Lifetime Trials

A six-pack of plays

THU 12/2

Life is indeed what you make it in Mere Mortals, a medley of short plays by David Ives. And if that means wandering the streets of New York City convinced you are a French Impressionist, like the character in Degas C'est Moi, then dammit, so be it. An evening of plays, six, to be exact, could be the red-curtain equivalent of a Long Island iced tea: Sure, it seems like a great idea, but it's really a bad mix. But these plays blend nicely together, from Foreplay: or the Art of the Fugue, a sexual cat-and-mouse game on a golf course, to Dr. Fritz, the story of an American tourist who seeks medical help from a woman channeling a German surgeon. The Lives of the Saints is a sweet story about two women preparing a funeral breakfast, and Time Flies follows a day in the life of two mayflies, Horace and May, who discover the end is near while watching a nature program. Witty, satirical, and sassy, Mere Mortals runs today through Saturday at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets range from $6 to $14. Call 305-284-3355 or visit -- Terra Sullivan

Oy! Fusion

A mishmash of culture and tap

SUN 12/5

Barry Blumenfeld is all about odd couplings: Imagine Fred Astaire dancing with Martha Graham to a Yiddish klezmer tune. The New York-based choreographer has invented a genre that's turning the dance world on its ear -- "Tap Fusion," a wedding of tap and modern dance that, like all good marriages, breaks down boundaries. And if his dance company isn't welcome on all stages, Blumenfeld's having too much fun to care. Inspired by his own marriage, Blumenfeld, a graduate of Miami's Killian High School, has created "Sheva B'rachot: Seven Blessings" -- a work based on the seven-part blessing consecrating the cup of wine shared by bride and groom in traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies. Live accompaniment sets the festive mood today at 2:00 p.m. at the JCC Robert Russell Theater, 11155 SW 112th Ave. Tickets range from $18 to $25. Call 305-271-9000, ext. 268 or visit -- Gail Shepherd

Jazz Hands

Sax and the city

MON 12/6

While most University of Miami students still sport a golden glow, the school isn't known as "Suntan University" anymore, what with nationally respected sports teams, improving academic performance, and a music school that often wins Downbeat awards. Tonight, the School of Music presents the Miami Saxophone Quartet in a special one night only jam to benefit WDNA-FM (88.9). UM alumnus Jon Secada and a "special guest" who is known and loved by sax junkies will bring their musical prowess to the stage. Hear Lisa Simpson's instrument of choice played by virtuosos tonight at 8:00, at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Rd., Coral Gables. Tickets range from $10 to $15. Call 305-662-8889 or 305-284-5813. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

O Starry Night

SAT 12/4

Take a break from holiday shopping and go outdoors. Better yet, pack a picnic, go down by the bay, and enjoy the Miami Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Under the Stars concert. You can also take a stroll and tour the beautifully decorated historic houses. Tonight at 7:00 at The Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave. Tickets range from $10 to $15. Call 305-235-1668. -- Patti Roth

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