Calendar for the week

december 5
Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight): The 3rd Street Black Box (in the San Villa Oriental Restaurant, 230 NE Third St.) collaborates with Peru's Jucare Theater Group to perform Carlos Fuentes's play about two sultry Mexican film stars and the impact of their images. Orquideas a la Luz de la Luna (Orchids in the Moonlight) juxtaposes the lives of Maria Felix, the sensual glamour queen of Forties Mexican films who traveled to Europe and had many marriages and lovers, with Dolores del Rio, the spirited actress who usually portrayed the earnest country girl and eventually built a career in Hollywood. The play is written and performed in Spanish. Tickets cost $15. Performances run tonight through Saturday and December 12 through 14 at 8:00, with a 2:00 matinee on Sunday and December 15. Call 754-8948. (GC)

Expressionist Exploits and Surreal Sensations: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and Florida International University School of Design conclude their series of milestone avant-garde art films from the Twenties with two German classics. Tonight's program features Viking Eggeling's 1924 Symphonie Diagonale, an abstract, animated short that experiments with the artistic qualities of lines and shapes in movement. Completing the bill is Walter Ruttman's revolutionary 1927 Berlin -- Symphony of a Great City, which uses cameras concealed in a van and in suitcases to capture a full day in the life of Twenties Berlin, creating a candid and impressionistic look at urban modernity. The screening begins at 7:00. Admission is three dollars. Call 535-2634 for details. (GC)

Festival of the Trees: Get some amazing holiday decorating ideas as Florida International University's Interior Design program hosts its tenth annual Festival of the Trees, opening tonight at 6:30 at One Brickell Square lobby (801 Brickell Ave.). Top design professionals from several local companies have created unique holiday "trees" (in the past, they've been made of glass, plastic, ceramic, shells, and copper tubing) exclusively for this event; tonight's preview gala benefits the Interior Design program. Tickets cost $50. The exhibition of trees runs tomorrow through December 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Call 348-3032. (GC)

december 6
Don Byron: Hot young jazz clarinetist Don Byron is known for his seamless absorption of eclectic musical styles and his affinity for the work of neglected composers whose virtuosity was often obscured by their sense of humor and their radical ideas. One of these was Mickey Katz (actor Joel Grey's father), who in the Fifties brought Eastern European klezmer music to assimilated Jewish-American audiences with his satiric Yiddish songs like "Haim Afen Range" ("Home on the Range") and "Paisach in Portugal." On his 1993 release, Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, Byron smoothly leads a nine-piece band and guest soloists through the jaunty staples of Katz's repertoire, playing up the raucousness of klezmer -- essentially, Jewish party music -- with strains of polka and even cha-cha-cha. There's more to this than the novelty of a black guy with dreadlocks playing music of the Eastern European Hasidic movement: Byron captures the celebration and sorrow of klezmer in rhythms from the old and new worlds and demonstrates why Down Beat's critics' poll has named him top jazz clarinetist four years in a row. Don Byron and his band play tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $18. Call 531-3747. (JC)

Sheryl Crow: There was a time when all she wanted to do was have some fun, but those days are over. The new Sheryl Crow (and her recently released self-titled disc) explores a darker side of life than her 1993 multiplantinum smash debut Tuesday Night Music Club. In fact, after listening to the new disc, you're tempted to paraphrase her current single "If It Makes You Happy": What the hell makes her so sad? Find out tonight when Crow headlines the first-ever SoBe Music Festival at the Lummus Park bandshell (Tenth Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach) with alternapop/rockers the Goo Goo Dolls and local acts Amanda Green and Tymes Square (formerly Skintite). Tickets cost $15. Gates open at 5:30. Call 593-1319. (GC)

Out of Order: That wry British humor takes center stage as the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy.) presents Ray Cooney's award-winning farce Out of Order. Broadway and West End stage star Paxton Whitehead stars as a junior minister in the Thatcher government who attempts a romantic tryst with a young typist (Kay Walbye). The rendezvous is cut short when they discover a corpse in their hotel suite and, of course, mayhem ensues. British actor David Warwick (who created the role of the "Body" in the original West End production) directs. The play runs through December 22. Tickets cost $30 for Tuesday through Thursday, on Sunday, and for all matinees; $35 for Friday and Saturday evenings. For a schedule of performances, call 442-4000. (GC)

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Judy Cantor
Georgina Cardenas