Calendar for the week

thursday
march 20
The Lipton Championships: Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi return to defend their championship titles against 30 challenging tennis stars at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park (7300 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne). Other players hitting the courts at the Lipton include Pete Sampras, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, and Michael Chang. Besides the court action, tennis fans can enjoy lessons and meet players at special events. Tickets range from $10 to $40. Day sessions begin at 11:00 a.m.; evening sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. (evening ticket holders can enter the grounds at 5:00 p.m. and enjoy food and entertainment). The championships run through March 30, with quarterfinals beginning on Wednesday. Call 446-2200. (GC)

Urbanism Explored: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) celebrates the city -- not just Miami, but every city -- with a monthlong series of lectures on comparative urban history, films that laud and condemn big-city life, and a public symposium that examines urban issues in South Florida. The series kicks off tonight at 6:30 p.m. as FIU history professor Alison Isenberg discusses the history of Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore from 1880s to the present. Tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. the series screens F.W. Murnau's 1924 milestone film The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann), about an elderly hotel doorman and his relationship with the city around him. On Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., architects, planners, developers, geographers, historians, and preservationists unite for a full-day discussion of urban South Florida's volatile history and its future. And on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., Colby College history professor Mark Stein discusses the lesbian and gay community in postwar Philly. Admission to all events is free. The series continues through April 18. See upcoming editions of "Calendar Listings," or call 531-1001 for a complete schedule of events. (GC)

friday
march 21
Made in USA: Music, exile, and (what else?) politics are the focus of films by Cuban directors aggregated in a weeklong festival that starts tonight at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Organized by Miami-based filmmaker Sergio Giral, "Made in USA: Forty Years of Cuban Filmmakers" opens with a reception at 6:30 p.m.; at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m., Nestor Almendros's rarely-seen gems Improper Conduct and Nadie Escuchó (Nobody Listened) will be screened. Tomorrow at noon the fest continues with a panel discussion about the history of independent Cuban film in Cuba and in exile, moderated by Leon Ichaso (Azucar Amarga (Bitter Sugar)); later the fest screens films by Orlando Jimenez-Leal, at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. On Sunday a noon forum focuses on filmmakers working in Cuba and in exile today. Two films are slated for Sunday night: El Super, directed by Ichaso and Jimenez-Leal and dealing with the triumphs and frustrations of a family of immigrants in New York, screens at 8:00 p.m.; and Crossover Dreams, Ichaso's critically acclaimed movie starring Ruben Blades, screens at 10:00 p.m. The festival continues through Thursday, March 27, and includes films by Giral, Miami Film Festival director Nat Chediak, Alex Anton, and Joe Cardona. All films are in English or in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission to each event is eight dollars. See "Calendar Listings" for a complete schedule, or call 538-8242. (JC)

Andrew Weil: The author of the best-selling book Spontaneous Healing has a simple theory: If you eat right and exercise, you'll maintain your health with little need for medical intervention. In this book Dr. Andrew Weil, a graduate of Harvard Medical School who since the late 1960s has been combining alternative therapies with conventional Western medical practices, propounded his theory that the body has the innate ability to heal itself, given the proper nutrition and exercise. Dr. Weil further relates his ideas in his latest book, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, which offers a week-by-week guide highlighting diet (with 50 recipes), exercise, stress reduction techniques, and vitamins and supplements, and recounts the experiences of patients who have adopted his health program. Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Books & Books hosts an evening with Dr. Weil at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables). Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (GC)

My Sweet Charlie: The South Florida Theater for the Deaf presents a spoken English and American Sign Language production of David Westheimer's My Sweet Charlie at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St., Hollywood). The play explores the racial tensions of the 1960s as an uneducated pregnant white teenager and an educated black man meet by chance and move past their initial hostility and resentment to understanding and tolerance. Tickets cost ten dollars. Performances run at 8:00 p.m. tonight, tomorrow, and March 28 and 29, with 2:00 p.m. matinee performances on Sunday and March 29. Call 954-924-8175 for tickets and information. (JO)

The Drag: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, might be the last place from which you would expect a spacy Brit-influenced rock band to hail, but the Drag has much more in common with lads from across the pond like Oasis and Blur than it does with the Hooties of its own back yard. The five-man band explores intergalactic themes through acoustic guitar strumfests, liquidy vintage synthesizers, and psychedelic splurges on its recent debut, Satellites Beaming Back at You (on Island Records), and has been celebrated for its hyperkinetic stage shows. Drag yourself down to Rose's Bar & Music Lounge (754 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) tonight at 11:00 p.m., when the guys perform with local vocalist Amanda Green and her band. Admission is five dollars. Call 532-0228. (GC)  

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Urbanism Explored: See Thursday.

saturday
march 22
Mozart Stube Blues Fest: Billed as the "best block party in Coral Gables," this two-day affair features eight of the finest blues acts in South Florida, all performing free just outside Mozart Stube Restaurant (325 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables). Among the acts lined up for the third annual shebang, which runs today and tomorrow from noon to 11:00 p.m., are Blues Fuse; the Miami Blues Authority; Piano Bob and Stan Street; Jr. Drinkwater and the Thirst Quenchers; and the Roach Thompson Blues Band. Call 446-1600 for more information. (JF)

Thomas Heidemann: The juxtaposition of eroticism and mortality is as old as art itself. German photographer Thomas Heidemann explores the connection in the aptly titled exhibition "Sex and Death," a tribute to his friends who are living with or have died of AIDS, on view at art1037 (formerly South Florida Art Center's ClaySpace, 1037 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) through April 5. Often compared to Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano (two photographers who also tackled these weighty themes), Heidemann captures male nudes, scenes of bondage and S&M, and corpses at a morgue in large-format Cibachrome photographs. Admission is free. For gallery hours and further information, call 534-3339. (GC)

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Urbanism Explored: See Thursday.
Made in USA: See Friday.
My Sweet Charlie: See Friday.

sunday
march 23
Ken Lazarus: Ska veteran Ken Lazarus kicks off a rare U.S. tour right here in South Florida with a concert tonight at the 441 Cabaret (4322 N. SR 7, Lauderdale Lakes). A ground-floor artist in the early-1960s development of ska (the precursor to reggae, for the intellectually challenged), Lazarus is revered for songs such as "Cecelia," "Hail the Man," and "Ska, Ska, Ska." He was also involved for a while with Federal Records (then the largest record label in the Caribbean) and the early reggae group Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires. Tickets cost $20; showtime is 7:00 p.m. Call 625-7519 for more information. (JF)

The Man by the Shore: Take a break from the larger-than-life, star-powered political thrillers of Hollywood this weekend at the Bill Cosford Cinema (University of Miami, off Campo Sano Avenue, Coral Gables). Raoul Peck's sensitive and beautifully photographed film The Man by the Shore explores the memories of a young girl who struggles for survival in the political and social upheaval of 1960s Haiti under Papa Doc Duvalier. Admission is five dollars. Times are 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. For additional times and upcoming films, call 284-4861. (GC)

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Made in USA: See Friday.
Mozart Stube Blues Fest: See Saturday.
Thomas Heidemann: See Saturday.

monday
march 24
Cause for Alarm: Throw yourself (literally) into a hardcore history lesson tonight as New York City's hardcore pioneers Cause for Alarm take the stage at the Theater (3339 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Cause for Alarm (an apt name if ever there was one) originated in 1982, and in the two years they were together influenced a whole slew of bands and opened the way for groups such as the Cro-Mags, Murphy's Law, and Agnostic Front. The band is now appealing to a whole new generation of hardcore fans with its latest release, Cheaters and the Cheated (on the indie label Victory Records). Sharing the bill are Grip Inc., Dave Lombardo (of Slayer), Bloodlet, and Coal Chamber. Tickets cost $12. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Call 954-565-1117. (GC)

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Made in USA: See Friday.
Thomas Heidemann: See Saturday.

tuesday
march 25
Master Class: Prolific and celebrated Oscar winner Faye Dunaway stars as opera diva Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Master Class, opening tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Dunaway, an actress known for her perfectionism and total immersion in roles, is anticipated to deliver a tour de force performance as the explosively witty and temperamental Callas in her later years, when she trained (and terrified) young aspiring opera singers in her Manhattan studio. Tickets cost $47 and $50. Performances continue Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. through April 13, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday of the first and third week, and a 7:00 p.m. show on Sunday of the second week. Call 954-763-2444. (GC)  

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Urbanism Explored: See Thursday.
Made in USA: See Friday.
Thomas Heidemann: See Saturday.

wednesday
march 26
Ben & Jerry: Few businesses in America have been run with the kind of chutzpah that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have used for their premium ice cream venture, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. They've done everything from naming ice cream flavors for that ultimate hippie Jerry Garcia (Cherry Garcia) to holding a nationwide essay contest to find a new chief executive officer a few years ago. Well, that CEO (actually found through an executive search firm) is gone and they now have a new man at the helm: Perry Odak, ex-CEO of U.S. Repeating Arms Co., the maker of Winchester rifles. Ben and Jerry will be at Nova Southeastern University's Breakfast Forum at the Wyndham Hotel Fort Lauderdale Airport (1825 Griffin Rd., Dania) today to discuss, among other things, how Odak fits in at the company that makes Peace Pops, some of whose profits support causes such as gun control. Tickets cost $50 (hey, you get a big breakfast). Call 954-262-5352 for more information. (JO)

Donald Lipski: Ambrosino Gallery's jaw-dropping new space in a converted warehouse (3095 SW 39th Ave.) is the perfect setting for Donald Lipski's assemblages fashioned from household items, industrial objects, trees, and junk. Lipski's mind-bending pieces, on view through March 29 in an exhibition titled "Pond Life and Other Recent Work," include two saws wearing a pair of children's rain boots; a poetic amalgamation of tree roots, a violin neck, and concrete; and an elegant painting fashioned from razor blades. One fascinating, morbid work pumps red liquid through a length of plastic tubing over and over again. Admission is free. For gallery hours and information, call 445-2211. (JC)

The Lipton Championships: See Thursday.
Made in USA: See Friday.
Thomas Heidemann: See Saturday.
Master Class: See Tuesday.


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