So what's with all these lawyers turned authors? Brad Meltzer, who grew up in North Miami Beach, joins brethren Scott Turow and John Grisham as attorneys who now spend most of their time pecking out fiction rather than worrying about billable hours. Meltzer has already enjoyed a big hit with his first book, The Tenth Justice, written while he was still a student at Columbia Law School. His second novel, Dead Even -- a tale of lawyers in love who have to face each other in court -- is also on track to become a best seller. The story's catch: No matter which lawyer wins the big case, one of them must die. Meltzer reads from Dead Even at 8:00 tonight at Books & Books, 296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 442-4408.
When the Center for the Fine Arts transformed itself into the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) eighteen months ago, more than a change in name occurred. The institution also embarked on a new mission: developing a permanent collection that emphasized Western Hemisphere art made during the second half of this century. Since then the museum has offered two separate exhibitions titled "Dream Collection," which have displayed important works -- some on loan from private collections, others donated by benefactors. So far they have added 57 pieces. Today marks the opening of New Acquisitions: Dream Collection ... Part Three; it will feature a dozen newly acquired works, including pieces by Kenny Scharf and Frank Stella. The exhibition runs through November 1. Admission is five dollars. Call 375-300 for hours.
Innovative local troupe Momentum Dance Company closes out its sixteenth season with the all-jazz program "Shapes of Jazz." On the bill: six pieces, including solos, a pas de deux, and works for six, eight, and twelve. The dances were created by artistic director Delma Isles, assistant artistic director Lees Hummel, choreographer Michelle Carter, and company dancer Diego Salterini, and will be set to compositions by Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, legendary trumpet player Miles Davis, blues guitarist B.B. King, and jazz musician Gary Mayone. Performances take place at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets range in price from $7 to $15. Call 856-1163.
Feline freaks will have a ball (of string?) at the Cat Fanciers Cat Show, which unravels from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Dade County Fair and Exposition Center (10901 Coral Way). Four hundred cats from across the country will be shown. At noon, 1:30, and 3:00 p.m., Hollywood animal trainers and the four-member Friskies Cat Team -- which as appeared in movies such as Star Trek: Generations and Poetic Justice, music videos, and, of course, Friskies cat food commercials -- will perform assorted tricks. The indifferent white Persian kitty with the green eyes that shills for Fancy Feast Gourmet cat food will also put in an appearance. Additionally, an array of items for your tabby -- jewelry and crafts, toys, scratching posts, carriers, and catnip -- will be available for purchase. Admission cost ranges from three to six dollars, and proceeds benefit Adopt a Pet and the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Call 661-2382.
Prepare for more teeth-gnashing as yet another music venue closes its doors. At the end of this month, the appealingly mellow Beehive (630 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), a long-time late-night bastion of cool, will shutter its back-room lounge. The club, which has been besieged by noise complaints, intends not to go quietly into that good night, however. This evening at 11:00, acid jazz combo Satellite Lounge, sort of the Beehive's house band, celebrates its one-year anniversary. The Beehive is not the only thing that is changing. Satellite Lounge is losing turntablist Ursula 1000 and bassist Michael Elkind to the glittering metropolis of New York City. Improv-ers the Spam All-Stars open the festivities. Admission is three dollars. Call 538-7484.
It's a sweltering 90 degrees outside. How in the world to cool off? Take in a bit of ice skating. No, not at home on TV. Get yourself down to the Miami Arena (721 NW 1st Ave.) at 3:00 this afternoon for the Champions on Ice tour. Watch as impish Olympic gold medal winner Tara Lipinski glides across the ice, along with her graceful Olympic and World Champion colleagues Michelle Kwan, Brian Boitano, Viktor Petrenko, Oksana Baiul, Usova and Zhulin, and many others. Expect to witness some daring leaps, spins, and triple whatevers. Tickets cost $41 and $56. Call 530-4400.
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Thirty-two-year-old saxophonist Harry Allen is one of a new breed of young jazzers (his peers include horn players David Sanchez and Mark Turner) who have adopted the "cool" style of tenor saxophonist forebears Zoot Sims and Stan Getz. With more than ten records to his credit, the Providence, Rhode Island-born Allen is known for his trademark restraint and attention to melody. He has also been a sideman on many recordings, including, strangely enough, Public Enemy's 1988 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (he contributed vocals). Tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday, Allen performs at Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Showtimes are 9:00, 10:30 p.m., and midnight. Tickets cost six dollars. Call 534-3600.
Tonight at 7:30 Indian philosopher Sri Chinmoy visits Miami (and welcomes the new millennium a wee bit early) to perform a Peace Concert at FIU University Park's Wertheim Performing Arts Center (SW 8th Street and 107th Avenue). As a musician who plays his own intense, ethereal work on a variety of instruments -- cello, flute, vibraphone, esraj, and piano -- the 66-year-old Chinmoy has earned the admiration of the late conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic conductor Kurt Masur, and vocalist Roberta Flack. Since 1984 he has presented more than 450 peace concerts to half a million people at prestigious theaters such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Albert Hall. Chinmoy's proclaimed goal is to bring people together to share a few hours of undisturbed tranquillity. That should be something of a challenge in this divisive town. Admission is free. Call 891-9933 to reserve a seat.
In the 1985 comedy Lost in America, protagonist David Howard (Albert Brooks) repeatedly announces his intention to quit his frustrating job, retire from the rat race, and take to the road in a Winnebago so he can "touch Indians." Peruvian sculptor Felipe Lettersten seems to have done just that. But Lettersten doesn't just touch Indians; he creates life-size castings of them. The exhibition Tribal Spirits: Indians of the Americas features 50 such castings made of Indians who live in the Western Hemisphere, notably from the Amazon rain forest. Lettersten, who has been creating his distinctive works since 1986, found the Indians he dealt with to be reluctant subjects at first. After making castings of himself to prove they would not be hurt by the process, the artist persuaded members of several tribes (Yanomami, Amerakaeri, Arara, and Wai Wai are just a few) to agree to have their images duplicated in plaster. To date Lettersten has made more than 130 sculptures, all incorporating ceremonial dress and jewelry. The show runs through August 30 at the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, 3280 S. Miami Ave. Admission is nine dollars. Call 854-4247 for hours.