Look out! Pope-rah, oops, that's Oprah, as in Winfrey, strikes again. The preachy talk show host/producer/actress who wants to recast the world in her new image -- fit, slim, spiritual, and well read -- is starring in the movie version of Beloved, Toni Morrison's powerful, haunting novel about the consequences of slavery (see review on page 62). The film officially opens tomorrow, but Oprah will be really proud of you if you attend tonight's 6:00 reception at Planet Hollywood (3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove) and the sneak preview screening at AMC CocoWalk (3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove) at 7:15. Proceeds will benefit a good cause: the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Although we can't guarantee the star's presence, you never can tell. She does own a condo on Fisher Island. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-573-1106, ext. 122. (NK)
A desert wind from the Sahara blows in Tarifa, a seaside city in southernmost Spain, so close to Tangiers you can pick up radio signals from that Moroccan city. Tarifa's proximity to Morocco and its music was inspiration for the Madrid-based band Radio Tarifa. Its members mix flamenco guitar and vocals with Arabic pop and ancient Moorish and Sephardic rhythms to make upbeat music celebrating the common roots of music from two continents. Radio Tarifa is touring the United States in support of their second album, Temporal, and will stop in Miami for two concerts, opening the season for the Miami Light Project's contemporary performance series. Tonight at 8:30 the band plays at the Lincoln Theatre (541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tomorrow at the same time, see them at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center on the FIU University Park Campus (SW 8th Street and 107th Avenue). Tickets range from $20 to $30. Call 305-576-4350. (JC)
So you think being a DJ is easy, huh? Just throw cool side of vinyl after cool side of vinyl on the turntables and try to look aloof. Well, becoming a mixmaster is a little more complicated than that. Aspiring DJs can find out when DJ extraordinaire Junior Vasquez emerges from his booth and shows up at Circuit City (400 W. 49th St., Hialeah) to conduct four one-hour clinics over the next two days. Vasquez, who is known for his residencies at various New York nightclubs and for his mixing and producing work with Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, and Cher, will teach the art of merging rhythm and technology, reveal some insider tips, and discuss the club scene of now and yesteryear. Clinics take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. today and 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is free. Call 305-558-1362. (NK).
We'll refrain from comparing Kevin Mahogany's voice to the rich wood from a certain tree. But the jazz and blues vocalist can really sing -- and swing -- like no other cat we've heard recently. Originally trained to play the piano, clarinet, and saxophone, the Kansas City native began to croon all styles of music while he was in college. Eventually he abandoned all instruments except one -- his voice. His perfect pitch and impeccable phrasing allow him to wrap his smooth baritone around a repertoire of songs by everyone from Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder. He can even act, too: He portrayed Big Joe Turner in Robert Altman's 1995 film, Kansas City. Hear Mahogany sing the standards and more tonight at 8:30 at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Tickets range from $20 to $30. Call 305-448-7421. (NK).
The outstanding New World Symphony inaugurates its eleventh season of concerts with Michael Tilson Thomas wielding the baton tonight at 7:30 at the Lincoln Theatre (541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). On the bill: Mahler's Symphony no. 1 (Titan), Liszt's Orpheus, and Agnegram, a work by Tilson Thomas himself. Tickets range from $23 to $54. Call 305-673-3330. (NK)
Entertainment promoter Clyde Killens used to book topnotch jazz acts such as Dinah Washington and the Count Basie Orchestra at the Fiesta Club and the Night Beat Club in Overtown. DJ China Valles has played their tunes for the past 30 years on local radio. (He currently hosts WTMI's China's Jazz Thing at midnight.) At 5:00 p.m. Killens and Valles will be honored by the Count Basie Orchestra, under the direction of Grover Mitchell, and celebrated singer Joe Williams when the M. Athalie Range Cultural Arts Foundation presents A Musical Celebration of Life at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $37.50 to $150. Proceeds benefit the foundation's scholarship funds. Call 305-893-2582. (NK)
Independent filmmakers will be happy to know that the beleaguered Alliance Film/Video Co-op (not the Alliance Cinema, mind you) finally has a new home (210 Second St., Miami Beach), thanks to a donation by the City of Miami Beach. The recently opened media-arts center promises to provide educational programming, production services, and video and production equipment to the public. Today the Alliance begins its six-week semester of classes with a session about directing taught by acclaimed Cuban director Sergio Giral. Classes meet from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and cost $120 for members, $160 for nonmembers. Call 305-538-8242. (NK)
When a band blasts onto the scene the way Garbage did in 1995 (with a CD that sold four million copies), its second effort is always closely scrutinized to see if the debut was a fluke. Although Garbage's second offering, Version 2.0, didn't spawn as many alt-radio-friendly tunes, it's a solid piece of work that could well launch lead singer Shirley Manson and her cohorts on a trajectory to superstar status. See them at 7:30 tonight at Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 95th Ave., Sunrise) with ill-named Girls Against Boys opening. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-741-7300. (LB)