Celluloid Vampires: This lecture sucks -- blood, that is. With Halloween just around the corner, the Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) has gotten a bit ghoulish and invited a professor (no, not Van Helsing, Dracula's nemesis) to talk about vampire films tonight at 6:30. Bill Rothman, a professor in the University of Miami's film program and author of Hitchcock:The Murderous Gaze and The "I" of the Camera, will screen clips from various vampire flicks, beginning with F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent horror classic Nosferatu and ending with movies of the present day. He will elaborate on their historical context and discuss their role in the development of film and cinematography. Expect to see all your favorite immortals -- Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Gary Oldman. Admission is free. Call 531-1001. (NK)
Face: Ah, Lincoln Road -- no noisy cars, nicely paved sidewalks, cute shops, quaint cafes, and funky galleries. Usually the only annoying things are speeding cyclists and daredevil Rollerbladers. Well, get ready for this: A leisurely evening stroll on the Road becomes a challenging experience when a huge projection of a face in the window at ArtCenter South Florida (800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) talks to you, maybe even taunts you. Huh? It's Face, a project conceived by local artist/filmmaker Charles Recher that allows artists, dancers, filmmakers, comedians, and photographers to explore public interaction. Using a multimedia cockpit hidden behind a window, these wags can communicate with unsuspecting pedestrians. Sort of a harassing Wizard of Oz! Among the many artists who will participate are Antonia, Shareyar Ataie, Edward Bobb, Mary Luft, Gustavo Matamoros, and Ursula 1000. A reception with the artists starts at 8:00 p.m. Face will be on view from dusk to midnight through November 1. For a voice, call 534-3339. (NK)
Susana Baca: Peruvian soul queen Susana Baca and her four-piece band take their African-rooted rhythms to the river tonight and tomorrow when they perform at Big Fish Mayaimi restaurant (53 SW Miami Avenue Rd., on the Miami River). Baca's liquid voice moves smoothly through tribal-rooted chants, sensual dance grooves, and poetic ballads with shiver-inducing passion. (See "Music," page 89). The show starts at 10:00 p.m. Tickets range from eight to twelve dollars. For information call 672-5202. (JC)
Miami Carnival/Caribbean Mardi Gras: It's still a long time till Lent, but the local Trinidadian community parties with pagan passion when Miami Carnival/Caribbean Mardi Gras (a joint effort of three different organizations that in the past have mounted their own carnivals) throws this bash to end all bashes. Tonight and tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Exhibition Center (2700 S. Bayshore Dr.) Soca Fest '97 holds sway; it's a marathon of international musical acts, featuring Atlantik, Massive Chandelier, Ninja Band, Rootsman, and many more. At Hialeah Park Grandstand and Race Course (2200 E. Fourth Ave., Hialeah) this evening, also at 9:00, a battle of the bands known as the Chutney Soca Monarch Competition rages. Tickets for each of the musical events range from $20 to $27. The party continues tomorrow at the Hialeah Park Grandstand with Celebration '97. Costumed bands in satin and sequins, sashaying carnival kings and queens in towering headdresses, and calypso singers and brass bands parade through the grounds starting at 10:00 a.m.; a masquerade party kicks off at 10:00 p.m. Then catch the Superstars Concert Sunday at 11:00 p.m., with Super Blue, Ajala, Ronnie McIntosh, and Traffik. Dance until dawn with the hardiest revelers as hundreds of steel pan players lead an early-morning procession. Tickets for Celebration '97 cost five dollars Saturday; ten dollars Sunday. Call 653-1877 for more details. (JC)
Face: See Thursday.
Private Lives: Noë#l Coward. Sophisticated, spicy, stylish. Controversial for the blithe treatment of sex in his plays, Coward wrote several clever comedies dealing with relationships -- heterosexual relationships. But that's no deterrent for the unstoppable People with Aids Coalition, a nonprofit group devoted to helping people living with HIV and AIDS. They've formed a theater company -- the Ramsay-Hutchison Players -- and tonight at 8:00 are putting on a production of Coward's 1930 play Private Lives, starring an all-male cast. The plot involves a divorced couple now married to others. Neither the text nor characters' names will be altered, so don't be shocked when Amanda has a deep voice and sports a goatee. Tickets for tonight's gala opening and reception cost $50. Other performances (which run Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:00 p.m. through November 9) will set you back $15. The action takes place in the auditorium at PWAC headquarters (3890 Biscayne Blvd.). Call 573-9717 for details. (NK)
Zero: After Jerry Garcia died in 1995 and the Grateful Dead broke up, Deadheads everywhere were scratching their dreadlocks wondering who was going to carry the Sixties freedom torch and keep the Summer of Love vibes rolling. The situation also left Grateful Dead personnel, some with the band since 1965, in flux. Now the Dead's long-time lyricist Robert Hunter has a steady gig writing for the veteran San Francisco band Zero. Hunter penned such classic Dead tunes as "Dark Star," "Uncle John's Band," and about a bazillion others. Zero is not going to give huge concerts and lead legions of hippies across the country every summer, but tonight the guys will be at Stella Blue (1661 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach), a South Beach bar named after another Dead tune that Hunter wrote. So far nobody's been able to take up the torch, but Zero does have a bit of the fire burning through its jazzy trip-rock sounds. Cover is $15. Showtime is 11:00 p.m. Call 532-4788. (LB)