| Art |

Miami's Best Cultural Events of the 2016-17 Season

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.


"Narciso Rodriguez: An Exercise in Minimalism"

October 16 through January 8, 2017, at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; thefrost.fiu.edu.

From creating Michelle Obama's 2008 election-night victory duds to conquering the runway with his signature style, Cuban-American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez has skyrocketed to couture fame. At the Frost, you can catch his museum debut featuring more than 40 of the gowns that have made his label a landmark name in the trade.


October 13 through 16 at Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami; gems2016.miamifilmfestival.com.

This year's minifest, a precursor to the giant film festival in November, features 13 films, including rock documentaries about the Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop, darlings of film festivals from Cannes, and female-driven projects such as the Florida premiere of Certain Women and Christine, which tells the tale of a Sarasota TV reporter who shot herself live on the air. Read more about Gems on page 14.

"Nora Chipaumire: Portrait of Myself as My Father"

October 14 and 15 at Miami Light Project, 404 NW 26th St., Miami; miamilightproject.com.

The Zimbabwe-born, Brooklyn-based performer returns to the Magic City with her brutal meditation on African masculinity and the father from whom she is estranged. Copresented by the Miami Light Project and MDC Live Arts, Chipaumire's visceral reflections on stereotypes of black manhood promise to deliver a sensory knockout blow.

New World Symphony Season Opener

October 15 at New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-3330; nws.edu.

The renowned New World Symphony kicks off its 29th year with a spectacular musical program. Led by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (that's MTT for symphony fans), the performance will feature Johannes Brahms' version of Haydn's regal Saint Anthony's Chorale. He'll be joined by Emanuel Ax, a world-renowned pianist, for two expert concertos: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto, showing the expertise of the master; and Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Concerto, a challenging, rhythmic composition.


October 27 throuhg November 13 at the Carnival Studio Theater, Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Bullying, harassment, and intimidation have become common threats for many teenagers in American schools. Michael McKeever's timely Zoetic Stage production After, making its world premiere, explores the heart-rending story of two families torn apart when an act of bullying has tragic consequences. McKeever is an internationally produced playwright and author of two Carbonell Award-winning plays — Daniel's Husband and Clark Gable Slept Here — while the production opens under the direction of Zoetic Stage cofounder Stuart Meltzer.


Seu Jorge Presents The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie

November 4 at the Faena Theater Miami Beach, 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5202; rhythmfoundation.com.

Seu Jorge, one of Brazil's quirkiest contemporary crooners, was introduced to American audiences in his much-celebrated role as Pelé dos Santos, a singing sailor in the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. For the movie, he performed several David Bowie songs in Portuguese. To commemorate Bowie's recent passing, Jorge has created a nautically inspired tribute to Ziggy Stardust for the stage. Featuring screens crafted like boat sails depicting the cult film's scenes, the dazzling production will also feature sets and costumes designed by Anderson's team.

Miami Book Fair

November 13 through 20 at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-237-3528; miamibookfair.com.

Marking its 33rd edition, our nation's biggest celebration of all things book-related returns to Miami with ambitious programming appealing to every generation. Hundreds of authors are on tap to speak and read from their works, including Jeffrey Toobin, Dave Barry, and Padma Lakshmi. This year, #6 WordsMiami! is back by popular demand — the community project invites locals to submit six-word stories inspired by life in South Florida — and favorites will be read on WLRN Radio. Celebrity chefs and cooking demos in a new outdoor kitchen stadium; the freshly announced ReadCaribbean section showcasing regional talent; the street fair drawing 200 exhibitors from across the nation selling their tomes, a crowd favorite; live music and DJs; giant games for the sandbox set; and a food truck bonanza all combine to make this sprawling literary festival a must-attend event. Read more about Miami Book Fair on page 12.

"Julio Le Parc: Form Into Action"

November 18 through March 26, 2017, at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org.

This exhibit marks the Argentine artist Julio Le Parc's first solo U.S. museum show and boasts upward of 50 of his works, including large-scale installations, created between 1958 and 2013. Culled from public and private collections from across Europe, Latin America, and the United States, this comprehensive survey of the influential yet little-known talent's interactive kinetic oeuvre explores Le Parc's trailblazing contributions toward erasing the boundaries between museum guests and his artwork.

"Thomas Bayrle"

November 29 through March 26, 2017, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 4040 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-901-5272; icamiami.org.

The first major survey of the German artist's work in an American museum reflects Bayrle's far-reaching exploration of the impact of technology on our lives today. The show boasts 75 works ranging from painting to sculpture, video, and collage, including an installation created for ICA's Atrium Gallery. The show teeters from Bayrle's fascination with Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal, to depictions of sexual acts as joyful expressions, to the mutation of celebrities in our media-saturated world.

Steve Parker's Traffic Jam

November 30 through December 3 at various Miami-Dade locations. Presented by MDC Live Arts; 305-237-3010; mdclivearts.org.

There's a reason Miami is ranked among the worst for traffic congestion in the nation, and this performance puts the Magic City's traffic problems front and center. Parker's bleeding-edge interactive performance project invites the community to create compositions employing multifarious wheeled vehicles and musical instruments to explore the nature of composition by raising a clamor on our streets you can probably hear all the way to Broward.


Art Basel Miami Beach

December 1 through 4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, and various other Miami-Dade locations; artbasel.com.

Boasting 269 of the world's premier international galleries, ABMB attracts rhinestone-studded celebs and art-world glitterati to South Beach and its environs unlike any other event on the season's calendar. Programs include galleries selected from 29 countries ranging from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The 20th- and 21st-century works by more than 4,000 artists at the Miami Beach Convention Center and various nearby venues showcase everything from painting to sculpture, installation, and video in a wide arsenal of styles and genres that boggle the senses. The vast sprawl and scope of the 15th edition of ABMB is expected to draw tens of thousands to our region and deliver an early Christmas boom for local businesses. Read more about Miami Art Week on page 8.

Avenue Q

December 1 through 4 at the Aventura Arts & Culture Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; 305-466-8002; aventuracenter.org.

"What do you mean I can't do what my heart desires and don't have a special purpose in life?" This whimsical, side-splitting, part-puppet, part-human extravaganza attempts to answer those existential musings for those of us still struggling to grow up. The production earned a Tony Award "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Book, and Score when it was first brought to the stage. Hatched from the fertile minds of Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with a book penned by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q is a coming-of-age parable that satirizes anxieties about entering adulthood and was inspired in part by Sesame Street. The Slow Burn Theatre Company's revival tells the story of Princeton, a recent college grad who moves way out to the boonies, where a bunch of misfits help him get a handle on life.


December 10 through January 8, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; 877-9-CIRQUE; cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.

The flexible, fearless, and fantastical world of Cirque du Soleil returns to Miami in December with Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, a show set, in typical Cirque fashion, inside a curio cabinet. Performed beneath the iconic blue-and-yellow swirled big top beside Hard Rock Stadium, the show follows the Seeker, a character who discovers a strange community of characters living inside his otherwise ordinary furniture. The show premiered in 2014 in Montreal to reviews applauding its fantasy elements and over-the-top stylings. Acrobatics, dancing, music, stunts, and Cirque's characteristic clowns are all in store for audiences when the show travels to Miami.

An American in Paris

December 27 through January 1, 2017, at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

We can't think of a better way to ring in the New Year than watching the curtains rise on this riveting tale of love and intrigue set in the City of Lights in the uncertain wake of World War II. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning ballet luminary Christopher Wheeldon, this Broadway adaptation of the MGM classic, with its treasured George and Ira Gershwin score, delivers pure romance and enchantment to the stage.

King Mango Strut

December 31 in downtown Coconut Grove; kingmangostrut.org.

This annual parade brings out the weirdest and wackiest qualities of one of South Florida's weirdest and wackiest neighborhoods, where locals dress up to portray the events of the previous year and march through the streets of Coconut Grove. In previous years, participants have skewered political figures such as George Bush to Rick Scott. Considering the political events of the past year, you won't want to miss this year's parade.


Pink Martini

January 13, 2017, at the Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

In 1994, Thomas Lauderdale, a former politician from Portland, Oregon, swapped his mayoral aspirations for an orchestra baton. The result was a beautiful soundtrack for political causes across the globe. More than two decades later, Pink Martini tours the planet playing and singing in 22 languages for causes raging from civil rights to affordable housing, better education, libraries, and parks while appealing to liberals and conservatives alike. The band's first song, "Sympathique" — with the lyric "Je ne veux pas travailler," or "I don't want to work" — remains an anthem for striking French workers today.

Art Deco Weekend

January 13 through 15, 2017, on Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305-672-2014; artdecoweekend.com.

South Beach was a shambles when Barbara Capitman decided to save its crumbling architectural gems from the wrecking ball. She founded the Miami Design Preservation League in 1976 and earned federal historic designation for the Art Deco District a few years later. You can celebrate her vision during this annual event's 40th-anniversary bash, featuring a fashion show, classic cars, films, walking tours, art exhibits, food vendors, and other attractions.

ScreenDance Miami

January 19 through 22, 2017, at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, and various other Miami-Dade venues; 305-375-3000; pamm.org.

Experimental dance and film once again combine in Tigertail's fourth-annual edgy festival highlighting Miami-based and homegrown choreographers and auteurs working with movement on camera to explore the limitless creative possibilities of our multimedia age. Already a favorite with discriminating locals expecting nothing less than magic from Tigertail's founder, Mary Luft, ScreenDance will be directed by Miami choreographer Pioneer Winter this year. It opens at PAMM with a collection of films from Amsterdam's Cinedans, the world's foremost celebration of the underground art form.

Between Riverside and Crazy

January 21 through February 19, 2017, at GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.org.

Walter Washington is an unruly ex-cop with a laundry list of beefs. The recent widower, himself a former victim of police violence, is battling city hall and on the verge of getting booted from his palatial, rent-controlled digs. Meanwhile, his ex-con son and dubious hangers-on are crashing at his pad. Stephen Adly Guirgis' dark comedy and winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Between Riverside and Crazy, will resonate with today's viewers at a time when we have grown accustomed to reading about killer cops in the headlines.



February 1 through 26, 2017, at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293; actorsplayhouse.org.

This Tony Award-winning Broadway classic was Rodgers and Hammerstein's personal favorite and remains a spellbinding tour de force. The story revolves around Billy Bigelow, a loutish carousel barker, and his ill-fated romance with Julie Jones, his millworker wife, during which they both lose their jobs. After an unexpected pregnancy, a botched robbery attempt, and Bigelow's suicide, their tragic tale of hope and redemption unfolds. With a soaring score including the unforgettable "If I Loved You" and Billy's entrancing "Soliloquy," this revival promises to leave audiences quivering in their seats.

The Fairy Kiss

February 10 through 12, 2017, at the Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Alexei Ratmansky's highly anticipated debut of Miami City Ballet's version of a Hans Christian Anderson story about a sprite who spirits away a young lad showcases one of Stravinsky's iconic scores. Created by one of our era's most in-demand choreographers, The Fairy Kiss features a large cast, dazzling new costumes, and striking visual effects.

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

February 18 through 20, 2017, on McFarlane road, South Bayshore Drive, and Panamerican Drive in coconut grove; cgaf.com.

Nestled along a stretch of some of the lushest tropical landscapes and picturesque drives in Miami, this local staple of South Florida marks its 54th anniversary this year. This President's Day Weekend event lets attendees amble over to the storied bohemian enclave to regale in arts and crafts from talented creatives from coast to coast. In addition to the masterpiece or two they might stumble across, attendees can snack on fair food and kick off their shoes to dance to some live tunes.

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

February 22 through 26, 2017, at various venues throughout Miami-Dade; sobefest.com.

The lineup for this 16th year of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival already has South Florida foodies and wine aficionados slavering and scrambling for tickets to the celebrity-studded event. On this year's menu are perennial crowd favorites the Grand Tasting Village and Best of the Best, while the Heineken Light Burger Bash will be presented by Schweid & Sons and hosted by Rachael Ray this year. The cornucopia of activities includes an Asian night market hosted by Andrew Zimmern and fresh talent represented by the Oyster Bash under the watchful eye of chef and TV personality Josh Capon.

Chick Corea and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Solos & Duets

February 24, 2017, at the Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Two jazz giants from different eras will collide in downtown Miami when these keyboard virtuosos storm the Arsht for an evening of expert piano magic. The iconic Chick Corea is the fourth most nominated artist in Grammy history, with 63 nominations and 22 wins. Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who has set contemporary jazz ablaze, is a wizard on the ivories and also boasts multiple Grammys.


Miami Film Festival

March 3 through 12, 2017, at various Miami-Dade locations; 305-237-3456; miamifilmfestival.com.

Marking its 34th edition, this annual celebration of provocative film draws upward of 75,000 audience members and hundreds of international auteurs, and typically features scores of U.S. and world premieres. Viewers can also select from a broad lineup of movies, documentaries, shorts, and even student films. MIFF, with its red-carpet parties, master classes, and long track record for discovering fresh talent and launching careers, is a can't-miss attraction for cinephiles and a fixture atop the season calendar each year.

Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls

March 18 through 25, 2017, at the Sanford & Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Martin's challenging opera is based on Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas' celebrated memoir and follows his life from withering childhood poverty in the countryside to his emigration to Miami during the Mariel Boatlift. The Florida Grand Opera production of this 2010 work narrates Arenas' dissident days in Havana and persecution and incarceration for homosexuality by the Castro regime; how he was forced to smuggle his manuscripts for publication abroad; and his final decade in the Big Apple, where he died. Martin's opus was inspired by both the memoir and the film starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp.


O, Miami Poetry Festival

April 1 through 30, 2017, at various Miami-Dade locations; omiami.org.

P. Scott Cunningham wants you to discover poetry in unexpected places. The founder of this monthlong celebration of the written and spoken word aims to bring a smile to your face by delivering the joy of poetry to every single Miami resident during of April. In the past, O, Miami has taken poetry into the mainstream by featuring odes everywhere from clothing labels to street signs. Last year, he upped the ante on his game with Randy Burman's "Poems to the Sky" project. The local artist worked with Liberty City school kids whose musings were painted on rooftops near Miami International Airport. The result: Travelers arriving or departing from MIA, where an average of 650 planes flew over each day, read the students' compositions from the air.

Miami Beach Gay Pride

April 7 through 9, 2017, on Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; miamibeachgaypride.com.

Equality for all: That's the message behind this annual convergence of locals and tourists alike to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. Costumes, music, dancing, drag queens, parade floats, and rainbow flags galore — it's all part of the megaparty celebrating personal and sexual freedom. The parade is the main event, but afterward, attendees flock to a beach party and festival full of fun, food, and drinks.

Byron Au Yong's Trigger

April 21, 2017, at a location to be determined. Presented by MDC Live Arts; 305-237-3010; mdclivearts.org.

This blistering production, wrestling with themes of gun violence in the homeland, was inspired by the Virginia Tech Massacre and broaches current hot-button topics swirling around Second Amendment rights, civil liberties, and gun control. Byron Au Yong's timely production, part of MDC's In Focus series, is equal parts civic forum and dramatic musical project, seeking to give voice to a public that's increasingly finding itself under fire.

Death & Harry Houdini

April 26 through may 21, 2017, at the carnival studio theater, Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Death-defying thrills and chills await audiences of all ages when master magician Dennis Watkins channels the spirit of the legendary escape artist in the House Theater of Chicago's dazzling production featuring Houdini's original magic, clever dialogue, and a highly inventive score. Written and directed by Nathan Allen, Death & Harry Houdini will make you quake in marvel as Houdini walks on broken glass, guzzles razors, and grapples with the specter of death while tempting fate in the deadly Water Torture Cell.


The King and I

May 9 through 14, 2017, at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Polygamy, persecution, and a pompous patriarch? We're not gossiping about an episode of HBO's Big Love. Instead, we're talking about one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most rewarding works, featuring unforgettable classics such as "Getting to Know You," "Hello Young Lovers," and "Shall We Dance." Lincoln Center Theater's critically hailed sensation earned director Bartlett Sher four Tony Awards in 2015. Set in 1860s Bangkok, the beloved musical tells the story of the stormy relationship between Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam, who brings the English schoolmarm to his kingdom to educate his sister wives and flock of children.

The Legend of Georgia McBride

May 27 through June 25, 2017, at GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.org.

Matthew Lopez's gender-bending riot, The Legend of Georgia McBride, features Casey, a down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator who swaps his studded jumpsuit for high heels and pastel wigs resembling parade floats. Living in the Florida Panhandle with a pregnant wife and a barren bank account, Casey transforms into a drag-queen diva to earn extra cash. Meanwhile, his squeeze, Jo, learns to embrace Casey's new gig, if only to borrow his sequined brassieres.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.