Life's a Drag

Thursday July 24

South Beach isn't the sole epicenter for fabulous drag queens. Fort Lauderdale has its glitzy surprises as well, one being Diva Diaries. The new musical, created by Broadway producer Andrew Kato (who also serves as director), opens in the drag club Pandora's Box as it prepares to shut its doors for good. From there, the audience embarks on a sentimental journey that chronicles a trio's 30-year friendship, including wild days in the disco and crazier nights onstage as drag queens. Diva Diaries plays at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) through Sunday, August 3. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $27 and $29. Call 954-462-0222. -- By Jodi Nabel

Friday July 25

Meaty Humor

Hamburger and Hamm in the house

Ladies and gentlemen, the audience has left the building! At 10:00 p.m. at Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE 2nd Ave.) behold the comedic stylings of Neil Hamburger and the indescribable weirdness that is Canned Hamm. Still working despite his latest release, Laugh Out Lord, Hamburger is a comedian's comedian. Often it's professional standups who laugh loudest at his anti-comedy. Priming fans on this tour is Vancouver duo Canned Hamm, whose high-energy song-and-dance routines leave no cynical audience member uncharmed. Also on the bill: local punk heroes the Heatseekers plus other guests. A round of applause, folks. Admission is $5. Call 305-757-1807. -- By Margaret Griffis

Saturday July 26

Hail, Willie

Expect a tribute to salsa's recently fallen queen, Celia Cruz, at salsa superstar Willie Colon's show this evening. Besides sharing a 1981 album with the Bronx-born trombone player, singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, Cruz also acted as bridesmaid at Colon's wedding. Colon, widely known as salsa's Bad Guy, has sold more than 20 million albums in the last 40 years, clearly making him one of the genre's kings. A regal performance begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $15 to $45. Call 954-462-0222. -- By Javier Andrade

Friday July 25

Laughing Stock

Tom Lehrer's twisted tunes endure

Godfather to singing satirists such as Weird Al Yankovic and Mark Russell, Tom Lehrer began his reign as a cult figure while a student at Harvard in the 1940s, where he earned degrees in mathematics and taught. There he performed his zany, politically incorrect ditties like "The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz" and "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," which includes the memorable lines: "We'll murder them all amid laughter and merriment/Except for the few we take home to experiment." After releasing a few successful albums in the early Fifties and playing gigs around the world, Lehrer retired from the stage permanently in 1967, embracing a life of obscurity. (Yankovic has called him "the J.D. Salinger of demented music.") Since then he has performed in the classroom as a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Nevertheless his lunatic melodies have proved timeless. In 1980 British theater impresario Cameron Mackintosh produced Tomfoolery, a hit revue featuring 28 Lehrer songs. (Mackintosh worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber the following year on Cats.) Twenty-three years later companies continue to revive the work. The latest is the Community Theatre of Miami Lakes/Main Street Players, which will present Tomfoolery at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow, and 5:00 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the Miami Lakes Educational Center (Building F), 5780 NW 158th St. Call 305-823-5330 for tickets. -- By Nina Korman

Tuesday July 29

Horning In

Brazilian brass man arrives

Few players of the trumpet and flugelhorn have seamlessly blended bebop jazz and Brazilian rhythms as easily as Claudio Roditi. The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, came to the United Sates in 1970 to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Soon he was sharing the stages of New York's top nightspots with major musical figures such as Herbie Mann, Paquito D'Rivera, and McCoy Tyner and traveling the world in Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra. Roditi, whose most recent album pays tribute to the great composers from his motherland, brings his breathtaking brass to the Van Dyke Cafe (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. Music charge ranges from $10 to $20; stand at the bar at no charge. Call 305-534-3600. -- By Nina Korman

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