As conductor, founder, and life president of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the most recorded chamber orchestra in the universe, Sir Neville Marriner has become one of the most familiar living figures in classical music. Radio stations all over the globe broadcast performances by the academy daily. Marriner's work has also taken him around the world and even into Hollywood films. Marriner, who turns 80 on April 15, will conduct his own son during a special pair of shows with the New World Symphony dubbed A Marriner Duo. Andrew Marriner is the principal clarinetist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Pieces will include Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 1, and Schumann's Symphony No. 4. Showtime is 8:00 tonight and tomorrow at the Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $24 to $66. Call 305-673-3331. -- By Margaret Griffis
A few months ago the M Ensemble Company devoted its second theater work of the season to exploring the evolution of African-American men with Eric Wilson's acclaimed musical Strands. This time around, women are in the spotlight when the company presents Flyin' West by playwright and best-selling novelist Pearl Cleage. Four courageous black gals who in 1898 settle together in an all-black Kansas town are the main characters in this drama, which deals with the frustrations many blacks had with Reconstruction and their efforts to finally leave slavery behind. The production opens tonight and runs through Sunday, May 9, at the M Ensemble Actors Studio (12320 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami). Shows take place at 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20; $25 for opening night, which includes a cast party. Call 305-895-8955 to reserve. -- By Nina Korman
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Caribbean troupes make splash
From Guyana to Belize to Jamaica and St. Lucia, dance is a prominent part of Caribbean culture. Tonight several groups from these and other countries, including Jamaica's National Dance Theatre Company, stage various dances from the traditional to the modern. Soca, reggae, and hip-hop sounds will be part of the show as well as live drumming and colorful costumes. Doors open at 8:00 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. Tickets cost $20 and $25. Call 305-891-2944. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez