, July 4, but starts up again on Saturday, July 5, with a family performance entitled Beethoven Lives Upstairs at the Broward Center at 2:00 p.m. Beethoven by the Beach runs through July 20 with events at various locations in the Fort Lauderdale area. Times and ticket prices vary. See our "Calendar Listings" each week or call the Philharmonic at 930-1812 for a complete schedule. (GC)
Florida: The Natural Wonders: When most people think of Florida, they think of rivers of grass and sandy beaches, hardwood hammocks and coral reefs. But the Sunshine State boasts many other natural wonders, including one of the largest underwater cave systems in the continental U.S., a type of prairie found nowhere else in North America, and an ancient forest growing on prehistoric dunes. Natural history writer and photographer Jeff Ripple explores these and many other Florida ecosystems in his book, Florida: The Natural Wonders, which he will discuss tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (GC)
Stomp: See Tuesday.
Beethoven by the Beach: See Tuesday.