Staged Readings

FRI 2/13

Okay, don't get mad, but Meg Ryan is not a member of Just the Funny, Miami's rollicking group of improvisational actors and sketch comedians. This is important to keep in mind during the troupe's upcoming performance of How We First Met, a Valentine's Day show celebrating those first-encounter stories that transform people from lonely sops into hitched and happy campers. First-meeting stories from couples in the audience will become improvisational stage fodder, so don't be upset if the person playing you is not drop-dead gorgeous. Truth is, neither are you. The performance starts at 9:00 p.m. at the Miami Museum of Science Theater, 3280 S. Miami Ave. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-693-8669. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Cat & Mouse

Farce brings adventure, jealousy

SAT 2/14

Temptation is sometimes hard to resist. We'd likely indulge ourselves every time but social standards, such as committed relationships, always seem to get in the way. The Sunshine Theater Company takes a look at this pathetic human condition with When the Cat's Away. The story involves husband and wife George and Mildred. When Mildred leaves town, George is presented with an opportunity that quickly gets out of hand. Soon the shy and unassuming protagonist is caught in a compromising situation. Do George and Mildred survive? We won't tell, but the lesson is clear: Best to stand strong against the allure of temptation. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $25 to $31. Call 305-374-2444. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Untamed Melody

FRI 2/13

Argentine-American hottie Diego Garcia (srcond from left) might lead the band called Elefant, but don't expect it to be pounding out the Latin rock tunes. Garcia spent his formative years in Detroit and the Motor City's greats like the MC5 and Iggy Pop rubbed off on him, as evinced by the hard-driving yet agreeably poppy tunes on his New York-based band's debut release, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid. After opening for Interpol last October, Elefant returns to Miami for an all-ages show at 8:00 p.m. at Poplife at I/O, 30 NE 14th St. Cover charge is $8. Call 305-358-8007. -- By Nina Korman

Tropical Valentinos

Latin music superstars charm

SUN 2/15

Because so much pap passes for music in the world of tropical tunes, it is heartening to know that Puerto Rican star Gilberto Santa Rosa (right) will share the stage with Dominican musician Juan Luis Guerra this evening. Whatever clichés Santa Rosa sings as he delivers the standard fare of the soft salsa genre will surely be redeemed by the intense lyrics of Guerra during his merengue-tinged set. Guerra is one of the few tropical stars who gives songs a nouny place to live. Whether it's a singing Romeo you're looking for, or philosophical bard with a sense of humor, you'll have 'em both on this night. La descarga begins at 7:00 at the Miami Arena, 721 NW 1st Ave. Tickets range from $61 to $91. Call 305-530-4400. -- By Victor Cruz

French Twist

Vocalist brings out the beast in himself

FRI 2/13

When the curtain opens at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus (300 NE 2nd Ave.), singer Lionel Damei, a rising star on the French adult contemporary scene, will grace the stage with his theatrically expressive chansons d'amour. No dictionary en Française will be needed to understand the sentiment behind the lyrics: Damei has received beaucoup accolades from the French press for his emotional openness. L'Express has compared his voice with "a cat, it can be stroking and scratching at the same time." (Though some folks might chide him for occasionally sounding like Jimmy Somerville covering Jacques Brel.) Pianist Claude Gomez offers accompaniment. Presented by the Alliance Française, the show begins at 8:00 p.m. in room 1261. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-859-8760. -- By Margaret Griffis

Al's Well

TUE 2/17

Actor Stephen Mo Hanan is possessed -- by the spirit of musical theater/movie star Al Jolson. Or so it seems when you see Jolson and Company, the play Hanan co-wrote (with Jay Berkow) and starred in to rave reviews off-Broadway. Hanan brings his intense portrayal of the vaudeville actor known for his performances in blackface and his key role in the first talking picture, 1929's The Jazz Singer, to the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy.) tonight at 7:30. The show runs through Sunday, March 7. Tickets range from $35 to $45. Call 305-442-4000. -- By Nina Korman