The Best Things to Do in Miami This Week
China on the Beach at Luckyrice: See Friday.
Courtesy of Luckyrice
Wynwood has been a street-art mecca for so long that it's become an embarrassing cliché to snap a selfie in front of your favorite colorful wall. But don't let the haters distract you from the outstanding art that continues to go up on buildings around the neighborhood. Instead, head to Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami), which will host a screening of the documentary Streets of Wynwood this Thursday. The WLRN production promises "a wild ride into the riot of color, creativity, and chaos that is Miami's street-art scene." Focusing on the changing of the walls during the leadup to Art Basel, the film explores how taggers, graffiti artists, and muralists found a home in the once-dormant warehouse district. The screening begins at 7 p.m. It's free with museum admission, but because of limited seating, advance tickets are required. Admission costs $16. Visit pamm.org.
The musical Avenue Q tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who finds friends in low places. After moving into a shabby apartment on Avenue Q in New York City, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod the Republican, Trekkie the internet "sexpert," Lucy the slut, and others who help Princeton discover his purpose in life. The New York Times described the Broadway show as a "Sesame Street-style musical for adults who can't quite believe they've grown up." Complete with Jim Henson-style puppets, this production might seem familiar to those who grew up with the long-running children's TV series — only with themes relevant to the urban, under-30 crowd suffering from postcollege existential crises. With a book by Jeff Whitty, direction by Patrick Fitzwater, and music and lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (who also did animation design), Avenue Q is the winner of the Tony Award "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Avenue Q will run this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. through November 20 at the Abdo New River Room at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $45 for general admission and $25 for students under 25 years old and teachers. Visit browardcenter.org/events/detail/avenue-q or call 954-462-0222.
Muppets for grownups in the musical Avenue Q: See Thursday.
courtesy of CCflickr freedomchild
Craving Asian food? Look no further. Luckyrice, the annual Asian food festival that travels the nation, will make its last stop in Miami at the Raleigh Hotel (1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) this Friday. The host is chef Paul Qui, who creates the culinary delights at Pao by Paul Qui at the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach. The fest also spotlights other notable restaurants in Miami, such as Open Blue, Sushi Garage, and 27 Restaurant & Bar. Bombay Sapphire will be on hand, so be prepared to sip some gin cocktails while you enjoy Asian-meets-Latin food. Bites include kimchee fried rice, Cuban pork shumai, and lemon vegetarian sushi rolls. One of the boozy concoctions is the Geisha, which contains Bombay Sapphire East gin, Grand Poppy liqueur, lemongrass shrub, yuzu, ginger, elderflower tonic, and local basil. VIP seating begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs $150. General admission begins at 8:30 p.m. and costs $88. Visit luckyrice.com.
Our veterans don't get enough love. Show them you care this Veteran's Day by chowing down on local food, enjoying live music, and taking selfies in front of cool art. How does a day out on the town help Miami's veterans? Simply buy a ticket to VetFest and let Swarm (the event agency behind Grovetoberfest and Wynwood Life) and DNA Entertainment do the rest. "We wanted to target this towards a younger demographic," says organizer Johann Torres. "We're trying to do something to honor younger veterans." Friday evening, Mana Wynwood (318 NW 23rd St., Miami) will transform into a playground of the senses. Live musical performances will include Bright Light Social Hour from Austin, Texas, as well as local favorites Otto Von Schirach, Juke, SunGhosts, and others. Plenty of food, beer, and wine vendors will be onsite if you catch the munchies between bouts of dancing. Local artists and fashion designers will show off their work, and your proceeds will go toward helping local veterans in need. VetFest runs Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $10, and veterans get in free of charge. Call 786-416-0509 or visit dnanights.com.
You don't have to be a foodie to know that the Coral Gables culinary and bar scene is thriving. Just take a look at the Coral Gables Food, Wine & Spirits Festival. Going on its seventh year, this year's fest will be the largest in its history, taking place in downtown Coral Gables on Alhambra Circle between Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Salzedo Street. Get a taste of the City Beautiful at the Culinary Pavilion and Food for Sale Area, where you'll get to sample (or purchase) finger-licking bites from local eateries. Try more than 200 wines from across the globe at the Wines of the World Pavilion. Learn about beer, wine, spirits, and other libations at the Seminar Stage; then head to the BMC Spirits Tent, the Whiskey Obsession Pavilion, the Rum Room, and the Mixed Spirits Pavilion to enjoy even more vodka, rum, bourbon, gin, tequila, whiskey, and other spiked goodies. Jam to a mix of reggae, big band, and DJ tunes at the Beer Garden, and indulge in a sampling of more than 75 craft brews, food truck items, and desserts — all under the stars. The Coral Gables Food, Wine & Spirits Festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $69 to $150 plus fees via eventbrite.com. The event is open to all ages but geared toward the 21-and-over crew. Visit coralgablesfoodwineandspirits.com or call 786-558-5234. Tickets can be purchased at miamifinewineandspiritsfestival.com.
Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is one of those rare books that is not only historically revelatory but also a certified best seller. More than 30 million copies of Frank's teenage opus have been sold, a number that places it between Gone With the Wind and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on the all-time charts — not bad for a checked autograph book gifted to Anne on her 13th birthday and begun two days later without the ambitions of literary posterity. It has since become an indelible document of girlhood blossoming during the existential horror of Nazism, a work so cemented in our culture that you know the story even if you haven't cracked its spine. A poignant theatrical version of the book earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1955, a play that received a more harrowing adaptation in 1997 by Wendy Kesselman. It's this fresh take on the familiar saga of the Frank family that the students of Florida Atlantic University will bravely tackle for the next two weekends in a production that promises to scale new heights of authenticity — perhaps subliminally touching on the USA's current flirtation with fascism. As the promotional materials declare, "Anne Frank demands that we remember that the vilification of others is not only dangerous but that it destroys our humanity." A denunciation of Trumpism couldn't be clearer. The Diary of Anne Frank runs this Friday through November 20 at FAU's Studio One Theatre (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20. Call 561-297-6124 or visit fauevents.com.
Superfine! lights up the night in Little River: See Saturday.
photo by James Miille
Normally, when someone suggests you're a porker, it's reason to take offense. Not so for those who participate in P.I.G., an event that touts the philosophy that "Pork Is Good." The brainchild of celebrity chef Jeremiah Bullfrog, who operates his popular Gastropod food truck in Wynwood when he's not making media appearances and hosting special events, the daylong event celebrates all the pork that's worthy of your fork. Chef Jeremiah is a homegrown hero of sorts, having received his BS in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales and boasting a work history that covers some of the world's great dining destinations. That makes P.I.G. the kind of gathering foodies of all tastes can suckle up to. Casual, contemporary, and off-the-cuff, P.I.G. challenges chefs from every part of the culinary spectrum to come up with new and innovative ways of pitching pork. All are welcome, and for the cost of admission, attendees can indulge in all the food they'd like to sample, as well as craft beers, cocktails, and sounds by DJ Spam. (Yes, Spam is compatible with ham.) The seventh-annual P.I.G. (Pork Is Good) takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Toejam Backlot (150 NW 21st St., Miami). Tickets cost $50. Visit pigporkisgood.eventbrite.com.
Immerse yourself in light — Little River's Night of Light, that is. Hosted by Superfine! and the JAMM Project, the one-night art-and-culture-crawl makes its sophomore return to one of the Magic City's most vibrant neighborhoods this Saturday. More than 5,000 culture-hungry locals attended the debut art bash this past June, and as a Superfine! the Fairest Fair Basel pop-up event, even more art junkies are expected to flood this street fest. Gallery-hop in Little River, Little Haiti, and the MiMo District, and check out the eclectic art of Inhale Miami, MADE at the Citadel, Yo Space Gallery & Studios, and others. Nearly 20 galleries will participate in art's night out, and the spaces you want to visit are totally up to you. Aesthetic pleasures aside, indulge in tasty bites, chill tunes, and other surprises — during the last Night of Light, attendees were treated to free improv and comedy performances courtesy of Villain Theater. The evening kicks off at Fountainhead Studios (7338 NW Miami Ct., Miami) at 5 p.m. Admission is free. Registration is available via eventbrite.com. Visit superfine.world.
The beaches of Miami have made this town famous, but the city's river is pretty rad in its own right. And if you've never had a chance to explore its beauty, head to the Miami Riverwalk, a pretty sweet pedestrian walkway downtown that winds around the river and alongside parts of Biscayne Bay. Annually, the promenade gets its very own event: the Miami Riverwalk Festival. The fest concentrates on celebrating the folk cultures of different countries through dance, music, specialty goods, and food. Guests can visit pavilions celebrating arts, crafts, and culinary traditions, all while listening to tunes from strolling musicians and watching dance groups showcase moves the rest of us can only dream of doing. There'll be a boat parade, kids' activities, and door prizes too. Plus, the event is pet-friendly, so Fido is welcome. Isn't now the time to give the Miami River the attention it deserves? The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the Riverwalk, adjacent to 315-335 S. Biscayne Blvd. Admission is free. Visit miamiriverwalkfestival.com.
What does it mean to be black? Playwright, author, producer, and director Jonathan Spikes explores the question in I Know What I Am and I Am Not What You Call Me. Told from the perspective of young Damon McBlessed, the play's visceral, shocking, and at times troubling story is ultimately a tale of redemption and inspiration. It's an insightful expression of the conflict, frustrations, and aspirations that accompany the lives of young African-Americans, who are not only forced to challenge the stereotypes heaped upon them, but also must confront inner turmoil. Spikes, who adapted the play from his award-winning book of the same name, also launched his own foundation that works to empower youth through self-esteem and positive reinforcement. Consequently, his play isn't some fanciful drama or creative conjecture, but rather a real representation of the harsh reality that youth, especially those of color, face today. Attendance ought to be required. I Know What I Am and I Am Not What You Call Me will be staged at 3 and 7 p.m. this Saturday and November 19, 3 p.m. this Sunday and November 20, and 7 p.m. Thursday, November 17, and Friday, November 18, at the Wendell A. Narcisse Black Box Theater at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami). Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Visit jonathanspikes.org.
Art books, poetry chapbooks, mimeographed editions, Xeroxed handouts, folded one-pagers, creative leaflets... It seems the craft of DIY book- and magazine-making continues to swell in popularity in the full throes of the digital age. The fanzine of yesteryear is no longer gathering dust next to flyers at the local record shop. "Zines are a total DIY medium," Dan Gorostiaga explains. "Makers are in charge of budget, content, materials... From the type of paper to the binding, it's total control." Gorostiaga, one of South Florida's most prolific artists and zine-makers with his Somewhere Btwn... editions continuing to expand his profile, is among the 50-plus exhibitors who will appear at SPF '16. The Small Press Fair (nice move with the sunblock reference) is the brainchild of Ingrid Schindall and Sarah Michelle Rupert, of IS Projects and Girls' Club, respectively. This showcase of the growing art form is a first for Fort Lauderdale and will bring together many of the "artists, printers, booksellers, publishers, authors, poets, bookmakers, designers, zinesters, and cultural workers" through workshops and demonstrations. Live printing, coffee, beer, and food trucks will draw them in, but the relative ease and complete fun of creating will surely inspire attendees. As Gorostiaga points out: "It's OK to look at something on a screen, but to hold an object, made of paper and unique, is a much better experience." SPF '16 runs from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Artsup! Concepts at FATVillage (529 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Visit spf-ftl.com.
Quickie cinema at the Miami Short Film Festival: See Monday.
courtesy of Director Sandro Miller
Lights, camera, action, bite-sized! You can see the best of local and international short films at the 15th-annual Miami Short Film Festival (MIAMIsFF), which runs this Monday through Saturday, November 19. The festival will show films at two locations: Cinépolis CocoWalk (3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove) and Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). This year's selection includes films made by directors from all over the globe, from France and Finland to India. The opening-night red-carpet event will take place Monday at the Cinépolis CocoWalk from 8 to 10 p.m. Themed "Date Night," opening night will present ten short films that explore the awkwardness and revelations that romantic encounters can induce. Other themes include "Family Matters," "Whistle While You Work," "The Isolation Tank," "Transgressive Behavior," and "Around the World." MIAMIsFF has also curated a selection of films from underrepresented voices in cinema via programs such as Queer Looks and Black Cinema Forward. Plus, the festival celebrates Miami's indie film scene through its two-part program, Miami's Own. Tickets cot $12 to $17 for each themed screening. Visit miamisff.com or call 786-510-3738.
Louis C.K.'s love for Miami is no secret — he devoted an entire episode of his FX show Louie to the Magic City. So it's no surprise that he's booked himself a long weekend stay here, complete with four standup shows on back-to-back nights. C.K., one of the most famous and most respected comedians in the nation, continues to draw audiences though his self-effacing, grubby, yet lovable persona. He's also constantly evolving, from dramatic turns in Louie to his current act, which critics have described as a departure from his typical Everyman performance in favor of a more traditional, observational humor. He's even wearing a suit these days. Louis C.K. will perform nightly at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Wednesday through November 18. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $50. Visit arshtcenter.org.
"The Pop Kids." "Twentysomething." "Sad Robot World." Do you think the Pet Shop Boys are trying to tell us something? The British electro-pop duo's most recent LP, Super, opens with the line "Remember those days, the early '90s?" and plays with a rave-ready brilliance that begs to be danced to in saggy, shiny clothes. The next track sees the duo explore reggaeton rhythms in its own brightly electric way. It seems the band's 13th record is simultaneously delightfully nostalgic and daringly fresh. It was also the Pet Shop Boys' 13th consecutive LP to debut in the Top 10 on the British charts. That's astounding. The iconic synthpop outfit will blend these new ideas between big-hit moments when it hits the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) Wednesday. You already know all the words to "West End Girls," "Always on My Mind," and "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)." It won't take long until you're singing "Groovy" with just as much gumption. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $49.50 to $64.50. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.
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