Before there was Madonna, there was David Bowie, the true template for pop stars if there ever was one. Sure, Mick Jagger was the bad-boy-pouty-lipped-pretty-boy-devil, but Bowie was the mercurial space freak who morphed identities and crossed synth pop with disco and punk to create a netherworld of glittery glam that still surrounds him. But once he hit the 1980s, things just didn't seem the same. Ziggy began singing duets with Tina Turner, and suddenly the glitter turned plastic. Remember the Glass Spider Tour? Possibly one of the great disasters of rock shows. But Bowie is Bowie -- a pop legend and ambisexual multifaceted fabrication who is still producing great music, even if it doesn't sell much anymore. At 7:30 tonight he brings his A Reality tour to the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave. Tickets range from $41 to $86. Call 305-372-4634. (JCR)
Attempting to "transcend the human condition through movement and sound" is a mighty ambitious mission; it's what presenting organization Miami Light Project says choreographer Rennie Harris is going for with his new piece, Facing Mekka, which makes its South Florida debut tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Harris, founder of the twelve-year-old Puremovement hip-hop dance company, is an acclaimed contemporary choreographer known for combining "street" moves with African-American traditions. In the past most of Harris's work has focused on men, but this time around Facing Mekka will center solely upon women, countering the prevailing notion of hip-hop being a mainly male form of expression. Some things to expect at this performance: a band playing world music, intriguing video footage, and energetic moves that range from Turkish whirling and Brazilian capoeira to Japanese butoh to all-American hip-hop, of course. Tickets range from $12 to $35. Call 305-576-4350. (NK)
Finnish director Mika Taanila has been referred to as the historian of the future because of his fascination with things to come. His documentaries have explored forward-thinking experiments by Finnish scientists and the new frontiers of music represented by Fifties Muzak. This weekend Cinema Vortex presents The Future From Finland, a program of two of Taanila's films, Futuro: A New Stance for Tomorrow and The Future Is Not What It Used to Be. Futuro explores the movement in the late 1960s toward space-age living, as embodied by the prefabricated, portable, flying saucer-shaped plastic house designed by Finns that ultimately became another late-twentieth-century cultural relic. The second film tells the story of Finnish electronic composer Erkki Kurenniemi. The documentaries will screen at 2:00 p.m. at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 305-614-5700. (JCR)
Skate rats and those who love them will be out in droves when nouveau punk trio blink-182 takes the stage at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach). The pop terrors show could be seen as the ideal Mother's Day gift, as it draws hordes of perpetually maladjusted, pain-in-the-ass spawn away from their families for the evening. Look for lots of tattooed concertgoers crowd-surfing and head-bobbing to blink's frenetic music. Cypress Hill opens. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Tickets cost $29.50. Call 561-793-0445. (JCR)
Perhaps your youngster should be doing more productive things than plotting ways to take out that pale, redheaded dude who can't sing on American Idol. The boy has already been voted off the show, so what more is there to do? Junior should get outdoors and take in some fresh air now that he has plenty of free time on his hands. He should devote himself to saving the environment, or at least be indoctrinated into learning to save the environment. Fantasy Theatre Factory's play for kids called The Never Everglades will get your child started on obtaining that Sierra Club membership for tykes by showing him the horrifying things that come with electing a president who has close ties to big oil companies. Oh wait, we mean the horrifying things that come from the destruction of the Everglades by swine of the nonpolitical kind. See the play at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. today through Wednesday at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 305-284-8800. (NK)
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You're an enlightened sort -- or so you think. But wait a sec, isn't the whole point of being enlightened to not have an ego and walk around thinking you are soooo enlightened? Sounds like you need a bit more instruction on your journey to illumination, Grasshopper. Maybe you should be attending MIAMIntelligence's series Zen: The Path to Nirvana. Hosted by Arthur Sokoloff -- professor of Far Eastern art, religion, and philosophy, and author of books Life Without Stress, Ultimate Intimacy, and Zen Meets Freud -- the three-part seminar began last Tuesday with a talk about Tao, but you can still take in plenty of knowledge over the next two weeks. Tonight break out your saffron-colored robe and begging bowl, and get ready to spout out a koan or two because Sokoloff will hold forth on life in a Zen monastery. Next week's topic is "Goodbye Samsara, Hello Nirvana. Can it be done?" Lectures begin at 7:30 (complimentary wine and cheese is doled out at 7:00) at the MIAMIntelligence Center, 2000 S. Dixie Hwy. Admission is $15 per session. Call 305-773-8408. (NK)
We find it hard to believe that there is a living soul on Earth who has not seen the musical Cats. On what evidence do we form such an assumption? Well, the show based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and featuring mostly forgettable music (except for that one song "Memory") by Andrew Lloyd Webber debuted in London in 1981, ran on Broadway for eighteen years, and is still going strong on the road. And yes, yet another traveling production of Cats opened last night at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and will be coughing up hairballs through Sunday, May 16. The incredible catlike longevity leaves us with an appalling thought: Maybe there are people out there who like seeing the musical again and again? Tickets range from $17 to $57. Call 305-673-7300. (NK)