Miss Misery

Stephen King's thriller comes to town

SAT 8/6

Literary types love to dis Stephen King. Maybe it's because the famously prolific horror writer has produced more stories and novels than just about any other living author. King has written genre schlock, as well as some remarkably good books, such as The Stand, The Shining, and the unforgettable Misery. The taut thriller revolves around Paul Sheldon, a serial novelist who winds up in a car accident during a blizzard. He is rescued by Annie Wilkes, a loner who describes herself as his "number one fan." When Wilkes realizes that Sheldon's latest novel kills off her favorite character, her tender loving care gives way to psychotic demands and physical torture.

Misery stands as one of King's best screen adaptations, winning Kathy Bates an Academy Award for her role as the demented devotee. Now local audiences can enjoy the critically acclaimed stage adaptation. "This is the kind of play that lends itself to the intimacy of theater, especially a small theater like ours," says director Joe Adler. This play is for mature audiences only. Catch the opening night of Misery tonight at 8:00 at GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $35. Call 305-445-1119, or visit www.gablestage.org. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Killer Play

Singing about shooting

FRI 8/5

Maybe if Giuseppe Zangara's name sounded a little less "foreign," more Miamians would remember how this tiny Italian kook came to be one of our most infamous transplants. Rewind to 1933, when Zangara shot up Bayfront Park in an attempt to murder then President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead of FDR, he wounded five others including Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, who later died of his injuries. With that, Zangara won a trip to Raiford, where his short, sad life ended with a lap dance on Old Sparky. It's this and the backstories of eight other presidential assassins, failed and successful, that Stephen Sondheim satirizes in the Tony Award-winning Assassins. The Main Street Players perform the revised musical at the Main Street Playhouse (6766 Main St., Miami Lakes) tonight through August 21. Showtimes are at 8:00 Fridays and Saturdays, and 5:00 Sundays. Tickets range from $10 to $15. All ages are welcome, but parental discretion is advised. Call 1-866-782-4399, or visit www.mainstreetplayers.com. --Margaret Griffis

School of Hard Laughs

Lesson plans for class clowns

SAT 8/6

If you've ever stood up your friends to enjoy the humor of Tina Fey and Horatio Sanz on Saturday Night Live, you should really spend a Saturday night with Miami's own comedy masters. The improv group from Just the Funny is ready to deliver a sixth season of laughter at the Museum of Science and Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami). During their Back to School Special through August and September, take your buddies to the 9:00 show, regularly ten dollars, but free for middle school, high school, and college students with a valid student ID. Tickets for the "Anything Goes" show at 11:00 cost $5, or $12 for both shows. Bring unusual objects. Call 305-693-8669, or visit www.justthefunny.com. --Christina Kent

Ashton Is No Wallflower

FRI 8/5

Swimming in the same indie-pop pool as Elliott Smith, Badly Drawn Boy, and Nick Drake, Jacksonville native Ashton Allen is making a big splash with his rainy-day songs "Center of the Universe" and "Better than I Know" while on tour promoting his debut album, Dewdrops. Catch the acoustic tunes tonight at 10:30 at Wallflower Gallery, 10 NE Third St., Miami. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-579-0069, or visit www.wallflowergallery.com. For a sampling of Allen's melodies, visit www.ashtonallen.net. -- Lyssa Oberkreser

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