Unlike most photographers, Cindy Sherman spends a lot of time in front of, as well as behind, the camera when she works. Sherman is her own best model. In the late Seventies she made her name with "Untitled Film Stills," a series of photos that depict her in a variety of scenes inspired by B-movies from the Fifties and Sixties. Since then she has cast herself in photos that examine the fashion world, paintings by the old masters, and Grimm's fairy tales. Last year she moved into directing movies. Her debut feature, Office Killer, is a goofy black comedy about a passive copy editor who embarks on a killing spree when she is the target of corporate downsizing. The film stars Carol Kane, Molly Ringwald, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. (As far as we know, Sherman didn't pull a Hitchcock and do a cameo.) The film screens as part of Jam at MAM, which takes place at 5:00 p.m. at Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St. The happy hour preceding the film, which unspools at 7:00 p.m., is free. Admission to the movie is five dollars. Call 305-375-3000. (NK)
If you didn't know who Tom Wolfe was a few months ago, you must know now. Wolfe first earned recognition as one of the creators of New Journalism, which combines reportorial skills with the art of fiction-writing and a dash of social criticism. The New York Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Harper's, Esquire, and New York are just a few of the publications he wrote for in the Sixties. In 1979 he published The Right Stuff, a paean to macho astronauts, which earned him the American Book Award for nonfiction. His first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, dissected the covetous culture of the ostentatious Eighties. Now, ten years in the making, comes A Man in Full, a book that's probably received more hype than any other this year. Hear Wolfe, who'll surely be decked out in one of his usual custom-tailored white suits, read as he closes the Miami Bookfair International's Evenings With ... series tonight at 8:00 at the Chapman Conference Center of MDCC's Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-237-3258. (NK)
The people in this city of constant change, especially the imbibers, tend to embrace the constants. For the past 86 years there's been only one barroom where a thirsty pilgrim could consistently get a drink, and tonight that is cause for celebration. The Tobacco Road 86th Anniversary Festival (626 S. Miami Ave.) kicks into gear at 7:30 p.m. with much of the same music that's brought the historic joint success this decade. Although Iko-Iko may not have been jamming there in 1912, the unofficial house band's spirit will probably live on for the next 86 years, and joining in the fun are the Radiators, Merl Saunders, Lil' Malcolm and the Zydeco House Rockers, Raw B. Jae, Manchild, and the Baboons. Tickets cost $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 305-374-1198. (LB)
"Uniting a religious soul and a sensitive body from Bahia, her voice, if heard by many, would reveal essential aspects of the cultural spirit of [Brazil]," says esteemed singer/songwriter Caetano Veloso, the artistic director of Virginia Rodrigues's debut album, Sol Negro. A veteran of church choirs in her native Salvador, Rodrigues sings spirituals in a deep, dusky voice. Her plaintive tones, reminiscent of black American gospel singers, also recall keening Celtic airs. The Brazilian torch singer's expressive performing is best appreciated live -- like that of all major divas. Lucky for us she appears tonight at 8:00 at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-672-5202. (JC)
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Columbus may not be looked upon very kindly these days, but you've got to give the guy credit for making a few decent discoveries. One of them is Puerto Rico, where he landed on November 19, 1493. Today from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. islanders in Miami celebrate that occasion and themselves during the Puerto Rican Day Festival at Bayfront Park Amphitheater (301 Biscayne Blvd.). On the bill: salseros Tito Rojas, Tito Nieves, Tony Vega, and many more. Canned food and other nonperishable items will be collected for the victims of Hurricane Mitch. Admission is eight dollars. Call 305-442-6575. (NK)
Still mourning the recent closing of all those Woolworth stores? Get over to the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), which is now open on Monday but closed on Wednesday, for the exhibition Main Street Five-and-Dimes: The Architectural Heritage of S.H. Kress & Co. Okay, so Kress was not Woolworth, but it was pretty close. Its shelves were stocked with just about everything under the sun -- clothing, costume jewelry, kitchen gadgets, hardware. And almost all the stores had their own lunch counters. Different from most five-and-dimes, however, was the Kress emphasis on good design. The company had its own architecture division, which devised interesting lighting, accessible floor plans, and beautiful storefronts, all of which made reference to the culture of their communities. (The Miami Beach Kress, built in 1941 at Twelfth Street and Washington Avenue, was designed by streamline specialist L. Murray Dixon, Jr.) The "Main Street" exhibition features hundreds of photographs and drawings, plus architectural fragments and store merchandise highlighting both the Kress design philosophy and discount retailing in America. The exhibitions run through January 31, 1999. Admission is five dollars. 305-531-1001. (NK)
It's ladies' night at the Florida Grand Opera this evening. No, the organization isn't trying out new methods to lure audience members. They just have a lot of women in the house this time around. Maestro (maestra?) Jane Glover, a Brit known for her Mozart interpretations and as the first female conductor in Florida Grand history, will lead the Florida Philharmonic in the score of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Gina Lapinski, who has directed many Young Artists productions for the company, directs a cast of eighteen in this production. Oh, and about the Flute: The story concerns a handsome (aren't they always?) prince and a wacky bird-catcher who team up to free a beautiful (aren't they always?) princess by using bewitched bells, genies, and a magic flute, of course. Children's book illustrator Maurice Sendak designed the sets and costumes. Performances start at 8:00 tonight and Friday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St. Tickets range from $19 to $33. Call 305-854-7890. (NK)
Bianca Lanza has crusaded to bring good art to the Miami public since she arrived here from New York five years ago and opened a storefront gallery off Lincoln Road. Now working as a freelance curator, Lanza lends her discriminating eye to ArtCenter/South Florida (800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) this month for Art to Go, a show of art objects priced at $1000 or less. Lanza hopes fledgling collectors will buy the small works by ArtCenter artists Robert Flynn, Jodie Lynn-Kee-Chow, Carolina Sardi, Jeannie Taylor, Babette Herschberger, and others for themselves or as holiday gifts. If a few hundred dollars is too much for your budget, enrich your mind instead -- looking is free. The show runs through December 26. Call 305-674-8278. (