PlanetPicks

Thursday 4.26

Rebirth of Venus Art lovers get a sneak peek at the Dali Museum's new exhibit during the Zodiac Group's Hang the Show Party. The exhibit, A Disarming Beauty: The Venus de Milo in 20th Century Art, features pieces by surrealist and contemporary artists who incorporate the Venus into their works. Tonight's 5:30 p.m. preview includes drinks, hors d'oeuvres and a walk-through led by Dali curator William Jeffett and visiting curator Suzanne Ramljak. Admission costs $10, and the Dali's at 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. Call 727-823-3767.

Rawk 'N' Roll Rawkus Records is releasing a sequel to its popular Lyricist Lounge double-CD compilation, and Tampa hip-hop fans can sample the goods during The Orpheum's 9:30 p.m. Cocoa Brovaz show. The hardcore East Coast rap duo (whose three-year legal battle with Smith and Wesson ended with the group changing its name from Smif-N-Wessun) joins Macy Gray, Q-Tip, Notorious B.I.G. and others on Lyricist Lounge Volume II. Buckshot opens the show, and admission costs $10. The Orpheum's at 1902 Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. Call 813-248-9500.

Friday 4.27

Public Exposure Hyde Park Fine Arts follows up its excellent Margaret Steward show with a dark look at the human condition during Confessions, a group painting exhibition. A 7-9 p.m. reception allows guests to meet artists Steven Verriest, Perri Neri, Jack Barrett and Leslie Elsasser, whose lush, highly narrative and noir-ish works revolve around the human form. The reception's free to attend, and HPFA's at 937 S. Howard Ave., Tampa. Call 813-258-8883.

Sound Secretions We often wonder what leads bands to choose the names they do, but we don't even wanna know what Mega Smegma and Gardy-Loo! were thinking. These two fun bands, comedy-rock and punk, respectively, join the comparatively tame-named Dukes of Hillsborough and Gnaw, for a 9:30 p.m. show at Joey's Lounge (in Montauro's Restaurant). Cover costs $5, and Montauro's is at 7825 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa. Call 813-933-1576

High-Strung Stand-Up Caution: Subjecting yourself to a Bobcat Goldthwait show may result in nervous tics. But we'll risk it because after 20-plus years, the guy's still damn funny. Three Police Academy movies and the occasional Disney voice-over haven't dulled Goldthwait's sharp wit, demonstrated during his 8 and 10:30 p.m. shows at Side Splitters. Tickets cost $20 and $25, and Side Splitters is at 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Call 813-960-1197.

Saturday 4.28

Borinque'os The 11th annual Puerto Rican Cultural Parade of Tampa has a new parade route and venue, but it's still a Latin blow-out of epic proportions. The fete runs from noon to midnight at The Shops at Channelside, offering authentic eats, island crafts, exhibits from local attractions (Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, etc.) and entertainment by the Bachatarengue and Los Selectos orchestras, Ballet Yaruba, No Confusion and others. The 5 p.m. parade begins at Twiggs Street and Channelside Drive, and winds its way toward the aquarium. The shops are at 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Call 813-925-8010.

Like, Totally Radical Tired of the celluloid sludge foisted on you by the multiplexes? The Center of Radical Empowerment dares you to try its Film maniFESTival. This daylong event at Vitale Bros. Artworx starts at 1 p.m. with a series of documentaries by grassroots organizations (American Cannabis Society, Uhuru Solidarity Committee, etc.), followed by a selection of local and national independent films (including an Italian drama, Killing Time, and the kooky, sci-fi Project Omicron). A $5 to $10 donation is suggested, and Artworx is at 6330 46th St. N., Pinellas Park.

Enslaving Satire The Carrollwood Players take audiences on an amusing romp, Roman style, during the 8 p.m. production, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. This Sondheim musical, which draws most of its farcical situations directly from the plays of Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BC-184 BC), introduces Pseudolus, a slave who'll do anything to gain his freedom. The fun begins when Pseudolus is left in charge of his master's young son, who promises the slave his freedom if he can help the young man wed the woman of his dreams before his father returns. Tickets cost $14, and the playhouse is at 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Call 813-265-4000.

Sunday 4.29

Melodious Musings You know a bar's cool when it supports National Poetry Month. World music and spoken word fans come together for a 5 p.m. show at Skipper's featuring The Irritable Tribe of Poets, with James Tokley, Bradley Morewood, Kwabena Denizulu and Farrel X. Hall. The tribesmen lay down some jazzy, funky (junky?), world-beat kinda tunes, while the poets dispense the verbiage. Lots of improv is imminent. Admission costs $5, and Skip's is at 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Call 813-971-0666.

Oy Vey, Vinnie Your definition of dinner and a show will change after the I Can Company presents Rosie & Ira's Comedy Wedding Show. The Italian club hosts this Jewish-Italian, interactive dinner theater comedy (Godfather's daughter marries mama's boy). Cocktails begin at 4 p.m., followed by singing, dancing, an Italian dinner and loads of laughs. Tickets cost $45; $80 for two. The club's at 1731 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Call 813-248-3316.

Monday 4.30

We're Next The Ybor City State Museum pays tribute to the Manteiga family, founders of Ybor's trilingual La Gaceta newspaper, with As We Heard It: Three Generations of Ybor City News. Along with photos of grandfather Victoriano, son Rolando and grandson (and current publisher/editor) Patrick, the show includes items like the red phone that occupied Rolando's perpetually-reserved table at La Tropicana and paintings of the newsman and his father by Ferdie Pacheco. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission costs $2. The museum's at 2009 N. 18th St., Ybor City. Call 813-247-1434.

Tuesday 5.1

Danceability Scarf some energy bars; you'll need 'em when the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Cabaret Diosa take over Skipper's Smokehouse at 8 p.m. SNZ kicks off this exhausting show with some snazzy jazz and swing from the '20 through the '40s. Cabaret Diosa, a Boulder, Colo.-based, nine-piece ensemble, has you doing the mambo (and cha-cha, rumba, etc.) to a subversive, campy mix of Latin beats and psychedelic rock. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and Skipper's is at 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Call 813-971-0666.

Wednesday5.2

Good Cause, Great Grub Stuff your face to ease nationwide hunger at Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nations food and wine benefit. Beginning at 6 p.m. at the Tampa Marriott Waterside, this swanky event spoils you with wine tasting, auctions and a sumptuous feast prepared by Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's restaurants fame, and some of the Bay area's best chefs (including Jeannie Pierola, Scott Fink, Marty Blitz and Ralph Sitero). A portion of the $150 ticket benefits Divine Providence Food Bank. The hotel's at 700 S. Florida Ave., Tampa. Call 813-254-1190.

TOPPICK

The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center often stirs our hearts with its carefully chosen plays, operas and concerts. This weekend, however, the center reaches deeper to stir our soul and spirit with Soul Arabesque.

Beginning Friday, April 27, and continuing through April 29, this celebration of art and spirituality awakens your senses through a series of workshops and performances. Preconceived notions of body/mind/spirit practices aside, nearly everyone's interest will be piqued by at least one of the scheduled events. Tickets break down thusly:

An $8 grounds pass allows access to interactive festival activities in outdoor common areas. Visitors can strum the MASS (Movement and Sonic Structure) Ensemble's earth harps, try yoga, tai chi or meditation, and stop by vendor and artist booths. The Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery also create a stunningly intricate and colorful sand mandala, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The monks release the sand into the Hillsborough River during a 2 p.m. Sand Ceremony on Sunday.

The fat-cat $168 ticket includes all four main-stage performances, making it a bargain. These shows begin Friday, with an 8 p.m. gig by the MASS Ensemble. The group's 25-foot Long Bow, a stringed sculpture, combines with cello, drums and other instruments to create a stirring spectacle of dance, visual art and music. Second, Jonathan Butler displays his guitar prowess and smooth vocals during an 8 p.m. concert on Saturday. At 3 p.m. Sunday, Whispers from the East commands Carol Morsani Hall. Equal parts music, chant and lecture, highlights of this Eastern-inspired event include keynote speaker SARK, author of several colorful, best-selling inspirational books. Heritage Ensemble brings up the rear with a riveting concert of world music at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The percussion group employs traditional instruments to blend musical styles from around the world into a sensual, high-energy and modern concoction.

Lest you think that's all, the higher-end ticket also includes your choice of six enlightening workshops. Crystal tones, Qi Gong, yoga and drumming are among the topics explored by a bevy of experts on Saturday and Sunday. Begin your Saturday with an invigorating sunrise yoga session, before studying the art of joy, partaking in an ancient sound ceremony, hanging with the Sufis or delving into more than a dozen other programs. Hell, we're feeling more spiritual already.

TBPAC's at 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets to individual main-stage performances are available, and range from $14.50 to $31.50. Single Saturday and Sunday passes cost $78 and $73, respectively, and $24 gets you into two workshops (minus the grounds pass fee). Call 813-229-STAR.

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