thursday
march 27
Carmen: Miami City Ballet celebrates the premiere of resident choreographer Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros's lavish ballet version of Georges Bizet's Carmen with a gala evening, also featuring a concert by Cuban diva Albita, tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Carmen will also be performed as part of Program IV of the company's 1996-97 season, which includes George Balanchine's highly influential Agon and Gamonet De Los Heros's modernistic Reus. Program IV runs tomorrow and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets for tonight's gala range from $25 to $60; tickets for Program IV range from $17 to $54. Call 532-5517. (GC)

Urbanism Explored: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) continues its monthlong series of lectures and films examining urban issues tonight at 6:30 p.m. as Florida Atlantic University history professor Mark Rose discusses the introduction of gas and electricity to cities from the 1880s to the 1940s. Tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. the series screens David Butler's Depression-era science-fiction musical Just Imagine, which presents a bright, optimistic vision of New York City in the 1980s. On Monday at 12:30 p.m. at FIU's University Park Campus (SW Eighth Street and 107th Avenue, DM-370), University of Alabama-Birmingham history professor Colin Davis discusses dockworkers in New York City and London after World War II. Admission to all events is free. The series continues through April 18. See upcoming editions of "Calendar Listings," or call 531-1001 for a complete schedule of events. (GC)

The Lipton Championships: The champs continue battling it out at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park (7300 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne), with men's quarterfinals continuing and women's semifinals beginning today at 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The court action continues tomorrow with men's semifinals at 1:00 and 7:30 p.m. sessions. Women's doubles semifinals begin Saturday at 11:00 a.m.; women's singles finals and men's doubles finals take place at 1:00 p.m. And the Lipton comes to its smashing conclusion on Sunday with men's singles finals and women's doubles finals beginning at 1:00 p.m. Fans can also meet players at autographing sessions and enjoy lessons and other special events. Tickets range from $10 to $40. Call 446-2200. (GC)

friday
march 28
Taylor Dayne: Boasting a larger-than-life voice and an ability to belt with the best of them, Taylor Dayne (born Leslie Wunderman on Long Island) busted out of the Russian-American clubs of Brooklyn and onto the pop music charts in the late Eighties with a string of hits from her 1988 debut album Tell It to My Heart. She followed that disc with two more albums, 1989's Can't Fight Fate and 1993's Soul Dancing, and became one of the few dance-music artists to tour clubs with a live band (rather than a music track). Dayne has been exploring other arenas of entertainment, with a starring role in a recent movie and a project with Elton John and Tim Rice to take Verdi's Aida to Broadway. Tonight Dayne makes her first South Florida appearance in more than three years at Splash (5922 S. Dixie Hwy., South Miami) in a benefit for the Arol F. Hunter Hannistien Memorial AIDS Fund. Tickets cost $15. Showtime is midnight. Call 661-0917. (GC)

The Battle of Algiers: Gillo Pontecorvo's 1967 astonishingly realistic film documenting the Algerian revolt against France from 1954 to 1962 screens this weekend at the Bill Cosford Cinema (University of Miami, off Campo Sano Avenue, Coral Gables). Shot in black and white, The Battle of Algiers contains no actual newsreel footage, but Pontecorvo manages to impart it with a gut-wrenching documentary feel, while sympathetically portraying both sides of this agonizing political struggle. The film was released before the U.S. involvement in Vietnam reached its peak, but the parallels between the two wars are obvious. Admission is five dollars. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. For upcoming films, call 284-4861. (GC)

Carmen: See Thursday.
Urbanism Explored: See Thursday.

saturday
march 29
DIFFA Pink Umbrellas: When Miami Beach wakes up this morning, it will find the beach at Thirteenth Street covered with 500 pink umbrellas. The return of Christo? No, an art installation created by the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) in memory of all whose lives have been lost to AIDS. Many of the umbrellas were decorated by artists, including Romero Britto, Leonardo Hidalgo, Vladimir Pronin, Carlos Alves, and Tom Seghi. The event opens at 10:00 a.m. with a memorial service, followed by a beachside benefit brunch at Island Trading (1332 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) at 11:00 a.m. Tickets to the brunch cost $40. At 7:30 p.m. on the roof of the Sony Building (605 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), party in the pink at a gala benefit cocktail event. Tickets cost $50. The umbrellas will remain on view till tomorrow night, as will another pink art installation on Lincoln Road. Call 573-6333 for further information. (GC)

Miss National FFI Pageant: Who cares if the Miss Universe pageant comes to town? All the women look the same and they all answer the "interview questions" with inane platitudes about kindness to others, world peace, caring for children because they are our future, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's hopelessly boring. So head over to the Four Ambassadors Hotel (905 S. Bayshore Dr.) and check out the "ladies" at the Miss National For Female Impersonators pageant. In its fourth year, the contest features female impersonators from around the nation who compete in creative costume, evening gown, and talent categories. Tickets cost $20 for the preliminaries, $60 for the VIP package. Call 535-1400. (JO)

Speech Acts: Arias in a White Box: Aural artists Thomas Pepper and Alfredo Triff explore and expand the boundaries of sound as they present a dynamic performance piece tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Ambrosino Gallery (3095 SW 39th Ave.). Speech Acts meets, but is not restricted to, the following description: A human voice and an electric violin interact as the violin player attempts to emulate the texture and timbre of other instruments, both percussive and polyphonic, while the voice delivers texts (on a multitude of subjects) that play on vocal and nonvocal sounds. Sound confusing? The resulting cacophony promises to call forth disjointed visual images. Admission is free. Call 445-2211. (GC)

Carmen: See Thursday.
The Battle of Algiers: See Friday.

sunday
march 30
MoJazz Cafe Fourth Anniversary Bash: MoJazz Cafe (928 71st St., Miami Beach) celebrates four years of live music with an evening of superjams. Jazz legend Ira Sullivan hosts the festivities, with performances by (drum roll, please) Eric Allison, Beverly Barkley, Lew Berryman, Dolph Castellano, Mike Gerber, Duffy Jackson, Billy Marcus, Turk Mauro, Mo Morgen, Melton Mustafa, Nicole Yarling, and many, many other local jazz cats. Eight bucks gets you a place at the bar; twelve lands you a table (and get ready to imbibe -- there's a two-drink minimum per set). Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the improvising continues till 1:00 a.m. Call 856-2636. (GC)

The Ketubah: Celebrate a practical yet romantic part of Jewish culture as the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) hosts the exhibition "The Ketubah: The Jewish Marriage Contract as an Art Form," on view through May 2. The tradition of the ketubah goes back to 586 B.C. and originally spelled out the personal and financial obligations of the groom to his wife. During the Tenth Century in Egypt, the ketubah was illuminated with illustrations that depict the families' social and economic history. This exhibition features 74 ketubot from eighteen countries, with the oldest dating to 1744 from Siena, Italy; the works on view reflect a wide range of traditional and contemporary art trends. Admission is five dollars. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Call 672-5044. (GC)

Carmen: See Thursday.
The Battle of Algiers: See Friday.
DIFFA Pink Umbrellas: See Saturday.

monday
march 31
Wade in the Water: The Smithsonian Institution traces the development of black American sacred music and gospel traditions in a traveling exhibition currently on view at the Main Public Library (101 W. Flagler St.) through April 20. "Wade in the Water," an exhibition adapted from the 1994 National Public Radio series of the same name, uses audio stations and archival video footage, historical photographs, early record albums, maps, and sheet music to examine how the spirituals sung by slaves influenced the worship services in black American churches. The spirituals also led to gospel music and eventually to jazz, rock, classical, and pop music by black composers and performers. Admission is free. Call 375-2665. (GC)

Urbanism Explored: See Thursday.

tuesday
april 1
FIU Spring Concert Season: Florida International University kicks off its spring concert season with a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by the school's chamber orchestra, lead by conductor Carlos Piantini, tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center (SW Eighth Street and 107th Avenue). Tickets cost ten dollars. Upcoming concerts include "Wade in the Water," featuring vocalist Allan Harris and the FIU Jazz Band (April 5); "Chant and Beyond III," with the FIU concert choir (April 10); a performance by FIU artists-in-residence the Miami String Quartet, with pianist Susan Starr (April 11); a benefit for the Friendship House featuring horn man Arturo Sandoval and the FIU Jazz Band (April 17); and the FIU Jazz Festival (April 18 and 19). Call 348-1805 for tickets and information. (GC)

Florida Marlins: Perhaps it would have made more sense, as far as the home team is concerned, had the major league baseball campaign begun the day before yesterday. After all, the Good Lord's ascension didn't make as many headlines as the off-season signing of Jim Leyland and the assembling of his imposing array of apostles for 1997. Like Bobby Cox said when asked about what chance his lowly (perennial National League cham-peen) Braves had against this year's Fishes: "Think we ought to just quit now and save time?" This afternoon at the unlikely hour of 4:05 p.m., all the hype and hope are history as the Marlins take on the Chicago Cubs at Underpants -- er, Pro Player -- Stadium (2269 NW 199th St.) Ticket prices start at six dollars (with a praiseworthy steep discount for kids). And in complete, devotional seriousness: Pitcher Kevin Brown is the Second Coming of Bob Gibson. Call 930-7800. (TF)

The Ketubah: See Sunday.
Wade in the Water: See Monday.

wednesday
april 2
Spring Break Rocks: Four of the local music scene's top bands take aim at the younger crowd with two all-ages shows this week. Loopy and loud space-rockers Al's Not Well, heavy-core thrashers Endo, moody and melodic rock band Maria, and edgy alternative band Supper En Orange take the stage tonight at Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale; 954-522-2151) and Saturday, April 5, at Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.; 857-0041). Admission to each show is five dollars. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Call the clubs for details. (GC)

Arts and Letters Day: So you're a little pressed for time. You want to go to the ballet, to the theater, but when? Your life is just too busy for culture. Here's a solution: Miami-Dade Community College's Kendall Campus (11011 SW 104th St.) hosts Arts and Letters Day today from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., featuring demonstrations of dance, photography, comedy, art, and other assorted aesthetic things. Highlights include a Guerrilla Theater group performance (1:30 p.m., Fred Shaw Plaza), a lecture by renowned Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher (12:30 p.m., Conference Center), and a keynote speech by science-fiction author Ben Bova (11:00 a.m., room 6120). And if your idea of culture is Ren & Stimpy, you can choose from among the caricature workshop (10:00 a.m., Shaw Plaza), the Disney animation demonstration (8:00 a.m., Design Center, Building M), and the sidewalk chalk art contest (11:00 a.m., Building 5). All events are free and open to the public. Call 237-2931 for more information. (JO)

The Ketubah: See Sunday.
Wade in the Water: See Monday.

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