Miami filmmaker Juan Carlos Zaldivar laments the dearth of countercultural icons in a world rife with war, corporate greed, and disease. He bemoans the growing apathy in cities and the eerie quiet that comes with assimilation. Once-radical heroes such as John Waters, he observes, maintain a comfort in the quiet. Rather than cry about it, Zaldivar's raving. In his one-man performance "Transformation #1 -P.S. Karen Finley Is Dead," Zaldivar channels Finley's fiery persona while crafting 3 separate characters who narrate the journey. Derived from his experience watching Finley -- one of 4 NEA-backed artists who drew fire from Jesse Helms during the '80s and '90s for alleged pornographic content -- Zaldivar holds a critical and provocative mirror to the local community. He performs at 8:30 p.m. at Dot Fifty-One Gallery, 51 NE 36th St. Admission costs $10. Call 305-573-9994. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
While samba dancers lined the streets of Rio de Janeiro for this year's Carnival, Miami-based Maximum Dance company was gearing up for its own Brazilian-style performance featuring the world premiere of Berimbau. Co-created by members Douglas Gawriljuk and Mikhael Plain, the piece is a balletic traipse through Brazil's rich culture, which means lots of percussion and high-energy movement. But that's not all. The company will also unveil a second world premiere: founding director David Palmer's Concerto, set to Maurice Ravel's classic Concerto in G. To complete the triumvirate, Bach de Trois, a piece featuring music by J.S. Bach as retooled by jazz legend Jacques Loussier, will be back by popular demand. The shows begin at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets cost $25, $40, and $50. Call 305-259-9775. -- By John Anderson
Trippy World Grooves
Superfunky, energized music is what Atlanta's favorite reggae band does best. The Natti Love Joys, a ragtag group of Jah lovers, bring their spectacle to Key Biscayne's Bayside Hut (3501 Rickenbacker Cswy.) for a festive dance party that mixes Afrobeat, jungle, rock, and ska. The group plays with Shaggie Williams, Mystic Dino, and Miami's own Family One Band. Get your dreads ready to shake and your body ready to whine -- the sound promises to be infectious. The concert starts at 9:00 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 305-361-0808. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Music's edge breaks sound
As you read this, somewhere on the planet in a desolate forest, a tree falls alone without anyone around to hear it. The sound that fallen tree makes is the type of sonic mystery that lives at the heart of the Subtropics Experimental Music Festival. Is it sound? Is it anything at all? Tonight the festival hosts its annual Surreal Subtropics Music Marathon, where some of the world's sound pioneers come together and jam -- conceptually, that is. Featured this year are collaborative performances by Rene Barge and Kerry Ware, Adrian Castro and Alfredo Triff, and a long-distance telephone performance from Poland with Molr Drammaz. The marathon takes place at 9:00 p.m. at P.S. 742, 1165 SW 6th St. Admission is $7.42. Call 305-981-0600. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Arts from here and abroad
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Daaahhling, if you think Hungary's greatest exports are and will always be Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor, maybe you need to step away slowly from the TV screen and pay a little visit to Budapest. Or not. Just stick around Miami and head over to the Center for Emerging Art's event dubbed An Evening of Music & Poetry. Among the featured artists are blind pianist Tamas Erdi, who will debut at Carnegie Hall later this month; poet Peter Hargitai; and cellist Michael Andrews, all representing a cultural exchange between Budapest and Miami. Performances take place at 8:00 tonight at Miami City Ballet (2200 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach), and 2:00 p.m. Saturday at University of Miami's Victor L. Clarke Recital Hall, 550 San Amaro Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-538-2803. -- By Nina Korman
Few comedians have had the long-term success Elayne Boosler enjoys. The feisty Boosler's wide appeal has earned her numerous appearances on television programs such as CNN's Crossfire, Hollywood Squares, and, of course, the World Series (the World Series?!?). Charming enough to get away with witty but occasionally caustic observations about the sexes and politics, Boosler boasts solo comedy shows that tend to sell out quickly. Around 7:30 tonight the jokes will fly at the Robert Russell Theater at the Alper Jewish Community Center, 11155 SW 112th St. Tickets cost $25 and $50. Call 305-271-9000, ext. 268. -- By Margaret Griffis