Calendar for the week

thursday
december 5
Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight): The 3rd Street Black Box (in the San Villa Oriental Restaurant, 230 NE Third St.) collaborates with Peru's Jucare Theater Group to perform Carlos Fuentes's play about two sultry Mexican film stars and the impact of their images. Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight) juxtaposes the lives of Maria Felix, the sensual glamour queen of Forties Mexican films who traveled to Europe and had many marriages and lovers, with Dolores del Rio, the spirited actress who usually portrayed the earnest country girl and eventually built a career in Hollywood. The play is written and performed in Spanish. Tickets cost $15. Performances run tonight through Saturday and December 12 through 14 at 8:00, with a 2:00 matinee on Sunday and December 15. Call 754-8948. (GC)

Expressionist Exploits and Surreal Sensations: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and Florida International University School of Design conclude their series of milestone avant-garde art films from the Twenties with two German classics. Tonight's program features Viking Eggeling's 1924 Symphonie Diagonale, an abstract, animated short that experiments with the artistic qualities of lines and shapes in movement. Completing the bill is Walter Ruttman's revolutionary 1927 Berlin -- Symphony of a Great City, which uses cameras concealed in a van and in suitcases to capture a full day in the life of Twenties Berlin, creating a candid and impressionistic look at urban modernity. The screening begins at 7:00. Admission is three dollars. Call 535-2634 for details. (GC)

Festival of the Trees: Get some amazing holiday decorating ideas as Florida International University's Interior Design program hosts its tenth annual Festival of the Trees, opening tonight at 6:30 at One Brickell Square lobby (801 Brickell Ave.). Top design professionals from several local companies have created unique holiday "trees" (in the past, they've been made of glass, plastic, ceramic, shells, and copper tubing) exclusively for this event; tonight's preview gala benefits the Interior Design program. Tickets cost $50. The exhibition of trees runs tomorrow through December 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Call 348-3032. (GC)

friday
december 6
Don Byron: Hot young jazz clarinetist Don Byron is known for his seamless absorption of eclectic musical styles and his affinity for the work of neglected composers whose virtuosity was often obscured by their sense of humor and their radical ideas. One of these was Mickey Katz (actor Joel Grey's father), who in the Fifties brought Eastern European klezmer music to assimilated Jewish-American audiences with his satiric Yiddish songs like "Haim Afen Range" ("Home on the Range") and "Paisach in Portugal." On his 1993 release, Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, Byron smoothly leads a nine-piece band and guest soloists through the jaunty staples of Katz's repertoire, playing up the raucousness of klezmer -- essentially, Jewish party music -- with strains of polka and even cha-cha-cha. There's more to this than the novelty of a black guy with dreadlocks playing music of the Eastern European Hasidic movement: Byron captures the celebration and sorrow of klezmer in rhythms from the old and new worlds and demonstrates why Down Beat's critics' poll has named him top jazz clarinetist four years in a row. Don Byron and his band play tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $18. Call 531-3747. (JC)

Sheryl Crow: There was a time when all she wanted to do was have some fun, but those days are over. The new Sheryl Crow (and her recently released self-titled disc) explores a darker side of life than her 1993 multiplantinum smash debut Tuesday Night Music Club. In fact, after listening to the new disc, you're tempted to paraphrase her current single "If It Makes You Happy": What the hell makes her so sad? Find out tonight when Crow headlines the first-ever SoBe Music Festival at the Lummus Park bandshell (Tenth Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach) with alternapop/rockers the Goo Goo Dolls and local acts Amanda Green and Tymes Square (formerly Skintite). Tickets cost $15. Gates open at 5:30. Call 593-1319. (GC)

Out of Order: That wry British humor takes center stage as the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy.) presents Ray Cooney's award-winning farce Out of Order. Broadway and West End stage star Paxton Whitehead stars as a junior minister in the Thatcher government who attempts a romantic tryst with a young typist (Kay Walbye). The rendezvous is cut short when they discover a corpse in their hotel suite and, of course, mayhem ensues. British actor David Warwick (who created the role of the "Body" in the original West End production) directs. The play runs through December 22. Tickets cost $30 for Tuesday through Thursday, on Sunday, and for all matinees; $35 for Friday and Saturday evenings. For a schedule of performances, call 442-4000. (GC)

Tiny Tim Is Dead: With all due reverence to the recently departed ukelele-strumming, falsetto-flaunting singer, ART-ACT (10 NE 39th St.) presents the South Florida premiere of Barbara Lebow's heart-warming drama about the homeless and their struggle to survive on the streets. A group of homeless people tries to make the holiday season special for one little boy by riotously rendering their own version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Tonight's performance benefits Better Way of Miami, a local shelter for homeless men with substance abuse issues. Tickets cost ten dollars (ART-ACT also encourages donations of toys and nonperishable food items). Performances run Friday and Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 6:00 through December 29. Call 573-7272. (GC)

Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight): See Thursday.
Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.

saturday
december 7
The Nutcracker: The competition to present the biggest and best Nutcracker ballet is on, and this year Ballet Etudes Company of South Florida steps up to the plate first with its 22nd anniversary production of the Christmas classic. This year's presentation features former Ballet Nacional de Cuba principal dancer Dagmar Moradillos in the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen, with partner American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Guillaume Graffin. Performances take place today at 2:00 and 8:00 and tomorrow at 3:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets range in price from $18 to $60. Call 673-7300. (GC)

Rock for Tots: Celebrate the season of giving (and partying) as local rock band Sex-S hosts the first annual Rock for Tots concert at Baptist Hospital (8900 Kendall Dr.). Groove funkers Sense and rockers Seventeen Bucks and Grand Fanelli round out the bill. The concert runs from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free with a new unwrapped toy. Call 252-3272. (GC)

Fairchild Tropical Garden Ramble '96: Walk through a tropical paradise, purchase some rare and exotic plants, and enjoy tasty treats as Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd.) hosts its 56th annual Ramble today and tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:30. The festival also features plant care and flower arrangement workshops, kids' activities, garden tours, an antique and book fair, and great gift-buying opportunities. Admission is eight dollars. Call 667-1651. (GC)

Footy's Y-100 Wing Ding: Take a bite out of some tasty wings as Y-100 (WHYI-FM 100.7) and popular DJ Footy host the tenth annual chicken-chompin' Wing Ding, running from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Young Circle Park (U.S. 1 and Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood). Several local restaurants serve up their best chicken-wing recipes for cash prizes, and pasta dishes, burgers and hot dogs round out the menu. There will be live music, and festgoers can also participate in a star memorabilia auction. All proceeds benefit Here's Help and other local charities. Admission is two dollars. Call 954-463-9299 for more information. (GC)

Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight): See Thursday.
Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.
Don Byron: See Friday.
Out of Order: See Friday.
Tiny Tim Is Dead: See Friday.

sunday
december 8
The Wages of Fear: The Cinema Vortex film series continues with one of the screen's great existential classics of the early Fifties. Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1953 suspense drama The Wages of Fear, screening today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), follows four men as they drive two trucks full of nitroglycerine needed to put out an oil fire. Alfred Hitchcock tried to buy the story rights so that he could direct it, but Clouzot's mastery of white-knuckle suspense surpasses any of Hitchcock's work. Admission is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)

Bob McGrath's Holiday Show: Best known as Bob from PBS's multiple award-winning children's show Sesame Street, performer Bob McGrath has entertained and educated children for almost three decades. Today at 2:00 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale), McGrath spreads some holiday cheer with a program of favorite Christmas and Chanukah songs. The multicultural show will feature a menorah-lighting ceremony and an appearance by Santa and his elves. Tickets cost $10 and $15. Call 954-462-0222. (GC)

Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight): See Thursday.
Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.
Out of Order: See Friday.
Tiny Tim Is Dead: See Friday.
The Nutcracker: See Saturday.
Fairchild Tropical Garden Ramble '96: See Saturday.

monday
december 9
Kathleen Battle and Friends: Five-time Grammy Award-winning operatic soprano Kathleen Battle puts on her jazz hat to perform selections from her recent album So Many Stars tonight at 8:00 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Pianist Cyrus Chestnut, double bassist Christian McBride, saxman James Carter, guitarist Romero Lubambo, and percussionist Cyro Baptista join Battle to perform compositions by Duke Ellington, lullabies, spirituals, and folksongs. Preceding the concert WTMI-FM (91.3) music host Lyn Farmer leads a lecture titled "Where Jazz and the Classics Duke It Out." Ticket prices range from $20 to $70. Call 954-462-0222. (GC)

Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.

tuesday
december 10
Tool: The pendulum swings from rage to reflection and back again on Tool's latest disc, AEnima. The followup to their critically acclaimed 1993 debut Undertow (on Zoo Entertainment), the new disc offers nightmarish visions on a bleak musical landscape, melodic yet abrasive rock juxtaposed with glistening, unsettlingly quiet moments. Tool conjures up its churning, hard-hitting spell tonight at 7:30 at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave.). New York glam-slammers Psychotica open the show. Tickets cost $17. Call 954-741-7300. (GC)

Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.
Out of Order: See Friday.

wednesday
december 11
Grease: The holidays and fun go together like rama-lama-lama-di-ding-diddy-ding-shoo-bop (or something like that). With this in mind, the Broadway series presents a preholiday special engagement of Grease at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Singer/actor/Fifties teen heartthrob Frankie Avalon joins the cast as the Teen Angel on this rollicking ride through 1959 at Rydell High. Performances run tonight through Friday, December 13, at 8:00, and Sunday, December 15, at 7:00, with 2:00 matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range in price from $27.50 to $42.50. Call 673-7300. (GC)

Festival of the Trees: See Thursday.
Out of Order: See Friday.

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