The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Friday: Tropikos
Friday: Tropikos
Photo courtesy of John Akomfrah
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Alvin Ailey is considered a modern dance pioneer not only for blending African and European traditions in his choreography but also for his consistently talented and racially diverse company. Even after his death, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is an international force. To kick off its 2017 tour, the troupe is offering three programs of four dance pieces over five performances. Each program will end with Ailey's "Revelation," considered the dancer's masterpiece. A matinee performance Saturday will be followed by a Q&A with the dancers, one of whom is Miami's own Jamar Roberts. 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Admission costs $29 to $95.

David Bowie's interest in women's fashion contributed to the stylistic adventures that shocked and delighted us, and Prince's frilled blouses and platform heels catalyze conversations about fashion and gender to this day. Though these dearly beloved, departed stars are often discussed as gender-bending icons, it's rare that race enters the conversation. The exhibition "Dandy Lion" takes up this intersection as the focus of almost 30 artists' work that represents black male fashion as an opportunity for resistance. The reception will include a short talk with the curator, and additional events will continue through early April. 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-5587; rsvp.loweartmuseum.org. Admission costs $12.50.

If you go to the Borscht Film Festival website, you think less about transforming Miami filmmaking and more about Lisa Frank's strangely spiritual, pleasant acid trip. But get past the pixelated angels and skeletons, and a bursting schedule of art and film events will be at your fingertips. Highlights this year include a surreal concert with Animal Collective at the New World Center Friday, the film fest itself at Olympia Theater, a woman-driven afterparty with Trina at the Alfred I. duPont Building Saturday, and the Moonlight Oscar Block Party at the African Heritage Center Sunday. Thursday through Sunday at various locations; borscht10.com. Admission cost varies by event. See page 28 for more about Borscht.

If you're often stuck in traffic, you're probably used to hearing the same three Drake songs on rotation. Maybe you find comfort in mindless repetition, or maybe it makes you want to rip your hair out. Either way, stimulating your brain with an injection of freshness never hurt anybody. Red Bull Sound Select facilitates new tuneage through events such as 3 Days in Miami, which looks to showcase up-and-coming musical talent. This year's lineup includes local, national, and Toronto-based artists chosen with the help of Poplife, YesJulz, and Canadian record label Arts & Crafts. 8 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday, and 10 p.m. Saturday at the Bar at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; 3days.redbullsoundselect.com. Admission costs $15 each night.

Vaclav Havel wrote the plays Audience and Protest after his work was outlawed in Czechoslovakia under an oppressive Communist regime. The hero of the plays and Havel's alter ego, Ferdinand Vanek, is a dissident whose life is shaped by the punishments against his acts of resistance. If the exposure and critique of a government bent on censorship and tyranny sounds eerily appropriate for you right now, Mad Cat Theatre's production of Havel's plays runs through March 12. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Sandbox at the Miami Theater Center, 9816 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores; 305-751-9550; mtcmiami.org. Admission costs $30.

Once a year, Miami welcomes the biggest names in the food industry for the four-day South Beach Wine & Food Festival, presenting 85 events such as tastings, cooking seminars and demonstrations, and the Food Network Awards Show. The weather lures heavy-hitters such as Trisha Yearwood and Andrew Zimmern, along with 65,000 guests. Whether you like your Rachael Ray with a scrumptious burger in a giant crowd or your Anthony Bourdain with an intimate crew, SOBEWFF has a setup for you. Thursday through Sunday at various locations in South Florida; 877-762-3933; sobefest.com. Admission costs $85 to $500.

Thursday: 3 Days in Miami
Thursday: 3 Days in Miami
Photo by Fernando Fonseca

You get very few chances in Miami to jam to eclectic roots music and camp out under the stars, but the GrassRoots Festival remains a cool chance to do both. You can pitch a tent or bring your camping vehicle to Virginia Key Beach for six nights of healthy, community-building workshops or healing arts at the Zen Village. The live-music portion of the fest takes place at four locations around the city: the Wynwood Yard, Lagniappe, North Beach Bandshell, and Concrete Beach Social Hall. Catch Latin sounds by Locos por Juana, roots music by Donna the Buffalo, experimental reggae by Uma Galera, and many other sounds by musicians with good vibrations. Thursday through Sunday at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; 305-767-4460; virginiakeygrassroots.com. Admission costs $35 per person.

Americans have grown so accustomed to the "melting pot" concept that they often forget the history of colonialism and empire that made this country possible. In Tropikos, artist John Akomfrah explores the interactions of colonizers and the colonized through filmed tableaus accompanied by voiceovers from The Tempest and Paradise Lost, exposing the undertones of violence and subjugation with a touch of the surreal. The film will be on view beginning Friday, but a preview showing the night before coincides with happy hour on the terrace. 5 p.m. Thursday at Pérez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-345-5662; pamm.org. Happy hour on the terrace is free; preview requires $16 museum admission.


If you're afraid that hearing another reggaeton beat blasting from another little Cuban restaurant will send you over the edge, hang on: The Downtown Jazz Festival is looking to flood Miami with alternatives this Friday and Saturday. Nearly 30 acts across seven stages are set to showcase international jazz musicians in a city that used to be a jazz haven. And the best part is that all of the shows are free, save for the grand finale at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre. Acts include the Spam Allstars and Jane Bunnett with Maqueque. Noon Friday and Saturday at various locations in downtown Miami; 305-662-8889; miamidowntownjazzfestival.org. Admission costs $20 to $50 for the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre show Saturday evening; all other shows are free.

"How do aesthetics and functionality converge in the creation of beauty?" This is the central question of the Young Artist Initiative's new event, Complements and Dichotomies. More than 20 emerging artists will tackle the age-old dilemma of form versus function, immersing audiences in works of architecture, design, art, and music. Aside from their primary effort to connect people and artists through conceptually driven, multidisciplinary exhibitions in social settings, YAI is teaming up with #OnLincoln for this event to bring the arts back to South Beach's Lincoln Road Mall. 8 p.m. Friday at 1111 Lincoln Road, 1111 Lincoln Rd., Seventh Floor, Miami Beach; youngartistinitiative.com. Admission costs $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Ages 21 and up.

The TV show Seinfeld had its problems; something about single people finding affordable apartments and stable careers in New York City always seemed a little off. But there's no denying that Jerry Seinfeld is a comedy star whose jokes have stood the test of time, as evidenced by the success of shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm. So whether you're nostalgic for some early-'90s irony or not, Seinfeld's gig at Hard Rock Live promises to be more than a show about nothing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 800-937-0100; seminolehardrockhollywood.com. Admission costs $80 to $180.

See the next page for more things to do in Miami this week...

Friday: Miami Downtown Jazz festival
Friday: Miami Downtown Jazz festival
Photo by Emma Lee Photography


Jeff Laub had an illustrious career writing and producing for the likes of Showtime and Pepsi in New York City, but his standup started in a Borders bookstore in Coral Springs. Since that fateful open mike, the comic has been touring from his home base in South Florida. Whether he's opening for other comedians or making grandmas holler (and not in a PG way), Laub might just be the most "Florida" comedian you've ever seen. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; 305-466-8002; aventuracenter.org. Admission costs $37 to $42.

Each month, literary and performing arts group Evoke 180 brings out masters of the spoken and written word to paint the air with poetry for the P.H.I.R.S.T. Impressionz open mike. This month, the group will present a reading and book signing with poet Lora Mitchell, author of Diary of a Young Black Girl. The night will feature an interactive open-mike experience that includes a community discussion of the book. And bring your creative brain, because the audience will pen poetry along with the celebrated scribe. 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami; 305-960-2969; littlehaiticulturalcenter.com. Admission costs $20 and includes a copy of the book.

Along the Ludlam Trail, it's always summer and smells like damp, dewy nature in the safe, tropical cocoon of South Miami. For a taste of that classic Miami magic, get on your feet or bike for the second-annual Ludlam Lights illuminated trail. Thousands of lanterns, music, and food trucks will activate the 6.2 miles of this Green Mobility Network project. Restored native habitats make this the perfect way to show your offspring what life was like when all of Miami was a wet, leafy paradise. 5 p.m. Saturday at South Miami High School, 6856 SW 53rd St., South Miami; ludlamtrail.org. Admission is free.

No place in Miami can jolt you into the city's distant past like the Deering Estate. The beautiful foliage and buildings are stuck in a time when settlers first created communities here. It's a perfect setting for a discussion celebrating a creative community during Black History Month. Hosted by alumna artist-in-residence at the estate, Olujimi Dance Theatre's Michelle Grant-Murray, the Black Artist Talk will feature esteemed panelists engaging the audience in a discussion on the black arts community in this swampy land. 1 p.m. Saturday at Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay; 305-235-1668, ext. 238; deeringestate.org. Admission is free. RSVP at stryky@miamidade.gov.

Jump on the "Papaya Pony Express" with Volksmusik mobile DJ Juan Luv, vinyl slinger DJ Le Spam, and EDM genius Otto von Schirach as they ride into the craft beer haven MIA Beer Company's Second Anniversary extravaganza. Not only will the music be jumping, but food trucks and vendors selling goods will also make this a real party. That, and the experimental drafts brewed onsite that will lube your limbs and libido. 2 p.m. Saturday at MIA Beer Company, 10400 NW 33rd St., #150, Doral; 786-801-1721; mia.beer. Admission is free. Beer tickets cost $5.

Monday: SpeakOut
Monday: SpeakOut
Photo courtesy of La-Mama


Many young Cuban-Americans don't eat their first salad sans iceberg lettuce until they're in college. But Dr. Rosa Gonzalez, the chef known as Mama Rosa, is out to change that Miami fact. When her daughter became vegan, she decided to make her traditional cuisine fit that animal-product-free mold. Books & Books is offering a healthy taste of her creations with a book signing of her Mama Rosa's Kitchen: Plant Powered Cuban. 6 p.m. Sunday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305- 442-4408; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.


Tigertail is always bringing the best of cultural offerings to South Florida. This week, it will cater to the creative minds of the LBGTQ teen community through the spoken-word project SpeakOut. As the host of a teen slam and a poetic performance, Art2Action artistic director Andrea Assaf will show off her skills. The project includes public school workshops, slams, performances, and residencies. The teen slam will go down March 2 at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and Assaf's poetic performance will take place March 3 at 8 p.m. at the Betsy Hotel. Monday, February 27, through March 3 at the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, and Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; 305-324-4337; tigertail.org. Admission is free.

If you're horrified by injustices in society, check out Richard E. Robbins' film Girl Rising. The documentary focuses on the real lives of nine impressive girls from developing nations who achieve their dreams despite overwhelming odds. The film is part of Michelle Obama's famed Let Girls Learn Initiative, launched to help adolescent girls around the world get a quality education. The Peace Corps will host a screening, letting audiences see the transformative power of education onscreen. 6 p.m. Monday at Florida International University, Graham Center 140, 11200 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-348-2297; peacecorps.gov. Admission is free.


Step aside, Michael Flatley; this is the Rockin' Road to Dublin's moment in the spotlight. The show celebrating Irish step dancing stomped its way all over the Northeast and now offers a treat for lovers of the jig in South Florida. Fourteen dancers, eight musicians, and two vocalists, including dancers Scott Doherty and Ashley Smith, take tradition and make it as bright as Broadway and pack as much punch as a Metallica show. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; parkerplayhouse.com. Admission costs $31.50 to $51.50.


The classic circuit Winter Party is boldly back. Its goal is to raise funds for the community, but this is really a festival for queer folks to let it all hang out and enjoy life. DJ Rosabel will bring heavy beats to the Lummus Park Beach Party; the Under One Sun Pool Party will offer a chance to tan and rejuvenate; and the WE Party Sailor at the Copa Room will get your glutes in motion on the dance floor. But who are you kidding? You've been working on those glutes, your abs, and your arms since last year's Winter Party rode out of town. Wednesday through March 7 at various locations; winterparty.com. Admission costs $30 to $1,100.

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