If you've ever seen the Toxic Avenger (1985), the Class of Nuke 'em High (1986), Terror Firmer (1999) or even Tromeo and Juliet (1996), you've been touched (or traumatized) by the kooky cultish world of Troma, the fiercely independent film company founded by eccentric Lloyd Kaufman. Yesterday the Miami Beach Cinematheque (512 Española Way, Miami Beach) began Welcome to Tromaville!, with an appearance by Kaufman pushing his book, Make Your Own Damn Movie. Tonight through Saturday, seven Troma masterpieces accompanied by composer Lyla Sullivan's harp interludes will screen at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. At 8:30 Saturday Tromites and Tromettes will offer The Hellion Show, a live presentation. In the maverick spirit of Troma, the Cinematheque is also presenting "American Independents," New Yorker Tom Le Goff's exhibition of photographs featuring subjects such as John Waters, Deborah Harry, Todd Haynes, and Kaufman himself. Tickets cost $10; a Troma pass for all seven films costs $45. Call 305-673-4567.

FRI 10

Sure it's 90 degrees outside but you can still hang out with a penguin in sunny South Florida. Octavio Campos's solo dance theater piece Luna Del Pinguino (The Penguin's Moon) will give you that unique opportunity. Tonight and tomorrow at 9:00 and Sunday at 3:00 p.m., FIU's VH 100 Black Box Theatre (11120 SW Eighth St.) will become a chilly environment inhabited by a highly evolved bird, who though he is flightless takes us on a strange trip through time and place. The adventure might leave you with more questions than answers. Get ready. Tickets cost $20 tonight and include a post-performance party; tomorrow and Sunday tickets cost $7. Call 305-401-0043.

SAT 11

Since 1776, the stars-and-stripes has been a go-to symbol for lots of things: a political emblem meant to invoke unquestioning patriotism, an always tasteful celebrity fashion statement, and even rebellious hippie kindling. Now you and the kiddies can bond as you make your very own three-dimensional American flag out of everyday household objects. Kill two hours of your weekend expressing your patriotism, meeting local firefighters, and learning about fire safety at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.). On a day that carries tremendous emotional weight, Flags and Firefighters promises to be an appropriate, patriotic Family Fun Day. Afterward, don't forget to keep your 3-D flag away from anarchistic hippies; Elmer's glue doesn't go well with open flames. Admission is free. Flag-making begins at 10:00 a.m. Call 305-375-1492.

SUN 12

Forget the beach, forget the great outdoors. In the words of Homer J. Simpson, "We can hike anytime! This is our chance to see cars driving!" Woo hoo! This Sunday, you can enjoy the big finale of the Grand-Am Rolex Series/Grand-Am Cup/Formula Renault 2000 Weekend. Instead of watching beat-up Hondas and Fords cut each other off on U.S. 1, you can see the world's finest sports cars take on the Speedway's formidable racecourse. There's not just one, but two events to wrap up the high-speed weekend: first the Formula Renault 2000 Race at 11:00 a.m., and then at 1:00 p.m. the Rolex Sport Car Series 250 Race begins. It all goes down at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead. Tickets cost $20; children age twelve and under get in free. Call 866-409-RACE or 305-230-RACE.

MON 13

Most children are already actors. Their tantrums are reminiscent of Al Pacino's most overwrought work. A fall becomes a life- threatening injury, if they know you're watching. The Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater (280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables) will help little stars perfect their craft, with classes like "Let's Make Believe" for ages five to eight, right on up to "Adult Acting." Private voice instruction and audition coaching are offered too. Bring the kiddies down to the Actors' Playhouse Theater Conservatory for enrollment. The eight-week fall session begins today and runs through Saturday, November 13. Prices range from $225 to $400. Call 305-444-9293, ext., 606, or visit the website at

We love Biscayne Bay: We bathe in its knee-deep, bathtub-warm water and sunbake ourselves beside it. Don't you want to help keep it healthy? The Biscayne Bay Partnership Initiative, a community-based forum, helps protect the bay's resources. Learn more in Amy Condon's presentation, The Trust for Public Land. This latest installment of the Miami Sierra Club's free lecture series is at the Coral Gables Women's Club, 1001 E. Ponce de Leon Blvd. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; lecture is at 8:00. Contact Mike Robinson at [email protected].

TUE 14

During in the 1940s and 1950s, industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976) thought life would be much easier for folks if they would just buy his products: dishes, glasses, furniture, appliances, accessories, and more. Luckily for consumers back then and collectors now, Wright's products were beautifully designed, made with modern materials such as plastic and aluminum, and available in gorgeous colors such as chartreuse and tangerine. Along with wife/partner Mary, Wright established a brand before anyone understood what that truly meant. The exhibition "Russel Wright at 100" on view through Friday, December 17, at FIU's The Gallery at Green Library (SW 8th Street and 107th Avenue) shows off objects made with Wright's philosophy of life-enhancing good design. Admission is free. Call 305-348-0297.

WED 15

You've always wanted to be a criminal but never had the guts to run from the cops after even the most minor traffic infraction. Okay, Yellow Belly, now is your chance to fulfill your fugitive fantasy, be on TV, and possibly win some cash too. Court TV is looking for folks age 21 and over to audition for its new sort-of-reality show The Chase. You get dumped in a remote location while a team of trackers comes after you for 24 hours. Successfully elude them to reach the finish and you just may be $10,000 richer and have a clean record to boot! Try out for a spot on the show from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Aventura Mall (19501 Biscayne Blvd.). Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and get ready to scale walls, run an obstacle course, and attempt other such physically demanding feats. Winners will be flown to New York City for the finals. Admission is free. Call 212-576-2700, ext. 239.