Duende, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is the ability to attract others through personal magnetism and charm. It's an appropriately neat and tidy definition for the antiseptic modern American world. But the true concept of duende lives in the fiery ways of Gypsy culture. It's not always neat. It involves pain and blood, lust and delicious delirium. It is a little green devil that lives at the heart of flamenco and fuels its ferocity and grandeur. Flamenco, it could be said, exhibits its best definition of duende without words. Duende Ballet Español will school audiences with its presentation Entre Nosotros. The show features a cast of dancers and singers from Spain and Mexico, including star dancer Joaquin Ruiz from Madrid, who makes his U.S. debut. The show begins at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow at the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Theater, 17011 NE Nineteenth Ave. Tickets range from $16 to $36. Call 305-787-6005. (JCR)
You have a giant jewelry box full of Grandma's precious gems and you don't know whether to wear them or sell them. You might consider spending the weekend attending the Antique Jewelry Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach). Aside from the hundreds of dealers who'll be peddling all kinds of interesting creations that you might be able to compare your jewels with, this year you'll get a bit of added instruction. Antique and estate jewelry specialists Joyce Jonas and Diane Singer will give talks about learning various jewelry styles, spotting reproductions, and determining a piece's quality. Feel free to drool over the 200 carats of diamonds set in platinum that was once the necklace of the Duchess of Marlborough. If you're tempted to take it home, whip out your checkbook and write a check for $1,000,000. Admission is ten dollars; twelve bucks buys you a three-day pass. Call 305-532-3467. (NK)
It's October and you know what that means. Lots of bratwurst-eating, beer-stein raising, and lederhosen-wearing at a multitude of Oktoberfest celebrations. From 4:00 p.m. to midnight today and next week the 54-year-old German American Social Club (11919 SW 56th St.) will be attempting to drum up members while they party in honor of the 193rd anniversary of the marriage of Princess Therese von Schensen-Hildburghausen to Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (who didn't need a last name because he eventually became king). Nice guy that he was, the king created the fest in 1810 for his people and it's been going on in Germany and around the world ever since. The GASC's version will include the requisite food and drink, major door prizes, plus performances by folk dance groups such as the Edelweiss Schuhplattler Gruppe (kiddies in dirndls and lederhosen slapping their thighs and feet to the beat!) and the Europa Band (grown men in lederhosen playing electric guitars!). Admission is ten dollars; kids between age twelve and twenty get in for two bucks; children under ten get in free. No word on what it costs for ten- and eleven-year-olds. Call 305-553-8587. (NK)
There was always something downright tough and cool about reggae icon Peter Tosh. Unlike Bob Marley, he didn't get trapped in the righteousness that comes with being pegged a prophet. Nor did he have the pop appeal that Jimmy Cliff did. Tosh was decidedly underground. He was a big, black, tough-looking Jamaican, who spoke out against nuclear war, apartheid, and the criminalization of marijuana consumption. His anthem "Legalize It" is as universal a political song as Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." Unfortunately his intensity may have led to his fall, as he was killed in a hail of bullets on September 11, 1987. Today his fans are celebrating his birthday with a concert and a week full of events, culminating with a festival at Bayfront Park on Sunday, October 26. But they'll be starting small tonight with a 7:00 club date at the Marlin Hotel, 1600 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free. Call 305-604-5063. (JCR)
Outspoken actor Theodore Bikel opens up the 23rd annual Jewish Book Festival this evening at 7:30 at the Dave and Mary Alper JCC (11155 SW 112th Ave.). Known for playing intense characters onstage and film, his skilled folk singing, and for being politically active, especially lobbying for the protection of Israel, the 79-year-old has written Theo: An Autobiography. He'll share tales of living through major events of the Twentieth Century such as the Holocaust and the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. In upcoming days, festival authors will include Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, novelist Rona Jaffe, and Margo Howard, daughter of advice columnist Ann Landers. Admission is $10; $18 gets you a reserved seat and entry into a book-signing and dessert reception. (NK)
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Sometimes you have to scare kids to get them to do something. The Fantasy Theatre Factory company will be using this tactic to get young ones to pick up books during their performance of Little Monster Tales. The troupe will be spooking impressionable minds with dramatic interpretations of children's lit morsels such as Paul Galdone's The Monster and the Tailor, Bill Martin, Jr.'s The Ghost-Eye Tree, and everybody's favorite, Scary Poems for Rotten Kids by Sean O'Huigin. If you get a kick out of seeing toddlers squirm in fear, this is a must-see. But most likely the fright will turn into shrieks of joy, as kids discover that every monster can be conquered. We recommend a saucy nah-nah-na-na-nah. It kills monsters every time. FTF performs at 10:00 a.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. Tickets cost five dollars. Call 305-284-8800. (JCR)
Basking in the spotlight and laying low in the background are two things hard bop trumpet player Bobby Shew knows how to do gracefully. A veteran of Las Vegas show bands and groups led by Woody Herman and Buddy Rich, the Albuquerque, New Mexico native is a teacher as well as an in-demand studio and stage musician. Tonight at 9:00 and 10:30, he'll make his local solo debut at the Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Music charge ranges from $10 to $20. Call 305-534-3600. (NK)