Suffering from a chronically short attention span? Then you'll love City Theatre's Summer Shorts. Two different programs consisting of comedies, musicals, and dramas, each less than twenty minutes long, will alternate over the next four weeks at the Ring Theatre on the University of Miami campus (1380 Miller Dr., Coral Gables). Tickets for Thursday and Friday performances, which begin at 8:00 p.m., cost $22. Weekend performances begin at 5:00 p.m., and you have a choice of three deals, two of which include dinner: $32 buys you grub and and one show; $48 gets you vittles and two shows; $44 allows you to see both shows but leaves you hungry (see "Theater Listings," page 63, for a complete schedule). Call 284-3355. (NK)
Three major motion pictures (The Cocoanuts, The Palm Beach Story, and Where the Boys Are) and two documentaries (including They Call Us Boat People) with a Florida theme or setting constitute Florida on Film, a series that unspools over the next five weeks at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and wraps up July 2 at a pool party at the Hotel Astor. Kicking off the lineup: a discussion about filmmaking in Florida and a screening of Miami Beach: Only in America, a documentary about the evolution of the city written, produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winner Tom Glennon, who will be present to discuss his work. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for each of the films; $25 for the party. Call 535-2602. (NK)
For many Cubans and exiles, Castro seems to have an unlimited life span, but there is one thing on the island that will surely outlast him: the buildings. Learn more about Cuban architecture at the Future of Cuban Cities Conference, a series of panel discussions and lectures taking place over the next three days at FIU's University Park Campus (AT-100, SW Eighth Street and 107th Avenue). The program begins tonight at 6:00 when FIU School of Architecture professor Nicolas Quintana delivers a talk about Havana's architectural history and reconstruction. Tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. discussions about historic preservation and legal, social, economic, and environmental issues will fill the day. Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic and staff writer for The New Yorker, will give a lecture titled "Reflections on Havana: Preservation and Cities." Admission is free; reserved seats cost $25. Call 348-3175. (NK).
The contemporary dance troupe Freddick Bratcher and Company presents its season finale tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). On the program: two premieres and past works choreographed by modern dance gurus Bratcher and Gerard Ebitz, set to Celtic music and tunes by Willie Dixon and Bobby McFerrin. Tickets range from $10 to $18.50. Call 674-1026. (NK)
Nineteen South Florida performing and visual artists and three visiting artists from Atlanta and Philadelphia will showcase their new works over the next three days at the Miami Light Project's fourth Here and Now Festival, which opens tonight at 7:00 at two separate locations. Visual art will be shown through June 27 at ArtCenter/South Florida (1035 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). And tonight through Sunday the New World School of the Arts (25 NE Second Ave.) hosts a rotating schedule of dance, music, and theater performances. Admission is ten dollars to the performances, which begin at 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the art exhibition is free. Call 531-3747 for more information. (NK)
An Irish-American soldier looking for a good time in 1947 Havana finds true love with a Cuban girl and a culture clash with her family in writer/director Pedro Roman's Tropical Dream, a Broadway-style musical comedy starring a cast of 50 actors, including opera singers Keith James Workowski and Teresita Catoni-Seifert. A 27-piece orchestra, directed by Alfredo Munnar, provides the waltzes, boleros, congas, blues, and country music. Performances take place at 8:00 tonight and 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets Range from $22 to $40. Call 673-7300. (NK)
Spend the next two days having fun while you soak up some sun and Caribbean vibes at the 22nd annual Goombay Festival, which takes place today and tomorrow from noon to 6:00 p.m. in Coconut Grove (Grand Avenue from McDonald Street to Douglas Road). While kiddies play in their very own fun zone, parents can enjoy live entertainment by R&B acts the Hush Brothers, Sounds of Success, Off Glass, and Greg Taylor, dancing by the Body Nation Caribbean Dance Theatre and Mocko Jumbie Stilt Dancers, gospel sounds from Tyrone Borden, and more music by the Bahamas Showtime Junkanoos. Hungry revelers can munch on conch fritters and other Bahamian specialties. Admission is free. Call 567-5690. (NK)
If you think you've heard about Israel's 50th birthday celebration before, it's because you have. But the folks at the Miami Jewish Federation aren't content with just one celebration. After all, you're only 50 once, and you're 50 all year, so why not celebrate for an entire twelve months? (Good advice for everyone.) And this party is the big one. Today the Israel 50 Festival rolls into the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr.) where 25,000 people are expected to take in art exhibits, musical performances -- including a concert by guitarist Danny Sanderson -- puppet shows, dance troupes, a petting zoo, a mock archaeological dig, and of course, food. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Admission is free. Call 576-4000. (LB)