MidiKeys is a little application that displays a piano keyboard onscreen. You can click the keyboard or use the computer keyboard to play MIDI notes. The keyboard window can be made to float on top of other applications and supports transparency. Also, MidiKeys will optionally set up hotkeys for the computer keyboard so you can play notes in other applications (such as a sequencer) without having to switch back to MidiKeys. It works great on a PowerBook!
SynthTest is a somewhat simple application for OS X that allows you to pick a MIDI source, a MusicDevice AudioUnit, and an Effect or MusicEffect AudioUnit to play with. You can open an edit window for both the synth and effect. If they do not have a custom edit GUI, the generic editor view will be used. SynthTest has a reference implementation of preset support for Audio Units. It is primarily intended to be used by Audio Unit developers for testing purposes (the source is available), although it can be great fun to play with all by itself. It is complete enough to be used for live performances.