Calendar for the week

thursday
september 25
The Castro: Castro in Miami? Who could have imagined? Well, not that Castro. This Castro is the neighborhood in San Francisco -- once a serene working-class enclave, now a bastion of gay liberation and the subject of a documentary, which will receive its East Coast premiere at the Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) at 6:00 p.m. Watch the neighborhood's evolution with award-winning filmmaker and executive producer Peter Stein, who will introduce his film and afterward lead a discussion on the production and the documentary itself. Admission is free. Call 375-1505. (NK)

Caribbean Percussion Conference: Frustrated drummers, rejoice. In conjunction with the exhibition "Caribbean Percussion Traditions in Miami," a drumming extravaganza gets under way tonight at 6:00 at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.) and continues Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This evening learn about Cuban oricha musical traditions and enjoy a bata drumming demonstration. On Saturday attend panel discussions with master percussionists and researchers from Haiti, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad. In between discussions, check out the special musical performances and the Pan African Bookfest and Cultural Showcase that will take place on the cultural center plaza. Admission is free. Call 375-1492. (NK)

Something Special -- Old and New: Had enough of Kenny G? Wean yourself off that bland pablum and move on to something ethnic: klezmer. A frenetic form of folk music that grew out of Eastern European Yiddish culture, klezmer music (almost lost during the Holocaust) is experiencing a revival in the United States. In fact, thanks to avant-garde composer John Zorn, who is about to release a klezmer tribute to Burt Bacharach, it's becoming downright trendy. But don't expect to hear "The Look of Love" tonight. The music the klezmer band Tradition will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum of Florida (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) is authentic Fifties-style stuff. Think Fiddler on the Roof and you'll get the idea. Tickets cost $15. Call 672-5044. (NK)

friday
september 26
Miami City Ballet: The region's premier ballet troupe kicks up its heels and stands on it toes at the twelfth-season opener tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Standard fare and surprises are set for the first program, which consists of the George Balanchine-choreographed Square Dance and Divertimento #15 set to the music of Mozart, Corelli, and Vivaldi. Traditional tunes that evoke the Old West, such as "Red River Valley," provide the background for Balanchine's Western Symphony. Meanwhile, the ballet's always original resident choreographer Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros sets his Aria to the music of Richard Wagner. Tickets range from $17 to $47. Call 532-7713. (NK)

Live: Six years ago Live blasted into the musical stratosphere with its first single, "Operation Spirit," from the debut album Mental Jewelry. Thanks to heavy play on MTV, the image of singer Ed Kowalczyk intensely gesticulating on a fire-lit beach is seared into the memory banks of rock fans with even the shortest attention spans. The video helped get the word out, but it's Kowalczyk's soaring voice and thoughtful lyrics that helped the band continue its success with a sextuple-platinum second outing, Throwing Copper. Live rolls into the Coral Sky Amphitheatre (601 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach) tonight supporting its platinum third release, Secret Samadhi. And talk about a Nineties band: If you can't get enough of Live live, Kowalczyk keeps an online daily diary (www.edko.org) featuring videos of the tour, so fans will never be more than a few keystrokes away. Opening acts are those funky girls Luscious Jackson and rockin' newcomers Manbreak. Tickets cost $14.75 and $23.75. Call 561-795-8883. (LB)

World Gymnastic Championships: Pixie alert! Touted as the "Magnificent Seven," the irrepressibly cute team of gymnasts that brought the United States the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics bounces into the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) tonight at 7:30. Yes, Kerri Strug (Mary Lou Retton redux) will be there. So what if she almost maimed herself during the Olympics. She did it for her country! (And then for her bank account.) Count on sixteen gymnasts (including 1996 all-around gold medalist Lilia Podkopaeva) to perch precariously upon the balance beam, pummel themselves on the pommel horse, and writhe suggestively on the mat during floor exercises. Tickets range from $20 to $35. Call 358-5885. (NK)

saturday
september 27
Pro Am Beach Volleyball Series: Slap on the sunscreen, stake out a spot in the sand, and stare longingly at beautiful bodies as volleyball players both amateur and professional spike it out today and tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on Miami Beach (Eighth Street volleyball courts). Players in sixteen divisions have already competed in fifteen games around Florida. The series culminates here as the top five teams vie for a national championship title, merchandise, and $10,000. Admission is free. Call 561-241-3801. (NK)

Children's Art Festival: If your kids grow up culturally illiterate, you've got nobody to blame but yourself. There is certainly lots to offer them out there, especially at this festival, which takes place tonight from 6:00 to 9:00 at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) and tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the 1000 block of Lincoln Road. Tonight's "Arts à la Carte for Kids" event features entertainment for all ages. Participants include Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Tom Toyama World Music Trio, Momentum Dance and Fantasy Theater Company, and storyteller Randall Pollard, who will also serve as master of ceremonies. Although the actual performances don't start until 7:15 p.m., the actors and performers will be in the lobby at 6:00 p.m. to meet attendees. Tickets cost $15 for a family pass for four, and $5 for individual passes. Admission to the Sunday event is free. Call 856-1163. (JO)

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