Arriba, arriba, alcohol lovers! Today is Cinco de Mayo. For Mexicans, today is a day to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, when the French army was defeated in 1862. For gringos, today is an excuse to drink Coronas, act the fool, and stumble around in a state of pleasant inebriation while wearing a sombrero. There's no better place to partake in south-of-the-border-style fun than Señor Frog's. After all, this themed watering hole has been throwing an annual fiesta for the past 22 years. Tonight enjoy special prices on margaritas, tequila, and Mexican beer. You can vie for cool prizes like a trip to Mexico, neat-o "I Survived Cinco de Mayo" shirts, and other fun party favors. Show the crowd your unique twist on the Mexican hat dance when the mariachi band strikes up. Vamos, amigos! Party at Señor Frog's in Coconut Grove (3480 Main Hwy., Miami; 305-448-0999) or South Beach (616 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-5262). Visit www.senorfrogsfla.com. (PEGY)
Ay caramba. If you did yesterday right, you're hurting bad and it tastes like the Taco Bell Chihuahua curled up and died in your mouth. Hang on, hangover sufferers. At tonight's Seis de Mayo Just the Funny show, you'll discover that laughter really is the best medicine. This prolific theater company will put on an hour-long collage of Mexican-themed sketches and parodies. Audience members are encouraged to challenge the quick-thinking improv comedians by bringing wacky objects for them to include in the show. You can nosh on free chips and salsa, and because this laugh-a-palooza takes place at the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami), there's no two-drink minimum. Get your dose at 9:00 p.m. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 305-693-8669, or visit www.justthefunny.com. (PEGY)
Who is Varla Jean Merman? This fabulous drag queen is also known as Jeffery Roberson. He scored the Best Actor award at the 2003 Outfest Film Festival and also scooped up the Best Actress award at the Aspen HBO Film Festival for his inspired turn in Girls Will Be Girls. Recognized by soap opera fans as the statuesque courtesan Rosemary Chicken from All My Children, Varla is a certified crowd pleaser who has sold out shows in New York, London, San Francisco, and LA. Now Miami is in Ms. Merman's sights. "Varla Jean Merman Under a Big Top" will turn South Beach into even more of a circus with a show that includes magic, freak shows, and music. Get ready for a fierce, funny, outrageous evening tonight at 7:00 and 10:00 at the Byron Carlyle Theater, 500 71st St., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-573-2375, or visit www.caemia.org. (PEGY)
For fifteen years the Karen Peterson Dancers have been uniting disabled and nondisabled people with the healing power of dance. Her choreography integrates mixed-ability dancers with their able-bodied counterparts in contemporary routines that create a greater artistic whole. Tonight the troupe will celebrate its anniversary by performing "The Ceremony of Innocence," Peterson's new work that will be presented at the American Choreographers Showcase in Madrid this June, and Letty Bassart's "Inanimate Undertows," which is performed by a quartet of mixed-ability dancers. Hip-hop flavor will be added by Ultimate Step, a street dance troupe from Paris. Their style combines elegant art with urban attitude, which makes for enviably fly dance moves executed with panache. See how poppin' and lockin' translates in French and enjoy a unique evening of dance performance tonight at 8:00 at the Excello Dance Space, 8702 SW 129th Ter., Miami. Tickets cost $12. Call 305-298-5879, or visit www.karenpetersondancers.org. (PEGY)
We're sure they were taught to not play with their food, but students at Miami International University of Art and Design (1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) have created crystallized fruit jewelry, chocolate shoes, pasta hats, a Gummy Bear bikini, and a Skittles tube top for the "Fashioning the Art of Food" exhibit. "The students and I were on a trip to Paris when we came up with the idea," says Charlene Parsons, fashion department chair. Parsons says they like to challenge the students with different assignments that are outside of their regular career-driven coursework. "We thought it would be fun to combine food and fashion; we just let [the students] run with it." You can eat, um, that is, see these tasty and fashionable foodstuffs through May 13 at the school's gallery (Monday through Friday 9:00 to 6:00). Admission is free. Call 305-428-5700, or visit www.aimiu.aii.edu. (LO)
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To raise funds for the third annual Miami Beach Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society is hosting "Create for a Cure," an art auction at the Eden Roc Renaissance Resort and Spa (4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). In addition to bidding on original paintings by Felix Mas and Kerry Hallam, art lovers can enjoy a sampling of snacks and pick up a souvenir print by Miami Beach artist Herbert Hofer, who created the colorful work Retired Cats in Florida for the event. Tonight's auction will be held from 6:00 to 9:00. Admission costs ten dollars. Call 305-594-4363, or visit www.cancer.org. (LO)
He founded the popular Oxford University L'Chaim Society in 1988, and in 1999 he became the first non-Christian to win the prestigious London Times Preacher of the Year Award. Now Rabbi Shmuley Boteach travels the globe speaking on topics ranging from popular culture to world politics. Rabbi Shmuley is the author of fourteen books, including Kosher Sex, Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments, and his latest, Hating Women: America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex. On his Website (www.shmuley.com) you can read his thoughts on Britney Spears's new reality TV show: "[M]ight I suggest that in the course of making the show you try and exhibit some exemplary feminine dignity that would rehabilitate not only you, but all the girls who look up to you? For example, can we see you reading some wholesome books or visiting libraries?" And see what he thinks about his former friend who's now on trial: "It is no secret that I spent two years in close friendship with Michael Jackson, which I now regard as one of the great mistakes of my life." Tonight you can listen to the controversial rabbi speak at 7:00 at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE Nineteenth St., Miami. The suggested donation is ten dollars. Call 305-573-5900, or visit www.templeisrael.net. (LO)
By Lyssa Oberkreser and Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik