You asked Santa for the impossible: Bring Frank Sinatra back to life. But Santa is just a jolly fat guy who doles out gifts; he's no Dr. Frankenstein into that reanimation stuff. The hefty man tried his best. He made sure the giant box set of Sinatra's complete Reprise recordings was under your tree. Twenty CDs later, you're still bummed. Well, Frank Jr. will be in Miami for New Year's Eve, but that's a week away. Nevertheless you can count yourself lucky. Guess who's back in town? Walt Andrus, the lead singer for the Tommy Dorsey Band, whose voice is the closest thing to Sinatra you're going to get without having to pay big bucks to see his offspring. Andrus is joined by pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist Don Wilner, horn man Gilly DiBenedetto, and drummer James Martin. Showtimes are 10:00, 11:30 p.m., and 1:00 a.m. tonight and tomorrow at the Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Cover charge is six dollars. Call 305-534-3600.
If the thought of trudging to the mall today to return gifts is about as appealing as being eaten alive by alligators, we have a suggestion. It's far from the madding retail crowd. Really far. As far as the Miccosukee Indian Village, 25 miles west of Miami on the Tamiami Trail. Each year Indians from all over the Americas converge for the mega pow wow known as the Indian Arts Festival, which showcases their cultures through the arts. Authentic crafts such as Cherokee moccasins, Navajo sandpaintings, silver and turquoise jewelry, and more, will be offered for sale. Yummy foods such as pumpkin bread, sofkee, and Miccosukee fry bread will tempt your tastebuds. Hoop dancer Jackie Bird from the Sioux nation, the Zuni Rainbow Dancers from New Mexico, and Aztec dancers from Mexico will strut their stuff. Models will highlight colorful patchwork clothing during a Miccosukee fashion show. And of course no visit to the village would be complete without a little alligator wrestling. Kenny Cypress will battle the menacing creatures. The fest takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today through January 3. Admission ranges from six to eight dollars. Call 305-223-8380.
So you're one of those who loves the smell of elephant dung in the morning. Well, as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will be in town starting today and running through next Sunday, you may get to enjoy that singular pleasure several times over. A sampling of the other fun stuff you'll behold: Tong, the prince of pythons, who mesmerizes serpents; Vesuvius, the human volcano; the Ayala sisters, who hang by their hair; and Nikolai the Iron Jaw, who'll pull a four-ton elephant using only his teeth. Sounds like just another average day in our wonderfully diverse city. The greatest show on Earth gets under way at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m. today at Miami Arena, 721 NW First Ave. Tickets range from $9.50 to $19.50. Call 305-530-4400.
Before Richard Bach wrote Illusions, that book about a man who flew all over the world searching for enlightenment; before talk of finding and embracing your inner child became the rage; before the men's movement prompted guys to don loincloths and dance around fires beating drums; before all that, there was Antoine De Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, a book he wrote in the Forties. Long mislabeled as a tale for children, the story tells of an aviator who lands in the Sahara Desert and encounters a prince from outer space. The pilot learns that the prince has stopped at six different planets in search of the answer to "that which is essential." Eventually both the pilot and the prince find the secret right here on Earth. A theatrical production of The Little Prince, adapted and directed by Malila Saint-Duval, Saint-Exupery's niece, is being presented for the first time in the United States at the Florida Shakespeare Theatre, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Performances take place at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. today and 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The play runs through January 3. Tickets range from $15 to $28. Call 305-445-1119.
Lately it seems not many things boast particularly long lifespans in this temple of transience we call home. Mayors don't reign more than a few months at a time. State-of-the-art arenas quickly outlive their usefulness. Penny-pinching billionaires dismantle their championship sports teams in less than a season. Precious areas reserved for parks suddenly begin sprouting colossal condominiums. To be steadily in Miami for more than a few years almost qualifies one as an institution. Sixteen years at the same place? Almost unheard of, unless you're Iko-Iko, the exceptional bluesy ensemble that has held forth at Tobacco Road (626 S. Miami Ave.) for just that amount of time. Though the band has experienced numerous personnel changes, leader and original founding member Graham Drout has exerted his gentle brand of quality control, making sure the music has never suffered. Hear them perform unplugged at 10:00 tonight at the Road. Admission is free. Call 305-374-1198.
People thrown into ordinary situations, doing prosaic things. That appears to be what the sculptures in George Segal's work represent, at least on the surface. The artist, who began his career as a painter in the late Fifties and then gravitated toward sculpting with chicken wire, plaster, and medical bandages, creates pristine white realistic plaster casts of humans that eerily resemble people wrapped up like mummies. At the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.), the exhibition George Segal, a Retrospective: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings presents more than 50 of the artist's works covering his four-decade career. Admission is five dollars. The show runs through March 7, 1999. Call 305-375-3000.
Fifty years ago the Junior Orange Bowl Parade wended its way down Miracle Mile in downtown Coral Gables for the first time. Fast approaching geezerhood, the event has evolved from more than just a parade into the approximately two-month-long Junior Orange Bowl Festival, a series of eighteen competitive and cultural events drawing more than 30,000 kids, age eighteen and younger, from all over the world to participate. This evening at 7:00 the parade, featuring marching bands, floats, inflatable balloons, and a team of Clydesdale horses, messes up the City Beautiful for a couple of hours. The theme is a Fifties-inspired "Happy Days, Happy Kids." Admission is free along the Miracle Mile parade route, but ten dollars for grandstand seating and a 6:30 p.m. preparade show on Biltmore Way. Call 305-662-1210.