South Beach Stories: Stella Blue opened recently as a restaurant and live-music venue just off Lincoln Road in Miami Beach (1661 Meridian Ave.) Tonight the club presents its first theatrical production as actress Susan Murray performs her one-woman show South Beach Stories. Murray, who has performed in Chicago comedy clubs, with New York's Public Theatre, and with local troupes such as the ACME Theatre Company, takes on a series of comical characters -- including a party girl, a precocious ten-year-old, and an elderly night clerk -- in vignettes that offer a slice of life from Miami Beach. Admission is three dollars. Showtime is 11:00 p.m. Call 532-4788.
Miami Film Festival: Reels spin, audiences gasp, and critics focus their attention for ten days as the fourteenth annual Miami Film Festival takes over the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.). The festival opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. with Australian director Mark Joffe's Cosi, and continues through February 9 with 31 feature-length films and 5 shorts from 14 nations. The festival also features a series of lectures at the Gusman Center and at Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave.). Admission to all screenings is $7 (except for the opening- and closing-night films, which cost $25); all lectures are free unless otherwise noted. See our "Calendar Listings" for a complete schedule of events, or call 377-FILM.
Burn This: The EDGE/Theatre (405 Espanola Way, Miami Beach) presents Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson's Burn This, opening tonight at 8:00 p.m. The play follows a love triangle between a choreographer, her wealthy, successful athlete fiance, and a passionate man who abruptly enters her life. Tickets for tonight's benefit opening gala cost $20, with proceeds going to the People With AIDS Coalition. Tickets for all additional shows cost $12, with performances Friday through Sunday at 8:00 p.m. through February 23. Call 531-6083.
Lorna Simpson: New York City-based artist Lorna Simpson creates a site-specific installation for the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.), opening today and remaining on view through April 6. Simpson takes black-and-white photographs of urban and country landscapes and interiors that conspicuously lack human figures, then silk-screens them onto large felt panels accompanied by ambiguous, unconventionally punctuated texts that read like excerpts from longer stories. The result is a voyeuristic view into public places where people could rendezvous for sexual liaisons. Simpson will be on hand tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. for a conversation about her works with Whitney Museum of American Art associate curator Thelma Golden. Admission is five dollars for adults, free for kids under twelve (also free after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday). Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (Thursday till 9:00 p.m.) and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 375-3000.
Everglades Seafood Festival: Sink your teeth into the tastiest catches of the day at the 24th annual Everglades Seafood Festival at McLeod Park in funky old Everglades City (travel west on I-75 or U.S. 41 to State Road 29 south). Festgoers can savor stone crab claws, fried fish, gator nuggets, and a variety of international seafood dishes. The festival also features live music by Nashville's David Ball (tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.) and the Bellamy Brothers (Sunday at 3:00 p.m.), plus carnival rides and more than 150 arts and crafts booths. Admission is free. Festival hours are 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. tonight, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Call 941-695-4100.
Miami RV Show: See Thursday.
Florida Renaissance Festival: Enter through castle gates at T.Y. Park (3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood) and travel back 500 years to the days of jousting knights, strolling minstrels, and bodiced wenches at the fifth annual Florida Renaissance Festival, kicking off today and continuing for three consecutive weekends through February 23. This re-creation of a sixteenth-century village fair features costumed entertainers, including the Flaming Idiots jesters, the King's Royal Falconer, the Beggars of M'Earth theater troupe (they perform literary masterpieces while covered in mud), the Royal Chessmen human chess game, and a historical drama about the royal courts of England and Spain (with King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn). Get a taste of yore while swigging some ale and munching on turkey legges, steak on a stake, meat pies, and the King's nuts. Enjoy a human-powered carousel and other rides. And take a little piece of history home with you -- more than 100 artisans peddle handmade wares. Admission is $11 for adults, $5 for kids ages five to twelve (free for kiddies under five). Fair hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through February 23 (plus Monday, February 17). Call 800-3-REN-FES.