The Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Don't tell her to smile: Girl Gods ; see Friday.
Don't tell her to smile: Girl Gods ; see Friday.
Photo by Peak Performances

Thursday

The year 2016 has been rather tumultuous for Wynwood, but not even Zika could put a damper on the galleries, restaurants, and watering holes that make up Miami's artsy, mural-covered neighborhood. Sure, it was a challenge, but local businesses, including the Wynwood Yard (56 NW 29th St., Miami), which shut down for a few days in August after several employees tested positive for the virus, overcame it all. That's certainly worth a celebration, and the open-air venue is doing just that with its weekend-long Wynwood Yard 1-Year Anniversary bash. The festivities begin Thursday at 8 p.m. with live tunes from Magic City Hippies, Brendan O'Hara, Jahzel, Xperimento, and other local favorites; tasty grub from the Yard's usual lineup of dining concepts, including Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill, the hangout's first full-service restaurant and the 305's one-and-only shipping-container eatery; cocktail, beer, and drink specials; a tour of the Yard's newly expanded garden by Little River Cooperative; and unique pop-ups offering wares such as flower crowns, live poetry, henna tattoos, and tarot card readings. The bash continues Friday with the inaugural Taste of the Yard and a special edition of Shabbat at the Yard, with Lemon City Trio; Saturday with Happy Hour at the Yard, featuring bluesy vibes from Juke, Aura the Band, and Bluejay; and Sunday with Kulcha Shok for Reggae Sundays. Admission is free, and registration is available via eventbrite.com. Visit thewynwoodyard.com or call 305-771-4810.

Friday

Manspreading, mansplaining, male privilege — the annoying symptoms of patriarchy are enough to get any feminist's blood boiling. But Girl Gods offers a kind of catharsis. Girl Gods is a powerful visual installation and time-based performance that explores rage and women's ancestry. The performers may be wearing dresses and heels, but don't be fooled by appearances. They will stun with their violent physicality and sardonic humor. Girl Gods is inspired by feminist artists and art practices from the '70s, such as Judy Chicago's installation works. The 70-minute performance is a production by Seattle-based contemporary choreographer Pat Graney, who has won the Guggenheim Award and received choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. The show will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St., Miami). General admission costs $25, and students and seniors get in for $15. Visit miamilightproject.com or call 305-576-4350.

Upcoming Events

Art can be dull. It can also be haughty and wag its disapproving finger. Neither is the case with the work of Argentine artist Julio le Parc. Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) will be the first U.S. museum to exhibit his pieces with a show opening this Friday. "Julio Le Parc: Form Into Action" features more than 100 demystifying works that strip away rigid barriers between artist and viewer in an immersive environment that blurs the line between inside and out. Get personal with Parc at PAMM for the cost of admission: $16 for adults, $12 for students and youth, and free for museum members. PAMM members get exclusive early access this Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring a performance by local electric-rock band Jacuzzi Boys. Call 305-375-3000 or visit pamm.org.

If you've never witnessed the Michael Clark Company live, now is your chance. Taking inspiration from the punk movement, classical ballet, '90s heroin chic, Dada, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie, the contemporary British dance company electrifies and adds grit to the dance floor. For the past month, its dancers have worked in residency in Miami, drawing inspiration from the city. This Friday at 7:30 p.m., they'll perform a new piece based on the experience. Michael Clark Company takes over the Jewel Box at the National YoungArts Foundation (2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Admission costs $10 for the salon talk, $15 for the performance, or $20 for both. Call 305-901-5272 or visit icamiami.org.

Artist Jacques de Beaufort takes on political polarization: See Friday.
Artist Jacques de Beaufort takes on political polarization: See Friday.
Courtesy of The Box Gallery

The Miami Book Fair has programmed dozens of ways for book lovers to engage with their favorite authors and genres. The list of events is so massive that it's difficult to know where to begin. An Evening With National Book Awards Finalists and Winners, taking place Friday at 6 p.m., is a good place to start. Finalists and winners of the prestigious National Book Awards in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature will gather at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus (Chapman Conference Center (300 NE Second Ave., Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210, Miami). These writers are no joke; previous winners of the award include William Faulkner, William Carlos Williams, and Joyce Carol Oates, so you're sure to encounter quality writing destined to become classic lit. Tickets cost $15. The winners and finalists will reappear Saturday for a series of readings: poetry at 11 a.m., young people's literature at 12:30 p.m., nonfiction at 2, and winners and finalists for fiction at 3:30. General admission to Saturday's readings costs $8; tickets for ages 13 to 18 and over 62 cost $5, and children aged 12 and younger get in free. Visit miamibookfair.com or call 305-237-3258.

How does one fight war without weapons? Ask the villagers of Nafune, Japan. Centuries ago in medieval Japan, villagers were about to be attacked by samurai warlord Uesugi Kenshin and his army. The townspeople had no weapons; instead, they beat gojinjo-daiko — a drum played by several people banging hard and fast — and wore ferocious-looking devil masks draped with seaweed in an attempt to scare their invaders. The low drone of the drums produced a sound that resembled the rumbling of the Earth, and the army retreated. Today the village of Nafune is the only place to find authentic gojinjo-daiko, but the style was adapted by the South Florida-based group Fushu Daiko into a performance that includes musical elements such as jazz and blues. Fushu Daiko will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura). Tickets cost $35 each. Call 305-466-8002 or visit aventuracenter.org.

As we all work through postelection stress, it's the artist who has the most potential to help interpret and express what the rest of us can fail to capture on our own. In surrealist artist Jacques de Beaufort's performance piece this Friday, we can experience his interpretation as he presents Macroagression in Red and Blue. De Beaufort says, "The project is a meditation on and visualization of political and cultural tribal identities and the interpsychic violence that accompanies the democratic process." In his work, participants will disrobe and then be covered in red or blue body paint before interacting with gallery guests. It's a piece displayed in conjunction with a ten-year retrospective of de Beaufort's work at the gallery that includes several paintings and film. De Beaufort says we've never lived in a more politically polarized time, and if we are going to do something to address this, it's the job of artists first to actualize and make concrete this abstract condition. It's also a job that he hasn't taken lightly over the past decade. "It's been a wild ride as an artist... More than anything, I'm amazed I'm still standing and fighting." Friday's free event runs from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at the Box Gallery (811 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach). Call 786-521-1199 or visit theboxgallery.info.

A night market turns Little River into Little Cambodia: See Saturday.
A night market turns Little River into Little Cambodia: See Saturday.
Courtesy of Sprouted Chef

Saturday

What do a comet, a glacier, and Mötley Crüe have in common? Find out this Saturday when Alexis Gideon and Huffer Collective stage an exhibition and artist conversation at Locust Projects (3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami). The exhibition features Alexis Gideon's multimedia work The Comet and the Glacier, an installation that combines music, video, animation, clay reliefs, and paintings on glass. Gideon will perform live opening night. Alongside Gideon, the Huffer Collective (Swampdog, Jason Handelsman/AKA the President and David Anasagasti/AKA Ahol Sniffs Glue) will create a "monumental pyramid" for their new exhibition "Save Your Selves." The pyramid, like their other work, seeks to annihilate (or further cement?) Miami's reputation as a mecca for rich art tourists. Both exhibits run through January 21. Admission is free. The opening reception begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit locustprojects.org.

Though Little River, Miami, is nowhere near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Magic City neighborhood will surely look and feel like the Cambodian capital during Little River Night Market. For one night, Inhale Miami (6310 NE Second Ave., Miami) will transform into a bustling street market, typical of those found in Southeast Asia. Inside, you'll find everything from live music and art to food and drinks to a silent auction and, of course, a diverse marketplace. Outside, you'll find a garden and a tented area, conveying that night-market feel. Browse through a selection of jewelry, clothing, books, fabrics, and other wares. Then discover a plethora of services, including massages, tarot card readings, and information on how to better the mind, body, and spirit. It all goes down this Saturday at 7 p.m., as well as December 17. Admission is by donation, and tickets are available via eventbrite.com. Visit inhalemiami.com or call 786-391-1897.

Who wants to have a little fun and get a sweat going while making a difference in the lives of others this holiday season? Canned-food drives are great, but it's time for a charitable bike ride. For seven years, Cranksgiving has motivated riders to hit the streets, enjoy adventure, and feed those in need. It's part Critical Mass and part scavenger hunt as you and friends hop on and take off to stores across the city. Two routes of ten to 17 miles lead riders to five stores where each participant buys a $2 list of items. All it takes is $10 and some legwork. The donations help feed the women and families of Camillus House. Last year, more than 100 cyclists participated. Miami can beat that number. The ride kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. Riders are asked to meet at 150 NW First St. in downtown Miami. Visit themiamibikescene.com.

One of the all-time greatest Twitter accounts, @TheTweetOfGod, sent out its last hilarious tweet to its 1.2 million followers February 13, never to return again. The good news, however, is that the man behind the brilliant account, David Javerbaum, not only published a book based on his take as a tweeting almighty, but also begot the uproarious An Act of God, which opens Saturday at GableStage at the Biltmore (1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables). Javerbaum, a multiple Emmy Award winner and head writer at the Daily Show With Jon Stewart, tackles homosexuality, Jesus, and all other delightfully controversial themes in his book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. The tome, which was famously banned at Walmart when it was first published in 2011, is filled with gems like "Jesus was the only man to return from the dead and not eat brains" and was soon brilliantly adapted into a stage play that made its debut on Broadway in 2015. Filled with dark satire, biting criticism, and sidesplitting laughs, An Act of God is sure to bring the Holy Funny with blasphemously hilarious results. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $60 for general admission and $57 for seniors. Visit gablestage.org or call 305-445-1119.

In 2003, Canadian musician Craig Martin began an ambitious concert series in Toronto that has since blossomed and spread across North America. Classic Albums Live (CAL) is precisely what it sounds like — a collective of rotating musicians performing some of rock 'n' roll's most iconic records. The group's motto is simple and straightforward: "Note for note. Cut for cut." In other words, no reimaginings or personalized interpretations. CAL plays the songs the way they were meant to be heard, going as far as re-creating specific sounds and hiring choirs and orchestras when necessary, all to remain faithful to the original work. This Saturday, Martin and his band of loyalists will head to Fort Lauderdale to perform an album that's surely been on many playlists this year, Prince's Purple Rain. Released in 1984, Purple Rain was not only Prince's great leap forward as an international superstar, but it was also an innovative and truly influential album that forever changed rock music. Equal parts dance, funk, psychedelia, R&B, and soul, Purple Rain is, at the very least, worth a weekly spin. Additionally, it's guaranteed that CAL will honor the late artist with a powerful and loving rendition of his greatest musical achievement. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday at Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $28 to $38 via ticketmaster.com. Visit parkerplayhouse.com.

Surprise siblings in Japan's Our Little Sister: See Tuesday.
Surprise siblings in Japan's Our Little Sister: See Tuesday.
Courtesy of Aventura Arts & Cultural Center

Sunday

Everyone will tell you the Daytona 500 is the most important NASCAR race of the year. But everyone is wrong. Though Daytona is the most storied in terms of tradition, that race isn't quite as important as the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead). The NASCAR season ends in Homestead this Sunday, when one driver will be declared the 2016 champion. The race to the top is tighter than ever, with Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Denny Hamlin running neck and neck. The Sprint Cup chase hasn't been up for grabs like this in a long time, which means expect an intense 400-mile race all the way to the checkered flag. Race time is 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $65 to $150 and can be purchased at homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Tuesday

Foreign films often get overshadowed by mainstream flicks. Either it's a reluctance to read subtitles or an inordinate idea that great films only come from Hollywood. The Foreign Film Series at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) is doing its best to dispel that notion by screening movies that are worthy of recognition. Our Little Sister, winner of best film and best director at the 2016 Japanese Academy Awards and best film at the 2015 San Sebastian Film Festival, is one such film. Directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, it revolves around three 20-something sisters who attend the funeral of their estranged father and learn they have a 14-year-old half-sister they're now obligated to care for. Host Shelly Isaacs, founder and curator of South Florida's Café Cinematheque International programs, will moderate a post-screening discussion that will allow audience members to share thoughts about their own surprise siblings. Our Little Sister will be presented in Japanese with English subtitles at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets cost $11. Visit aventuracenter.org or call 877-311-7469.


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