Expressionist Exploits and Surreal Sensations: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and the Florida International University School of Design continue their series of milestone avant-garde art films from the Twenties with two films about the Big City. First up is Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler's 1921 short film Manhatta, which illustrates Walt Whitman's poems about New York City through the use of high-angle shots of skyscrapers and pedestrians. The main feature is F.W. Murnau's first American production, 1927's Sunrise, a silent film that explores a love triangle by juxtaposing the temptations of the city with the innocence of the country; its impressionistic use of mist, blurred exposures, and radical camera movement makes the film one of the visual triumphs of the silent-film era. Both films screen at 7:00 p.m. Admission is three dollars. Call 535-2634 for details. (GC)
Jewish Book Fair: Some of the brightest voices in contemporary literature and nonfiction address a wide variety of issues that affect all Americans, and Jews in particular, during the sixteenth annual Jewish Book Fair at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center (11155 SW 112th Ave.). The fair opens tonight at 8:00 with Rabbi Harold Kushner (author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People) exploring the age-old issues of guilt and forgiveness in his latest book How Good Do We Have to Be? Admission is ten dollars. On Sunday at 11:00 a.m. the fair continues with a look at the rise of Jewish organizations as J.J. Goldberg discusses his book Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment. Admission is five dollars. At 12:30 on Sunday, psychiatrist Dr. Harriet Lerner discusses Life Preservers: Staying Afloat in Love and Life. Admission is five dollars. On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., best-selling author Olivia Goldsmith (First Wives Club and Flavor of the Month) speaks at the annual Women's Day Luncheon at Signature Gardens (12725 SW 122nd Ave.) about her latest book, The Bestseller. Tickets cost $40 and $60. The book fair continues through November 21; upcoming events include readings by Lev Raphael and Marlene Adler Marks. See future editions of "Calendar Listings" for more information, or call 271-9000, ext. 268, for a complete schedule. (GC)
Hardhats: Playwright Rafael Lima cuts through the stereotypes about blue-collar workers and relationships among men in this black comedy-drama, opening tonight at the 3rd Street Black Box (230 NE Third St.). The play, which debuted at New York City's Manhattan Theater Club, is directed by Carbonell Award-winning actor Chaz Mena and stars local actors Paul Tei and Erik Fabregat as the humorous Smitty and the tragically heroic Becker. Tickets cost $12. After tonight's opening, performances take place Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., with a 2:30 matinee on Sunday, through December 1. Call 754-8948. (GC)
Danny Hoch: The Miami Light Project opens its 1996-97 Contemporary Performance series with the Florida debut of mercurial actor Danny Hoch at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Queens native Hoch, whose astute social criticism and turn-on-a-dime impressions of New York City characters have led to comparisons with Eric Bogosian, John Leguizamo, and Spalding Gray, performs his 1994 Obie Award-winning one-man show Some People, in which he portrays characters such as Blanca the Puerto Rican bombshell, a manic Latino radio DJ called the Caribbean Tiger, and Polish plumber Kazmierczack. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00. Tickets cost $18 ($25 for tickets and admission to tonight's opening night gala). Call 531-3747. (GC)
Coral Gables Oktoberfest: Celebrate the spirit and culture of Germany as Mozart Stube Restaurant (325 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables) presents its third annual Oktoberfest. This street festival, taking place today through Sunday, features rivers of German beer (a dozen selections), miles (or should we say kilometers?) of traditional foods, and live music by German and Austrian bands. Festival hours are 2:00 to 11:00 tonight, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. tomorrow, and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Call 446-1600. (GC)
Festival Miami: The University of Miami School of Music wraps up its annual classical music festival with two final concerts. Tonight at 8:00, tenor Joseph Evans and pianist Russell Young present the one-act play Letters to Puccini, in which the composer's life is reflected in excerpts from his operas. Tickets cost eight dollars. Tomorrow soprano Marvis Martin and clarinetist Margaret Donaghue join conductor Thomas Sleeper and the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra to perform Shostakovich's Symphony no. 1 (which won him international fame at the age of twenty) and the U.S. premiere of Richard Strauss's Romance for Clarinet and Orchestra in E flat. Tickets range from $18 to $35. Both concerts are at Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables). Call 284-4940. (GC)
Creaky Bones Bash: Throw on your Halloween costume a few days early and party into the night while helping a charity at the Arthritis Foundation's annual Creaky Bones Bash, rattling the Douglas Entrance Ballroom (800 Douglas Rd., Coral Gables) tonight at 8:00. The Vintage Band performs danceable tunes, while psychics, a mystery-clue hunt, and tasty treats keep partygoers busy. Tickets cost $25, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation's efforts to fight arthritis. Call 669-6870. (GC)
War of the Worlds/Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Cinema Vortex film series screens two landmark science-fiction classics that depict the paranoia of the Cold War. Byron Haskin's Oscar-winning 1953 adaption of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds, screening today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), was the first film in which the U.S. was depicted as being invaded, when aliens from the red planet of Mars waste Los Angeles. Tomorrow at the same time the Vortex offers Don Siegel's 1956 flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a relentlessly suspenseful study in anti-conformity and McCarthy-era hysteria in which pods from outer space replace the population of a small town with soulless automatons. Admission to each screening is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)
Peter and the Wolf: The Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St.) opens its second annual International Showcase with a performance of Prokofiev's classic children's work, the best one we know of for introducing kiddies to the timbres of orchestral instruments. WPLG-TV (Channel 10) news anchor Kristi Krueger narrates as the Pan American Sinfonia provides the music and the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater creates the visuals. Performances take place at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Upcoming performances include the Momentum Dance Company, Al Matos's Klezmer Music Extravaganza, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Russian gypsy folk troupe Neva. Adult tickets cost $15 and $20; kids' tix are $10. Call 954-924-8175. (GC)
South Florida Ska-Punk-Oi! Festival: The roof gets blown off at Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.) tonight with the steamrolling first annual South Florida Ska-Punk-Oi! Festival. Headlining the show is the uniquely aggressive band AC, touring to support its latest release Forty More Reasons to Hate Us (with songs like "Pepe the Gay Waiter," "Don't Call Japanese Hardcore Japcore," and of course, "I Liked Earache Better When Dig Answered the Phone"). Chock full of super-fast, minutelong songs overloaded with chain-saw guitars and hell-growl vocals, the disc is the followup to AC's Top Forty Hits and the 58-track Earache Records debut Everyone Should Be Killed. Rounding out the multiband bill is Philadelphia's pile-driving punkers Lime Cell, German oi!-meisters Boots and Braces, the suave rocksteady-ska sounds of King 7 and the Soul Sonics, and West Palm Beach skasters the Worms. Admission is six bucks. Call 857-0041. (GC)
Danny Hoch: See Friday.
Coral Gables Oktoberfest: See Friday.
Festival Miami: See Friday.
La Chunga: Mario Vargas Llosa's story about fantasies and rivalries at a bar of ill repute comes to life as the Area Stage Company (645 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) and the cultural group La Ma Teodora present La Chunga. This mystery-comedy follows a band of degenerates who call themselves "the Unconquerables" on a trip down memory lane to a night when one of them, Josefino the Pimp, sold his new girlfriend La Meche to the title character, a madam of surprising power and sympathy. The Spanish-language version of the play runs until it begins alternating in repertory with the English-language version, opening on November 20. Performances take place Thursday through Saturday at 8:15 p.m., and Sunday at 7:15 p.m. Tickets cost $17 on Thursday and Sunday and $20 on Friday and Saturday. Call 673-8002 for scheduling. (GC)
Coral Gables Oktoberfest: See Friday.
War of the Worlds/Invasion of the Body Snatchers: See Saturday.
Presidents and the News Media: With presidential elections coming up, one issue on the minds of many voters is how the media shape public perception of the candidates. Tonight at 7:30 at the University of Miami Bill Cosford Cinema (off Campo Sano Avenue in Coral Gables), the UM School of Communication hosts an evening with Betty Winfield, author of FDR and the News Media. She investigates the media's coverage of presidential politics by referring to the administration that first (and perhaps best) used the media to its advantage. Admission is free. Call 284-1870. (GC)
Florida Philharmonic: Florida's premier classical music organization, led by music director and conductor James Judd, officially opens its 1996-97 season tonight at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.) with two of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire. Violinist Jon Carney joins the orchestra to perform Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The same program will be performed tomorrow night at the Florida Atlantic University Auditorium (off Glades Road, Boca Raton) and Thursday at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets range in price from $17 to $75. All three concerts take place at 8:00 p.m. Call 930-1812. (GC)
Witches' Ball: Ring in Halloween with an evening of ghoulish fun at Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale), beginning at 10:00. Enjoy thumping music by Mercy James while carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and participating in a Celtic Samhain (pronounce Sow-an) ritual at midnight. Find out if your Halloween will be happy or horrible when you have your tarot cards, astrology chart, rune stones, numbers, and palms read. Admission is six dollars. Call 954-522-2151. (GC)
Florida Philharmonic: See Tuesday.