Inaugural Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona Oh, God, just what Daytona Beach needs: more rednecks plus wannabe rednecks from countries we can't even pronounce. They come every year for the Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400 and whenever the hell else they can drink Busch from a can and watch cars turn left, go fast, turn left, go fast, turn left, go fast … and this year, there's even more, um, "fun": the Inaugural Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which is apparently a warm-up for the Rolex 24, a around-the-clock series of races coming Jan. 27 and 28. At the Roar, you can "view all the testing action from anywhere in the historic infield of Daytona International Speedway (with exception of the hot pits) and will have access to the garage area." Which sounds like one hell of a good time if you have more guns than teeth. (5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach; $5; 800-748-7467; www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com)
Cabaret Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. Whatever. It isn't the fact that the 1967 Tony Award-winning Best Musical is finding a monthlong revival in an Orlando dinner theater that throws us. Hell, we even still tear up at the much-modified Bob Fosse dress-up of Liza Minnelli for 1972's film adaptation. (We always tear up at Liza.) No, it's the presentation of two different versions — a "tame" matinee and a "decadent" evening show — that has us guessing. Do they take out the boobies, or dispense with the Nazis? Regardless, if you want to be really clever, order a cabernet. The wait staff will LOVE you. Life is a cabernet, old chum …. (6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 11 at Starlight Dinner Theater; $46-$51; 407-843-6275; www.starlightorlando.com)
Bob Seger We've been running against the Seeg's wind for many years now, and we feel that hearing "Night Moves" or "Old Time Rock & Roll" ever again in our entire lives might drive us insane. Not due to any lack of quality on the songs' part, but simply because it seems like, between Seger, Tom Petty, the Eagles and ZZ Top, classic-rock radio has made us completely numb to the true strengths of regional rock & roll. The depth of Seger's connection to the Motor City — and the way his songs continue to reflect the city's blue-collar personality — is most definitely lost in the four-thousandth overplay of "Like a Rock," which would suck enough even if Seger himself hadn't gotten so convinced that those are the only songs people want to hear. We stand by the tight-jeans swagger of the early Bob Seger System stuff, but the Seeg has for years acted as if digging up a track from Mongrel would be the death of him. Sadly, this attitude reportedly shapes the set list for this current tour promoting his first album in 10 years, Face the Promise (which hearkens directly back to the arena sensibilities of his late-'70s work). The tour is selling out all over the country, so we have to wonder if it would be too much of a risk for Seger to drop in "Get Out of Denver" tonight? We think not. (8 p.m. at Amway Arena; $65; 407-849-2020)
The Oaks How the muse will strike and when is an unknown to any artist, but when it does, others realize the presence. That's how we'd describe our reaction to meeting two members of local band the Oaks who just happened to drop by our almost empty offices unexpectedly during the holidays to stir up interest in their show at the Social. Ryan Costello and Matt Antolick shared their inspirations with us: The former lived among the Afghan people from 2003 to 2005, teaching basics in agriculture and helping to build schools that had been lost in the bombing. The latter taught philosophy at USF before returning to music, this time with the perspective of a father and husband. Performed with a handful of various musicians and eclectic instruments, the songs captured on their full-length CD Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind are harmonious soundscapes that are designed to awaken — more through music than words — the spirit of "humanitarian consciousness." Sound wussy? We understand. Feelings are scary. (with Jason Choi and the Sea, the Northerness and Alleys, 9 p.m. Saturday at the Social; $7; 407-246-1419)
19th Annual Native American Festival It's probably the proximity of Ormond Beach's the Casements (which was once a residence of John D. Rockefeller) to Tomoka State Park that imbues this annual Native American festival held on the museum grounds with a righteous sense of history. Right along the banks of the Halifax River was once one of the biggest Timucua settlements, dating back to the 1500s, where the natives existed for thousands of years until … well, you know, war and disease at the hands of the white man destroyed them. Still struggling to preserve their traditions as well as evolving for survival, Native Americans of many tribes will display and demonstrate art, crafts, dancing, hunting and other aspects of their respective cultures. (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Rockefeller Gardens, the Casements, Ormond Beach; $5; 386-676-3216; www.thecasements.org)
Capitol Steps Are you the kind of person who sees the black humor in the idea of Newt Gingrich running for president? Do you believe the government's wiretapping programs are side-splittingly funny? How about that Alexander Litvinenko guy, the former Soviet spy who was murdered via radiation poisoning? Hilarious!
You, friend, are probably the kind of person who would get a kick out of seeing the Capitol Steps, a comedy troupe that's been around for, like, a million years in D.C. It was started in 1981 by some House and Senate staffers who wanted to make fun of their bosses, and it turned into a real, paying gig for its 39 members. The Capitol Steps' brand of humor is almost gentle (numbers like "How the Gin-Grinch Stole Congress" and "Do You Fear What I Fear?") in comparison with some of the political humor you see on the web these days. Personally, we think Wonkette is funnier. (7:30 p.m. at King Center for the Performing Arts, Melbourne; $33-$36; 321-242-2219; www.capsteps.com)
Rocking Out Poverty So your stomach's loaded with black-eyed starches and tryptophan carbs, good-luck collard greens just climbing back up the back of your throat. Lucky you. Volunteer UCF and Rock for Hunger want to remind you that not everybody is blessed with a holiday spare tire. To make their point they've thrown together a charity benefit full of bands you may not have heard of (we haven't) for one night only at Back Booth: G-Ro (of Stumpp), KG (of KG & the Band), Vision Quest, Skip & the Future Funk Collective, dManufacture and Eugene Snowden (ooh, heard of him!) are expected. And so are you, fatty. All proceeds are being set aside for our friends at the Second Harvest Food Bank, meaning that your rocking out will give somebody else more than a headache. Win-win, really. (8 p.m. at Back Booth; $7-$8; 407-999-2570; www.backbooth.com)
King Lear "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/To have a thankless child!" In this post-Christmas period, we're sure many of our readers have experienced that rankling feeling; the kids we know enjoyed the box more than the Extreme Elmo we spent a week tracking down. Better an unfocused giftee, though, than a patricidal pair of daughters, which is what Shakespeare's superlative father figure faced. UCF-Orlando Shakespeare Festival opens 2007 with a monthlong run of King Lear; act fast and you might be able to score tickets to the bargain-priced (less than half the usual ticket cost) preview performances storming the stage Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 10 and 11. (7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 4 at Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival; $12-$35; 407-447-1700)
Contributors: Jeffrey C. Billman, Jason Ferguson, Billy Manes, Lindy T. Shepherd, Bob Whitby, Jessica Bryce Young
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