Take an early meeting with Venus at the Deering 
    Estate at Cutler
Take an early meeting with Venus at the Deering Estate at Cutler

This Week's Day by Day Picks

Thursday 6/3
In her show Reno: Rebel Without a Pause, Manhattan's edgy performer, Reno, takes on the global political situation and skewers it with her unique brand of feminist-lesbian outrage. Whatever you do, don't call this New York broad hysterical. Part comedian, part monologist, Reno has been known for saying the unspoken in society. The show is based on her reactions to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and its aftermath. Be prepared for a healthy dose of Bush-bashing. Presented by Miami Light Project's Come Out Laughing comedy series, Reno takes the stage at 8:00 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $22 to $28. Call 305-576-4350. (JCR)

Friday 6/4
The opening tonight of Ramon Ferreira's El Hombre Inmaculado kicks off the nineteenth annual International Hispanic Theatre Festival. Local companies such as Teatro Avante and Miami Dade College's Prometeo will be joined by artists from Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, and Spain in a celebration of Latino theater. From Homestead to Miami Beach, theater companies will present works that challenge and prod sensibilities. Tonight's play explores family issues as individuals seek their own identity. Most performances are in Spanish. The curtain rises at 8:30 at Teatro Avante, 235 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-446-7144. (JCR)

Saturday 6/5
Since 1977 the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival has been moving fun-loving crowds to sweat and shake under the early summer sun to the sounds of steel drums and calypso. This year the junkanoos are once again blaring whistles and Coconut Grove's Grand Avenue is ready to rock. Along with the funky prance up the boulevard, there will be NBA and WNBA players, basketball-dunking competitions, and performances by Nappy Roots, 6th Day, Beenie Man, Cee-Lo, the O'Jays, and others. Of course the Bahamian Police Marching Band is expected to join in the merriment, performing drills in their crisp white uniforms. Be sure to sample plenty of the Caribbean's finest foods. The party starts at noon today and tomorrow at Grand Avenue, between McDonald and Matilda streets. Admission is free. Call 305-567-1399. (JCR)

Sunday 6/6
Tree huggers, prepare. Admirers of one of South Florida's most beautiful trees are throwing a party. At the 67th (yes, 67th) annual Royal Poinciana Fiesta, the dreamy scarlet and orange shade tree is honored by those who have fallen under its spell. It's not surprising, though, that the royal poinciana has such a strong following. Just by looking at it, you are transported to a more calm and serene reality. At the fiesta you will learn about the tree's history (it's a native of Madagascar), garner growing tips, and witness the coronation of the 2004 Fiesta Queen and Court. You can also take a trolley car tour of the area's most attractive royal poincianas, including a stop at botanist David Fairchild's historic home. The fun starts at noon at City Hall of South Miami, 6130 Sunset Dr. Admission is free, though the trolley tour costs $20. Call 305-789-7608. (JCR)

Monday 6/7
"Without musicians, there's no music," says the motto of the Jazz Musicians Fellowship Foundation, a local nonprofit group devoted to helping out jazzsters in dire straits. Well, when the JMFF throws its Spring/Summer Fun' Raiser at Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 De Soto Blvd.) this evening at 7:00, you can be sure plenty of musicians will be in attendance both in the audience and onstage. Topping the bill are Juliene Purefoy and Tim Eyermann with East Coast Offering. Purefoy is a saxophonist and flute player best known as the long-time leader of her own seventeen-piece big band. Eyermann is a well-regarded Washington, D.C.-based multi-instrumentalist who fronts the East Coast Offering. A mysterious group dubbed the Oasis Jazz Trio will perform as well. Tickets cost $15. Call 305-233-6583. (NK)

Tuesday 6/8
Look, in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane! Oh, it's a star. But not just any star. It's the planet Venus! And it's moving -- across the face of the sun. The last time that sort of mini-eclipse happened was 1882. Unfortunately for night owls, the only time you're going to be able to witness the transit of Venus in South Florida is during the early morning hours. If you're not fazed, set the alarm, guzzle a gallon of coffee, and head over to the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701 SW 72nd Ave.), where the Southern Cross Astronomical Society will set up cameras and telescopes on the lawn from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. Admission is free. Call 305-235-1688, ext. 233. (NK)

Wednesday 6/9
We love it when a man cooks for us, especially when that man is celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Owner of the popular Bolo and Mesa Grill restaurants in New York City and star of several Food Network television shows, the tireless flame-haired foodie comes to Miami to plug his latest cookbook, Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire. At 7:00 p.m. courtesy of Books & Books, Flay will fire up the stove at the Burdines-Macy's Kids and Home Store (Dadeland Mall, 7675 N. Kendall Dr.) to whip up some of the ethnic-inspired specialties featured in his new tome. Bring an appetite along with your cash. Admission is free but reservations are required. Call 305-577-2296. (NK)

Miami's favorite jazz songstress, according to our recent Best of Miami Readers' Poll, and one heck of a nice gal, Nicole Henry celebrates the release of her debut CD, The Nearness of You, this evening at the Van Dyke Cafe (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Accompanied on the album by pianist Mike Orta, bassist Paul Shewchuck, and drummer Danny Burger, Henry skillfully belts out a bevy of standards such as "Summertime," "Fly Me to the Moon," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Expect a similar playlist tonight when she's joined by pianist Brian Murphy, Shewchuck, and Burger. Showtimes are 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. Music charge is five dollars. Call 305-534-3600. (NK)


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