Festival Miami: The University of Miami School of Music's classical music fest explodes this week with six performances. Tonight at 8:00 at the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables (536 Coral Way), the UM Wind Ensemble performs works by David Maslanka, Lee Gannon, and William Penn. Admission is free. Tomorrow at 8:00, Grammy-nominated saxman Joe Lovano makes his Festival Miami debut with the UM Concert Jazz Band. Admission is $18. See our "Calendar Listings" for more Festival Miami events. The festival runs through October 26. All concerts take place at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables), unless otherwise noted. Call 284-4940. (GC)
Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens: Tennessee's renowned Carpetbag Theater returns to South Florida to present its latest production tonight at 8:00 at Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave.). Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens is a dramatization through theatrical and musical vignettes of the lives of seven of the most famous black women pioneers -- Mary Fields, Biddy Mason, Edmonia Lewish, Mary Alexander, Emily Morgan West, Mary Pleasant, and Julia Bulette -- who emerged from the American West between 1830 and 1890. Admission is ten dollars. Call 237-3010. (GC)
Sex and the City: Candace Bushnell, whose column Sex and the City runs in the New York Observer, has compiled 25 of her pieces in a book by the same name. A soap opera, gossip column, sociological study, and dating manual combined, Sex and the City chronicles the mating habits of New York's social elite -- including men who bed only models and women who marry only moguls -- as they roam from launch parties to club openings to celebrity affairs to trendy bars looking for Mr. or Ms. Right (or Right Now). Tara Solomon, Miami's own Queen of the Night, introduces Bushnell when she reads from and discusses her book tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books (933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Admission is free. Call 532-3222. (GC)
Tropical Passion: Experience the heat of Havana in the late Forties with this romantic musical, making its world premiere this weekend at the Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St.). Tropical Passion features original music by Mario Fernandez Porta, with book and lyrics by Pedro Roman, encompassing not only traditional Cuban boleros, rumbas, congas, and guarachas, but big band, blues, and country music popular in the Forties. The story follows an American GI who goes to Havana after World War II looking for a little fun and finds true love instead. English-language performances take place tonight at 8:00 and tomorrow at 3:00; Spanish-language performances take place tomorrow at 8:00 and Sunday at 3:00. Tickets range in price from $12 to $35. Call 545-3395. (GC)
Festival Miami: See Thursday.
George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars: The reunion tours of flabby fortysomethings Kiss and the Sex Pistols have garnered all the rock-scribe ink, but it's Clinton's latest jaunt -- his first in many moons to feature nearly all the surviving funkateers from both Parliament and Funkadelic -- that is the undoubted, unrivaled Tour of the Year. Clinton and his long-time collaborators, including Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell, are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Parliament's 1976 funk masterpiece Mothership Connection and its accompanying tour, which first introduced the world to one of Clinton's greatest aliases, Sir Lollipop Man, and set a precedent for big-budget concert spectacles with a gigantic spaceship that descended on-stage from an even bigger denim hat. Seriously. I saw it happen. Anyway, the Mothership lands tonight at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave.). Tickets cost $25.75 and $32.75, and the insanity begins at 8:00. Expect to hear Clinton classics such as "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker," "Atomic Dog," and "Flash Light," as well as stuff from the All-Stars' brilliant new album The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership. Call 954-741-7300. (JF)
American Heart Walk: Heart disease and stroke have been the nation's two leading killers since 1900, taking the lives of more than 42 percent of the two million Americans who die each year (that's more than AIDS, cancer, and all other causes of death combined). Keep that in mind when you strap on your sneakers and walk to benefit the American Heart Association in any of four American Heart Walks taking place this weekend in South Florida. Today's walks step off at 8:00 a.m. at Don Shula's Athletic Club (15150 Bull Run Rd., Miami Lakes) and at 9:00 a.m. at Mercy Hospital (3663 S. Miami Ave.); tomorrow, walks take place at 7:00 a.m. at the Don Soffer Fitness Trail (participants meet at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd.) and at 8:00 a.m. at Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.). A minimum pledge of $25 is required for participation. Call 373-5119. (GC)