Tonight at 8:30 the Wolfsonian-FIU presents the finale of its Florida on Film series, and the closing flick is a classic: Where the Boys Are. Boys and girls alike will have a blast at the Hotel Astor (956 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), which is hosting the event as a gala pool party and an outdoor screening of the 1960 movie. Starring the syrupy Connie Francis and the dashing George Hamilton before he acquired his perpetual tan, the film is set in the Fort Lauderdale of yore during spring break. Expect the usual boy-meets-girl routine and lots of fun in the sun. Also expect free rum punch, chef Johnny Vinzencz's exotic barbecue fare, and a cash bar. Vintage footage of real spring breakers romping (and upchucking) in Fort Lauderdale will precede the screening. Tickets cost $25 and include dinner. Call 305-535-2602. (NK)
Books & Books presents celebrated novelist Reynolds Price, who reads from his latest work of fiction, Roxanna Slade, tonight at 8:00 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables). Recounting the travails of a Southern woman, the novel covers nearly 100 years and details world wars, social strife, and the protagonist's own struggle with depression and eventual optimistic outlook. Price has written more than twenty books, including short stories, essays, and poems; screenplays for television and movies; and lyrics for songs by James Taylor. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. (NK)
You say your knowledge of Argentine culture is limited to what you saw in that horrendous musical Evita? Get over to the Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art (4006 Aurora St., Coral Gables) tonight at 6:00 for a reception celebrating the opening of an exhibition titled Argentine Cultural Month. Works by 40 artists from Argentina will be showcased in the main space. In the museum's alternative space, known as EuroAmerica, a separate display titled "Seven Women Artists from Bahia Blanca" will offer works by artists from that city in the province of Buenos Aires. The rooms will be filled with the sound of tango music by the David Alsina trio and a bandoneon player. Keep in mind it's gallery night in Coral Gables, so when you get your fill of Argentine art, hop on the free trolley at the museum's front door and cruise to another of the many galleries in the neighborhood. Admission is free. Call 305-444-7060. (NK)
It's Fourth of July. Independence day. Everyone's day off. You're on your own. You can't go shopping. Forget a movie. You have two choices: Stay indoors in your air-conditioned room and watch other people on TV having fun or go outside and eat, drink, sweat, watch fireworks, and maybe listen to some music if you're lucky. A few places where you can while away the day and watch the sky light up at night: Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.) hosts America's Birthday Bash beginning at 1:00 p.m. The festivities promise the usual games for kids and fun for adults, including three stages, with Othello and the Miami Steel Orchestra, Nicky Yarling and the Weld, Iko-Iko, Sergio Vargas, La Gran Union, the Rio Boyz, and more. At 7:00 p.m. the City of Miami Beach presents Jazz on the Beach at Tenth Street and Ocean Drive. The evening opens with a naturalization ceremony. A performance by saxophonist Boney James and a giant Zambelli family fireworks display follow (only the use of private fireworks has been banned, so the kids won't be disappointed). Admission to all events is free. See "Calendar Events" for more. Call 305-358-7550 or 305-673-7575. (NK)
Yes, she's a cheesy Eighties rockin' momma, but so were you back then. Even though you tossed out that electric-blue leather jacket long ago, you still own a few cans of mousse and at any given moment you can spout all the words to "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and "Love Is a Battlefield." Your goddess Pat Benatar performs this afternoon at Calder Race Course (21001 NW 27th Ave.). The concert is free with two-dollar grandstand admission. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Call 305-625-1311. (NK)
Don't worry, ZETA Fest won't consist of a bunch of DJs babbling and spinning twenty-minute blocks of Van Halen. Luckily, radio station ZETA-4's annual music festival doesn't mirror its programming so closely. Regardless of on-air foibles, the folks at ZETA-4 (94.9 FM) have put together what is unquestionably the bargain concert of the summer. Sure, you would've rather seen the Black Crowes and Seven Mary Three several years ago when they were at the peak of their popularity, but they can still rock. Don't be surprised if you encounter a lot of heat -- as in outdoor temperatures. You're gonna work up quite a thirst running between the two main stages and the local stage in Markham Park (16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise) to see Stabbing Westward, Candlebox, Black Lab, Addict, Samiam, Semisonic, and a slew of local acts. If you want to take a break from the action, check out the VW Beetle race, cool off in the mist tent, or patronize the always popular food and drink vendors. The show starts at 10:00 a.m. Tickets cost a paltry thirteen dollars. Call 305-654-9494. (LB)
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Local author Elaine Viets (Backstab) reads from Rubout, her latest mystery novel featuring fearless journalist and amateur sleuth Francesca Vierling, at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Set in Viets's hometown of St. Louis, Rubout tells the tale of Sydney Vander Venter, a socialite who is found murdered in an alleyway after a prestigious party. Francesca, of course, is on the case. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. (NK)
If you prefer looking at dried paint over watching paint dry, maybe you should stop staring at the walls and go over to the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.). There you can gaze for hours at the exhibition Twentieth-Century Still-Life Paintings from the Phillips Collection. Works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Rufino Tamayo, Pierre Bonnard, and others are part of the more than 70 paintings loaned by prominent collectors Marjorie and Duncan Phillips that reflect the evolution of the modern still-life tradition in America and Europe. Ordinary objects never looked so good. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (until 9:00 p.m. Thursday) and from noon to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The exhibition runs through August 23. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-375-3000. (NK)
Torn between seeing a French or a Spanish movie tonight? (As if you ever have that many foreign film choices in this town.) Spend the next five days taking in the Franco-Hispanic Film Festival at CocoWalk (3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove). Each evening two recent French-Spanish co-productions will screen. Your options include this year's Tinta Roja (Red Ink), 1997's Historias de Futbol (Football Stories), and 1996's Entre Marx y Una Mujer Desnuda (Between Marx and a Naked Woman). Tickets cost eight dollars and can be purchased at the third-floor box office or in advance by calling 305-372-8646. See "Calendar Events" or "Showtimes" for more details. (