THU 12/18

Venevision International Theater's production of Kvetch: The Art of Complaining calls for an end to whining. The play gets a Spanish translation, which turns it into El Arte De Quejarse. Either way it is a sharp-tongued comedy, written by British actor and playwright Stephen Berkhoff, whose mastery of language makes for vivid and biting theater. The play is about the inner demons of a couple who are constantly complaining about one another. However, they never manage to communicate directly. Featuring a cast of professional Latino actors, the production brings live drama to the newly remodeled Riviera Theater. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Sundays through Sunday, January 4, at Venevision International Theater, 1560 S. Dixie Hwy., South Miami. Tickets range from $25 to $35. Call 305-663-5410. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Natural High

SUN 12/21

Not just visiting South Florida for the FTAA meetings, hippies live among us! Really, they do. Those who want proof need look no further than the third Sunday of the month at lovely Pinecrest Gardens (11000 SW 57th Ave.), when the tie-dyed, long-haired, Birkenstock-sporting crowd comes out in droves for the Folk Club of South Florida's Folk Music in the Gardens. But fear not: This crowd is not prone to violence -- maybe to just occasionally embarrassing themselves with an arrhythmic stoner sway when the music moves them. Beginning at noon, 5 hours of mellow tunes will be played. (Guests include Laurie Oudin (above), Annie Wenz, Stephan Mikes, Laura Sue, and Steve Wildey.) Workshops on songwriting, banjo- and guitar-playing will also be offered, as will tours of the park's natural hammock. Groovy! Admission is $5. Call 305-669-6942. -- By Nina Korman

Outside

Surf & Turf

SUN 12/21

Yo dude, check it out. What's the best use of your time away from the waves? Watching killer surf action on the wide screen, courtesy of surfer/director Taylor Steele's film, Campaign. Besides the movie, you can enjoy giveaways and raffles, cheap beer, reggae music, and a surf and reggae expo with CDs, boards, and fashions, in time for Christmas. Live performances by Kya-Pi and Mastah's Peace. The expo starts at 7:00 p.m. and the party at 9:00 at Bayside Hut, 3501 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. Admission is $10, or $5 before 9:00 p.m. Call 305-361-0808. -- By John Anderson

Love Notes

Musicians write and play together

SUN 12/21

Kirk Whipple and Marilyn Morales are award-winning pianists who take their love of music so seriously that their marriage ceremony doubled as a concert performance. The nationally known musician/composers have played the Kennedy Center and zany Spanish-language TV show Sabado Gigante, which isn't unusual when you note that Whipple is from Baton Rouge and Morales from Havana. They are also directors of the Unconservatory, a Miami-based nonprofit musical organization presenting the duo today at ArtSouth (240 N. Krome Ave., Homestead). The pair will perform Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, and other holiday favorites. The ivories begin to jump at 3:00 p.m. Tickets cost $8 for adults; free for kids ages 6 to 17. Don't bother bringing any kids under 5 years old. Call 786-234-7258. -- By Margaret Griffis

Fancy Footwork

Duo dazzles with its moves

THU 12/18

Any romantic knows, the world is infinitely more charming lived in the black-and-white confines of Fred Astaire movies such as A Damsel in Distress and Swing Time, filled with jaunty tunes by composers like George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, not to mention top hats, tuxedoes, flowing ball gowns, and complicated dance moves that seem effortless. Dancers Melinda Jackson and Michael Kessler agree. Their romantic musical comedy Let's Dance! takes its cues from the grand Hollywood musicals of yore. Somehow break dancing, ballet, and hippies also make it into the story of a guy and gal from different sides of the social spectrum. The duo will sweep you off your feet tonight at 7:30 at the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Center, 17011 NE 19th Ave. Tickets cost $15. Call 305-787-6005. -- By Nina Korman

Adventure Songs

FRI 12/19

Musical works of the Romantic Period are far from shy. Expressive and bold, they are adventurous and full, like a big, yummy cabernet. The New World Symphony performs some of the music from the period as it presents 2-tone poems by Richard Strauss, followed by Brahms Concerto No. 2. The event will feature conductor Robert Spano and Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman (above). The concert starts at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow at the Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $24 to $66. Call 305-673-3331. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

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John Anderson
Margaret Griffis
Nina Korman
Contact: Nina Korman
Juan Carlos Rodriguez