Straightjacket, No Chaser

Fri 5/16

Bird and Dizzy may be more famous, but Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell are equally responsible for creating bebop, the first radical shift in modern popular music. Even for geniuses, Monk and Powell were extraordinary artists. Monk was a brooding presence in the Harlem Renaissance while Powell was subjected to shock treatment stemming from police brutality and outright discrimination. When he told psychiatrists in the 1940s that he was the composer of more than a thousand songs, Powell was labeled delusional and locked up in mental institutions. Laurence Holder's play, Monk n Bud, tells the story of the two jazz giants and their 1951 arrest that forever changed their lives, and perhaps the course of American music. New York City's National Black Touring Circuit performs at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave.) Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-638-6771. --By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Fri 5/16

Funny Girl

Behold: The Diva of Comedy Karen Williams is in town! The internationally known African-American comedian, lecturer, college professor, healer, co-host of PBS's In the Life show, and all-around Renaissance woman doles out her insightful humor at the fourth annual Aqua Girl Weekend. Williams's core belief that comedy heals the body and soul has inspired many girls and boys alike through her motivational HaHA Institute and during her 20 years performing side-spitting standup routines. She can be a wee bit fiery for some, but that just makes her all the more perfect for the femme-oriented festival. The show runs from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at St. Johns on the Lake Church (4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $25. Net proceeds will benefit the Women's Fund of the Gay and Lesbian Foundation of South Florida. Call 305-572-1841. -- Margaret Griffis

Tue 5/20

Woe Was the FPO

Okay, so the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra was bleeding cash quicker than a Baghdad bank with Saddam's son at the drive-through window. Don't get us started on how a "major" city soon to have a "major" performing arts center in its midst couldn't even keep one of its two "major" orchestras afloat. How could classical music fans have helped? Attending concerts would have been a good idea. If the ensemble had weathered its financial crisis, the work of Wagner, Barber, and Beethoven would have been played tonight at 8:00 at Gusman Center (174 E. Flagler St.). Now you don't need to bother. -- Nina Korman

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