Prepare to pay homage to the first Cuban ever to be nominated for a Tony Award. The University of Miami's Casa Bacardi will host an exhibit featuring the Art Deco paintings of Cuban-born artist Randy Barcel. See his costume-design sketches for the Broadway hits Jesus Christ Superstar and Ain't Misbehavin' as well as his artwork from the Eighties and Nineties. For those of you who tend to respond to auditory rather than visual stimuli, guitarist Mario Vuksanovic will play the soundtrack as you make your way through the exhibit. Afterward take the free university shuttle over to UM's Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) for more art, music, and refreshments. Gallery Night begins this evening at 7:00 and features a tasting of Bacardi's specially flavored ambrosias at Casa Bacardi, in the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies on the UM campus, 531 Brescia Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-284-CUBA, or visit http://casabacardi.iccas.miami.edu. (KC)
Dance is the shimmying, twirling hallmark of a national culture. Flamenco is to gypsy Spain as country line dancing is to the American South. What happens when ballet, the most snooty of the traditional European dances, crosses the border to the land of the hat dance? Find out when Tigertail Productions presents Delfos Contemporary Dance from Mazatlán, Mexico. The twelve-year-old company interprets Mexican culture in ways that will surprise, delight, and provoke. Performances are at 8:30 p.m., Byron Carlyle Theater, 500 71st St., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $20 to $50. Call 305-545-8546 or visit www.tigertail.org. (PEGY)
Although the Mandarin Oriental (500 Brickell Key Dr.) seems to have a good idea with Barefoot at the Oasis, we want assurances that this isn't some sort of foot fetish conspiracy. Sure, there's a delectable menu of Asian appetizers prepared by award-winning chefs, and sunset cocktails to be sipped by the water's edge. But what's up with the "chic beach butlers" checking our shoes at the door, the "sensual background," and the "exotic beds?" Play footsie tonight and every Friday evening beginning at 6:00. Call 305-913-8358. (KC)
So an African American, a Colombian, a Dominican, and an Italian walk into a bar.... No, this isn't a bad joke. The members of Mantra are positive, peaceful dudes out to demonstrate the power of ethnic unity with today's Mantra International World Music Festival. The guys from Mantra will prove that the world is indeed a global village by laying down their unique brand of upbeat, funky, jazz-influenced world music. To help spread good vibrations all over the planet, the band is throwing a shindig that will include films by Luis Palomino, an art showcase featuring Caribbean work from the Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Puerto Rican painter Elizabeth Baez, and of course music from Mantra's global friends. Macarldie will represent the British Virgin Islands to the fullest, and Cezar Santana will bring the Brazilian noise. All this at the Fritz and Franz Bierhaus, 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables. Call 305-774-1883 or visit www.mantrasounds.com. (PEGY)
If you want to people-watch or be buffeted about by club kids, South Beach is the place for you. If you're a college student and you're looking for a crowded place to get rowdy, go to Coconut Grove. If you're yearning for good live music, head on down to ... Kendall? Long regarded as the redheaded stepchild of the greater Miami area, Kendall has stepped up its game to bring you some down-home Americana. Kate McDonnell is venturing south to do what she does best -- strum her guitar every which way but up and sing her heart out for adoring fans. What makes this a uniquely Kendallian experience? If you arrive this evening at 5:00, you can partake in a potluck supper before the concert starts. Admission costs $15. Enjoy good food, good tunes, and good company tonight in Betty's Backyard. Call 305-595-1901 for reservations, address, and directions. (PEGY)
Climb up to the attic and grab that old painting Grandma left you, and dust off your hand-me-down wedding china. Cast a gimlet gaze around your home and start imagining your accumulated possessions as money in the bank. That's right, it's Antiques Appraisal time. Certified experts Tara Ana Finley, Lewis G. Nieman, Chris Lones, and Kenny Shrives will give an appraiser's eye to the wanna-be-rich guy today from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Get an estimated cash value for Judaica, paintings, silver, jewelry, toys, small furniture, and more -- anything except rugs and firearms. Live out your Antiques Roadshow fantasies and bring your family heirlooms down to the Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave., South Beach. Appraisals cost $10 an item, no more than three items per person. Call 305-672-5044, ext. 21. (PEGY)
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If you're anything like Back Door Bamby's promoters Carmel Ophir, Michele Leshem, and Mykel Stevens after a night of escorting drag queens and pookied-out revelers past the velvet rope, you'll want to unwind by experiencing an amalgamation of Brazilian, Peruvian, and Japanese cuisine accompanied by karaoke. That, however, won't be weird enough. So you'll have to mix in a comedian named Rocco, local DJ Lincoln O'Barry, and New York City's DJ Ani Phearce. Throw in some sake and boom -- now we have the makings of a new party worthy of this holy trinity of nightlife promoters. Wasabi Tuesdays take place weekly at SUSHISAMBA dromo, 600 Lincoln Rd., South Beach, beginning at 10:00 p.m. Call 305-673-5337 or visit www.sushisamba.com. (KC)
He was born into poverty and mocked for his hardscrabble rural background. As a lad he shocked fellow villagers by getting in trouble with authorities. They tried to kill him numerous times. Cyanide had no effect on him. He avoided being run over by a wagon. When he got shot, he jumped to his feet and tried to kill his attacker. Shot again, he still refused to die. Finally he was captured, bound, and tossed into an icy river. Learn more about the shadowy historic figure who perhaps provided some inspiration for Kenny on South Park in historian Rebecca Friedman's lecture "Holy Fool or Evil Monk: The Many Lives and Deaths of Rasputin." Admission is $10. Find out about the fall of the Russian empire while you enjoy complimentary wine and cheese tonight at 7:00 at the MIAMIntelligence Center, 2000 S. Dixie Hwy., Coconut Grove. Call 305-860-2499. (PEGY)