Sweet Mickey: The Haitian sounds of compas ring through Rezurrection Hall at Club Nu (245 22nd St., Miami Beach) tonight as Sweet Mickey and King Posse take the stage. Sweet Mickey swings compas from nice to naughty and back again on the group's most recent disc, Toutse Martelly. The five-man band King Posse blends compas, reggae, and ra-ra (a type of Haitian roots music) for an eclectic, spiritual sound. Doors open at 9:00 and tickets are $18. Call 247-1105. (GC)
Funniest Night of Your Life: The Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Project of South Florida has been working in Dade County's public schools for more than a decade to teach children how to avoid child abuse and other dangerous situations. Tonight at 8:00 at the Comedy Zone (1121 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), you can help this organization help kids at a fundraising event. Comedian Trip Wingfield, who has appeared on Showtime, MTV, and A&E specials, headlines the night of yucks. Tickets cost $15. Call 672-4788. (GC)
Water's Edge: The Center for Visual Communication (4021 Laguna St., Coral Gables) explores in paintings and photography how land meets water in the exhibition "Water's Edge." More than a mere collection of sea pictures, the show features works by contemporary artists such as California painter David Hockney, New York artists Eric Fischl and Elizabeth Murray, and Florida photographers Clyde Butcher and Bunny Yeager; there are also works by abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell and photographers Berenice Abbott, Edward Curtis, Andre Kertesz, Alfred Steiglitz, and Edward Weston. The exhibition is on view through Saturday. Admission is free. Museum hours are from noon to 5:00 Wednesday through Saturday. Call 446-6811. (GC)
Laughing Gas Comedy Improv: Remember those nightmares where you're standing naked in front of your third-grade class? That situation would be considered a career opportunity for these folks. Basic training exercises for actors become hilarious instances of interactive comedy when the Laughing Gas Comedy Improv Theatre Company takes the stage tonight and tomorrow night at 11:15 at the New Theatre (65 Almeria Ave., Coral Gables). Founding member Gerald Owens leads a rotating troupe of about twenty actors and comedians (a typical show includes only five to seven members) for a 90-minute frolic in which random suggestions from the audience are developed into comedic skits on the spot. The show continues every Friday and Saturday night for an indefinite run. Tickets cost ten dollars, seven for students. Call 461-1161. (GC)
Davie Rodeo: Broncos buck, bulls snort, and cowboys and -girls show off their stuff at the eleventh annual Five Star Davie Rodeo, taking place tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 at the Davie Covered Arena (Orange Drive and 64th Avenue). The rodeo features several events, including calf roping, team roping, bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and more. Tickets cost ten dollars, half-price for kids under age twelve. Call 954-384-7075. (GC)
Miami Rock Festival: The Beast and Baker's musical extravaganza keeps rocking tonight at Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE Second Ave.) with a swank evening hosted by suave cable-television host Danny Jessup. The show promises to be a star-studded affair, featuring Black Janet, Backwash, Egg, Resistance, and Hands on Forehead. On the patio, guitar guys Jeff Rollason, Rich Lyles, and Tony D. perform. And a show hosted by Jessup just wouldn't be complete without his on-air cohorts: weathergirl Sheri Garcia, local rock reviewer Jeff Lemlich, and New Times film critic Todd Anthony. The fest continues tomorrow with performances by Omar Stang, Sense, Tuen, and Fat Peter. See our Club Listings for information on upcoming shows. Showtime is 9:00. The Rock Festival continues through September 2. Admission varies each night from no cover to about three dollars. Call 757-1807. (GC)
The Maltese Falcon/Shoot the Piano Player: Cinema Vortex looks at some of the best prototypes for the film noir genre this weekend with two presentations. Humphrey Bogart introduced a new hero to the screen with his portrayal of hard-boiled detective Sam Spade in John Huston's directorial debut The Maltese Falcon (1941), which screens today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). To call the film brilliant, with its dramatic cinematography and heaven-sent cast, is an understatement. French director Francois Truffaut called his 1960 classic Shoot the Piano Player a "pastiche of Hollywood B films," but the use of innovative camera shots and Charles Aznavour's portrayal of a timid pianist who retires from the concert stage to play in a small cafe make this offbeat film first-rate. The film screens tomorrow at noon at the Alliance (in French with English subtitles). Admission to each film is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)
David Benoit: Ah, the early Sixties: split-level houses, sleek convertibles, Sean Connery as a tuxedoed James Bond, Jackie Kennedy in her pillbox hats, Dave Brubeck on the stereo, and martinis in everyone's hand. David Benoit captures the spirit of that too-cool era in his latest album Shaken Not Stirred, a collection of nostalgic yet fresh jazz piano music. Benoit performs tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) with jazz/R&B keyboardist Alex Bugnon and jazz guitarist Ken Navarro. Tickets range in price from $25 to $35. Call 673-7300. (GC)
Sprung Monkey: The Theater (3339 N. Federal Hwy., Oakland Park), a new nightclub and concert hall, opens its doors tonight with a show by San Diego-based surf punks Sprung Monkey. After making a splash in surfing and skateboarding circles with their Surfdog Records debut album Swirl, and while touring with Pennywise, Sick of It All, and 7 Seconds, this fast-paced, Dick Dale-influenced quintet recently contributed a track to the MOM (Music for Our Mother Ocean) compilation to benefit the environmentalist Surfrider Foundation (featuring tunes by the Ramones, Pearl Jam, Porno for Pyros, and several other punk and alternative bands). Local punks Quit and the Vacant Andys open the show. Tickets to this all-ages show cost five dollars (six for ages 20 and under). Doors open at 8:00. Call 954-565-1666. (GC)
Lion Splash '96: Celebrate the birthday of Jamaica's national hero Marcus Garvey at the first annual Lion Splash reggae extravaganza, taking place today from noon to midnight at Florida Memorial College (15800 NW 42nd Ave., Opa-locka). The lineup features Screwdriver, Contractor, the Abyssmians, Jesse Genda, Stereo Man, Jah Locks, Junior Biggs, Scion Success, Roger Ranks and Marcia Ball, Richie B., Malachi Smith, and many others. Admission is free. Call 954-433-2943. (GC)
Skavoovie and the Epitones: Boston-based ten-man ska band Skavoovie and the Epitones fuses rock-steady and ska with the classic sounds of swing and jazz for a toe-tapping good time. Fat, juicy horn arrangements hark back to the big-band era on the Moon Ska Records debut effort Fat Footin'. Skavoovie gets groovy tonight at 8:00 at the Edge (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), with openers King 7 and the Soul Sonics (featuring former members of the Jive Step Bunch) and the Rug Cutters on the patio stage. Tickets to this all-ages show cost seven dollars. Call 954-525-9333. (GC)
Priscilla Forthman: There are no sunny, tourist-filled beaches here: Local photographer Priscilla Forthman's color photographs freeze the ocean in the early-morning hours, when the waves quietly wash on empty shores. Forthman captures the beauty and serenity of South Florida's beaches in an exhibition titled "By Land, Sea, and Air," on view through November 8 as part of the Metro-Dade Art in Public Places program at Miami International Airport (Concourse E, Departure Level). Admission is free. Call 375-5362 for more information about the program. (GC)
Theatre with Your Coffee?: This Hollywood-based organization usually presents readings of new plays by local actors and playwrights twice a month at the Hollywood Boulevard Theatre (1938 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood), but this week the troupe goes national with three one-act plays. In Frank Talk, by San Diego native Michael P. Conley, two New York actors share their experiences in the biz. Spouses, by Virginia-based writer Jack O'Donnell, looks at the communication problems of a married couple. And New York playwright Peter Ramsey's Isadora Duncan and the Twelve Apostles follows a trendy couple on a visit to an art gallery. Admission is five dollars. Showtime is 7:00 p.m. Call 460-2234. (GC)
Overtown: Miami's Little Broadway: During the Sixties, the Overtown area of Miami was a Southern mecca of black entertainment, its clubs and theaters hosting acts such as Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke. These performances are captured in a retrospective photographic exhibition that traces Overtown's entertainment history, on view at St. Thomas University School of Law Gallery (16400 NW 32nd Ave.) through September 24. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 8:00 a.m. to midnight from Monday through Thursday; 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday; and 9:00 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. Call 628-6570. (GC)
Hootie & the Blowfish: They've turned a distinct lack of personality into a regular-guy image even Huey "Hip to Be Square" Lewis would admire; they've sold enough records (well, well over fifteen million of 1994's Cracked Rear View and the new Fairweather Johnson and counting) to ensure them a spot on platinum-monger Michael Jackson's envy list; and they've embodied the bar-band-makes-good element of the American Dream about as well as anyone from the past twenty years. Yep, life is sweet for Hootie & the Blowfish. How'd it all happen? How did this bland, innocuous foursome become the knighted rulers of contemporary pop? Who knows. Using a food metaphor, let's just say that given the choice of a hot, heaping plate of spicy spaghetti or a bowl of thick, tepid oatmeal, some folks will flock to the murky mush. Whatever the case, Darius Rucker and pals will be playing tonight at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre (601 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $23 and $25; showtime is 8:00. Call 407-795-8883 if you need to know more. (JF)
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Bad Company: As the old fart parade marches on with tours this summer by the likes of the Sex Pistols, one band that never really went away rolls into the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave.) tonight at 8:00. The members of the British band Bad Company were stars before they put out their debut album in 1974: Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke were members of Free, Mick Ralphs was in Mott the Hoople, and Boz Burrell played with King Crimson. After 23 years, six gold and platinum albums, and several personnel changes, the band continues to tour and record. Tickets cost $10.50 and $16.75. Call 954-741-7300. (GC)
The Vandals: Freaky humor has always been a staple of the Vandals' fast-paced, super-scorching punk sound. These Southern California punks did, after all, name their last album Live Fast Diarrhea. Now they return with The Quickening (on Nitro Records), a fifteen-track collection of bouncing-off-the-wall tunes whose lyrics boast weird and wacky predictions of the Apocalypse. Tonight the band vandalizes Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.) with Assorted Jelly Beans and the Strap-Ons. Admission to this all-ages show is six dollars. Showtime is 8:00. Call 857-0041.