The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week
Thursday: Step Afrika!
Photo credit: Tony Powell
If art nouveau sounds like something your great-grandmother liked, that's because it is. But it's also the art form that preceded the art deco-style buildings of South Beach and inspired a generation of acid-dropping hippies to make innovative and hallucinatory poster art in the '60s and '70s. Bet you didn't think about that the last time you spaced out to a Pink Floyd album. If you're looking for an origins tour, head to the William H. Bradley retrospective, "Pioneer of American Art Nouveau," to learn more about the movement's U.S. roots. January 26 through April 9 at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; wolfsonian.org. Admission costs $10.
Maybe your 50-something neighbors turning up to Latin beats into the wee hours of Tuesday morning isn't enough Miami for you. Fear not — the Miami Bachata Festival starts this weekend. It kicks off with a birthday bash for Jorge "Ataca" Burgos, bachata instructor and founder of Island Touch Dance Academy (which also happens to be organizing the festival). Dance workshops run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and cover all levels, from beginner to advanced. Almost a dozen dance acts will show their talents beginning at 9 p.m. each night, followed by a dance free-for-all at 11 p.m. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. January 26, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. January 27 and 28, and 9 a.m. to midnight January 29 at the Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; miamibachatafestival.com. Passes cost $85 to $125+.
Tuesday: The Exterminating Angel
Tropical plants are basically aliens on Earth. If you don't believe that, head to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Not only will you witness the orchids, bromeliads, and lobster claw heliconia (even their names sound like aliens), but you'll also get to explore the 12th-annual Taste of the Garden benefit this Friday. A ticket gets you access to samplings from a ritzy selection of Miami-based restaurants, as well as drinks, music, and a silent auction. Proceeds go toward the garden's various programs and conservation efforts. Save the aliens! 6:30 p.m. January 27 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; mbgarden.org/tickets; 305-673-7256. Tickets cost $90 in advance and $125 at the door.
Remember that time in the early 2000s when a rash of films about teens dancing to that newfangled hip-hop stuff was popular? Believe it or not, Stomp the Yard and other such hormonal dramas actually pull from a rich history of African-influenced art and dance. The breadth of these traditions and influences is explored in Step Afrika!, a multidisciplinary performance that blends step, spoken word, and music. The internationally touring dance company is also dedicated to community outreach in the D.C. area, as well as arts education across the U.S. 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. January 27 and 8 p.m. January 28 at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; aventuracenter.org; 800-745-3000. Tickets cost $35 to $40.
When you think of performance, you think of an audience sitting comfortably, watching something or someone on a stage that is entertaining or thought-provoking. In Lazaro Godoy's newest performance and exhibition, the artist eschews tradition and immerses the audience in a landscape of live video, art, food, photography, smells, and optical illusions. Witness Godoy perform within the space for the complete experience of ArMOUR, an interpretive exploration of love and self-illumination, and head to the MTC early to get a look at the installation before the performance begins. 8 p.m. January 27 through January 29 at the Sandbox Theater, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. The exhibition is open from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Visit mtcmiami.org. Performance costs $25; exhibition is free and open to the public.
Thursday: Deauville's Bachata Festival
Courtesy of Island Touch Dance Academy
An artist's studio can be a strange place. Are those used coffee lids trash or the components of a found-object sculpture? Maybe it's best if we never know. For a more palatable peek into the artistic process, listen to Sunday Painter, a podcast started by Miami native Alex Nuñez that explores the influence of music on artists and their work. From her former home in Brooklyn, Nuñez has gathered national and international artists for "Sunday Painter," a showcase of participants who varyingly relate to a Magic City aesthetic, which ironically will take place Saturday, not Sunday. 7 p.m. January 28 at the Laundromat Art Space, 5900 NE Second Ave., Miami; show runs through February; sundaypainter.net. Admission is free.
Miami is in a tropical climate, which comes with the requisite scorching heat and oppressive humidity. So do we go a little crazy in the so-called winter? Absolutely. If you're trying to get the most out of the slight dip in temperature, the Coral Gables Art Festival and corresponding Kidz Fest are your ticket. The art festival is a juried event including more than 200 artists and crafters, while the Kidz Fest boasts a Fairy Princess Experience, bounce houses, face painting, and 30 other games and activities for kiddos. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. January 28 and 29 at 255 Alhambra Cir., Coral Gables; coralgablesartfestival.com. Art festival is free; Kidz Fest costs $10 per game or $25 for unlimited play.
Break out your best star-man getup and hop into a self-driving Uber — the Leah Arts District is continuing its #HialeahNow series with Retro Future Night. The event is 18 and up and sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey. Video installations, virtual reality, and interactive circus performances are some of the harbingers of our future reality, and beats by Otto von Schirach are set to propel you into a parallel dimension. So let's go ahead and pretend our robot overlords will be less like HAL and more like Rosie Jetson. 8 p.m. January 28 at Black Dot Agency, 1085 E. 14th St., Hialeah. Admission is free, but RSVP is required via retrofuture.eventbrite.com.
Saturday: "Sunday Painter"
It's called the trolley dilemma: If given the opportunity, would you pull a lever that changes the direction of a runaway trolley in order to save five people's lives but in the process kill one person? Ferdinand von Schirach's play Terror explores this classic philosophical puzzle through the trial of a military pilot charged with murder after shooting down a hijacked commercial flight headed toward a soccer stadium. The twist? The audience is the jury, and its decision dictates the end of the play. 8 p.m. January 28 through February 19 at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; colonymb.org/terror. Tickets cost $35 to $60.
Hot Chip and Ghostface Killah are obviously great. Overpriced beer and corn dogs are not. At the FM Festival, there's no need to compromise. Not only will calorie-worthy bites abound from the likes of Ariete, K Ramen, and more than a dozen other Miami establishments, but you'll also get craft cocktails from local bartenders, all on the beach. Now you have a good reason to stuff your face at a music festival — as opposed to just eating so you can drink more. Don't worry, your summer body won't be mad. 2 p.m. January 28 and 29 at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; fmfestival.com. Tickets cost $45 to $450.
Saturday: FM Festival
Photo credit: Press Here Publicity
Decorated with towering trees and public art, Miami Beach's Collins Park is anchored by the coral palace that is the Bass. For five years, the museum has teamed up with the Miami Symphony Orchestra to showcase the park as a perfect venue for a casual concert. Once a year, MISO in the Park invites members of the community to whip out their picnic baskets or purchase one from Thierry's and plop down on a blanket to enjoy a professional musical experience. If you're truly rocking the coolest picnic vibes — most fashionable, artistic, or gourmet — you can win prizes in a contest judged by local stars Belkys Nerey and Brandi Reddick. 4 p.m. January 29 at Collins Park, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thebass.org. Admission is free. Valet costs $20.
It's a new year, which means you've already seen too many new-year-new-me believers jogging their way past your sedentary self. Multiply that by 25,000 this weekend, because about 26 miles of our city's roads will be teeming with athletes for the Miami Marathon. Registration is still open to join the race, or you could spectate at cheer stations located in Miami Beach, downtown Miami, and Brickell. If you're more of a hide-in-your-house-until-the-road-closures-end type of person, we won't judge you for being in your PJ's until 1 p.m. (most of the roads will have reopened by then). 5:45 a.m. January 29 at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; themiamimarathon.com. Full marathon registration costs $170; half-marathon registration costs $150.
Mardi Gras may be a religiously inspired event based in New Orleans, but just as the annual fete deviates from the general austerity of Catholicism, it can also be celebrated properly outside its home city. And North Miami Mardi Gras will show this city how it's done in Caribbean style this Sunday with a street parade of floats, colorful costumes, island food, cumbia, compas, reggae, and batucada. 103.5 the Beat's Papa Keith will host a concert featuring the "Boombastic" Shaggy, Sweet Micky, T-Vice, and Gabel. 1 to 10 p.m. January 29 at NE 125th Street between Sixth and 12th Avenues in North Miami; northmiamimardigras.com. Admission is free.
Sunday: the Miami Marathon
Courtesy of the Miami Marathon
There's nothing cute about being a fickle fan. Sure, things may not be exactly the same since the Miami Heat's Big Three broke up, but with or without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat is still our NBA team. This week, Burnie will hit the court with fiery exuberance as the home team takes on the Brooklyn Nets. The Heat beat the Nets in a preseason game, but it's all on the table this Monday at the American Airlines Arena. And seats are affordable, so you can still support our men in uniform. 7:30 p.m. January 30 at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. aaarena.com. Tickets cost $15 to $150.
Cuba might be the biggest exporter of residents to Miami, but second on the list has to be New York. Just as Miami can feel like Little Cuba, there's an incredibly tight connection between the Big Apple and the Magic City. And that bond is only strengthening as Miami's art scene expands. The Betsy Hotel in South Beach, known for fostering the arts through cultural programs, is hosting this Monday a Breakfast Arts Salon on a project the hotel is launching to link culture in Brooklyn and Miami. The discussion will include the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau's George Neary and Brooklyn Academy of Music's Karen Brooks Hopkins. There will also be an open mike, so get your vocal cords ready for channeling Langston — Hughes, that is. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., January 30 at the Betsy South Beach, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Admission is free with tickets via thebetsyhotel.com.
Photo credit: Kelsey Johnson
It's human nature to take what is ubiquitous for granted, so if you look at a stained-glass window or a Tiffany lamp without much thought or inspiration, we don't blame you. "Glasstress" is looking to change perceptions of glass art, however, with a comprehensive look at glass as a medium for political discourse, social commentary, and otherwise nonfrivolous functions. Featuring glassworks from more than 30 national and international artists, this showing of the exhibition will be the largest ever presented in the United States. Programming surrounding the exhibition includes lectures, demonstrations, and a Carnival-themed benefit Saturday. January 31 through July 2 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; bocamuseum.org. Admission costs $12.
Named one of the best 1,000 films of all time by the New York Times, The Exterminating Angel is not a light film. Directed by Spanish surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, this 1962 flick stays true to his outlandish oeuvre. This Tuesday, Coral Gables Art Cinema is offering a one-time screening of this creepy comedy. It's part of an unofficial program of Tuesday screenings of often unseen but fantastic films. 7 p.m. January 31 at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave.; 786-385-9689; gablescinema.com. Tickets cost $11.75.
At Miami Smokers, there is nothing you can't pair with bacon. They slap it on everything, from Knaus Berry Farm cinnamon buns to a bourbon cream nightcap. So you won't be surprised these pig-cookers are bringing their smoked pork belly and matching it with Miami beers. At Tuesday's Bacon and Beer, the local bacon-makers will bring special pork bites to the local brewery Wynwood Brewing, creating a power couple that's hard to refuse. 7 to 10 p.m. January 31 at Wynwood Brewing, 565 NW 24th St., Wynwood; wynwoodbrewing.com. Admission costs $20.
Wednesday: Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones
Love, loss, and redemption are on Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan's agenda in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Tony Award-winning Carousel. The musical isn't just known as an all-time favorite film of your mom's; it's also a classic you can enjoy IRL at Actors' Playhouse. A 25-member cast will take the main stage of the Miracle Theatre for a monthlong run of memorable performances of songs that'll stay with you for a lifetime. 8 p.m. February 1 through 26 at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293; actorsplayhouse.org. Weeknight and matinee shows cost $57, Friday and Saturday evenings cost $64, and discounts are available for seniors, groups, and students.
When SoundScape Park isn't showing the New World Symphony flaunting its skills, you can catch beloved modern films on the park's giant screen as part of the SoundScape Cinema Series. This Wednesday, see actor John Heder at his funkiest, getting down to Jamiroquai in the classic nerd film Napoleon Dynamite. One wall of the New World Center, designed by Frank Gehry, acts as an outdoor screen for the Miami Beach film showings. Wedged between screenings of Fried Green Tomatoes and Best in Show, Napoleon Dynamite is sure to bring a crowd ready for an easy laugh and a vote for Pedro. 8 p.m. February 1 at 400 17th St., Miami Beach; mbculture.com. Admission is free.
Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones are mixing up a typical Wynwood night with a hint of rockabilly madness this Wednesday. The sound and style may not match the colorful graffiti the neighborhood is known for, but it's impossible to resist the charms of that jangling country subgenre. The New York-based group will present original roots music while folks enjoy the not-so-wintry weather at the Wynwood Yard's outdoor venue. Be sure to bust out your finest gingham dress, poof up that pompadour, and channel the great Wanda Jackson for a fresh night on the town. 8 p.m. February 1 at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; thewynwoodyard.com. Admission price TBA.
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