Mystery on the Sunshine Express: So it isn't the Orient Express zipping through Europe, but it's bound to be fun. Tri-Rail and the Gold Coast Railroad Museum host a two-hour improvisational murder-mystery adventure, winding over 134 miles and traveling back to 1963 for a trip into mind-bending drama, suspense, intrigue, and comedy. Today's adventure begins at 4:44 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale Station (although passengers can board at any of the seven stations south of Fort Lauderdale), making its way to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach for dinner. Additional mystery tours take place on September 14 (a northbound trip departing from Fort Lauderdale with dinner at the West Palm Beach Omni Hotel) and September 28 (a southbound trip departing from Boca Raton with dinner at Fort Lauderdale's Sheraton Hotel. Tickets cost $57 (including dinner). Call 253-0063 for reservations and directions. (GC)

The Man Who Knew Too Much/North by Northwest: Cinema Vortex pays tribute to legendary director Alfred Hitchcock this weekend with two programs. Today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), Hitchcock's 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much screens. Not to be confused with the James Stewart-Doris Day remake, the original stars Leslie Banks as a man who stumbles onto a conspiracy, then is forced into action when his child is kidnapped (by villain Peter Lorre) to ensure his silence. Tomorrow at the same time and place, the Vortex screens North by Northwest (1959), a classically Hitchcockian tongue-in-cheek spy thriller starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. Admission to each film is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)

Maria Falzone and Paul Bonin-Rodriguez: See Friday.

sunday
september 8
Double Dip Sunday: Get a taste of the upcoming arts season today from noon to 6:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) with a full day of music, ballet, children's entertainment, and frozen treats. Miami City Ballet, the Florida Philharmonic chamber chorus, Ballet Etudes, and the Miami Beach Broadway Series will offer preview performances from their 1996-97 season programs on the TOPA stage; outside, the Miami Philharmonic Steel & Percussion Orchestra, Pepe Alva and Alma Raymi, Diane Ward, the Goods, the Hip Hop Kidz, and David Fernando perform. Kids can enjoy storytelling, face painting, puppet shows, and magic, and everyone can stuff their faces with loads of Ben & Jerry's, Dove Bar, McArthur, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. A five-dollar donation gets you in for the entertainment and all the ice cream you can eat; all proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Call 673-7300. (GC)

The Man Who Knew Too Much/North by Northwest: See Saturday.

monday
september 9
Women of Hope: Robert Rosenberg's new film tells the stories of a dozen women whose groundbreaking experiences compose a portrait of the Latin experience in the United States. Rosenberg, who won an Emmy Award for his documentary Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community, has created a compelling narrative using personal photographs, interviews with his subjects, archival footage that reflects historical events pertinent to the women's lives, and a soundtrack of Latin music from the Forties to the present. Novelist Sandra Cisneros, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater founder Miriam Colon, and composer Tania Leon (see Thursday) are among those featured in Women of Hope: Abriendo Caminos. The Louis Wolfson II Media Center and Miami Light Project present a free showing of the film tonight at 7:00 at Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave.). Rosenberg and Leon will be among members of a panel who will discuss Women of Hope after the screening. For details, call 631-3747. (JC)

tuesday
september 10
Tama Janowitz: Slaves of New York made Tama Janowitz one of the trendiest authors of the Eighties; her followup, The Male Cross-Dresser Support Group, cemented her reputation as a sharp-penned cynic whose clear thinking remained unclouded by all that gross urban pollution. Tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books (933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), Janowitz reads from and discusses her latest work, By the Shores of Gitchee Gumee, which simultaneously parodies Longfellow's Hiawatha while exploring the trials of a single mother bringing up her five children in a small-town trailer park. Admission is free. Call 532-3222. (GC)

wednesday
september 11
Richard Capen: Former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Miami Herald publisher Richard Capen explores the keys to personal success in his latest book, Finish Strong: Living the Values That Take You the Distance. In the book, Capen discusses eighteen life-changing qualities -- including authenticity, self-esteem, excellence, optimism, self-renewal, compassion, and faith -- and offers not only his own views, but the advice of other notable people such as Colin Powell, Ann Landers, Dave Barry, and Don Shula. Tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), Capen shares his insights about fulfillment. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call 442-4408. (GC)

Apparition Tour: Things that go bump in the night rejoice! The Velvet Webb presents another evening of nightmarish beauty and madness with four diverse Goth, darkwave, and industrial bands. Sway and sweep to the passionate, cathartic sounds of headliners Faith and the Muse (whose latest release, Annwyn, Beneath the Waves, should be in record stores any night now), the dance-driven throb of Sunshine Blind, the macabre classical-meets-industrial-Goth machinations of Malign (touring to promote its debut disc Shatter and Impale), and the serious industrial-Goth grind of German band Ichor. The show takes place at the fashionably historic Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) at 9:00, well after sunset. Tickets cost $15. Call 667-6395. (GC)

Festival Miami: See Saturday.

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