Toys "R' Them

Friends with You rejoices

THU 9/2

"A fast connection with the abstract being inside us all," promise the organizers of the art exhibition "Get Lucky," currently on display through Saturday, September 25, at The Box (70 NE Seventeenth St.). Those same folks are the makers of the odd-but-endearing line of plush toys known as Friends with You. Stitching their way toward world domination since 2002, Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval have created a wildly successful menagerie of whimsical stuffed characters. One favorite is Malfi, a beak-free penguin who can visit "great wealth or death" upon his owner. In other toy-related endeavors, the pair also created modular wooden playthings and collaborated on art installations, including an immense stuffed whale that spilled its guts in San Francisco (with artist David Choe) and a toy tornado in Tokyo (with fellow plush makers). Here at home, a special Friend dubbed The Fur Liaison (that's him, above) will help you "Get Lucky." As Malfi advises: "Good luck and be careful." Admission is free. Call 305-607-5527. - Nina Korman

New Images

Movies offer fresh looks at life

THU 9/2

Cinema Tropical landed on our shores barely half a year ago, and already the Latin film series has become a don't-miss event for local culture vultures and cineastes. With indie offerings arriving from all over Latin America, the event presents a chance to see films from our southern neighbors who possess a voice and vision far removed from the compromising influence of Hollywood. This month's feature, Sebastian Alarcon's touching comedy El Fotografo (The Photographer), follows the exploits of photographer Simon in 1962 Chile as he sets out to create his fotonovela masterwork -- a photo-illustrated novel -- with a varied cast of friends. But in his desperation to achieve his dream, Simon caves to the whims of capricious producers, disappointing those around him and himself. Screenings take place at 7:30 tonight and 8:00 p.m. Saturday at the Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St. Tickets cost $8; there's a two-for-one special on Saturday. Email for info: -John Anderson

Sonorous Support

THU 9/2

Just in case you were looking for a soothing, high-culture way to help victims of Hurricane Charley, Amici dell'Arte and Neighbors 4 Neighbors present some much-needed Classical Relief. Local opera, classical, and musical theater artists will perform to raise funds for disaster victims. Can't stand all that trilling and warbling? No problem. Get tickets for others, or simply make a donation of any amount at Allegro Music (4537 Ponce De Leon Blvd., #102, Coral Gables). Address checks to Neighbors 4 Neighbors. Get your classical groove on at 7:30 p.m. at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Admission is by minimum donation of $15. Call 305-373-4340, or visit -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik


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