Hammer Time

THU 7/15

Every 4 years during a presidential election season, some joker comes forward to pledge his candidacy for the highest office in the land. Persistent comedian Pat Paulsen never let his optimism flag year after year as he languished at the bottom of the pack. Al Franken fantasized about his reign in the top job in his 1999 book Why Not Me? Even Mad magazine icon Alfred E. Neuman was once drafted by his employers to run the country. Now zany entertainer Gallagher has taken up the cause. Defeated by a "stronger" candidate in his bid to become the governor of California, he has decided to skip any of the résumé-building preliminaries and aim straight for the Oval Office.

Sure, John Kerry has cute charismatic John Edwards and George W. Bush has foul-mouthed snarler Dick Cheney, but neither of them has the one reliable running mate who will never publicly embarrass a candidate unless clearly directed to do so by the candidate's own two hands: Sledge-o-matic. Gallagher, who kicked off his campaign handing out autographed dollar bills at the Iowa State Fair, promises to do more than sledgehammer his way through Capitol Hill, treating key pieces of legislation like so many willing watermelons. A few elements of his innovative platform include outlawing loud talking on cell phones in public places and using heavyweight military-style helicopters to clear cars from accident scenes and keep traffic moving smoothly.

Of course, almost every little American boy wants to grow up to be president. Not every man who runs for office, though, can claim the dubious distinction of being beaten in the race for California governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gary Coleman. Gallagher can, meaning he already boasts a poor political track record. Maybe someone with his charm and persuasion skills would be better off wielding his sledgehammer in a position requiring less cowering and more consensus-building? How about Gallagher for lobbyist?

Gallagher performs at 8:00 p.m. at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5731 S State Road 7, Hollywood. Tickets cost $40; audience members must be 18 years old or over. Call 305-358-5885. -Nina Korman


Ladies First

THU 7/15

For those who like a little estrogen in their alternative rock and roll, South Florida has always offered something good to shake your ass at (or at least to stand there looking cool to). The Cichlids, Morbid Opera, Psycho Daisies, Harry Pussy, Laundry Room Squelchers, and most recently the Heatseekers are a small sample of the local bands that have boasted some sugar and spice and everything nice on their roster. The tradition not only continues but gets a significant boost by gathering a quartet of gal-fronted bands into a wandering series of shows known as the Chicks Who Rock Fest. Bitchfest, as it's more warmly referred to, arrives tonight at Tobacco Road (626 S. Miami Ave.) with Wednesday's Child, phoenix/NEBULIN, E-S-P (above), and Feeling Numb. But don't be disappointed when you see there's quite a bit of testosterone in the mix too. While the lineup tonight is strong on the synthpop/Goth sensibilities, long popular in the Miami area, there's also a heaping dose of grungy hard rock. The first band kerrangs very undaintily onstage at 10:00. Admission is $5. Call 305-374-1198. -- Margaret Griffis

Slaves to Love

Play offers spirited take on dysfunction

FRI 7/16

Being touched by an angel is one thing. Touching an angel is another, as in kidnapping one from the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and leaving him tied up in your closet. In Nicky Silver's (Raised in Captivity, Pterodactyls) comic play Fit to be Tied, that's what Arloc, a rich young man who always gets what he wants, does when he spies Boyd, a hot-looking feathered friend, onstage. Unfortunately at that very same, very precarious moment, Arloc's histrionic mom Nessa leaves her husband and moves in with her son and his, er, guest. Mom's not a problem, though. She's just a nutty slutty drunk who wants to do something simple: film an avant-garde version of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night. Oh sure, Mom, easy! Catch the kooky production at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow and 7:00 p.m. Sunday at EDGE Theatre, 3627 NE 1st Ct. The show runs through August 1. Tickets cost $15 and $20. Call 305-531-6083.-Nina Korman

Colombian Gold

SUN 7/18

Everybody get your culo ready to roll. Los Colombianos are throwing an Independence Day Party, and when it gets going -- usually after the crowd has adequately imbibed enough aguardiente -- there will be heavy-duty cumbia and vallenato dancing as well as a dose of salsa and reggaetón. Along with the music will be the flavors of one of the most tasty cultures that happens to breed the most beautiful women. The party will be headlined by favorites Joe Arroyo (above), Ivy Queen, Tito Rojas, and Fruko y Sus Tesos. Also on the bill are the sounds of Orquesta Carruseles, Binomio de Oro, and Ivan Villazon, as well as many others. Add to that a crowd of fun-loving yellow-, blue-, and red-clad expats who dance really well and you have one helluva gig. Like we said, when Colombians throw a party, it's the real deal. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St. Admission is $20. Call 305-599-0069. -- Juan Carlos Rodriguez

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