Rare orchid says "cheese!"
Do you see dead people? You won't have to possess the ability to view anything deceased in order to take in photographer Rick Cruz's vision of the Florida Everglades and Big Cypress National Park. During a 6:30 reception tonight at the Gilded Hand (165 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), Cruz (above) will premiere his snapshot of the ghost orchid, one of the rarest in the United States, found only in Florida's Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Near the top of Florida's list of threatened and endangered plants, this leafless bloom was the central character in Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief and later starred in the movie Adaptation. The ghost orchid's image will remain on display at the gallery through Thursday, September 23. The photo and other limited-edition prints can be found on Cruz's website, www.rickcruzphotography.com. To protect this plant species and 70 others, 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Fakahatchee Strand. Admission is free. Call 305-442-1445. -Erica Martinez
Good priest gets his
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There are Catholic priests who follow the doctrine "do as I preach, not as I do," wielding their religion as a weapon against perceived evils without considering how it pertains to today's world. Then there are priests who step out from the Vatican's shadow and approach the religion in a thoughtful, holistic fashion -- men of God who apply the good book to the grim realities of their parishes. Father Gustavo Gutierrez is one of the latter. As a founder of Liberation Theology, a South American movement that integrates Christianity with the needs of the impoverished, he's inspired global social change. Tonight, Barry University honors him with the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence. Vespers and lecture begin at 5:00 p.m. in Barry's Cor Jesu Chapel (11300 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores); a reception follows. Admission is free. Call 305-899-4805.-Patrice Eliabeth Grell Yursik
On Their Toes
For the past few days, Miami Hispanic Ballet's International Ballet Festival of Miami has been celebrating the work of renowned Russian choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983) with performances of classic pieces by stars from some of the world's most distinguished dance companies. Tonight at 8:00 and tomorrow afternoon at 3:00, the action moves to the beach, not on the sand but on the stage of the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). There the festival will offer its finale in the way of a classical grand gala performance. Expect to see dancers from Hong Kong, Santiago, Cape Town, and, of course, members of our own Balanchine-loving Miami City Ballet. Tickets range from $23 to $43. Call 305-673-7300. -- Nina Korman