Making the foolhardy move of vacationing in Colombia may not be a bad idea if you have Steven Dudley as your guide. Or maybe it is since it's unlikely the welcome wagon is ready to greet him again. Before gracing our town with his hard-nosed presence, the former Miami New Times staff writer spent 5 years in the embattled country, reporting on the civil war for National Public Radio and the Washington Post. Chasing drug kingpins, ducking bullets, and evading kidnappers were good for something: They made Americans more aware of our neighbors to the south and yielded a book, Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia. Don't expect a cheery travelogue, though. The suspenseful account of an ostensibly endless struggle is full of dastardly types like Black Vladimir, who has owned up to murdering about 800 folks -- for both sides. Sweet. Dudley reads at 6:30 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. -- By Nina Korman
As if a festival featuring 1-act plays lasting an average of 10 minutes each isn't sufficiently succinct, City Theatre's 9-year-old Summer Shorts Festival is adding "short d'oeuvres" to the bill. These are super-short shorts (call them the Daisy Dukes of 1-act plays), some running only a minute and a half. Hand-picked from more than 800 submissions and fashioned for a cast of 9 actors, the works are alternately hilarious and poignant. Taking on hot topics like gay marriage and the war in Iraq, this year's Shorts may be the most talked-about in the company's history. Besides presenting topnotch theater for your mind, the fun summer event takes care of your tummy, offering audiences cocktails, dinners, and picnic lunches too. Shows run through Sunday, June 27, at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, University of Miami, 1312 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Showtimes vary. Call 305-365-5400. -- By Mia Leonin
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Miami Beach will be crawling with more models than usual this weekend. Buff and greased up, nearly 400 of them will be at the Deauville Beach Resort (67th Street and Collins Avenue) competing in pageants such as Fitness Universe, Ms. Bikini Universe, the Musclemania Natural Championships, and Model Universe Championships. It's all in the name of FAME. Well, isn't it always? No, in this case FAME is the acronym for the Fitness & Model Expo. A 1-day pass costs $30; $50 for 2 days; and $100 for 3 days. Call 305-633-5353 or see www.fameamerica.com for showtimes. -- By Nina Korman