The best time of the week is finally here — the weekend. The next three days are filled with music, art, parties, and boozy beverages galore. From Coral Gables to Little Havana to South Beach, these are the best places to be until the sun comes up Monday morning.
- Step Afrika! at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center: Remember that time in the early 2000s when a rash of films about teens dancing to that newfangled hip-hop stuff was popular? Believe it or not, Stomp the Yard and other such hormonal dramas actually pull from a rich history of African-influenced art and dance. The breadth of these traditions and influences is explored in Step Afrika!, a multidisciplinary performance that blends step, spoken word, and music.
- ArMOUR at Miami Theater Center: When you think of performance, you think of an audience sitting comfortably, watching something or someone on a stage that is entertaining or thought-provoking. In Lazaro Godoy's newest performance and exhibition, the artist eschews tradition and immerses the audience in a landscape of live video, art, food, photography, smells, and optical illusions. Witness Godoy perform within the space for the complete experience of ArMOUR, an interpretive exploration of love and self-illumination, and head to the MTC early to get a look at the installation before the performance begins.
- Taste of the Garden at Miami Beach Botanical Garden: Tropical plants are basically aliens on Earth. If you don't believe that, head to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Not only will you witness the orchids, bromeliads, and lobster claw heliconia (even their names sound like aliens), but you'll also get to explore the 12th-annual Taste of the Garden benefit this Friday. A ticket gets you access to samplings from a ritzy selection of Miami-based restaurants, as well as drinks, music, and a silent auction.
- #HialeahNow Retro Future Night at Black Dot Agency: Break out your best star-man getup and hop into a self-driving Uber — the Leah Arts District is continuing its #HialeahNow series with Retro Future Night. The event is 18 and up and sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey. Video installations, virtual reality, and interactive circus performances are some of the harbingers of our future reality, and beats by Otto von Schirach are set to propel you into a parallel dimension. So let's go ahead and pretend our robot overlords will be less like HAL and more like Rosie Jetson.
- Terror at Colony Theatre: It's called the trolley dilemma: If given the opportunity, would you pull a lever that changes the direction of a runaway trolley in order to save five people's lives but in the process kill one person? Ferdinand von Schirach's play Terror explores this classic philosophical puzzle through the trial of a military pilot charged with murder after shooting down a hijacked commercial flight headed toward a soccer stadium. The twist? The audience is the jury, and its decision dictates the end of the play.
- "Sunday Painter" at Laundromat Art Space: An artist's studio can be a strange place. Are those used coffee lids trash or the components of a found-object sculpture? Maybe it's best if we never know. For a more palatable peek into the artistic process, listen to Sunday Painter, a podcast started by Miami native Alex Nuñez that explores the influence of music on artists and their work. From her former home in Brooklyn, Nuñez has gathered national and international artists for "Sunday Painter," a showcase of participants who varyingly relate to a Magic City aesthetic.
- 2017 Miami Bachata Festival at Deauville Beach Resort: Maybe your 50-something neighbors turning up to Latin beats into the wee hours of Tuesday morning isn't enough Miami for you. Fear not — the Miami Bachata Festival starts this weekend. It kicks off with a birthday bash for Jorge “Ataca” Burgos, bachata instructor and founder of Island Touch Dance Academy (which also happens to be organizing the festival). Dance workshops run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and cover all levels, from beginner to advanced. Almost a dozen dance acts will show their talents beginning at 9 p.m. each night, followed by a dance free-for-all at 11 p.m.
- 2017 Miami Marathon at American Airlines Arena: The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race with 25,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 80 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003. Participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.
- MISO in the Park at the Bass: Decorated with towering trees and public art, Miami Beach’s Collins Park is anchored by the coral palace that is the Bass. For five years, the museum has teamed up with the Miami Symphony Orchestra to showcase the park as a perfect venue for a casual concert. Once a year, MISO in the Park invites members of the community to whip out their picnic baskets or purchase one from Thierry's and plop down on a blanket to enjoy a professional musical experience. If you’re truly rocking the coolest picnic vibes — most fashionable, artistic, or gourmet — you can win prizes in a contest judged by local stars Belkys Nerey and Brandi Reddick.
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- FM Festival at North Beach Bandshell: Hot Chip and Ghostface Killah are obviously great. Overpriced beer and corn dogs are not. At the FM Festival, there's no need to compromise. Not only will calorie-worthy bites abound from the likes of Ariete, K Ramen, and more than a dozen other Miami establishments, but you'll also get craft cocktails from local bartenders, all on the beach. Now you have a good reason to stuff your face at a music festival — as opposed to just eating so you can drink more. Don't worry, your summer body won't be mad.
- The City of North Miami Mardi Gras in North Miami: Mardi Gras may be a religiously inspired event based in New Orleans, but just as the annual fete deviates from the general austerity of Catholicism, it can also be celebrated properly outside its home city. And North Miami Mardi Gras will show this city how it’s done in Caribbean style this Sunday with a street parade of floats, colorful costumes, island food, cumbia, compas, reggae, and batucada. 103.5 the Beat’s Papa Keith will host a concert featuring the “Boombastic” Shaggy, Sweet Micky, T-Vice, and Gabel.