Planet Picks

THURSDAY 11.21

Ahoy, Polloi At the all sailboat Sail Expo, novices can take introductory demo sails on any boat in a small fleet as part of a Discover Sailing program. Organized by Sail America, the show is as geared toward drawing newcomers to the leisure sport as it is showing new boats to regular sailors. There are more than 100 vessels and 60 individual presentations by captains, boat manufacturers, insurance companies and safety experts. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 23, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 24. Tickets cost $8-$9.60 per day, $28.80 for all four days. Vinoy Yacht Basin, 501 Bayshore Drive N., St. Petersburg. 800-817-7245.

Motorboat Madness Boat lovers can check out more than 700 top boats at the 25th annual St. Petersburg Boat Show and frustrate themselves worse than the fools at Mons Venus. Highlights include 15 fishing clinics for kids and adults, covering such topics as fishing flats with live bait, nighttime snook fishing and trolling for grouper. There's also a vast selection of watercraft-related gizmos and gear. The show runs from noon to 7 p.m. the first day and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 24 Admission costs $7, $2 for kids 6-12. Bayfront Center Yacht Basin, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-940-7642.

FRIDAY 11.22

Violinist of Substance Led by guest conductor Michael Christie, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and the Florida Orchestra perform a Masterworks concert highlighted by Tchaikovsky's lush Violin Concerto. Meyers' televised appearances include an A&E broadcast from the Casals Festival with the Montreal Symphony and a PBS broadcast concert with composer John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The program also includes Three Latin-American Sketches by Aaron Copland and John Adams' Harmonielehre. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Nov. 22, at TBPAC; at 8 p.m. Nov. 23, at Mahaffey Theater; and at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24, at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets cost $20-$42. 800-662-7286.

Titus Hilarious Christopher Titus jokes about things most comics would find impossible to make funny: custody battles, insanity, family suicides, heart attacks and fist-fighting his father. Best known for his FOX sitcom Titus, he based the series on his deeply dysfunctional family, the wellspring of his material. Titus has been doing stand-up (and even variations of a couple jokes) since he was 18 years old when he had to stand outside the clubs he played before and after sets because he was underage. Shows take place at 8 and 10:30 p.m. through Nov. 23, and at 7 p.m. Nov. 24. Tickets cost $20-$22. Improv, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Centro Ybor, Ybor City. 813-864-4000.

SATURDAY 11.23

Safe Surfing Operation Childproof, an awareness campaign designed to educate parents on how to protect their kids from criminals, brings together experts on various safety issues from around the state. Topics include what Web-savvy kids are doing online, what sex offenders and sexual predators are doing in cyberspace and how to openly discuss guidelines with kids. Guest speakers include Detective Charlie Gates of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, winner of the 2002 National Missing Children Award, and Special Agent Tim Wood of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This informative, overdue event takes place at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $10. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. 727-449-0891.

Tears of a Clown Opera is still as haunting and lovely as ever. And for those with an appreciation for storytelling and powerful vocals, Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggiero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci are timeless classics. In Cavalleria Rusticana, a Sicilian woman, consumed by jealousy, denounces her lover in the village square, which leads to a deadly duel between a cuckolded husband and the cheating lover. In Pagliacci, Canio (who plays the clown Pagliaccio) pours out his broken, cheated-on heart in the glorious, searing song "Ridi Pagliaccio," then vents his murderous passions. Opera Tampa performs the small operas at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $24.50-$59.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

SUNDAY 11.24

Battle of the Bays Historically, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a miserable time playing NFC rivals the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. But since the NFL's realignment last year, the Bucs don't play in Wisconsin again until 2005. And Packers quarterback Brett Favre's home record of 10-0 against the Bucs, well it doesn't do him any good at Raymond James Stadium, where they play at 1 p.m. (televised on FOX). The game should be close, but expect it to go the way of the Bucs, who have good mid-season momentum behind a record-tying season start. Plus, Farve is the favorite prey of Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Stock up on cheese dip and make a nice gluteal impression in your couch. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. 813-289-6811.

Join the Club The Southwest Association of Mountainbike Pedalers (a.k.a. SWAMP) visits the popular Santos Trailhead near Ocala. The former limestone quarry offers riding that varies from beginner to very technical (cliff drop offs of 30 and 50 feet) on a loop of color-coded trails totaling 15 miles. SWAMP guides lead the ride, which breaks out into groups determined by ability levels. All the club asks is that you come prepared with your bike, helmet and sufficient water (at least two liters). Oh, and considered joining; it's just $20. Santos Trailhead is on S.E. 25th Street in Belleview. For directions and a trail map, visit www.swampclub.org or call 813-689-5109.

MONDAY 11.25

Ironmen A surprise hit at this past Ozzfest, Down is a quartet of heavy metal all-stars who take their sludge rock very seriously. Arresting guitar work, trippy grooves and sorrowful, melodic vocals are their tools. The side project consists of Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, Corrosion of Conformity guitarist Pepper Keenan, Crowbar guitarist Kirk Windstein and Eyehategod drummer Jimmy Bower. The band's two albums are 1995's NOLA (an acronym for New Orleans, La., where all the original members hailed from) and this year's Down II. Both are murky in the vein of Black Sabbath, with more in common with classic heavy metal than the member's respective bands. Tickets cost $20 in advance. Doors open at 7 p.m. Masquerade, 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. 813-247-3319.

TUESDAY 11.26

Pomp and Choreography Blast — the latest Broadway-caliber music-in-motion troupe a la Riverdance — was born of the legendary Star of Indiana drum corps. The musicians march, whirl, bang and blow jazz, rock, techno-pop and classical music. And they bring all the kaleidoscopic movement and athleticism of a football halftime show to the stage with state-of-the-art lighting and special effects. Blast II: Shockwave comes to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, where Blast won over local audiences with its original production Blast! (which also won the 2001 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event). Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26-28; 8 p.m. Nov. 29; 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 30; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets cost $23.50-$64.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

WEDNESDAY 11.27

Better than Reruns of E! Fashion Week The Castle hosts Scene and Heard VII, a fusion of underground music, art and fashion. WMNF DJs provide the music while the clothes come from such trendy shops as International Plaza's Betsey Johnson, Diesel and Agatha Paris. Expect local lovelies in a bit too much MAC cosmetics to don odd and elegant garb and strut to the stage from one of the club's back rooms, suffusing the air with pheromones. Doors open at 6 p.m. (21 and up only) and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10. The Castle, 2004 N. 16th St., Ybor City. 813-247-7547.