thursday
november 27
Santa's Enchanted Forest: Okay, so the seasons don't really change so much in Miami. Locals spend winter holidays baking themselves on the beach; it did snow once, but don't count on a white Christmas. How to capture the holiday spirit? You have two options: Go shopping tomorrow along with hordes of ravening bargain hunters, or get thee to Santa's Enchanted Forest. Located in Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), this extravagantly decorated wonderland (albeit not a winter one) would make even Martha Stewart say, "It's a good thing." Adults can marvel at the corridor of tall trees wrapped with more than a million twinkly lights. (We wonder who has to change all those burned-out bulbs.) Kiddies can enjoy rides and a petting zoo, and everyone can sit on Santa's lap and place orders for that new modem or cell phone. Hours are 5:00 p.m. to midnight daily. Admission is seven dollars for kids, twelve for adults. Call 559-9689. (NK)

Tulemon's Ghosts: Tulemon could have been a nice guy, but once he got into politics he became a villainous oppressor. Sounds like Newt Gingrich, huh? Watch Tulemon, who is the main character in this work penned by Venezuelan playwright Gilberto Pinto, confront his ghosts in this must-see drama at Teatro Avante (235 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables). Teatro Avante is a company devoted to preserving Hispanic cultural heritage by presenting the best of its plays. Each year they put on the two-weeklong International Hispanic Theatre Festival, a gathering of some of the world's most important Hispanic theater luminaries; Tulemon's Ghosts opened the most recent one this past spring. Starring Mario Ernesto Sanchez, who also adapted and directed, the play is presented in Spanish with English subtitles and runs Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 5:00 p.m. through November 30. Tickets cost $15. Call 445-8877. (NK)

friday
november 28
Lumpy Sue '97: Everyone is feeling a little lumpy after Thanksgiving. That's probably a non sequitur, as nobody knows the origin of this peculiar nickname, but we're assured she's a real woman, one who actually helped Arlo Guthrie clean up the garbage at Officer Obie's command. Today the acoustic music festival she founded more than fifteen years ago gets under way. It's rumored that she may even sneak away from her health food store and soup kitchen in Fort Myers to make an appearance. Magda Hiller, Brian Franklin, Diane Ward, ANada?, and a passel of other musicians will perform. So get a blanket, slap together some turkey sandwiches, head over to Greynolds Park (17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach), and get a little lumpier. The festival is free and runs from 11:00 a.m. to sunset. Call 933-1974. (LB)

Barry Manilow: He's been a laughingstock close to forever. Everyone else reviles him, but you secretly love him. You haven't told anyone, but he's been your guilty pleasure for years. (Admit it, you also read People and eat pork rinds.) Well, at last you can indulge in the open. Tonight through Sunday Barry Manilow will be at your beck and call, fulfilling your every request. Yes indeed, to make amends for canceling his scheduled gig (he can say "gig"; he's that kinda guy) in April, Mr. "I Write the Songs" finally comes to the Sunrise Musical Theater (5555 95th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) to sing anything you ask. See how many times you can make him croon "Copacabana" or "Can't Smile Without You." Tickets range from $28 to $58. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Call 954-741-7300. (NK)

Latin Jazz Crew: Eddie "Gua Gua" Rivera has performed with Willie Colon, Mongo Santamaria, Charlie Palmieri, and a host of other Latin music greats, and he is revered for his innovative playing on the upright electric bass. Recently recovered from a near-fatal illness, Gua Gua brings his baby bass and his crew of young Miami-based virtuosos to Victor's Cafe (2340 SW 38th Ave.) tonight at 9:00. Expect a hot time at the cafe's Cabaret Babalu when the band (Jorge Sosa on keyboards, percussionist Edwin Bonilla, drummer Archie Pena, and Fernando Diez on sax) performs its pop-flavored Latin jazz originals and indelible classics. Cover is $15 with no drink minimum. Call 445-1313 for reservations. (JC)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.
Tulemon's Ghosts: See Thursday.

saturday
november 29
New World Symphony: Comrades, have you noticed the post-Cold War chic on South Beach? Vodka and caviar bars and Soviet-theme nightclubs are all the rage. Now well-traveled conductor Michael Tilson Thomas returns from a triumphant season in San Francisco to lead the orchestra in a program titled "A Russian Music Feast." Pianist Dimitri Alexeev joins in on Glinka's Divertissement from A Life for the Tsar, the suite from Prokofiev's Cinderella, and Shostakovich's Piano Concerto no. 2. Seize the day -- MTT won't be back in Miami again until the middle of January. Performances take place tonight at 8:00 and tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre (555 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets range from $19 to $46. Call 673-3331. (NK)

Patti LaBelle: At 53 years old, the high priestess of good vibrations can still let loose her three-and-a-half-octave voice and rock your soul. She is also still one hot mama. LaBelle recently released her first new album in three years, Fire. She sets the stage ablaze at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE Second Ave.) tonight at 8:00 in conjunction with White Party Week, six days of events all geared to benefit Health Crisis Network, a group dedicated to helping people affected by HIV. Single tickets cost $25 and $35; $2500 per couple gets you a VIP package that includes a preconcert cocktail reception, orchestra seats, and a postconcert dinner party with Madonna at the Delano Hotel's Blue Door restaurant. Call 372-4634, or 759-6181 for all you moneybags VIPs. (LB)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.
Tulemon's Ghosts: See Thursday.
Barry Manilow: See Friday.

sunday
november 30
Flamenco Festival: There will probably be lots of dancing in the street on the appropriately named Espanola Way when the diminutive Miro Cafe (448 Espanola Way, Miami Beach) brings a bit of Spain to Miami with its first-ever Flamenco Festival. The frenetic, passionate songs and dances begin at 5:30 p.m., and considering the vast lineup of performers, the festivities may stretch into the wee hours. On the bill are fifteen dancers and one dance company, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa; four guitarists; four singers; and two percussionists. A special menu of Spanish food and drink is available inside the restaurant, and a spirited good time is guaranteed to all. Admission is free. Call 538-6476 for details. (NK)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.
Tulemon's Ghosts: See Thursday.
Barry Manilow: See Friday.
New World Symphony: See Saturday.

monday
december 1
Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra: Calling all citizens of the cocktail nation: This is your kind of show. Lounge lizards who worship at the altar of Juan Esquivel and Combustible Edison should slap on their smoking jackets and head down to the Beehive Restaurant and Lounge (630 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) at 8:00 p.m. There you can swing your cigarette holders and clink your martini glasses to the sounds of Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra, buzzing into Miami to back up their latest album, Cocktail: Shakin' and Stirred. These swanky Canadians are known for their covers of popular songs, which, like any luscious libation, contain a twist. Think of a fox-trot version of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" or a bossa nova take on the Guess Who's "American Woman" and you'll get the idea. Local avant-hipsters Satellite Lounge provide the improvy-acidic-jazzy opening. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 538-7484. (NK)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.

tuesday
december 2
Craig Shoemaker: Craig Shoemaker is a busy, busy guy. Best-known as a stand-up comedian, he recently wrote, starred, and co-produced The LoveMaster, a movie based on his routine about growing up in a family of women. He'll appear in the upcoming Scream 2; he'll be hosting a show on VH1 next year; he has the requisite TV series in development; he writes; he sings; he competes in beauty pageants (okay, maybe not that last one). And he still finds time to perform his routine (for which he won the 1996 American Comedy Award as Best Male Stand-Up Comic) at clubs such as the Improv (3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove). Showtimes for the weeklong engagement are 8:00 tonight through Thursday; 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday; 7:45, 10:00 p.m., and midnight Saturday; and 8:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost ten dollars for all shows except Saturday's, when it'll cost you two bucks more. Call 441-8200. (JO)

Congregational Needs and Synagogue Design: Ninety-five-year-old architect Morris Lapidus is the hottest thing going. Once reviled, the man who designed Lincoln Road Mall and the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels is now respected. His buildings have been the destinations of countless tours, and his recently published autobiography (Too Much Is Never Enough) has been well-received by more than just the architectural cognoscenti. At 7:30 p.m. at the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum of Florida (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), Lapidus shows slides and talks temples. This lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibit "And I Shall Dwell Among Them," which includes 65 photographs by Neil Folberg of synagogues around the globe. Admission is five dollars. Call 672-5044. (NK)

Day Without Art: For an art museum to advertise a day without art seems odd, but that's exactly what the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) is doing today through Sunday (so maybe it's more like six days without art). In honor of World AIDS day, MAM is exhibiting Carlos Alfonzo's painting Grief 1988. Alfonzo was a Cuban-American painter who died of AIDS in 1991, just as he began earning national recognition and was including more symbols of the Catholic and Afro-Cuban religions in his paintings. If you like what you see, check out the first retrospective of his work, which MAM will mount later this month. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is five dollars. Call 375-3000 for hours. (NK)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.

wednesday
december 3
Florida Grand Opera Master Class: Fancy yourself a potential Luciano Pavarotti or a Maria Callas? Then quit making all that racket in the shower and shoot for the big time at this master class. Opera-singing couple Evelyn Lear (known for mastering all three soprano roles in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier) and Thomas Stewart (regarded as one of the leading Wotans in the world) met when they were students at Juilliard in the Fifties. They have graced the stages of major opera houses for the past 40 years, so they've got the goods. Your audition might earn you a place in the Florida Grand Opera's Young Artist and Technical Apprentice Program. Tonight's program is part of the national competitions held to choose artists who are awarded a residency, which provides them with extensive vocal coaching, master classes, language and acting lessons, career counseling, and an opportunity to perform by singing supporting roles in productions throughout the season. Many past participants are now performing with the world's leading opera companies. Look out, La Scala, here you come! (And eat some more pasta; you need your strength.) The class runs from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Arturo di Filippi Educational Center (1200 Coral Way). Admission is free. Call 854-1643. (NK)

Santa's Enchanted Forest: See Thursday.
Craig Shoemaker: See Tuesday.
Day Without Art: See Tuesday.

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