The 11 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week
Oh My Gosh, Jamie xx: See Friday.
Photo by Flavien Prioreau
Thursday, December 3
Longtime friends Tina Paul and Keni Valenti have joined forces to create a back-to-the-future Basel experience titled "Beyond the Limelight." At the duo's exhibition, opening Thursday at the Museum of Fashion, visitors will journey back to New York City's '80s and '90s nightlife scene through Paul's lens and a fashion exhibition curated by Valenti.
Paul has photographed nightlife for more than 30 years, but the 50 photos on display during Miami Art Week will focus mostly on the '80s and '90s, with a few from the early '00s. "We're trying to go for a before-digital thing," Paul says. "The photos will be presented in film. I have volumes and volumes of photos, though, but Keni narrowed it down to what inspired him and what designers he wanted to feature."
For "Beyond the Limelight," Valenti's fashion exhibit, paired with Paul's photos, will feature designer pieces including Jean Paul Gaultier, Emilio Pucci, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Dolce & Gabbana, and Stephen Sprouse. Paul's featured photos have never been displayed and will be placed as a backdrop to Valenti's fashion installations.
Getting published is no cake walk. Getting one's foot in the door of traditional publishing houses is so difficult that thousands have turned to Amazon's self-publishing platform. Though the even playing field is good for writers, a lack of meticulous editors makes many of those published works unbearable to read. Thankfully, other publishing companies are on the rise, including She Writes Press.
Founded in 2012 by Kamy Wicoff and Brooke Warner in response to the increasingly higher barriers in traditional publishing, She Writes Press strives to be a company where authors are invited to publish based on the merits of their writing alone. Wicoff and Warner wanted to found a press for women writers that would be a platform — that could launch their writing careers and allow them to compete with their traditional counterparts. With publicity, distribution, and a focused editorial eye, She Writes Press has become an influential hybrid publishing house with 100 authors under its umbrella.
Taking its female-run mission on the road, the team at She Writes Press is on a 12-city nationwide tour, where a storied group of writers — including Liz Barker, Leslie Johansen Nack, Libby Ware, Erin Seidemann, Romy Block, and Arielle Levitan — will interact with budding scribes at indie bookstores. Miami's writers and aspiring writers will have the chance to pick the experts' brains when the She Writes Press Fall Book Tour stops at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but RSVP is required. Call 305-442-4408 or visit booksandbooks.com.
Thoughts of the Vietnam conflict often yield a head full of protest songs, but those years of violence and political strife don't usually make people think of musicals. However, based on the 1991 cult-classic film of the same name, Dogfight was reinvented as an off-Broadway musical that won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical in 2013. The musical traces the unlikely love story between a Marine shipping out to Southeast Asia and the waitress he meets the night before his deployment. South Florida's Slow Burn Theatre Company takes this adaptation and its industry's dogged nature (as this company's name suggests) quite seriously. Slow Burn, which was founded in 2009, aims to present daring contemporary works of theater and musical theater to benefit and entertain the South Florida community; its presentation of Dogfight continues a tradition of risk-taking in terms of both material selection and staging. Performances will take place at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura), a relatively new 330-seat facility on the waterfront near the county line.
Experience Dogfight all weekend long, beginning Thursday at 8 p.m. and ending with a closing performance Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $40 to $45. Student tickets are available with a valid ID for $20. Call 305-466-8002 or visit aventuracenter.org.
A post-Basel event, as nature intended it: See Sunday.
Photo by Jason Koerner Photography
Friday, December 4
Given the behemoth proportions that Art Basel Miami Beach has swelled to, you have to do a little digging to get to the real stuff. Though the fairs and museums deliver some wows, art enthusiasts seeking a more in-depth experience need look no further than the artist-centric nonprofit Cannonball.
Providing a contrast to the Basel hyperactivity, Cannonball's Open Studios invites the public to experience a behind-the-scenes view of ideas still looking for their material form and reveals how the artists negotiate the constraints of media, the evasive nature of ideas, and the demand for novel visual vocabularies. Local artists-in-residence Sofia Bastidas, Guillermo Leon Gomez, and Matthew Evan Taylor, as well as visiting artist-in-residence Heidi Neilson, will open their studios to the public Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While enjoying refreshments provided by Boxelder and Vita Coco, guests can learn more about the artists' processes and plans for their work, as Bastidas, Gomez, and Taylor will have completed their yearlong residencies at the end of December.
Open Studios at Cannonball (1035 N. Miami Ave., Ste. 300, Miami) is free to attend. Call 786-347-2360 or visit cannonballmiami.org.
Between jingling bells, faux-sleigh-ride percussion, and shopping mall soundtracks, the only thing that makes the South Florida sound more ready for the holidays is a nice Jewish boy playing Christmas music. That's right: Everyone's favorite soprano saxophonist, Kenny G, will head to the Arsht Center for its Jazz Roots series for an evening of holiday classics reinvented in the great tradition of smooth jazz.
G (a true G, if there ever was one) is credited with almost single-handedly bringing his type of smooth jazz into the mainstream, which began with his 1982 self-titled studio album. His winter-wonderland album Miracles: The Holiday Album was released in 1994 and has been certified multiplatinum.
But it's G's constant international touring and collaborations with other diverse musicians that have helped secure his place in popular culture. He has worked with everyone from classic divas like Whitney Houston to current pop stars like Katy Perry (he can even be heard on her single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," from 2010's Teenage Dream).
The musician's most recent studio LP, Brazilian Nights, was released at the beginning of this year. The Jazz Roots: Kenny G 2015 Holiday Show takes place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $100. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.
A true musical artist sees the connections between genres and exploits those crossroads to the benefit of all music lovers. It takes vision, understanding, and daring; three qualities that England's Jamie xx has in spades.
He first made waves as the percussive backbone of the celebrated trio the xx. Fans fell in love fast to the band's lovesick lyrics, but much of that haunting musical atmosphere was Jamie's doing. He found his own bit of spotlight in 2011 when he and soul and jazz legend Gil Scott-Heron released a collaborative remix LP, We're New Here, just before the singer and poet's death.
While We're New Here enjoyed much critical acclaim, the singer wouldn't see chart-topping success on his own until earlier this year with the release of his genre-defying solo debut, In Colour. The single "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" — featuring weird Atlanta MC Young Thug and Popcaan — performed particularly well, topping the U.S. Billboard dance charts and peaking at 21 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100.
It is his biggest moment yet, and he'll top it off with a headlining performance alongside hip-dance darling Four Tet this Friday at Mana Wynwood (318 NW 23rd St., Wynwood) as part of III Points' Art Basel programming. Showtime is 10 p.m., and tickets cost $55. Visit iiipoints.com.
Saturday, December 5
The phrase "dinner and a show" often conjures images of steak specials and wholesome musicals, a typical date setup totally ignored in Miami. South Florida likes a bit more excitement on the weekend, and Miami Beach establishment Tantalize knows how to tease, please, and feed adventuresome souls.
Open since June, Tantalize combines food, entertainment, cocktails, and sensuality into a hedonistic experience for all the senses. Pan-Latin cuisine by renowned chef Horacio Rivadero whets diners' palates, and scintillating shows sate guests' baser appetites. Featuring showgirls and audience interaction, these vignettes provide the proverbial cherry on top.
Taking its supper-club stylings to new heights, Tantalize presents its Art Basel Masquerade Party, taking place during the height of all the artistic madness overtaking Miami. Diners, clad in their finest masks, will enjoy dinner à la carte by Rivadero, the sounds of DJ Kidd Moss, and live painting by Anastasia the Great this Saturday at 7 p.m. For reservations, call 305-695-1401 or visit tantalizemiami.com.
Dominoes is not just some game your abuelo plays. Mentioned by the Chinese author Zhou Mi of the Yuan Dynasty, it dates back to the 1200s and remains a favorite pastime among players the world over, many of whom can be seen clicking the tiles for hours in Miami's own Little Havana. As fun as it can be, it may seem dull in the blue light of our screen-driven, interconnected era. That is partly why Brooklyn-based art collective Bien Conectao creates works of art in the form of fabulous and functional domino tables. It is the collective's way of getting the word out about the game (not that they need much help here in the Magic City).
Bien Conectao hopes to inspire you to head out and enjoy a few rounds during Miami Art Week as part of its Domino Tournament this Saturday, in partnership with the Prizm Art Fair (7300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Players will compete for tons of awesome prizes, such as Jet Blue flight packages and more. The tournament begins at noon and continues through 7 p.m. Registration is required. Visit prizmartfair.com.
"Masquerade! Paper faces on parade. Masquerade!": See Friday.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Sunday, December 6
Miami Art Week is coming to a close, which means that for the past several days, everything in Miami has been done bigger and better. But that isn't stopping Canvas Miami from putting on an über-hip reimagining of the classic flea-market scene with its Basel Miami Flea.
The third edition of the flea-market event takes place the last day of Art Basel Miami Beach, and it's all about art, activities, and aesthetics. As in years past, local vendors will sell unique handmade and vintage goods, while interactive options — including workshops, mind and body classes, and live demonstrations — will keep guests engaged. Plus, the Grub Garden, curated by the New Tropic, will offer food and drinks. This Sunday-funday promises to be a relaxing break from the Basel madness.
The Art Basel edition of the Miami Flea runs from 2 to 6 p.m. at Canvas Miami (90 NE 17th St., Miami). Admission is free, but RSVP is required via aedistrictmiami.eventbrite.com.
Monday, December 7
Both the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes are looking for new leadership. And the Miami Marlins, well, as long as the evil Emperor Loria owns the team, they'll remain baseball's unfunniest joke. Thankfully, South Florida sports fans have the Miami Heat, one of the best-run, most consistent franchises in all of sports.
A disappointing 2014-15 campaign nearly saw the team accidentally make the playoffs with a wounded core of players (Chris Bosh's lung, Josh McRoberts' knee, and Dwyane Wade's body). This season, the Heat is off to a decent start with a solid group of (healthy) players, including the aforementioned Wade, Bosh, McRoberts, and Winslow. Better yet are the returning impact players from last year. There's Luol Deng, who did an admirable job of keeping the wheels from totally falling off, and Hassan Whiteside, the Heat's budding star center and shot-blocking beast. Although the Heat is by no means perfect (really, guys, a near-loss to Philly?) or the perpetual favorite to win the East, this is a turnaround season where the bad taste of that guy leaving for that team seems to have been mostly washed out.
The Miami Heat will face off against fellow Eastern Conference hopefuls, the Washington Wizards, Monday at 7 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets start at $15. Call 786-777-1000 or visit nba.com/heat.
Wednesday, December 9
The Miami Beach SoundScape Cinema Series, whose 2015-16 programming kicked off in October with The Dark Knight Rises, offers a slate of contemporary films. The majority of movies released in 2015 are likely sitting on home video shelves already, so the series is a convenient and affordable way to check out recent movies under the night sky. Now that the chaos of Art Basel has concluded, December's schedule offers Simon Curtis' Woman in Gold, screening this Wednesday.
The film, which premiered earlier this year, stars the effortlessly talented Helen Mirren alongside Ryan Reynolds in a plot based on a true story. Woman in Gold follows Maria Altmann (Mirren), who is attempting to recover a famous painting of her aunt that was stolen by Nazis during World War II, not solely to take back property that belongs to her, but to obtain some semblance of justice for the crimes against her people. Basically, it's the perfect post-Basel film.
As with every film the series shows on the lawn of the New World Center (1700 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach), Woman in Gold begins at 8 p.m., rain or shine, unless otherwise noted. So bring a blanket or some lawn chairs to relax and enjoy the free movie. Visit mbculture.com.
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