Sure, the political climate seems like an all-consuming firenado right now. But in the wise words of rock-piano god Billy Joel: "We didn't start the fire." Nope. Though many angry, doe-eyed Bernie-or-busters act like this is the first and last U.S. presidential election, the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) is here with "The Politics of -Isms" to remind us that, to paraphrase, the fire has been burning since the world has been turning. The library installation will showcase historic ephemera that explore real-world problems such as fascism, some debatable economic endeavors like communism, and something to appeal to your inner egalitarian, socialism. The exhibition will show how these movements have shaped 20th-century elections and campaigns. It is inspired by another show, "Thoughts on Democracy: Freedom to Vote 2016," which will open at the Wolf August 26, offering historical perspective on the elections by presenting posters by four contemporary artists inspired by Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings. The designers unveiling artwork this election cycle are Mirko Ilic, Oliver Munday, Paul Sahre, and Bonnie Siegler, and each will take on the American voting process. Let's hope these shows will inspire all of us South Floridians to brave the heat and get out the vote. "The Politics of -Isms" runs this Thursday through January 22, 2017. Call 305-531-1001 or visit wolfsonian.org.
Comedian Mark Viera is like Sam Kinison — if Sam Kinison were the kind of guy you'd run into at a PTA meeting and not the kind you'd want to stick in a clown costume and plant at a children's birthday party as a sick, nightmare-haunting joke. Viera doesn't share that trait in common with the late, great Sammy K., but he commands the stage with a similar level of volume, his voice reaching, screeching, and piercing toward its highest octaves, nearly achieving Gottfriedian levels of eardrum battery before relaxing into a therapist's muted levels — and then rising once again with the next impassioned observation. Only it's not a gimmick or a comedic crutch for Viera. For this Bronx native, you get the impression that loudness runs — nay, sprints — in his family, and when his larynx works extra-hard, it's because he's simply that excited to convey his point to a roomful of the likeminded. This attitude is of a piece with Viera's wholesome demeanor: In the filthy world of standup comedy, he's a clean throwback, expanding on stories of marriage and fatherhood with only the occasional "ass" warranting a PG rating. His extra-loud voice is one of "family values," if it's possible to strip that term of its loaded politics. Feast your ears at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Improv (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $17. Call 954-981-5653 or visit improvftl.com.
The Overtown neighborhood is famous in Miami culture. It's a place where social vices find refuge, where the ills of urban living can be witnessed firsthand, but it's also a place where families try to raise children, and working men and women hustle hard to get by. It's also a historic neighborhood where jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Nat King Cole could kick back and relax after big performances (because they weren't allowed to stay at places like the Fontainebleau). It was a bustling center of commerce, a jewel in the Miami community where the city's black residents made the best of what they had. Overtown's current state of affairs is owed mostly to economic tragedy after highways bisected the neighborhood and cut off its social legs — but it doesn't have to stay this way. As a community, we come together to help historic Overtown regain some of its former glory. You can help build homes for residents and fund scholarships for students, and you can do it simply by enjoying a meal. For $100 a seat, you can participate in the 17th-annual Things Are Cooking in Overtown, presented by the St. John Community Development Corporation. Dine and be entertained in the beautiful tropical atmosphere of Jungle Island (1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami), and know you're making a difference. Those who wish to donate more can do so and be recognized as a partner for a range of values from $1,000 to $3,500. The cocktail reception begins Friday at 6:30 p.m., and the event includes live music, dancing, and a silent auction. Four outstanding community members will be honored at the celebration. Call 305-372-0682 or visit stjohncdc.org.
Director Miloš Forman may be best known for his American features from the '70s and '80s, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, but he also made some pretty cool films in Czechoslovakia, including The Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen's Ball. Just after leaving Europe for the States, in 1971, Forman made a cool little indie film called Taking Off. It tells the story of the parents of a girl who runs away from home, but the story doesn't go the way you'd expect. The parents meet other people whose children ran away and find out they're all now free to rediscover and enjoy life without kids hampering them. Basically, they smoke a lot of weed and have a lot of fun. It's a rather amusing comedy and a look at the American lifestyle of the '70s through a lens that only a European filmmaker could provide. Taking Off will screen one night only, this Friday, at Coral Gables Art Cinema (260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) during its series F for Friday, which presents films in their original format or digital restoration. In this case, the film will be shown on 35mm at 11:45 p.m. Tickets cost $7 and include popcorn and two-for-one beer and wine. Visit gablescinema.com.
It's no secret that Miami loves to party. But when there's a meaning to the revelry, an event that stands for something, it becomes more than just a fun time — it evolves into an experience that gives you a sense of purpose and fosters unity. Since 2007, FestiDan has raised more than $20,000 for charities such as Camp Boggy Creek, the ALS Recovery Fund, and Children Battling Cancer through its annual block party and other events. This year, the Coconut Grove street rager will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday right in front of Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill (3035 Fuller St., Coconut Grove), smack in the heart of the Grove. Featuring live tuneage from Spam Allstars, Problem Kids, and a slew of local DJs, the 2016 FestiDan will benefit Castaways Against Cancer, "a rag-tag group of kayaking enthusiasts who paddle from Coconut Grove to Key West to raise money for the American Cancer Society during their annual Relay for Life event." Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Visit festidan.com.
Do you like abusing the trust of your friends? Enjoy tormenting people for a few laughs? Perhaps you get your kicks pissing off cops who want to throw you in jail, or picking up chicks with lines so douchey they make frat boys cringe? Then you must be a fan of YouTube stars Roman Atwood and Yousef "Fousey" Saleh Erakat. These two pranksters boast millions of views on their respective pages doing things like rearranging neighbors' apartments and ruining unsuspecting victims' clothes. In 2016, Atwood and Erakat turned those views into butts in seats for the world tour Roman vs Fousey. The show promises sketches, standup comedy, and the pair's bread and butter — pranks. These millennial clowns have more than 16 million subscribers between them, including fans who call themselves "Roman Soldiers" and "Bruh Bruhs," the latter being an apt name for the followers of Erakat. Practical jokes will abound at Roman vs Fousey this Sunday at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Doors open at 7 p.m., and the showtime is 8. Tickets cost $48.50. Visit romanvsfousey.com or call 305-673-7300.
Summer is flea season — and we're not referring to the little bloodsuckers that like to eat your dog alive. We're talking about the Miami Flea, the 305's hippest flea market-slash-public activation that celebrates local artisans and unites locals from every corner of the Magic City. Whether you're looking for arts, eats, or simply a place to take Fido for an afternoon outing, Miami Flea has it all. The August installment of the now-famous Miami market will feature handmade goods, vintage items, workshops, a kids' corner, a grub garden, a booze bazaar, and live tunes by local singer/songwriters. With dozens of vendors and attractions, there will be plenty to do (and buy). So hit up the market with your furry family members in tow, and blow some vacation cash on cool stuff. The market runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Canvas (90 NE 17th St., Miami). Admission is free. Visit aedistrictmiami.com.
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If Miami is one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the planet, then Ilan Chester might be its spirit animal. Chester, an Israeli-born singer from Venezuela, is a practicing Hindu whose original surname was Czenstochowski. Exactly. In addition, the 64-year-old musician has put out a steady stream of records in Spanish, and a few in English, that are influenced by French, Italian, and Jewish classical music, American R&B, and the British Invasion of the '60s. The world-renowned keyboardist, arranger, and composer specializes in romantic Latin pop with elements of jazz and Afro-Caribbean folk music. This month, the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) will host El Musiú, a biographical musical and standup show based on the life of the celebrated and widely respected songwriter. The concert will be presented in Spanish, and at the end of the program, all attendees will receive a free CD and the opportunity for a meet-and-greet with Chester. Tickets to Sunday's 6 p.m. show are sold out, but a 2 p.m. slot has been added to meet demand. Tickets cost $55 to $65. Visit aventuracenter.org or call 305-466-8002.
Need a new way to break the workweek slump? Take yourself out to the ball game. Our boys on the diamond need our support, and baseball-loving 305ers need to hit the stands as our Miami Marlins take on the Kentucky Royals. The Fish are coming out of a bad trade deal that saw them return the injured Colin Rea to San Diego. But if this city and its people are good at anything, it's bouncing back. Tuesday's matchup against the Royals will kicks off a three-game series between the teams, and we're crossing our fingers that the guys leave those Kentucky boys limping back to their locker room. But, hey, even if it's a losing game, you're getting some fresh air and enjoying classic sport snacks. Tuesday is a lot better when there's a cold beer and a giant pretzel involved. The game starts at 7:10 p.m., and tickets cost $14 to $112. Call 877-627-5467 or visit marlins.mlb.com.