Since 1985 the folks at Louis Wolfson II Media History Center have been collecting, preserving, cataloguing, and making the public aware of film and video materials about Florida's history and culture. The center has grown into one of the largest and most active institutions of its kind. Ten years ago, in an effort to recognize excellence and encourage preservation of footage, it inaugurated the Wolfson Center Film and Video Awards Ceremony. This year's edition gets under way at 7:00 tonight when the best in film and video made in or about Florida will be honored at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Excerpts of meritorious programs in four categories -- documentary, news, artistic, and productions incorporating archival material -- will be screened. Winners were determined by a national panel of film/video scholars, historians, and archivists, plus representatives from the Directors Guild of America, the Museum of Television and Radio, and the Peabody Awards. Admission is free but a contribution of ten dollars is suggested. Call 375-1505 to reserve a seat. (NK)
Ever wonder why a World's Fair is no longer a much-anticipated event? Two reasons: Disney and computers. Who needs to visit some temporary expo when you can go to an open-every-day theme park that features scaled-down re-creations of Paris, Rome, and other cities; thrilling -- if nausea-inducing -- rides; and eerily lifelike computer-powered animals and people. And who has time to think about what the future holds when we're busy exploring deepest cyberspace? Well, anyone yearning for an era when people seriously contemplated Tomorrowland will be thrilled by Drawing the Future: Designs for the 1939 New York World's Fair, which opens today at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). On display will be 40 original illustrations (some never shown publicly or published before this exhibition) by avant-garde designers such as Raymond Loewy, Hugh Ferriss, and Chester Price -- all borrowed from the Museum of the City of New York. Supplementing the drawings: trinkets from the Wolfsonian's vast stash of World's Fair materials, and the Indian Creek Hotel's collection of postcards, tabletop accessories, and souvenirs. The show runs through November 15. Admission is five dollars. Call 531-1001 for museum hours. (NK)
Last year a benefit performance by the Fugees in Port-au-Prince drew an astounding 750,000 people. Now the band's Wyclef Jean wants to bring his Carnival to Miami. His solo album of the same name, released last summer, was a showcase for multiculturalism, with songs sung in English, Creole, and a streetwise hip-hop patois; it also included a masterfully fresh take on "Guantanamera" in a duet with Celia Cruz. Wyclef Jean takes the stage at the AT&T Amphitheater at Bayfront Park (301 N. Biscayne Blvd.) with fellow Fugee Pras, Canibus, John Forte, Salt-n-Pepa, Bounty Killa, Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, Diana King, Sweet Micky, Inner Circle, Scare Dem Crew, Born Jamaricans, and Savion Glover. MTV VJ Bill Bellamy hosts. Gates open at 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 the day of show. Call 857-0912. (JC)
Flower fanciers, prepare to visit heaven -- a.k.a. the Redland International Orchid Festival. Today and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Fruit and Spice Park (24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead), 45 orchid growers from Asia, Central and South America, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States will sell their plants. Experts will offer hands-on potting demonstrations and deliver lectures throughout both days. Garden accessories and supplies will be available for purchase, as well as a variety of international foods and a slew of orchid-theme crafts. Admission is three dollars. Call 242-1333. (NK)
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
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Spanish-American War and take a trek around Miami's downtown area when historian Paul George leads the Spanish-American War "Camp Miami" Centennial and Historic Downtown Walking Tour. Check out the northern section of downtown, which during the war was dubbed Camp Miami. Also examine the original site of the Florida East Coast Railway train station, the carefully restored Ges Catholic Church, the imposing Miami News/Freedom Tower building, and several other points of interest along NE First Street. Finish your tour with a stop at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida's Spanish-American War exhibition. Meet at 11:00 a.m. at the Historical Museum, 101 W. Flagler St. Tickets cost $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Call 375-1625. (NK)
Got a great idea for a television show? Now that Seinfeld, the definitive show about nothing, has broadcast its final episode, TV honchos are desperately searching for the next big thing. But how do you go about coaxing them into considering your brilliant project? Maybe by attending the Entertainment Roundtable at 5:00 this afternoon at the Biltmore Hotel (1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables). A panel composed of four experts -- James Farah, vice president of sales for leading syndicators King World Productions; Yolanda Foster, program director for Miami's CBS affiliate WFOR-TV (Channel 4); entertainment attorney Richard W. Rappaport; and Matti Leshem, editor in chief of WAMI, the USA Broadcasting venture owned by media mogul Barry Diller -- will gab about the world of television programming and syndication and perhaps even offer some tips for getting your show on the air. One piece of advice: Be careful who you share that brilliant idea with. Those entertainment types can be sharks! Admission is free. Call 358-2663 to reserve a seat. (NK)
Being gay may not be a laughing matter for many, but it gives stand-up comedian Bob Smith some of his best material. His mother's zany comments and the fact that he's from Buffalo also provide some yucks. The first out-of-the-closet comic to appear on the Tonight Show (1994), Smith is also the author of two books, Growing Up Gay and Openly Bob. Additionally, he has written for his colleagues, most notably Dennis Miller and Roseanne, and had his own HBO comedy special. Currently he's writing a sketch comedy show for the Showtime cable network with a marked gay and lesbian sensibility (if there is such a thing) in which he will star. For the next two days Smith will keep you laughing at the Improv (Streets of Mayfair, 3399 Virginia St., Coconut Grove). Tickets range from $10 to $15. Call 441-8200 for performance times. (NK)
Violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson -- husband-and-wife superstar classical musicians -- usually perform with pianist Joseph Kalichstein as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Tonight Laredo and Robinson make music not with their piano-playing colleague but rather with a few more musicians -- the Florida Philharmonic. Carl St. Clair leads the orchestra in its final concert of the season, a program featuring Brahms's spirited Double Concerto, Ticheli's dynamic Postcard, and Shostakovich's magnificent and melodious Symphony no. 5. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $17 to $70. Call 930-1812. (