THU 2 Sure people bust into museums and steal works by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Munch. But has a group of masked men ever stormed a gallery and grabbed a painting by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or Robert Rauschenberg at gunpoint? Not that we know of. That doesn't make Pop art any less cool, though. The art movement that came of age in the 1960s as a reaction against seemingly self-indulgent and overly serious Abstract Expressionism and incorporates images from industry and commerce as its subject matter has yielded art that is fun, eye-catching, and most of all maverick. The Ashmore Gallery (2213 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), usually home to art made between the Seventeenth and Nineteenth Centuries, apparently agrees. Their latest show "Ever Pop-ular!" features works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg, plus constructionist Nancy Gifford and sculptor Richard Dimmler, who are emerging artists the Popsters have influenced. The show runs through Friday, September 10. Gallery hours are 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Call 305-531-0654; visit www.ashmoregallery.com.
FRI 3Working with clay is absolutely nothing like that memorable scene from Ghost. Odds are your teacher won't look anything like a younger Patrick Swayze, and he won't straddle you from behind and turn sculpture into supernatural sexytime. Making ceramics can be frustrating and messy as hell. But it's definitely fun, and you can create beautiful, meaningful, expressive art out of shapeless lumps of clay. Bonus! Learn lots more at the annual open house of the Ceramic League of Miami (8873 SW 129th St.). You can purchase teacher and student work; watch some amazing, inspiring demonstrations; plus register for classes, which they offer a slew of. Admission is free, so stop by from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fall semester starts Monday, September 6th. Call 305-233-2404 or visit www.ceramicleaguemiami.org.
SAT 4Sure, you're a baseball fan -- now, after the Florida Marlins won the World Series against .... Who was it? Oh, cursed memory, failing you again. Guess the games weren't that memorable, huh? More than the World Series games (against the Yankees) themselves, you recall the National League Championship series against the Chicago Cubs, especially that magic moment during the sixth inning of the fourth game (Cubs leading 3-0), when a superfan had to throw himself in the way of Cub player Moises Alou and screw up a possible out by snatching away a foul ball. Yes, you felt much joy then, knowing that a seventh game would be played, and you feel even more joy now knowing the eventual outcome. But how much joy have you been feeling since yesterday when the Cubs arrived at ProPlayer Stadium (2269 NW 199th St.) to begin the first meet in a three-game series with your beloved Marlins? Game two commences at 6:05 tonight and the series ends tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. Tickets range from $6 to $75. Call 877-627-5467.
SUN 5Know who Dora the Explorer is? Then you're probably down with the kids. They love her so much that this Peabody Award-winning TV show about a bilingual seven-year-old became a hit, and books about her have been on the bestseller lists of The New York Times and Publisher's Weekly. This weekend Dora the Explorer Live! The Search for the City of Lost Toys returns to South Florida, letting audiences solve puzzles while learning Spanish words and phrases. It's all at the Au-Rene Theater of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Shows take place at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $11 to $26, with $3 lap seats for children under 12 months. Call 954-462-0222 or see www.browardcenter.org.
MON 6A veteran of musical theater productions like The Wiz, West Side Story, and Carousel, not to mention a classically trained vocalist, Bronx native Jenn Jade Ledesna is sure to make the walls shake at the Van Dyke Café (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) tonight when she puts her powerful pipes to work. Used to sharing the stage with big jazz names such as Wynton Marsalis and Wycliffe Gordon, she'll perform in our parts with two of South Florida's top talents, pianist Mike Orta and bassist Don Wilner. Hear her at 9:00 p.m., 10:30, and midnight. Music charge is five dollars. Call 305-534-3600.
TUE 7Ahh, birthday parties: Heavily frosted cake, wacky party hats, the simple joy of using a wooden stick to beat down a piñata until it explodes, releasing its cavity-inducing bounty. Kids love them. So do adults, especially when they're for someone else. Everybody wins at the official first anniversary bash for the Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Causeway). They're celebrating big time with a series of events all September long. Come on down for the kickoff, a traditional birthday fiesta, complete with cake, candles, and fun events for the enjoyment of adults and kiddies alike. The party gets started at 11:00 a.m. Admission to the museum is ten dollars; free for MCM members and children under twelve months old. Call 305-373-5431 or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.
WED 8Some people think of ballet as little more than twirling and prancing by men in tights and ladies in laced-up toe shoes and foofy pink tutus. Those people are ignorant and wrong, and should be ashamed of themselves. Ballet is art. Ballet is expression. Surround yourself with more culture than you can shake a stick at during the ninth International Ballet Festival of Miami. This year has been dubbed the centennial celebration, and it is presented in homage to the late, great choreographer George Balanchine. Prestigious ballet companies from around the world will be represented by their greatest stars. Dancers from Latin America, Europe, and the United States will add their unique national flavors in interpreting the finer points of the dance. The multi-day event kicks off at 8:30 p.m. at the Manuel Artime Theater, 900 SW First St. Tickets cost $18. Call 305-358-5885 or visit www.miamihispanicballet.com.