The Best Things to Do in Miami This Week
Art Basel Miami Beach: See Thursday.
Jillian Mayer, I Am Your Grandma, 2011 / Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery
For Miami Art Week events and exhibits, follow New Times' coverage of Art Basel Miami Beach.
Brace yourself. Basel week is coming. The annual cultural megafest, during which the world's artsy elite descend upon Miami to buy a painting or two between guzzling flutes of Ruinart, has expanded far beyond its namesake, the Art Basel Miami Beach fair that started it all in the Magic City. But the convergence of 269 galleries at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1900 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach) remains the largest and most exclusive affair, populated by artists and art sellers who beat out pretty much every other culture creator on the planet to win a spot inside. Miami galleries David Castillo and Fredric Snitzer made the cut this year, along with a worldwide assortment of institutions that'll show everything from paintings and sculptures to installations, films, photography, and beyond. Love it or hate it, Basel is a spectacle that's certainly worth exploring at least once. The fair is open Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Day passes cost $50 in advance or $55 at the door; multiday tickets and passes that grant access to the adjacent Design Miami fair are also available. Call 786-276-2611 or visit artbasel.com/miami-beach.
Are you a YouTube junkie? Vimeo fanatic? Virtual-reality aficionado? Then lend your eyeballs to the South Florida Web Fest (SoFloWebFest), a web series and short-film festival that showcases nontraditional voices in cinema. There's something here for every moving-image lover. The festival has videos in genres ranging from comedy and drama to documentary and animation. In addition to the screenings, there will be panel discussions and technology and film presentations. Attendees can even participate in a virtual-reality and immersive-content experience and a digital-art crawl. Screenings take place Thursday through Saturday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (212 NE 59th Ter., Miami). SoFloWebFest begins with Thursday's 11 a.m. screening of Dudley Alexis' Soup Joumou, which explores the Haitian tradition of celebrating freedom with pumpkin soup. If that video leaves you craving Haitian food, head to the festival's closing brunch at Chef Creole (200 NW 54th St., Miami) Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. General-admission tickets cost $100 for the entire festival. Students with a valid ID get in for $50. Visit soflowebfest.com or facebook.com/soflowebfest.
Much of Samson Kambalu's art draws on the Chewa Nyau culture of his native Malawi, with references to the situationist movement of the '60s, an anti-authoritarian, avant-garde Marxist philosophy expressed in the art of Dada and surrealism. The artist's work takes many forms: drawings, paintings, installations, videos, literature, and performance. One of his best-known pieces is Holy Ball, which features a football plastered in pages of the Bible. Now Kambalu is bringing his first solo U.S. exhibition to South Florida. "Nyau Cinema" is a series of short film clips that have been shared across social media and as shows in galleries. The Daily Telegraph in London describes them as "cinematic fragments that blend slapstick and spiritual ritual." Along with presenting his exhibition, Kambalu will give a talk titled "Sepia Rain," which will explore relationships among early 21st-century art, cinema, and his work as a contemporary artist from Africa. A book signing by the artist will follow the event, which is free and a part of First Thursdays Starry Nights. The event takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Horvitz Auditorium at NSU Art Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Seating is limited, and RSVP is requested. Call 954-262-0258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch what happens when Andy Cohen comes to town: See Saturday.
Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo
The moment burger-loving foodies have waited for is finally here. The Burger Beast Museum inside Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami) will officially open to the public Friday. Curated by Sef "Burger Beast" Gonzalez, the 1,500-square-foot space houses a collection of Gonzalez's fast-food and restaurant memorabilia, with an emphasis on all things meaty. Inside, visitors will find everything from Big Mac packaging to drinking glasses, old menus, and vintage uniforms. According to Gonzalez, when his stash outgrew his home, he decided it was time to find a larger space and share it with the world. His dream has come true in the form of Miami's first food-centric museum. The Burger Beast Museum grand opening begins at noon. Admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Visit burgerbeastmuseum.com.
Andy Cohen has all the gossip. You know it's true. He knows things about NeNe Leakes that would curl your hair. He has serious dirt on Kelly Ripa. Tim Gunn shivers whenever he hears Andy Cohen's name. His bright-white smile, perky posture, the eyes that sizzle with energy are all fueled by the pure, unadulterated Hollywood secrets he's gathered throughout his long career, first as Bravo's head of development and later as a TV personality and host of Watch What Happens: Live. It's hard to say what choice tidbits he'll let slip during his chat with South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager when the two pair up onstage at Temple Beth David (2625 SW Third Ave., Miami) to discuss Cohen's latest book, Superficial: More Adventures From the Andy Cohen Diaries. The book itself is dishy, name-dropping the celebrities he meets and mingles with in his daily life. But you know it's just the tip of the Cohen-gossip iceberg. Be there in person for any accidental-on-purpose slips of the tongue Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 to $75. Visit booksandbooks.com.
What a tiring, frustrating, totally-not-fair thing it is to be a grownup. Sometimes you just want to revert to being a preschooler, even if it's just for one weekend. If bills, your boss, and bullshit politics have you feeling jealous of your baby nephew, head to Brick Fest Live, a Lego fan experience, where you can live in a world of brightly colored plastic blocks. You can make Lego mosaics, collaborate in building a mysterious yet massive floor installation, and see if you're hip enough to recognize Lego YouTube show hosts at the live Brick Show Experience. While you're there, get sporty with putt-putt golf on a tiny course made of Lego bricks and a little derby track that'll let you race your Lego-designed race cars. No pressure, but you'll want to bring kids if you have any, because that is technically the age group for which this event was created. For the tiny ones, there's a Jr. Builders area, and for the tweens, a videogaming space. But the rest zone with the very tempting colored full-body pillows? That's the Reading Stop, not a nap room. Sorry. No public naps for you. Brick Fest Live runs Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Miami Airport Convention Center (711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami). Admission costs $25. Visit events.brickfestlive.com.
About 20 years ago, before smartphones and dialup, something happened. Children the world over were hunched in small groups, sitting on floors, bulky Game Boys linked together by archaic cords. They were trading, they were fighting, and they were evolving. You didn't know how to pronounce it without sounding like an imbecile, but Pokémon was the word on everyone's lips. Today the magic of Nintendo's Pokémon is stronger than ever. Those '90s kids are all grown up, and they still can't help but catch 'em all. If you find yourself or a child you love on a never-ending quest to be the very best, don't miss Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center Knight Concert Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). It's pure Poké-magic as a full orchestra reimagines decades of nostalgia into a beautiful, moving composition. The soundtrack of every Poké-generation is explored like you've never heard it before, and don't pretend you don't know these chiptunes by heart. From the old-school jams of Red and Blue to the new class ballads of X and Y, this is music to soothe your soul and make you cry. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets cost $46 to $126. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.
Eat your vegetables at South Florida VegFest: See Saturday.
Courtesy of VegFest
Thanks to artist and musician Steve Parker, you can finally combine your passionate love of cars, art, and performance pieces with your intense hatred for being stuck in traffic. Best of all, you can participate in the performance even if you've never picked up an instrument in your life. Because Traffic Jam at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus (Parking Lot 1, Biscayne Boulevard between Fifth and Sixth Streets, Miami) is all about you, your car, and your dream of performing. Traffic Jam brings all the fun of experimental noise performance art, but without the pretension. Local artists, musicians, and pretty much anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to join the performance with their vehicles — honking horns, turning on their windshield wipers, flicking their headlights, and anything else you can do with your car that's deemed artsy. Think of it as an artistic auto flash mob. In addition, Traffic Jam will feature a bevy of activities, such as dance performances, TailGate Trivia, and a gang of ukulele players on skateboards. The fun begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, and admission is free. Call 305-237-3010.
Got something you'd like to say to your significant other but you just can't seem to get it out? Here's your passive-aggressive solution: Everything you've wanted to but couldn't say about dating, romance, marriage, husbands, wives, and in-laws comes to life onstage in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, a two-act musical comedy told in a series of fast-paced musical vignettes. I Love You explores the difficulties of modern-day courtship. For the most part, the scenes are independent of one another and designed to suggest an arc to the story, beginning with a first date and progressing to marriage, child-rearing, etc. Despite a large cast of characters, only four actors bring them all to life, swapping out roles as the vignettes proceed. Premiering in 1995 at the American Stage Company in Teaneck, New Jersey, it is now the second-longest-running off-Broadway musical, with more than 5,000 performances translated into 17 languages worldwide. It was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical in 1997. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this Saturday through December 18 at the Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 Lake Shore Dr., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $30 each. Call 561-272-1281, ext. 4, or visit delraybeachplayhouse.com.
Calling all vegans, health nuts, and just straight-up hungry people: This Saturday is your chance to sample some of the healthiest food around. The South Florida VegFest will celebrate plant-based living with free food samples, 125-plus food vendors, chef demonstrations, yoga sessions, fitness classes, and kids' activities. Vegans, rest easy — VegFest is a dairy-free, meatless, plant-based food festival that looks to showcase plant-based cuisine and cruelty-free products that are part of a vegan lifestyle. The fest will feature plenty of food but also many speakers, performers, and members of the vegan community looking to share their stories, secrets, and recipes with others who enjoy an animal-cruelty-free diet. VegFest is looking for participants, volunteers, and attendees to achieve its mission of educating people about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. The event is scheduled to take place from noon to 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Auditorium, 800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $15. Visit southfloridavegfest.com.
Let Auto Promenade Wynwood rev your engine: See Sunday.
Courtesy of Miami Supercar Rooms
Step aside, Tesla — the OGs of the supercar industry are invading the streets of the 'Wood. We're talking 1929 Rolls-Royce Bootch, 1937 Bugatti, 1958 Maserati 450S, and other treasures of the ilk. To what does the Magic City owe this honor? Auto Promenade Wynwood. Sponsored by Miami Supercar Rooms (2022 NW First Ct., Miami), the three-block, "Road Art" car exposition will fill NW First Court with a vast collection of more than 66 of the finest automobiles exhibited by "some of the most devout collectors and auto enthusiasts." Discover everything from vintage hot rods to custom-built supercars to the motorized gems on display at Miami Supercar Rooms — think a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, 2007 Shelby Supercar Aero TT (once known as the world's fastest production car), and 1953 Lamborghini tractor (the only one in the United States and one of the only three remaining in the world). Each of the three blocks will be designated a specific vehicle category: Supercars will be showcased between NW 20th and 21st Streets; classics between NW 21st and NW 22nd Streets; and art cars between NW 22nd and NW 23rd Streets. The auto fest goes down Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Visit miamisupercarrooms.com or call 305-363-2020.
Having spent the past 15 years without sight or full mobility, David New is focused on advocacy for people with disabilities. That has led him to initiate an innovative series of events that spotlights those individuals to bring greater awareness to them. New's latest project, the inaugural South Beach Jazz Festival, is unique in that all of the participating artists — including notables such as Diane Schuur, Raul Midon, and Dr. Ed Calle — have physical challenges they've overcome through talent and tenacity. "I am proud to live in a city that continues to take steps to ensure that all people are treated with respect and dignity," New says. "The South Beach Jazz Festival celebrates the diversity of our community while bringing awareness to the abilities of people rather than their disabilities." It's an admirable and ambitious effort. With 16 artists performing over four days in both free and ticketed events, the fest will undoubtedly establish a precedent for years to come. There's no shortage of festivals in South Florida, but few provide such a meaningful message. This innovative offering suggests that New lives up to his name. The South Beach Jazz Festival will take place Wednesday through Sunday, December 11, at Hotel Astor (956 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), and Euclid Circle and the 1111 Lincoln Road Stage (1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Visit sobejazz.com.
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