Imagine South Beach without its current flash. No tourists, no models, no club kids. Throughout most of the Seventies to the mid-Eighties, South Beach was just such a place. More often than not the people who were hanging out on the porch under the neon lights of a rundown Art Deco hotel were elderly transplants from northern states. They came south to live out their golden years in carefree comfort. That is until crime increased and until TV shows like Miami Vice glamorized the area, giving developers ideas about its potential. Photographer Gary Monroe documented the daily lives of Miami Beach's seniors from 1977 to 1986, capturing images of them dancing, socializing, performing religious rituals, and more. Seventy-five of his photographs go on display today in the exhibition Barely a Minyan: The Last Elderly Jews of South Beach at the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). The word minyan refers to the minimum of ten men (a minyan) required for a religious service to take place. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-672-5044.
To complement its exhibition of clothing by the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) brings in members of the Florida Grand Opera's Young Artist Studio to sing up a storm at 7:00 this evening for the Music at MoCA series. On the bill: selections from Italian operas, of course, including Puccini's La Boheme, Rossini's The Barber of Seville, and Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. Admission is ten dollars; Opera and MoCA members and North Miami residents get in free. Space is limited, so call 305-893-6211 for reservations.