Pure Pop Optimist

Wednesday June 25

To 35 million Argentineans battered by high unemployment, tumbling governments, and economic turmoil, pop star Diego Torres has been the sole defender of hope. Last year, "Color Esperanza," his optimistic ode in which he sings, "I know we can do it/I want us to do it/Get rid of our fears/And paint our faces with the color of hope," gained heavy rotation, giving him back his platinum stature all over Latin America and Spain. It also made him the most important Argentine export of the new millennium. This past May in Madrid, he sang that song for the Pope in front of more than a million people. "Every time I go out of my country I try to show people that we Argentineans have a pure heart," he says. -- By Javier Andrade

Diego Torres performs at 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. Tickets range from $35 to $55. Call 305-673-7300.

Saturday June 21

Dulcet Tunes

The Farrelly brothers know the secret to captivating an audience is an onscreen jackass and a sweet song. Ellis Paul's tender folk rock is a perfect juxtaposition to the goofy antics rampant in the films Shallow Hal and Me, Myself, and Irene, lending the flicks a sentimental tone. Peter Farrelly, one-half of the directing duo, has called Paul, who has the face of folk hero Woody Guthrie tattooed on his arm, a "national treasure." The Boston songwriter with the easygoing demeanor jumps from silver screen soundtracks to the stage tonight at 8:00 at Main Street Cafe (128 N. Krome Ave., Homestead) when he slinks into town to promote his latest release on Rounder Records, The Speed of Trees. Admission is $15. Call 305-245-7575. -- By Humberto Guida

Wednesday June 25

Harlem Nights

A trip back to 1920s New York City is guaranteed to all who attend Shades of Harlem, the final presentation in Miami-Dade Parks' Indigo Series of plays at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium (5400 NW 22nd Ave.). At 8:00 p.m. New York's National Black Touring Circuit promises to transform the venue into a sizzling nightclub, complete with a lively dance and musical revue featuring classics such as "Satin Doll" and "Sweet Georgia Brown." Joining co-writers/stars Jeree Palmer Wade, Branice McKenzie, and Ty Stephens will be famed Harlem Renaissance-era performers Ludie Jones and Juanita Boisseau. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-636-2350. -- By Nina Korman

Thursday June 19

Prime Movers

Dancers shake it in the temple

Small is beautiful could be this year's motto for the 25th Florida Dance Festival. Until Sunday, June 29, Miami and Miami Beach will host two weeks' worth of solo, duet, and small-ensemble dance performances by top troupes from Florida and beyond. At 8:00 p.m. this Thursday, June 19, Temple Emanu-El (1701 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) welcomes the solo work of Claire Porter, who offers up full-body humor in a combination of motion, words, and wit. Under the peculiar heading of comedic dance, her Portables is made up of several short routines, during which Porter inhabits a cast of curious characters that ranges from a concert pianist who covers for the missing piano to a fitness instructor who works out the digestive tract. Dancing into the temple this Saturday, June 21, at 8:00 p.m. will be Terry Creach's New York City-based all-male troupe, Creach/Company, which since its formation in 1980 has made a study and celebration of the male form in motion. With the festival debut of its latest piece, Road Work, the six-man ensemble will once again display its collaborative works of many layers, mixing together subjects as disparate as Biblical tales and classical art with sharp, physical choreography. Tickets for both shows cost $25. Call 305-867-7111. -- By John Anderson

Wednesday June 25

Mullet Alert

Boston resurrects from dust

This may be the cultural anthropological event of the year. Nothing screams 8-track America more than 1970s power rockers Boston. Somehow the band is still on the summer concert circuit, rehashing its hits "More Than A Feeling" and "Don't Look Back." In fact it just released a new album called Corporate America, a scathing statement against mass consumerism and industrial pollution. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, Boston rejects any and all acts of violence. Let's just hope their show is not too painful. Gates open at 8:00 p.m. at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets range from $22 to $46.50. Call 305-358-5885. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez