Is surrealist comedy a genre? If it wasn't ten years ago, it is now that Eric Andre has hit the scene. The Florida native's strange brand of situational comedy plays on familiar ideas, constructs, and social tropes — and then turns them upside-down and competes against a stegosaurus to see who can Hula-Hoop the longest, all while keeping a straight face. If that doesn't make any sense, watch an episode of The Eric Andre Show, his topsy-turvy take on a late-night talk show that's about to begin its fourth season on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. It's as hysterical as it is awkward, as non sequitur as they come. If you enjoy that and would like to see Andre stick to some kind of script, watch him play a funny womanizing best friend on FXX's Man Seeking Woman. And if you want to follow this wild-haired rabbit even further down the LOL hole, check out his standup set this Thursday at Gramps (176 NW 24th St., Miami). It's sure to be anything but what you could expect. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 11. Tickets cost $20 to $30. Call 305-699-2669 or visit gramps.com.
Uncle Vanya is not a happy play. Written by vaunted Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, it's essentially about wasted lives and those bemoaning said lives. Naturally, it's a work that still resonates with audiences more than a hundred years after it was first published in 1897. Characters in the play lament mediocre existences, unrequited love, loveless marriages, the tedium of boring jobs, and the hours wiled away waiting for a change of luck that never comes. Thematically, it's the sort of play that might seem like a total drag, but Chekhov infused it with enough humor to soften the blow of these hard truths. For eight nights, beginning this Thursday, the On.Stage Black Box Theatre at Miami Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami) will present Uncle Vanya in a somewhat different format. Directed by Cuban-American director Nilo Cruz, Tío Vania is an experience unique to Miami audiences because the ennui and melancholy of the original play are translated into Spanish. (Don't worry — the emptiness of your life as reflected by this drama should be readily apparent regardless of language.) Tío Vania runs this Thursday through August 14. Admission costs $32, and showtime is 8 p.m. Visit miamidadecountyauditorium.org or call 305-547-5414.
Shorts Gone Wild, the short-play collection conceived by Island City Stage and City Theatre, hasn't always lived up to the "wild" part of its title. Expect that to change for the better this month in the companies' fourth-annual collaboration, because this time, the plays fall under a theme that's as bonkers as can be: politics. Seven playwrights, including five of our finest local scribes — Chris Demos-Brown, Jessica Farr, Michael Leeds, Michael McKeever, and Stuart Meltzer — contributed new ten-minute plays as part of Shorts Gone Wild: Election 2016. Because it's an Island City Stage coproduction, many, but not all, of the shorts will address LGBTQ issues. In McKeever's Things My Grandmother Taught Me, a friendly dinner date becomes a verbal steel-cage match between far-left and log-cabin contingencies; Meltzer's Lips Like Crocus centers on a couples-therapy session in which cable news makes a startling cameo; Leeds' The Lie features an aging country-music couple that develops a novel solution to recapture the limelight; and so on. Farr's satirical comedy might just have the bitterest sting of them all: Bernie Singles Dot Com imagines a "dystopian future of disenfranchised Bernie supporters" scavenging the web for partners with whom to survive the next apocalyptic four to eight years. The production runs Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. this Thursday through August 28 at Island City Stage (2304 N. Dixie Hwy., Wilton Manors). Tickets cost $35. Call 954-519-2533 or visit islandcitystage.org.
African cultures collide at Delou’s annual fest: See Friday.
Courtesy of Forces of Nature Dance Theater
African culture is one of the richest and most diverse cultures in the world; its influence extends everywhere to the Caribbean, the United States, and beyond. And this week, South Florida can experience the wonder of that culture at the seventh-annual African Diaspora Dance & Drum Festival of Florida. Sponsored by Delou Africa, the three-day cultural fete will showcase art, folklore, dance, drum beats, and — thanks to Delou's recognition as a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge winner — the return of DanceAfrica Miami. Known as the nation's largest festival dedicated to African dance, DanceAfrica will make its South Florida comeback after nearly 20 years. This weekend's iteration will bring New York's Forces of Nature Dance Theater to the stage, featuring DanceAfrica founder Dr. Charles "Chuck" Davis, among other traditional African dance troupes. The festival will also include a children's village, symposiums, workshops, a health fair, yoga, a gala fundraiser, and a concert extravaganza where attendees can experience DanceAfrica at its fullest. The African Diaspora Dance & Drum Festival runs this Friday through Sunday at the Miramar Cultural Center (2400 Civic Center Pl., Miramar) and the Little Haiti Cultural Center (212 NE 59th Ter., Miami). Festival, concert, and gala tickets cost $15 to $35 plus fees. Visit adddff.delouafrica.org or call 305-978- 3866.
As holidays go, what could be better than International Beer Day? No need to buy overpriced gifts, attend church, or cook a huge dinner that no one will appreciate. No need to feel the holiday blues as a result of all of those things. Instead, you can simply hit up your favorite bar and drink some free brew. Batch Gastropub (30 SW 12th St., Miami), Brickell's gourmet eatery and drinkery, is offering a free draft pint to every customer who walks through the door this Friday. Everything on tap will be free, including Green Flash West Coast IPA, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Batch Black Barrel, Cigar City Maduro, Guinness, J. Wakefield Brewing El Jefe, and many others. Forget Festivus — International Beer Day is the ultimate celebration for the average joe. Happy drinking! There's no cover charge, and the offer runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit batchmiami.com or call 305-808-5555.
Quit texting and learn something at the Raddest Craft Fair: See Saturday.
Photo by Natalia Pascual
Update: Due to the on-going Zika crisis in Wynwood, the Raddest Craft Fair has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 27. Forget your mama's craft fairs. Enough with trying in vain to spot undiscovered gems at thrift shops or antiques outlets. Church bazaars? Girl, please. The Raddest Craft Fair is here to remind you that sometimes the best indie creations are the ones you make yourself. Returning to the Wynwood Yard (56 NW 29th St., Miami) this Saturday, the Raddest Craft Fair will host a lineup of workshops designed to remind attendees that DIY isn't just a twee combination of letters that hipsters like; it's a philosophy of self-reliance based on learning to do it yourself. Classes by local craftspeople will teach the basics of making goods from jewelry and leather business-card holders to dreamcatchers and flower crowns (because, yeah, DIY does also happen to be a three-letter combination that hipsters like). As you teach your hands to do something other than swipe PokéBalls, your ears will be entertained by performers such as Shira Abergel. Craft cocktails from Mortar & Pistil will soothe the frustrations of learning to tie those tricky friendship bracelet knots. And when it's all over, you'll have a new skill to show off at dinner parties (if your friends don't mind your setting up a Japanese tie-dye station in their dining room). The fair runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendance is free, as are some workshops; others range in cost from $10 to $40. Visit thewynwoodyard.com.
Briefless brevity is the soul of wit at Shorts Gone Wild: See Thursday.
Photo by Tracy Mendy
Just the Tip is both a clever and dirty moniker for a unique comedy show, and also a literal explanation of what it's all about. The majority of the time, we pay to see standup comics and they get our money whether they blow the roof off or just blow. Just the Tip Comedy Show combines the ethics of working hard to earn your keep and the loose atmosphere of street performance, because all of the comics featured collect tips throughout the night. Admission is free, but at this monthly event, audiences willingly give it up (applause and cash, that is) to the fearless souls onstage. Hosted at Yo Space Gallery & Studios (294 NE 62nd St., Miami), JTT gives Miami comics a chance to hone their craft while earning a little dough in the process — or very little if they suck. No pressure. This month sees a changing of the guard, because the usual MC and resident funnyman, Paul Julmeus, a veteran of not only the 305 scene but also so many comic cons in South Florida, will take the stage one last time before taking his talents to NYC. Taking over Julmeus' MC gig is the whitest Nicaraguan in the game, Danny Benavente. So enjoy the funny and spend that money this Sunday. The cost is zero dollars (unless you like the comics). Visit yo-miami.com.
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You partied hard Saturday night, and now you need a mimosa. You need all-you-can-eat Yukon Gold homestyle potatoes and fried chicken with biscuits 'n' gravy. You need a show to take your mind off that embarrassing thing you're pretty sure you said last night, and you need to see some men with hotter legs than a Victoria's Secret model twerk to some fierce Beyoncé hits. That settles it. You need to head to R House Wynwood (2727 NW Second Ave., Miami) Sunday for its damn good deal of a Drag Brunch. Why should SoBe have all the musical fun? R House's Drag Brunch features top-quality performers bustin' their behinds for a few singles — or fives or twenties. C'mon, Daddy Warbucks, show these gals what you got! The $40 ticket price includes all-you-can-eat menu items and specialty entrées, plus bottomless mimosas and sangrias. There are even yummy dessert items for $3, but when you've stuffed your face with three plates of mac 'n' cheese, any additional porkery is up to you. The show begins at 11:30 a.m. and runs till 5 p.m., so basically, $40 feeds you for an entire day. That's hard to argue. Call 305-576-0201 or visit rhousewynwood.com.
Thanks to college keggers, dive bars, and beach parties, it's likely you've drunk more than your fill of Bud Light, Old Milwaukee, or PBR and achieved the requisite beer buzz. But if you wanna up your game and know the difference between watery swill and craft creations, Concrete Beach Brewery (325 NW 24th St., Miami) is here to teach you some skills. The Wynwood brewpub, known for its impressive suds, such as Citrus Kolsch, Imperial Brown Ale, and Stiltsville Pilsner, will host Brew House Rock, a monthly school for all things hoppy. Each class, complete with tastings, has a special theme (August's is "Becoming a Better Drinker: Building Your Palate"). Social hall manager and Certified Cicerone® Jesse Morris will chat with attendees about how flavors are developed — and how beer and food make charming companions. So get with the program, abandon that gas-station garbage, and step into the craft beer era. The event runs Monday from 8 to 9 p.m. Participation in the class costs $5. Visit concretebeachbrewery.com or call 305-796-2727.
Photography turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Whether they're shooting a piece of art, a model fresh off the runways of Milan, or a thumbtack, photographers transform common subjects into fine art through the camera's lens. A skilled photographer on and off movie sets, Robert Zuckerman has created images that have become advertising and publicity campaigns for films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Any Given Sunday, and Training Day. Yet his current exhibit at FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios (420 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) is a departure from glitzy Hollywood sets with the usual trappings of A-list stars, exotic locations, and over-the-top backdrops. "Wonderism" is Zuckerman's attempt at turning his camera lens on less fanciful subjects. Land, air, and water form the parts that bind the seemingly disparate array of images. Rainy streets, cloudy skies over barren suburban alleyways, and sepia skylines are all subjects of Zuckerman's latest exhibit of archival-quality, limited-edition prints. The show's title is also a play on the word "terrorism," suggesting that the only way to fight the cynicism and hatred taking hold of the world is to have a childlike sense of wonder and discovery toward even the most quotidian subjects. "Wonderism" is on view through September 30. Admission is free. Call 305-348-7500.