Calendar for the week

American Experimental Cinema, 1940s to 1970s: The Cinema Vortex film series closes the year with a two-hour program of hand-picked examples of innovative film works by American directors. Screening today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), the program includes shorts by Kenneth Anger (director of Scorpio Rising and author of Hollywood Babylon), Stan Brakhage (Fox Fire Child Watch), James Broughton, Bruce Conner, Maya Deren, and Ian Hugo with Anais Nin. Admission is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)

Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
Indian Arts Festival: See Thursday.
Kwanza Celebration: See Thursday.

monday
december 30
Van Morrison: Legendary Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison is a fluid combination of Celtic bard and soul singer, a mystical, musical visionary if ever there was one. His influence is unrivaled by any living rock artist, with the exception of American counterpart Bob Dylan -- and perhaps so is his temper. But it's that fire that lights up the soul of albums such as 1971's Tupelo Honey, 1982's Beautiful Vision, and his most recent, 1995's Days Like This. (See "Music," page 89 for more.) Morrison rocks your soul with his first South Florida performance in more than twenty years tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave.). Tickets cost $25, $35, and $50. A limited number of tickets remain for tomorrow's New Year's Eve show, but there are plenty of seats left for tonight's concert. Call 954-741-7300. (GC)

Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
Indian Arts Festival: See Thursday.
Kwanza Celebration: See Thursday.

tuesday
december 31
Big Orange New Year's Eve Celebration: Now that the parade has moved, traffic and parking should be a little better for this year's Big Orange New Year's Eve Celebration at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.). Nah, don't count on it. Considered the biggest New Year's Eve bash south of Times Square (commonly 100,000 attendees), the fest features music on two stages beginning at 8:00 p.m. Pop-hippies the Spin Doctors headline at the Amphitheater, with locals Center Stage and the aptly named Tymes Square opening. Salsa king Frankie Ruiz headlines the Hispanic stage, with openers La Secta and Venezuela en Gaitas. The party, which kicks off at 4:00 p.m., also features carnival rides, children's games, laser and fireworks shows, and the drop of the 35-foot Big Orange. Admission is free. Call 375-8480. (GC)

Howie Mandel: Since his days on the television drama St. Elsewhere, comedian Howie Mandel has been making people laugh by behaving obnoxiously. He is kind of like an overgrown six-year-old, but that's where his charm and talents lie. Perhaps it is this intrinsic understanding of a child's mind that led Mandel to participate in educational projects such as 7th Level's CD-ROM games The Great Math Adventure, The Great Reading Adventure, and The Great World Adventure, and to create his successful, Emmy Award-nominated animated show Bobby's World (now in its seventh season on Fox). Mandel closes the year with two performances of his wacky yet decidedly grown-up "One-Women Show" at 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets range in price from $26 to $46. Call 954-462-0222. (GC)

Three Tall Women: New Year's Eve isn't just a time for partying -- it's also a time for reflecting on the year gone by. Appropriately, the Broadway Series has chosen tonight to open its production of Edward Albee's 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life and remembrance, at 8:00 at the Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Lawrence Sacharow directs and Laurie Kennedy, Lois Markle, and Christina Rouner star in the play, in which a wealthy, vain, and domineering 92-year-old widow reflects on her sad, selfish life. The other two tall principals are a middle-aged woman attending to the widow's health and a young lawyer hired to sort out the old woman's affairs. Tickets cost $38 and $41. Performances continue through Saturday at 8:00, with a 2:00 matinee on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday (except January 12, when the performance runs at 7:00 p.m.) through January 19. Call 954-764-0700. (GC)

Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
Indian Arts Festival: See Thursday.
Kwanza Celebration: See Thursday.
Continuity and Contradiction: See Sunday.
Van Morrison: See Monday.

wednesday
january 1
Florida Panthers: Put the New Year on ice for a day when the Panthers meet Anaheim's Mighty Ducks today at noon at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.). As of this writing, the Panthers were ahead with 18-6-7 (behind only the Philadelphia Flyers in the Atlantic Division), and the Ducks were 11-16-5 (ranking last in the Pacific Division), so it looks like an easy win for the Panthers. Superiority feels good, doesn't it? Tickets cost $24 and $35. Call 530-4444. (GC)

Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
Indian Arts Festival: See Thursday.
Kwanza Celebration: See Thursday.
Three Tall Women: See Tuesday.

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