thursday
october 23
Writers Harvest National Reading: Like a good book? Like it even better when the author reads it to you? Then you'll love this. Tonight is Writers Harvest, the nation's largest literary benefit. At 600 bookstores nationwide, 2000 of your favorite authors read from their works simultaneously. Attend a reading and buy something, and you'll make a difference. All events will occur at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble bookstores, which will donate a percentage of the day's sales to Share Our Strength for distribution to two national anti-hunger/anti-poverty groups. In Plantation (591 S. University Dr.), local big-time novelist John Dufresne reads from his second novel, Love Warps the Mind a Little. Omnipresent humorist Dave Barry reads whatever strikes his fancy at the West Kendall store (12405 Kendall Dr.). Call 800-955-8278. (NK)

Luciano: Luciano rolls into the Cameo Theatre (1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) tonight with a spliff in his hand, a heavy message in his heart, and golden pipes in his throat. As much on a missionary trek as on a concert tour, he sees himself as chosen to communicate Jah's positive messages. Considering that in the past decade the predominant lyrical content of Jamaica's dancehall tunes has been guns, violence, and dogging women, Luciano's work is considered fresher than sticky cannabis. Although Luciano isn't half as profound as Bob Marley, vocally he smokes him. Showtime is 10:00 p.m., with opening act Sizzla and the Firehouse Crew. Tickets cost $25 and $30. Call 532-0922. (LB)

friday
october 24
North Miami Orchid Show: Orchids get their day in the sun (or in the shade) today, tomorrow, and Sunday at the Gold Coast Orchid Society's 28th annual North Miami Orchid Show. Stroll through the North Miami Armory (13250 NE Eighth Ave.), see more live orchids than you've ever seen, listen to yet another seminar on how to develop a green thumb; then buy more plants, take them home, and kill them. The show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today and tomorrow and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Admission is five dollars. Call 892-8318. (NK)

Homestead Art Center Fine-Craft Show and Sale: Art in Homestead? Yes! It's not just a place to pick strawberries. Homestead is attempting to cultivate its own art scene, and the Homestead Art Center (37 NW First St.), host to a variety of workshops conducted by professionals and an exhibition space that houses artists' shows, is the current hub. A reception this evening from 5:30 to 9:30 kicks off the center's first fine-craft show and sale. The juried exhibition runs until early January and features works in clay, enamel, mosaic, fiber, and mixed media by several South Florida artists including Juanita May, Pablo Cano, Ellie Schneiderman, and Richard Warholic. The gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. Call 248-1060 for more information. (NK)

saturday
october 25
MetroBoo!: Does the thought of taking the kiddies trick-or-treating this year sound about as appealing as liposuction? Well then, throw them to the lions. Today and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., drag the little ones over to Metrozoo (12400 SW 152nd St.) for MetroBoo! It's a Halloween bash for children set among the fierce creatures; kids decked out in costume will be admitted free. They can have their faces painted, participate in costume contests, and watch Sesame Street stars perform. Then let them spend hours collecting candy among the lions and tigers and bears, oh boy! Admission is eight dollars for adults. Call 251-0403. (NK)

The Return of the Monster Mash: Dracula will be the only one wearing black tie at this museum fundraiser tonight at 9:00, when artists get to decorate themselves instead of the walls at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125 St., North Miami). MoCA's pre-Halloween fete is an artsy affair (natch) and originality is prized -- the weirder the better (a guy in a nuclear fallout suit won the costume contest at the museum's first Monster Mash two years ago). So forget the rented costume and make your own. Artist Mark Handforth will host the contest, DJ Mark Leventhal will spin tunes, an astrologer will chart destinies, and jack-o'-lanterns created by local artists will be auctioned. Tickets cost $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Call 893-6211. (JC)

Angels: Do you know what PoMoFunk is? You don't? That's okay, neither did we. But then we got this nifty little press release for something called Angels that included the phrase "trademarked dance form PoMoFunk." After we got over the idea of trademarking a dance (you think Los Del Rio trademarked the macarena?), we wondered what the heck PoMoFunk was. Turns out it's a blend of ballet, modern dance, and hip-hop created by contemporary choreographer Esaias Johnson. The Dance Esaias company and its trademarked dance form can be seen tonight at 8:30 at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), performing Angels, a show featuring dance, poetry, and music ranging from rap to classical. Tickets cost $15. FoMo info call 674-1026 . (JO)

North Miami Orchid Show: See Friday.
Homestead Art Center Fine-Craft Show and Sale: See Friday.

sunday
october 26
New Times 10K: Excuse us a moment while we blow our horn. Apparently someone somewhere in this corporation thought it would be a lovely gesture to sponsor a race at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. It's in its third year now, so we must be doing something right. The festivities begin at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.), where you can run a 10K, skate a 10K, or run/walk a 5K. Don't be discouraged if you aren't athletically inclined; you still may win part of the $5000 purse, because the competition could be really slim. How many people are crazy enough to show up at that ungodly hour? Just us slothful volunteers. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Miami Bridge Foundation. Registration fees range from $15 to $20. Call 571-7598 for more details. (NK)

Hot Pursuit '97 Chili Cook-Off: Mmm, chili. Just the dish you don't want to devour on a sweltering South Florida day. But hope is near. The weather is cooling off, and this event offers up more than just your ordinary chili. So grab the antacid and head over to Ransom-Everglades School (3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove) today from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., where 28 chefs from restaurants all over Dade and Broward cook up their most creative recipes for this competition. Tantalize your taste buds with exotica such as shark, buffalo, duck, and lobster chili, or take the wimp's way out and settle for the plain old meat variety. Celebrity judges will be on hand to rate the grub, including our favorite goofball, the still omnipresent Dave Barry, who has been designated Chief Justice of Chili. Tickets cost $35 and all proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami. Call the chili hotline for more information at 888-344-6812. (NK)

Mystery Morning: Writers such as Les Standiford, Paul Levine, Edna Buchanan, Elmore Leonard, and Carl Hiaasen have brought even more mayhem and murder to South Florida -- and we love them for it. For years a crescendo of crime fiction has been building, and Miami is now as associated with thrillers and mysteries as Los Angeles was in the days of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. This morning, as part of the seventeenth annual Jewish Book Fair, three authors meet to talk crime and fame. Les Standiford (Spill, Raw Deal, and Done Deal), ex-lawyer Paul Levine (Fool Me Twice, Flesh and Bones), and ex-lawyer (do we notice a pattern here?) and new author Brad Meltzer, whose debut novel is titled The Tenth Justice, gather at 11:00 a.m. at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center (11155 SW 112th Ave.). Tickets cost five dollars. Call 271-9000, ext. 268 for more information. (JO)

Gay Pride March: They're here, they're queer, and you're used to it, so why not participate or cheer them along in their first pride march in many years? Miami's lesbian, gay, transsexual, and transgender communities will be waving their rainbow flags as they walk from SE Sixth Street and Brickell Avenue to Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.) at noon. The theme is "Unity in Diversity," so everyone is invited. Afterward Candace Gingrich (you-know-who's sister) will speak at a pride fest, featuring music, food, and plenty of information, taking place at the park until 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call the Miami Pride Coalition at 358-8245. (NK)

North Miami Orchid Show: See Friday.
MetroBoo!: See Saturday.
Homestead Art Center Fine-Craft Show and Sale: See Friday.

monday
october 27
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival: The tricounty area becomes a movie buff's paradise as the twelfth annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival gets underway at a variety of venues. Several minifestivals will pop up all over Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, with a slew of U.S. and regional premieres and even a few retrospectives. Today through Thursday at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Blvd.), movies devoted to ingenious Italian director Federico Fellini and grizzled American actor Ben Gazzara will unspool. Also today through Saturday, the Hollywood Mini-Fest goes on at the AMC Sheridan Theatre (4999 Sheridan St.). Wednesday the Boca Raton Mini-Fest begins at the AMC Mizner Park Theatre (301 Plaza Rd.). Ticket prices range from $3 to $20. See "Calendar Listings" (page 46) for details or call 954-564-7373. (NK)

tuesday
october 28
The Sunshine Boys: As Felix and Oscar on TV's The Odd Couple, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman portrayed feuding roommates. As Al and Willie in The Sunshine Boys, previewing tonight at 8:00 at the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy.), they portray feuding ex-vaudevillians. Whew, a stretch! So what if they both appear old enough to have actually been vaudeville performers and we liked them better in Love, Sidney and Quincy, M.E. This is a Neil Simon play, and to borrow a title from another Simon work, the production is Broadway bound. So catch 'em while it's still cheap -- and running. The show continues through November 23. Tickets range from $30 for previews to $40 for regular performances. Call 442-4000 to put a little sunshine in your life. (NK)

Homestead Art Center Fine-Craft Show and Sale: See Friday.
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival: See Monday.

wednesday
October 29
Colonial Paintings from the Andes: The Centro Cultural Espanol (800 Douglas Rd., Coral Gables) celebrates colonialism with an exhibition of paintings that illustrate Spain's religious and secular impact on the Americas from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth centuries. The show may not exactly be PC, but these fifteen large canvases borrowed from private collections are impressive, or at least interesting, examples of how artists adapted the painting styles and subject matter of the conquistadors. Conversion to Catholicism is reflected in pictures of the virgins of Cayma and Copacabana, and one notable painting from eighteenth-century Ecuador depicts the Sacred Heart as a veiny organ choked by a crown of thorns. The exhibition also includes portraits of landowners and politicos such as a rather zany-looking King Charles II of Spain. The show continues through October 31. Admission is free. Call 446-9676. (JC)

Homestead Art Center Fine-Craft Show and Sale: See Friday.
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival: See Monday.
The Sunshine Boys: See Tuesday.

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