The 12 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week
Experience art with the help of Arts Encounter: See Saturday.
"Miami Windows, Miami" by Robert Huff; Photo by Francesco Casale/Letter16 Press
Thursday, October 15
Tracing the history of social movements in the United States and the Caribbean, Firelei Báez's exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, "Bloodlines," presents a series of new works by the artist, inspired by black resistance. Born in 1981 in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Báez is best known for her large-scale works on paper. "Bloodlines" showcases paintings and drawings depicting textiles, hair designs, and body ornaments, linking traditionally loaded symbols with human gestures. Her works are labor-intensive, mostly rendering female subjects.
Museum visitors can hear directly from the artist through PAMM's latest discussion event, Art Talk: In Conversation With María Elena Ortiz, where associate curator María Elena Ortiz will speak with Báez about her work. After the talk, guests will enjoy a live performance by string duo Chargaux, featuring opening and closing sets by DJ Kumi, presented by Rhythm Foundation.
Art Talk begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at PAMM (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) and is free with museum admission: $16 for adults and $12 for students, seniors, and youths ages 7 to 18. Call 305-375-3000 or visit pamm.org.
Friday, October 16
There have been so many versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks: from novelty records and comic books in the late 1950s to the TV series beginning in the '60s that got a reboot in the '80s, to the latest incarnation as CGI-animated characters on Nickelodeon. It's hard to imagine what these three anthropomorphized critters would look like in a theatrical production. Luckily for kids and families, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Live on Stage! accomplishes just that. With Tony Award-winning costume designer Michael Curry (The Lion King) and members of the production group that won a Billboard Touring Creative Content award for Yo Gabba Gabba! Live, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Live on Stage! is an interactive onstage performance featuring visuals and special effects surrounding the life-size costumed Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.
During the show, the Chipmunks and Chipettes' nemesis Ian Hawke tricks them into organizing and performing at a benefit concert. The narrative twists and turns while the group sings pop hits from the likes of One Direction, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, and Elvis Presley, as well as original tunes. Plus, the Chipmunks and Chipettes will invite a lucky audience member onstage to perform with them as the Chipmunks uncover the deception and save the day.
Showtimes are 3 and 7 p.m. Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $29 to $49. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.
"I was working in the lab late one night/When my eyes beheld an eerie sight/For my monster from his slab began to rise/And suddenly to my surprise /He did the mash, he did the monster mash!" Ah, the classic tune of the Halloween season sounds extra-sweet when talking about an event called the Monster Masquerade. Every year, Zoo Miami (12400 SW 152nd St., Miami) hosts a killer party that's not to be missed. Revelers can enjoy an open bar, food, a costume contest, music, and access to Dr. Wilde's Creepy House. Plus, there's a rumor that Zoo Miami legend Ron Magill might show up dressed as a vampire.
Don't dance on Dracula's toes when you do the monster mash at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets cost $75 at the gate. Call 305-251-0400 or visit zoomiami.org.
Halloween isn't only about ghouls and goblins: See Sunday.
Jason Koerner Photography
Saturday, October 17
It seems obvious, but there's more to the trans community than Caitlyn Jenner's latest news conference. For many Americans, however, the exposure stops there. Thanks to people like Mariette Pathy Allen, the public gets to see the stories within transgender culture, stories she's been documenting for more than 30 years. In the photographer's latest show, "TransCuba," Allen captured the trans community of Cuba through 30 vibrant photographs.
Because Miami is home to one of the largest populations of Cubans.outside the island, the South Florida premiere of "TransCuba" is particularly relevant, both in time and place. Allen's work concentrates on the details of the everyday lives of her transgender subjects, engaging with family and friends and the community at large in Cuba, as well as revealing the growing visibility and acceptance in a country whose government is transitioning into a more "relaxed" model of communism under Raúl Castro's presidency. During 2012 and 2013, Allen gained full access to photograph trans people and their friends in the privacy of their homes, as well as outside at restaurants and clubs, at the beach, on the streets of Havana, at performances, and at special events. Strong, smart, active, and optimistic, the transgender people Allen depicts in "TransCuba" savor their new freedom to be able to be themselves publicly while continuing to overcome challenges, such as health issues and lack of steady work and money.
"TransCuba" opens to the public Saturday at Yeelen Gallery (294 NW 54th St., Miami) and will run through November 28. Allen will be available for book signings during the opening reception Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 954-235-4758 or visit yeelenart.com.
When was the last time you hopped into the car and popped in a dope cassette tape? If you're one of the thousands of tape-deck retro-warriors, it was, like, yesterday. If you're one of those weird modern MP3-rockin' fools, maybe it's time you gave the old cassette a revisit.
Cassettes are basically the new vinyl, in that they're technically rather obsolete, but people still like to collect and play with them. In case you didn't know, Cheap Miami is your local cassette pusher, keeping the art of the little magnetic musical movement alive and kickin'. And in case you ever wanted to breathe new life into an old medium, Cheap Miami's got your back. There has never been a better time than this Saturday, because this weekend marks the national celebration of cassettes, and Cheap Miami is teaming up with Radio-Active Records and Gramps (176 NW 24th St., Wynwood) to celebrate Cassette Store Day 2015.
They're getting together to feature local music and local tapes for just $5 admission, which includes performances from Boytoy, Party Flag, Plastic Pinks, and others. It's something like the ultimate tape convention with beer and cocktails, and it kicks off at 9 p.m. Call 305-699-2669 or visit gramps.com.
If you're into art but find yourself completely confused by Miami's countless creative spaces and galleries, Arts Encounter is the professional guidance you've been looking for. The four-hour tour will lead you through more art than you've seen since Basel 2014. You'll get a glimpse of Elizabeth Withstandley's video installation at Dimensions Variable, see "Rip Current" at Bas Fisher Invitational, and check out the city's community print shop, Turn-Based Press.
Eat lunch with other art lovers; then follow along as artists and curators lead you through the solo shows at Miami Dade College's Museum of Art + Design. From art librarian Barbara Young's retrospective of late husband Robert Huff's work to the story of Karen Rifas' small-scale maquettes, art in an array of incarnations will be at your fingertips.
Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired enough to pick up a paintbrush — might as well make the most of living in the world's emerging artopolis.
The tour begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Downtown Art House (100 NE 11th St., Miami). Tickets cost $35 per person. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-989-0027.
Beer is great, and events that celebrate the greatness of beer are even greater. This weekend, Grovetoberfest returns with its craft-beer-tasting spectacular. The annual event claims to have been at the forefront of the craft beer craze and promises to deliver a "craft beer experience that marries the love of craft beer to an incredible social atmosphere." Despite the recent backlash over the event organizers' "Dark Beers Matter" marketing stunt, the main event is still happening.
Beer will flow freely at Peacock Park (2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove) this Saturday till 7 p.m. Three ticket types are available: general admission ($40), which includes entrance at 4 p.m.; Beer Socialite ($70), which gets you in at 3 p.m.; and VIP ($90), which not only gets you in at 2:30 p.m. but also grants access to a VIP lounge and air-conditioned bathrooms. Call 305-461-2700 or visit grovetoberfest.com.
No sense in resisting "Bloodlines": See Thursday.
Man Without a Country by Firelei Báez
Sunday, October 18
There was a time when the idiom "go fly a kite" was muddled and meant something nasty rather than recreational. Ah, where have all the old-timey insults gone? Oh, well, that's neither here nor there, but what you can actually do from noon to 5 p.m. this Sunday is just actually go fly a kite. Seriously. The beach's sky will be filled for the 23rd-annual Kitober Fest, the largest kiting event in Florida, and its organizers are making some big promises. "Expect to see the 100-foot flying squid, 30-foot flying scuba man, 300-square-foot parafoils, 30-foot flying Nemo fish, and more," the event site boasts.
This colorful display of flying objects will be accompanied by Miami Country Day High School's rock ensemble — 21 Hearts, 1 Beat — and festivalgoers are encouraged to make and bring their own kites, especially if the flying contraptions reflect their owners' cultures. Kiting traditions throughout the Caribbean are colorful and varied, with stylistic representations expected from the Bahamas, Colombia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and even China. Imagine an aerial tapestry of South Florida's diverse cultural makeup.
Hosted by Miami-Dade Parks and Skyward Kites, Kitober Fest will take place at Haulover Park (10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). Admission is free, but parking costs $7. Food, refreshments, and kites will be available for purchase. Call 305-893-0906 or visit skywardkites.com.
For adults, Halloween gets a reputation for short skirts and horrifying amounts of alcohol, but you know who Halloween is really for? The kids! The All Hallows Eves of your childhood are the nights when spirits take to the sky and candy is on the freakin' menu. If you have a special wee one in your life, make this a magical moment to remember, but if you're worried about a PG experience, why not take them to the place they love to learn and laugh?
The Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami) will host its Not So Scary Family Halloween Bash this Sunday. It's the perfect way to kick off your costume festivities. There will be tons of spooky-themed games and crafts, a (not too) haunted house, a mad-scientist lab, and plenty of opportunities to trick-or-treat throughout the museum's many exhibits and galleries. Arrive dressed to impress in your Halloween best. The party starts at 1 p.m. and goes till 5 p.m. Tickets cost $40, and as an extra treat, all proceeds go toward the museum's educational programs. Call 305-373-5437 or visit miamichildrensmuseum.org.
Monday, October 19
Elizabeth Gilbert is no underachiever. The much-beloved author has a pretty impressive resumé: An article she wrote became the basis for Coyote Ugly, Julia Roberts played her in a movie about her life, and Oprah is her BFF. Who could ask for anything more? Gilbert's new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is all about uncovering inspiration, coming up with ideas, and overcoming the paralyzing fear of the unknown.
Thanks to Books & Books and the Adrienne Arsht Center, Gilbert is coming to Miami. The author is no stranger to the city — she has passed through town multiple times on other tours, often in conjunction with Books & Books. Last year, she appeared as part of Oprah's Life You Want Weekend and proclaimed on Twitter: "I love you, Miami." Now, Gilbert will appear at the Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Monday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30. Visit arshtcenter.org.
Wednesday, October 21
Museum exhibitions are nothing without their curators. The organization and placement of artists' work can make or break exhibits, though most of us know little about what goes into such planning. In its latest attempt to go behind the scenes of art presentation, alternative art space Locust Projects welcomes independent curator Tina Kukielski for the lecture series Locust Talks.
Co-curator of the 2013 Carnegie International and curator of the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Kukielski — along with co-curators Daniel Baumann and Dan Byers — made waves for the showing, which featured a survey of 40 artists from 19 countries. Named one of ArtNet's "25 Women Curators Shaking Things Up," she also organized shows at Carnegie with artists working with new technology, such as Cory Arcangel and Antoine Catala, who shows with plugged-in New York gallery 47 Canal.
Kukielski is now back in New York, with several projects in the works, including a group show this summer at James Cohan Gallery. Miami art lovers will get to hear her thoughts on the industry this Wednesday at Locust Projects (3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami). The talk runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is free. Call 305-576-8570 or visit locustprojects.org.
October 15 is a happy date in South Florida. It marks the beginning of the stone crab season, and no one is more closely linked to the succulent crustacean than legendary South Beach eatery Joe's Stone Crab. The ol' crab lore — now more than a hundred years old — is part myth, part truth, and all Floridiana. Joe's was opened as a fish restaurant in 1913 by Joe Weiss, and the story goes that an ichthyologist's suggestion turned Weiss on to the abundant crab of South Florida, and it quickly became the restaurant's marquee dish. The restaurant has held this distinction over generations of ownership and a never-ending roster of noted diners.
The South Beach Seafood Festival kicks off the 24th of this month, but to set things in motion properly, An Evening at Joe's is the way to go. The $500 ticket for a seat in Jessie's Room — "the original room at Joe's, where greats like Al Capone and Frank Sinatra cracked claws" — will pair a decadent five-course meal with Hess Collection wines. And though this is an evening designed to get foodies going, it's also a history lesson, with restaurant chat by Joe's general manager Brian Johnson and a wine talk with Hess Collection owner Donald Hess.
An Evening at Joe's takes place Wednesday at Joe's Stone Crab (11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). For tickets and times, visit sobeseafoodfest.com.
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