thursday
march 6
Julia Alvarez: It's no secret that when writers write what they know, they usually end up writing about people they know. And sometimes those people may not be thrilled by what's been written about them. In her latest book AYo! (no, the title has nothing to do with Stallone; it means I in Spanish), something of a sequel to her first novel, 1991's How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Julia Alvarez explores what happens when best-selling writer Yolanda engenders bitterness and resentment in her family and friends after she uses their lives as fodder for her fiction. Alvarez deftly and humorously turns the tables on her own kind as Yolanda's family scoops out the real dirt on her. Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Books & Books hosts an evening with Alvarez at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables). Admission is free, so get there early. Call 442-4408. (GC)

Doral-Ryder Open: Tiger Woods or no Tiger Woods, South Florida's premier professional golf tournament gets under way at the Doral Golf Resort (4400 NW 87th Ave.) with today's first round. A pass goes for $30; not bad when you consider that it gets you in all weekend -- and all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Play begins today and tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., and at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 477-GOLF.

Reckless: The University of Miami's Jerry Herman Ring Theater (1380 Miller Dr., Coral Gables) concludes its Second Stage Series with Craig Lucas's dark comedy Reckless. Like many other Lucas works, the play combines fantastic fairy-tale elements with contemporary themes. It explores what happens to a happy woman who is driven out of her home by her homicidal husband and is subjected to a series of disasters that test her faith. Tickets cost six dollars. Performances run today through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Call 284-3355. (GC)

Sacred Music, Sacred Dance: The Rhythm Foundation presents an evening of mystical music and dance by Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater (555 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach); they're on an international Sacred Music and Sacred Dance for World Healing tour. The monks, currently artists in residence at the Miami-Dade Community College North Campus's Gallery North, will perform their unique and renowned multiphonic chants, in which they simultaneously intone three notes of chord. They also present traditional temple music on genuine Tibetan instruments (ten-foot-long dunchen trumpets, gyaling horns) and masked dances in elaborate brocade costumes. Tickets cost $22. Call 672-5202. (GC)

friday
march 7
SOFA: Czech glass sculpture, avant-garde ceramics, and a sculpture garden are some of the highlights of the third annual Sculpture, Objects, and Functional Art (SOFA) fair, starting today at the Coconut Grove Convention Center (2700 S. Bayshore Dr.). Fifty galleries from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Israel will be represented. A consistently high-quality design exhibition featuring one-of-a-kind furniture, jewelry, housewares, and decorative sculpture, SOFA also offers an outstanding lecture series this year. Today at 1:00 p.m., Miami collector extraordinaire Micky Wolfson talks about "Aesthetics and Collecting" with glass artists Richard Marquis and Laura Santillana and art historian Tina Oldknow. Estonian ceramic artist Sergei Isupov takes the podium at 3:00 p.m., and at 4:00 p.m., potter Wayne Higby talks about porcelain. Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. West Coast abstract expressionists (colleagues of New Yorker Willem de Kooning, et al.) will discuss their ceramic work with art critic Rose Slivka. Lectures are free with the ten-dollar admission. Fair hours are 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. today and tomorrow, and noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Call 800-561-7632. (JC)

Baltimore Symphony: In its 81st season, the Baltimore Symphony comes to South Florida for a performance tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale), with musical director David Zinman and violinist Pamela Frank. Tonight's program includes Dvoyrak's Concerto for Violin in A minor, Barber's Essay no. 2, and Sibelius's Symphony no. 2. Preceding the concert, at 7:15 p.m., Sun-Sentinel music critic Tim Smith discusses the evening's program. Tickets range from $20 to $70. Call 532-3491 for information. (JO)

Mary Street Dance Theater: After eleven years of stretching the boundaries of contemporary dance, the Mary Street Dance Theater is re-emerging as an exclusively improvisational dance company, as will be seen in performances tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. at the New World School of the Arts's Louise O. Gerrits Theater (25 NE Second St.). A year and a half ago, artistic director Dale Andree decided to take the company in a different direction, from using improvisation as a choreographic tool in the studio to performing only improvisational pieces on-stage. The four-person company has been working with percussionist Joe Zeytoonian, reedman Richard Brookens, and other composers and musicians to develop the new style. The program for this weekend's performances features Food for Thought, which explores experiences with food and eating, and Coincidences, a reflection on distorted memories of love. Admission is ten dollars. Call 573-7376. (GC)

Reckless: See Thursday.
Doral-Ryder Open: See Thursday.

saturday
march 8
Carnaval Miami/Calle Ocho: The countdown to Calle Ocho continues with the Carnaval Miami Sports Fest today at noon at Bayfront Park Amphitheater (301 Biscayne Blvd.), featuring players from the Miami Heat, Florida Marlins, Miami Dolphins, and Florida Panthers, plus many family-oriented sports activities. Stick around for the Carnaval Miami Internacional concert at 7:00 p.m., featuring Latin music stars Celia Cruz, Azucar Moreno, Menudo, Jose Feliciano, Oscar D'Leon, and many others. Tomorrow the granddaddy of all Latin music festivals, the 19th annual Calle Ocho: Open House, kicks off at noon on SW Eighth Street (east of 27th Avenue) in Little Havana with more music, dancing, and food than you can shake a maraca at. Performers include Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Andy Montanez, Luis Rojas, Inmensidad, Las Chiquitas del Can, Jerry Rivera, Tony Tatis, and numerous others, plus a dizzying array of Latin American folkloric troupes, children's activities, and food, food, beer, rum, and food. Admission to all events is free. Call 644-8888. (GC)

Corpus SLAM: Artsfusion continues its Spoken Word SLAM series at Tap-Tap Haitian restaurant (819 Fifth St., Miami Beach) tonight at 9:00 p.m. with "Corpus SLAM: Words On Our Body." Poets and literary artists conduct a battle of minds and words with three-minute pieces about the human body and related issues. Winners from tonight's SLAM will compete in the Grand SLAM in June. Admission is five dollars. Call 531-7267. (GC)

Jimmy Ryce Foundation Benefit II -- Kids Helping Kids: In January Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.) hosted a benefit concert by several local rock and alternative bands for the Jimmy Ryce Foundation, which assists the victims of pedophiles. Some of the regulars at Cheers (read: teenage punk fans) then decided to organize their own benefit for the Ryce Foundation, featuring Shai Hulud, the Vacant Andys, King 7 and the Soul Sonics, Ed Matus' Struggle, Last Minute, Denny's Unit, and Fool Proof. Admission is five dollars, with all proceeds benefiting the Ryce Foundation. Showtime is 7:00 p.m. Call 857-0041. (GC)

The Three Tenors: Three tenors. Concerts in Germany, England, Sweden, Austria, Japan, Canada, Australia, New York's Giants Stadium, and now our own Pro Player Stadium (2269 NW 199th St.). Tickets at $100 to $500 a pop. Impresario Mathias Hoffman must be a very rich man. Call 623-6100. (GC)

Hank Williams, Jr.: Many years back I saw Hank Jr., a.k.a. Bocephus, in Memphis, Tennessee, strictly out of curiosity ("Is he really all that bad?") and romantic obligation (it was a date). During the course of the two-hour concert -- a lackluster set performed by a stinking-drunk Bocephus -- I kept a tally of noteworthy sights and occurrences. Among them: Eight fights broke out within a roughly 40-foot radius of our seats; fifteen rebel flags were unfurled as Junior hit the stage; six references to the late Hank Sr. were made by Junior as he slogged through redneck anthems such as "Family Tradition" and the one about all his rowdy friends coming over to his house for a night of beer-suckin' and belchin'. You can bet there'll be some of both going on today when little Hank, Travis Tritt, the Charlie Daniels Band, and Jo Dee Messina bring the sound of Southern boogie to the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre (1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach). Tickets cost $20. Showtime for the "Country Comfort Experience" (more like "Southern Comfort Experience," if you get my -- hic! -- drift) is noon. Call 954-946-2402. (JF)

Reckless: See Thursday.
SOFA: See Friday.
Mary Street Dance Theater: See Friday.
Doral-Ryder Open: See Thursday.

sunday
march 9
The Seventh Seal: The Cinema Vortex milestone-film series continues today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) with Ingmar Bergman's 1956 must-see masterpiece about the struggle between life and death. Filmed on a limited budget, this breathtakingly photographed epic serves as a brilliant allegory about religious faith, as it follows a knight (Max Von Sydow) returning from the Crusades who is challenged to a game of chess by the Grim Reaper. Admission is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)

SOFA: See Friday.
Carnaval Miami/Calle Ocho: See Saturday.
Doral-Ryder Open: See Thursday.

monday
march 10
John David Hawver: Blues, greens, whites, and grays are the colors of Florida Keys-based artist John David Hawver's palette. His crisply executed, realistic seascapes capture the awesome vastness of the ocean and are on view in an exhibition called "Sea -- Saw -- Seen" at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood ) through March 23, and at the Metro-Dade Cultural Resource Center (111 NW First St.) through April 2. Admission to the Art and Culture Center is three dollars; hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily (opens at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday). Call 954-921-3274. Admission to the Resource Center is free; hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Call 375-4635. (GC)

tuesday
march 11
Les Miserables: Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg's wildly popular musical Les Miserables returns to South Florida for an eleven-night run at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). This production features Fort Lauderdale native Catherine Hickland, star of the soap opera The City, as Fantine. (A little creepy trivia on Hickland: She was once married to David Hasselhoff, who played Michael Knight on the Eighties television series Knight Rider. Her current husband is an actor named Michael Knight, who plays Tad on the soap All My Children.) Performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and March 16 at 7:30 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on March 15, 16, 19, and March 22. Tickets range from $27 to $57. Call 954-462-0222. (GC)

John David Hawver: See Monday.

wednesday
march 12
Lucia di Lammermoor: The Florida Grand Opera presents Gaetao Donizetti's bel canto opera based on Sir Walter Scott's romantic novel about love, betrayal, and murder in seventeenth-century Scotland, opening tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St.). Soprano Elizabeth Futral stars in the title role as a young woman who goes mad when she is tricked by her family into marrying a man she does not love; the scene in which Lucia loses her sanity is one of the most famous in opera history (performed in Italian with projected English translations). Tickets range from $18 to $100. Performances continue March 15, 18, and 21 at 8:00 p.m. and March 23 at 2:00 p.m. Call 854-7890. (GC)

John David Hawver: See Monday.

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