For years Spanish master guitarist Paco de Lucia has been taking flamenco music to new frontiers. His collaborations with jazz artists have forged his signature style of nuevo flamenco, a sound many critics consider a harbinger of the renaissance of Andalusian music. A consummate artist, de Lucia takes a turn back to the roots of his tunes with his new album, Cositas Buenas. Tonight de Lucia and his septet perform new songs as well as classics. The event will layer de Lucia's mastery of his instrument with percussionists and cantaores (singers). If you've never experienced live flamenco, you will be overwhelmed as the duende is unleashed and the musicians soar. Sponsored by the Rhythm Foundation, the concert starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 140 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $27 to $52. Call 305-672-5202. (JCR)
Founded 46 years ago next month by Texas-born dancer Alvin Ailey (1931-1989), the remarkable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is still going strong under the leadership of former dancer/choreographer-turned-artistic-director Judith Jamison, often Ailey's muse. Ailey created more than 70 modern dance works inspired by black cultural life; however, his company's repertoire numbers more than 150 works by 50 choreographers. Today through Sunday the troupe descends on the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) to dance in four shows. Heart Song, Rainbow Round My Shoulder, and Revelations (based on Ailey's youthful churchgoing experiences) can be seen at 8:00 tonight and 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. The Winter in Lisbon, Treading, Juba, and Revelations will be presented at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow and 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $25 to $65. Call 877-433-3200, ext. 301. (NK)
Folk music, storytelling, and strawberries. You'll find all that and more at the second annual Strawberry Folk Festival, taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today and tomorrow at Fruit and Spice Park (24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead). Four stages will host national and local folk musicians and storytellers including Zoe Speaks, Jim Gregory, Madafo, Grant Livingston, Amy Carol Webb, and Rod McDonald. (A separate concert featuring fest artists will go on tonight from 7:00 to 10:00.) A strawberry cook-off in four categories -- baked goods, breakfasts, desserts, salads and appetizers -- will be offered as well. Of course children's activities, rides and amusements, and booths hawking food, gifts, and plants will also fill the park. Admission is $5 for the festival; cook-off costs $15 for the first entry, $5 for each thereafter, with a limit of four. Tickets for tonight's concert cost $10. Call 305-242-9320. (NK)
When was the last time you joined with a group of fun-loving men and women in square formation and did a do-si-do? Sixth grade, was it? Now you can relive the joy and merriment of those days at the Old Time Dance at the Barnacle. The event will revive the tradition of group dances such as squares, circles, contras, and waltzes, all under the tropical skies of Coconut Grove. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and clothes in which they can move. We'd like to see lots of big skirts twirling around on the dance floor. If you only know how to booty-shake, experienced dancers will teach you to cut the rug. The dance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Barnacle State Historic Site, 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Admission is eight dollars. Call 305-448-9445. (JCR)
People don't understand when you tell them about the amazing communication you have with your rat terrier. You feel embarrassed at the thought of regaling your peers about the nonverbal conversations you have with him. He gets jealous for days when people sleep over and sneezes as if to ask, "You're wearing that to the office?" It's weird, but then again nobody else needs to know. At the fifth annual Animal Awareness Week, running through Wednesday, February 25, you'll get an earful from people like yourself who've discovered profound levels of communication among all kinds of creatures. The event is intended to raise public awareness about ethical, social, and political issues surrounding the treatment of animals. Those issues would include scientific experiments, meat eating, education, and entertainment. Today's presentation by biologist Mark Bekoff (a colleague of Jane Goodall) explores the ability animals have to express emotions, develop relationships, and tell you what you should wear. The latter may be stretching it, but if you think it would be a good idea to bring your trusty terrier, no pets are allowed. Bekoff speaks at 10:00 a.m. in room K413 at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104th St. Admission is free. Call 305-237-2990. (JCR)
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Long legs and fleet feet, a pretty face and breathy voice are just some of the qualities a Broadway baby must possess. Being a farm girl from an Iowa town overwhelmed by the big city, and then getting her one chance at being a star when she saves a show at the last minute, make her a legend. Sounds a bit like Eminem. But actually the no-holds-barred myth of the Broadway breakthrough, complete with zillions of tapping feet and show-stopping numbers, lives in the classic musical 42nd Street, perhaps the hallmark of Broadway's golden age. Chock-full of big production numbers such as "Lullaby of Broadway" and "We're in the Money," the show will leave you with a song in your heart and rekindle your dreams of being a dancer. The musical opens at 8:00 p.m. Catch it through Sunday, February 29, at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $20 to $55. Call 305-673-7300. (JCR)
Town planning: What the heck is it? And if architect/town planner/New Urbanist Andres Duany and his wife Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk's firm has completed more than 200 new town, downtown, and regional plans, why does it seem no one is adhering to them? Is the answer to suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment the kind of condo development (oh excuse us, loft development) run amok that is happening in Miami right now? Will that help create community, which the couple claims cities and towns truly need? Feel free to pose those sorts of questions to Duany tonight at 6:30 when he talks about "The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning" at the University of Miami's Eaton Residential College, Room 148, 1211 Dickinson Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-284-3438. (NK)