Eleven Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

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Thursday July, 9 

It's 2015, and the days of geek-shaming and Revenge of the Nerds-esque torture are long gone. In our era, nerd culture has made it to the mainstream, and smarty-pants icons like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Steve Jobs are the new generation's childhood heroes.

So now is the perfect time to embrace your inner geek. Gramps' Nerd Nite features intellectual discourse, trivia, socializing, and plenty of beverages to boost your brainpower.

This edition of the clever celebration will include summer-themed talks by two local thinkers: Angela Colbert will share her expertise about hurricanes, and Tanjim Hossain will discuss mosquitoes — two topics both feared and familiar to locals. Plus, there'll be plenty of time to mix and mingle and maybe meet the future Mr. or Mrs. Einstein. Don your best nerd glasses and arrive ready to learn a little something. That's more than you can say for most happy-hour experiences.

The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Gramps (176 NW 24th St., Miami). Admission is free. Visit facebook.com/events/369367469913887

Friday, July 10 

Sometimes there's nothing like a good buzz to get the creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, artists need a little something called hand-eye coordination to transform those inspired thoughts into something fit for a canvas. Thankfully, the Wolfsonian finds the right balance with another installment of its boozy workshop, Craft + Craft.

Inspired by the recently debuted exhibition "Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise," Craft + Craft will allow participants to play with air-dry clay and form their own creations. Aspiring sculptors can sip beer from J. Wakefield Brewing as they mold planters, candle holders, or another owl-themed item to add to their already-excessive collection (no judgment).

Craft + Craft at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) begins at 7 p.m. Friday and is open to anyone 21 or older. The cost, which includes craft supplies and a craft beer sample, is $5 for museum members and $10 for nonmembers. Call 305-531-1001 or visit wolfsonian.org.

Writer Daniel Silva has created some of the most sophisticated and enduring spies of the thriller genre. From CIA officer Michael Osbourne to international hit man Jean-Paul Delaroch and Israeli spy Gabriel Allon, Silva's fully fleshed-out characters navigate gripping plots. A longtime producer at CNN, Silva burst onto the literary scene with his 1997 debut, The Unlikely Spy, a book that quickly climbed to the top of the New York Times' bestseller list. He followed up his freshman success with The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season, which also became bestsellers. Now Silva is back with his 18th thriller, The English Spy.

The English Spy, the 15th book in the Allon series, tells the story of a former English princess mysteriously killed when her yacht is sunk at sea. To track down her killer, English Intelligence needs a bit of help, and they turn, of course, to Allon. Listen to Silva read from his latest novel this Friday at Miami Dade College's Freedom Tower (600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The reading begins at 6:30 p.m., and vouchers must be purchased in advance.

Two vouchers for the reading are included with the $27.99 purchase price of The English Spy at any Books & Books location. Guests must bring the vouchers and attached receipt to gain entrance to Silva's reading. Visit booksandbooks.com

You can't walk into an American dive bar without hearing an Eagles hit, perhaps because there are so many. "Hotel California," "Lyin' Eyes," "One of These Nights," and "Take It to the Limit" are just a handful from the band's huge songbook. And don't forget "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Witchy Woman," and "Desperado." There's a reason people torture you with these tunes during karaoke: They're catchy as hell. With five number one singles, six Grammys, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, the Eagles pretty much ruled the rock scene of the '70s. This year, the group took their story to a new audience with the documentary History of the Eagles, which spawned a worldwide tour of the same name. 

Longtime fans and newbies alike will get a chance to hear the rock legends with a Miami tour stop at American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $46.50 to $176.50. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aarena.com.  

Follow the life of a free-spirited boy in rural Bengal, India, in The Apu Trilogy. The three films, originally released from 1955 to 1959, follow the title character through adolescence and later adult life. Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Aparajito (The Unvanquished), and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) were shot over the course of five years and are based on two books by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the trilogy, which is being re-released, is considered an iconic piece of Indian cinema and is almost always included on lists ranking the best films of the 20th Century.

Film lovers are invited to watch director Satyajit Ray's masterpiece, which was scored by Ravi Shankar, during screenings of The Apu Trilogy at Gables Cinema (260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) this Friday through July 16. Showtimes vary, and a series pass to watch all films in the trilogy costs $25 per person. Visit gablescinema.com or call 786-385-9689. 

Saturday, July 11

Giuseppe Verdi, a well-known powerhouse in the opera world, hit his artistic stride midcareer with Rigoletto, an amusing tale of unscrupulous loving, curses, and revenge. The opera, inspired by an 1851 Victor Hugo play, tells the story of the titular court jester, who is also hunchbacked. Exploring elements of lust and revenge, though imbued with touches of the comedic, Rigoletto is one of Verdi's darker tales of human emotions.

Closing out an Italian-savvy season, the Miami Lyric Opera (MLO) gives audiences a chance to experience this classic opera this summer at the Colony Theatre and this fall at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. The young cast is led by Nelson Martinez, as the scheming and troubled jester, and Tina Gorina, making her MLO debut, as Gilda. Directed by the MLO's longtime visionary director, Raffaele Cardone, and conducted by Doris Lang Hosloff, this three-act production is accessible for those who haven't experienced the intrigue and dastardly machinations of opera.

Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $37 for general admission and $25 for students with ID at the box office. Call 305-434-7091 or visit miamilyricopera.org.

For art lovers tired of the money-motivated atmosphere of big museums, Swampspace is a haven. Launched in the Design District in 2005, the space welcomes innovative visual art and performances by diverse artists dedicated to presenting unique experiences for visitors.

Continuing its flair for all things alternative, Swampspace presents its latest exhibition, "Go for Broke," featuring pieces by artists defying classification in their work, including Michael Allen, Jessie Askinazi, Bootsie Castillo, Claudia Guerreiro, Eddy Alvarez, David Bennett, Devin Caserta, Luis Garcia, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, Tony Kapel, Lauren Oswald, Rob Pecchia, Chad Perna, Sarah Hersey, Karen Ramirez, John Rockford, Theo Rodino, and Gaby Thompson.

The show's opening reception begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at Swampspace (3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami). Admission is free. The exhibit will be on display through July 31. Call 305-710-8631 or visit swampspace.blogspot.com

As Miamians, we may think we're intimately familiar with the fleshy tropical fruits that rain down from trees every summer (especially given their impact on our digestive systems). But mangoes are more complex, more diverse, and more delicious than most of us could probably imagine.

The 23rd-annual International Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) presents the perfect opportunity to become a mango master. Every year, growers from across the globe gather with specimens, from casturi (lychee meets passionfruit) to mallika (papaya-esque). It's a cornucopia of colors, flavors, and shapes, and this year's soiree revolves around mangoes from the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

The festival celebrates this fabulous fruit in a host of ways. Visit the mango tasting room, load up at the fruit market, watch cooking demos, and buy rare breeds at the mango auction. It's a whirlwind of mango madness. Mango season is short, so soak up the bounty while you can.

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and older, $12 for children 6 to 17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and younger. Visit fairchildgarden.org or call 305-667-1651

Still believe in the dream of the '90s? There's no need to travel all the way to Portland. Miami is home to lots of great bands and singer-songwriters. Take, for instance, Jim Camacho. He's been belting out heartfelt rock 'n' roll jams since the '90s. As the leader of local favorites the Goodies, he shared the stage with Pearl Jam, the Smithereens, and other bombastic outfits. Now he rocks on as a solo artist who proudly boasts five collections of original songs, a Gold Remi award, and multiple honors from tri-county-area publications, including multiple New Times Best of Miami wins.

His talents on the piano and guitar pair well with his folk-tinged songwriting style. His sensitive lyrics and honest approach have led to many film and television soundtrack opportunities. Maybe you heard "I Don't Need You Anymore" on ABC's Pretty Little Liars, but you'll definitely hear it when he and his band take the stage at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay) this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 at the box office. The show is appropriate for anyone 13 or older. Call 786-573-5316 or visit smdcac.org.

Sunday, July 12

Always wanted to take a trip down the rabbit hole? Do just that this Sunday with LookingGlass Alice.

After a critically acclaimed, extended run in Chicago, the Mad Hatter, not-so-lovely Queen of Hearts, hypnotizing Caterpillar, frantic White Rabbit, and curious Alice, along with the rest of Lewis Carroll's timeless characters, are taking this topsy-turvy, circus-like interpretation of everyone's favorite childhood classic to the Magic City. Expect gravity to be defied and everything to be nonsense in this production written and directed by David Catlin. In other words, "nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't."

LookingGlass Alice runs through August 16 at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). This Sunday's showtimes are 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $55 to $75; the $35 VIP White Rabbit Experience upgrade to any ticket purchase includes a meet-and-greet with the cast, photo ops, a backstage tour, and LookingGlass Alice merchandise. Visit arshtcenter.org or call 305-949-6722. 

Tuesday, July 14

When book series are picked up by TV giants such as HBO and Showtime, screenwriters and showrunners take plenty of artistic liberties. Take, for instance, Dexter, whose successful run concluded two summers ago with America's favorite serial killer wearing plaid and a bushy beard while chopping wood — from antihero to lumberjack. Also, they killed Deb (we're still not over that). Although the TV series finale may have been anticlimactic, the author of the popular book series, Jeff Lindsay, has kept on trucking. (And Deb is still alive!)The title of Lindsay's latest — and what appears to be his last — book about Dexter Morgan, Dexter Is Dead, seems to warn fans of the character's demise. Dun-dun-dun — maybe a pile of wood fell on him.

You can ask the New York Times bestselling author when he pops into Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) this Tuesday for a brief talk and book-signing beginning at 8 p.m. Admission is free, and books will be available for purchase. 

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