Calendar for the week

Lincoln Road Reopening/Nil Lara: The ribbon is cut on the $16 million Lincoln Road capital improvement project tonight at 5:00, unveiling the pedestrian mall's long-awaited new sidewalks and kicking off the Full Road of Fun street festival at the Euclid Oval (Lincoln Road and Euclid Avenue, Miami Beach). The fest features live entertainment by the Gold Coast Theatre Company, Afro-Caribbean and Native American dancers, the New World Symphony, mimes, and jugglers. The highlight of the evening is a homecoming concert at 7:30 by singer-songwriter extraordinaire Nil Lara, who returns to Miami after extensive touring with Me'Shell NdegOcello, Los Lobos, Johnny Clegg, and the H.O.R.D.E. Festival to perform songs from his self-titled Blue Note/Capitol Records debut, as part of the SunTrust Twilight Music Series. Academy Award-winning actor and celebrity restaurateur Michael Caine and shopowner and former rapper Robert "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle will be on hand for the ribbon cutting. The milelong Lincoln Road boasts more than 150 eclectic shops, almost 50 restaurants and cafes, a host of fine-art galleries and studios, and a number of cultural institutions such as the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, and the Alliance Film/Video Co-op. Admission is free. Call 531-3442. (GC)

A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens's classic tale returns to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) for two performances today, at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. This original production combines the charm of an old-fashioned Christmas with the spectacle of state-of-the-art special effects (including a monstrous sixteen-foot-tall ghost) that promise to keep the kids enthralled. Tickets cost $10, $15, and $20. Call 954-462-0222. (GC)

Exilio: Gran Teatro Cubano and Creation Art Center (957 SW 27th Ave.) present Matias Montes Huidobro's complex drama, in Spanish, about idealism, greed, disillusionment, and personal responsibility. Exilio centers around a Cuban theatrical group working in the U.S. that assists the communist revolution in the late Fifties. When the troupe returns to Cuba, some members grow wary of Castro's regime and flee the island, while others find opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Twenty years later fate reunites the group for an explosive confrontation. Admission is $15. Performances for this open-ended run are Saturday at 9:00 and Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Call 649-2619 to reserve seats. (GC)

Florida Philharmonic: Conductor James Judd rings in the holidays with what has become an annual tradition as he leads the 175-voice Florida Philharmonic Chorus and the orchestra to perform the complete Handel's Messiah tonight at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.) and tomorrow night at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets range in price from $17 to $65. Both performances begin at 8:00 p.m. Call 930-1812. (GC)

The Chocolate Nutcracker: See Thursday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Ira Sullivan's Christmas Jazz Special: See Friday.

sunday
december 22
Honore Daumier/Real: The Bass Museum of Art (2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach) offers two exhibitions encompassing 100 years and diverse worlds. On view through January 19 are prints and sculptures by mid-nineteenth-century French artist and satirist Honore Daumier, from the Benjamin Trustman Collection. Daumier's caricatures are considered some of the best political and social satire of his time. On view through January 26 is "Real," a group exhibition of works by contemporary black artists including Kerry James Marshall, Emma Amos, Whitfield Lovell, Kara Walker, and Philemona Williamson. The works selected are influenced by the social realism of an earlier generation of black artists and convey an interest in traditional and contemporary life. Admission is five dollars. Museum hours are 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday (open 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month). Call 673-7530. (GC)

The Chocolate Nutcracker: See Thursday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Exilio: See Saturday.
Florida Philharmonic: See Saturday.

monday
december 23
Nutcracker on Ice: Yep, this Nutcracker thing has really gotten out of control. Tonight at 8:00 at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.), the holiday classic hits the ice with champion skaters Rudy Galindo and Debi Thomas starring as Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Skaters Jenni Meno (Clara), Todd Sand (the Nutcracker Prince), Caryn Kadavy (the Snow Queen), Aren Nielsen (the Mouse King), and the Russian Ice Ballet complete the cast. Tickets cost $17.50, $27.50, and $37.50. Call 530-4444. (GC)

Shear Madness: See Thursday.

tuesday
december 24
Matzo Ball: Hanukkah has been over for almost two weeks, and you just can't get into that Christmas spirit because, hey, you're not a Christian. You can still party down at the tenth annual Matzo Ball, kicking off tonight at 8:00 p.m at two locations -- Amnesia (136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 531-5535) and Club Boca (7000 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton; 561-368-3333). The party, hosted by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, is technically a singles mingle, but even if you've got a date you can still enjoy hot dance tunes, tasty hors d'oeuvres, and door prizes galore. Tickets cost $20. Call 888-633-5326. (GC)

Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Honore Daumier/Real: See Sunday.

wednesday
december 25
Santa's Enchanted Forest: The lights are twinkling and the trees are aglow once again at Tropical Park (Bird Road and Palmetto Expressway) as the great-granddaddy of Christmas theme parks beckons. This year's edition features a display of over one million lights and animated characters (including a giant -- or is that redundant? -- sumo wrestler, nodding puppies, and, inexplicably, a jolly Buddha), a forest of Christmas trees, carnival rides, magic shows, circus entertainment, and international foods. Admission is $11 for adults, $6 for kids under ten (free for kids two and under). Park hours are 5:00 to midnight daily through January 12. Call 559-9689. (GC)

Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Honore Daumier/Real: See Sunday.

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