thursday
july 17
Zo's Summer Groove: Under all that scowling and snarling he does on the court, the Miami Heat's Alonzo Mourning has a soft spot for kids. This weekend Zo hosts a series of charity events for children, including tonight's kickoff Mourning Knight Gala, a black-tie dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Miami (400 SE Second Ave.) featuring a silent auction and performances by Kenny Lattimore and Oleta Adams. Tomorrow the Summer Groove concert at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) starts at 7:00 p.m., with Hootie and the Blowfish, Warren G, the Braxtons, Adriana Evans, Eric Benet, Nu Flavor, and the Refugee Camp All-Stars (with the Fugees' Wyclef). And Saturday Mourning does what he does best at the Miami Arena in an exhibition basketball game with his all-star friends, including Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, Scottie Pippen, Grant Hill, Dikembe Mutombo, Glen Rice, and Juwan Howard (finally playing in Miami, sort of). The coaches for the game are Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Queen Latifah. All proceeds from Zo's Summer Groove benefit the Children's Home Society and 100 Black Men of South Florida. Tickets start at $15. Call 372-8107. (JO)

Beethoven by the Beach: The Florida Philharmonic wraps up its all-Beethoven summer festival this weekend. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. conductor James Judd leads pianist Jean-Louis Steuerman, the Philharmonic, and the Philharmonic Chorus (directed by Paul Eisenhart) in Symphonies no. 2 and 6 (Pastoral) and Choral Fantasia, op. 80, with a preconcert discussion at 6:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tomorrow the fest continues with a chamber music concert at the Broward Center's Opera Center at 1:00 p.m., and a performance of Symphonies no. 1 and 7, and Ah, Perfido! featuring soprano Camellia Johnson, at the Broward Center at 7:30 p.m. (also preceded by a lecture at 6:30 p.m.). Finally the fest ends on Saturday with four events: a Beethoven seminar at 10:30 a.m. at the Opera Center; Camp Beethoven for kids at 2:00 p.m. at the Broward Main Library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale); a piano sonata-thon with Steuerman at 3:30 p.m. at the library; and a performance of Symphonies no. 8 and 9 (Choral), with the Philharmonic Chorus, at the Broward Center at 7:30 p.m. (also preceded by a lecture at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets cost $20 and $25. Call 930-1812 for more information. (GC)

Angels in America: The New Theatre (65 Almeria Ave., Coral Gables) presents Tony Kushner's multiple Tony Award-winning theater epic Angels in America, opening tonight at 7:00 p.m. Subtitled A Gay Fantasia on International Themes, the work explores personal and global themes regarding AIDS, sexual politics, world politics, and the future. Part I, Millennium Approaches, runs through August 17; Part II, Perestroika, runs August 28 through September 28. Performances take place Thursday and Sunday at 7:00, and Friday and Saturday at 8:00, with a 1:00 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $30 per play, $50 for both. Call 443-5909 for reservations. (GC)

friday
july 18
Come Out Laughing: The Miami Light Project continues its gay and lesbian comedy series with New England comics Julie Dano and Bob Gautreau performing tonight and tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). The Boston-based Gautreau has been called a "cyclone of pop culture," going through a repertoire of more than 200 celebrity voice impressions (including Bruce Springsteen, Truman Capote, and Bette Midler) at breakneck speed. Dano, a native of Portland, Maine, went from being a "food transportation specialist" (waitress, of course) to one of the North's top up-and-coming comics in just two years. Tickets cost $15. Call 531-3747. (GC)

The Belle of Amherst: Not only are Emily Dickinson's poems enigmatic to tenth-grade English students; her life remains equally enigmatic to the rest of us. Long considered a shy yet brilliant recluse, Dickinson actually enjoyed a much richer life than previously believed. William Luce's The Belle of Amherst, opening tonight at the Hollywood Boulevard Theatre (1938 Hollywood Blvd.) as part of the theater's summer season, celebrates the poet's comedic wit, passionate genius, and astounding powers of observation through liberal use of her works. Carbonell Award nominee Ellen Simmons portrays Dickinson as a charming and complex woman, and she plays Dickinson assuming the roles of her father, teachers, and friends. Tickets cost $18. Performances run Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. through August 10. Call 954-929-5400. (GC)

Zo's Summer Groove: See Thursday.
Beethoven by the Beach: See Thursday.
Angels in America: See Thursday.

saturday
july 19
Tropical Agriculture Fiesta: Highlighting South Florida's tropical fruits and plants, this annual event at the Fruit & Spice Park (24801 SW 187th Ave.) boasts more than 60 vendors and exhibitors from a variety of nurseries, parks, and garden clubs. Also appearing are chefs from local restaurants offering those ever-popular cooking demonstrations and experts giving advice on growing and cultivating tropical fruits; activities for the kids include a petting zoo. Today's live entertainment is steel drum musician David DeSouza, while tomorrow country group Bandwagon performs. Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is two dollars for adults, half-price for children between six and twelve (free for tots under six). Call 247-5727. (JO)

South Florida Mortified: Bands from the local Christian rock scene gather to help one of the genre's pioneers from 1:00 to 10:00 p.m. today at the University of Miami's Wesley Center (1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). Steve Rowe, lead singer of the Australian Christian heavy metal band Mortification, was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia last fall, and he continues to fight the disease despite having had a bone marrow transplant. Adjust, Ash Wednesday, Confusion Soup, Evangerine, Frank's Enemy, Life of Riley, Set Apart, and North Carolina's Soterios are set to perform. Admission is by donation (all proceeds go to Rowe and his family); a minimum of five dollars is requested. Call 274-9818. (GC)

Everglades Music and Crafts Festival: Take in a day of gator wrestling, live music, and artsy-crafty fun at the Miccosukee Indian Village (approximately 25 miles west of Miami on the Tamiami Trail). This 22nd annual festival, taking place today and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., features performances by Jamaican reggae artist Monty Montgomery and his group Massive, Miccosukee rock group Tiger Tiger, country boys Chopper and the Lone Star Band, and Latin band Inmensidad, plus arts and crafts, traditional foods, airboat rides, and children's activities. Admission is seven dollars for adults, four for kids age twelve and under. Call 223-8380. (GC)

Zo's Summer Groove: See Thursday.
Beethoven by the Beach: See Thursday.
Angels in America: See Thursday.
Come Out Laughing: See Friday.
The Belle of Amherst: See Friday.

sunday
july 20
Mei Mei Luo and Friends: Florida Philharmonic first violinist and associate concert mistress Mei Mei Luo leads a benefit concert today at 2:30 p.m. at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood) to raise funds for the center's Sunday Concert Series. Philharmonic principal clarinetist Richard Hancock, concert pianist David Nagy, tenor William Carney, klezmer keyboardist Al Matos, and jazz pianist Billy Marcus join Luo to present a program of classical, jazz, and klezmer selections. Tickets cost $25. Call 954-921-3274. (GC)

The Tongass: Visit one of the rarest, most breathtaking ecosystems in the world with the exhibition "The Tongass: Alaska's Magnificent Rain Forest," on view at the Miami-Dade Main Public Library (101 W. Flagler St.) through August 17. This Smithsonian exhibition showcases 42 colorful views of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the U.S.'s largest national forest and part of the world's largest non-equatorial rain forest. The pictures, taken by well-known landscape photographers such as Art Wolfe, Chris Burkett, and exhibition curator Robert Glenn Ketchum, capture the pristine beauty of the land, its richly diverse wildlife, and its native people the Tlingit. Admission is free. Call 375-2665. (GC)

Angels in America: See Thursday.
The Belle of Amherst: See Friday.
Tropical Agriculture Fiesta: See Saturday.
Everglades Music and Crafts Festival: See Saturday.

monday
july 21
Inside/Out: Miami-Dade Community College's InterAmerican Center Art Gallery (627 SW 27th Ave.) hosts Inside/Out, the ninth annual Art Exhibition by the Mentally Ill, a collection of 56 paintings, photographs, and collages created by artists from around the nation. Thanks to National Art Exhibitions by the Mentally Ill, Inc., the Miami-based group that organized this show, artists diagnosed with mental illnesses have found more public outlets for their creative expressions; the group has also helped the public recognize the validity of these works and gain awareness of the diseases associated with mental illness. The show runs through August 15; gallery hours are 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free. Call 643-8893. (GC)

The Tongass: See Sunday.

tuesday
july 22
Alina Fernandez: The estranged daughter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro tells the story of her life with (and without) dear old Dad in her book Alina: Memorias de la Hija Rebelde de Fidel Castro (Alina: Memoirs of Fidel Castro's Rebel Daughter). Fernandez (who chose not to take her father's surname) relates her on-again, off-again relationship with a father who seemed oblivious to her existence, then on a whim would use his power to control her. She also writes about her mother Naty, who joined the revolution because she loved Castro, then remained faithful to him even after he abandoned her. Books & Books hosts an evening with Fernandez tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables). The program is presented in Spanish. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call 442-4408. (GC)

Alexandra Nechita: Eleven-year-old Romanian-born artist Alexandra Nechita's life story is as dramatic as her paintings. Her father fled communist Romania for a new life in the U.S. when her mother was six months' pregnant. About two years later, they were reunited in Los Angeles, where toddler Nechita met her father for the first time. Shortly thereafter, her parents noticed she was quite talented with her crayons; her abstract, Picassoesque paintings were first exhibited when she was only eight years old. She has sold more than two million dollars in works and has been praised by collectors and art-loving celebs like Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. Nechita's works will be on view at the Bal Harbour Gallery (9700 Collins Ave., level two, Bal Harbour) today through July 30. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, till 7:00 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Call 864-5800. (GC)

Inside/Out: See Monday.
The Tongass: See Sunday.

wednesday
july 23
The Atoms Family: We'll spare you that infernal theme song (snap, snap). This family is composed of classic movie monsters hosting interactive displays about elementary (yeah, right) energy concepts, such as the power of the sun, electricity, and fossil fuels. Set to run until next spring at the Miami Museum of Science & Space Transit Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.), "The Atoms Family" consists of 25 computerized stations, including Frankenstein's Lightning Lab, the Wolfman's Ghostly Graveyard, Dracula's Library, the Phantom of the Opera's Portrait Parlor, and the Mummy's Tomb, the last of which demonstrates energy-saving concepts. Admission is nine dollars for adults, $5.50 kids age twelve and under. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Call 854-4247 for more information. (JO)

Inside/Out: See Monday.
The Tongass: See Sunday.
Alexandra Nechita: See Tuesday.

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