The Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

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Thursday, August 11

Any film detailing the life of Kurt Cobain, the troubled frontman for punk provocateurs Nirvana, won't exactly be an upbeat experience. Nevertheless, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck offers fascinating insight into one of rock's most enigmatic and iconic musicians, an artist whose promise was cut short by suicide when he was seemingly in his prime. Teetering on the precipice between brilliance and madness, Cobain remains the object of cultlike fascination some 20 years after his tragic demise. Credited as the godfather of grunge, he made a sound that's as indelible now as it was in the nihilistic '90s, despite the need to battle personal demons along the way. Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgan, the man behind the camera for the HBO Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, details Cobain's life and times, as described by those closest to him — family members, his controversial widow Courtney Love, former bandmate Krist Novoselic, and Cobain himself as told through his words, art, and music. The film is presented as part of the Movies Under the Stars series at Canvas (90 NE 17th St., Miami), courtesy of the A&E District in collaboration with the Miami Film Festival. Showtime is 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free. Call 305-625-0949 or visit eventbrite.com.

This American Life. WTF With Marc Maron. TED Talks. Whatever the topic may be, we just can't seem to get enough of podcasts, and for good reasons — they make us think, they make us laugh, they entertain. But what exactly is it about listening to a voice through the airwaves (or the internet for that matter) that gets people hooked? There's a lot more to podcasts than meets the ears. And this week, NPR's Scott Stroud will reveal what goes on behind the mike during his discussion at the Action Design Network's Meetup NPR, Podcasts, and Habitual Listening: Why Do We Tune In? As the lead user experience strategist at the public radio station, who also redesigned the NPR.org radio player, Stroud will cover topics that run the gamut from "NPR's approach to user research and behavioral design" to connecting a news organization's ethics with product design and "maintaining a focus on the fundamental theories of human behavior and connection" to reach future audiences. After his discussion, local panelists, including WLRN news director Terence Shepherd and Univision senior music editor Nuria Net, will discuss what the media can do to connect with and reach future audiences. The meetup, which will take place at Venture Cafe Miami (1951 NW Seventh Ave., Suite 300, Miami), goes down this Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. RSVP via meetup.com.

Friday, August 12

The '90s are so trendy right now, and why not? There's a general feeling of dystopia in the air. The world is full of angst. It's the perfect time to don some Doc Martins, put on a Nine Inch Nails CD, and find bliss in the antiestablishment. Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami) remembers the '90s very well, and the legendary bar and live music venue wants to test your '90s knowledge with an old-fashioned costume contest. Well, it's more than that — it's a full-on '90s Flashback Fest and '90s Costume Contest, taking place this Friday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Four stages will shake with nonstop music, and freaky zeros like you will compete for $100 in your best flannels, daisy dresses, loose-fitting overalls, whatever. We're not saying we know how to win, but if you dress up as the Bumblebee girl, who in hell can beat that? You must be 18 or older to enter the bar and pay the cover charge of $10. Cash prizes don't create themselves, people. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast a dramatic radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Legend has it that the radio play was so realistic it caused mass panic among listeners who were convinced a real alien invasion was happening on Earth. The extent of the hysteria has since been disputed, and modern-day radio audiences might wonder what it must have been like to listen to that radio program decades ago. But this Friday, some Miami listeners will experience the next best thing. Nearly 80 years later, local public broadcasting station WLRN is reviving retro radio scripts for live audiences at the Seminole Theatre in downtown Homestead as part of its series Sci-Fi Summer: Live Radio Plays From the Golden Age of Radio. So what can attendees expect? "A peek into how radio broadcasts were performed dating back to the '30s and seeing the realism in the performances," says Seminole Theatre executive director Mickey McGuire. Essentially, a "play within a play." Friday's live radio play production is an adaptation of the infamous Ed Wood film Plan 9 From Outer Space, which was also the inspiration for the Tim Burton cult classic starring Johnny Depp. Homestead might be a hike for some Miamians, but for anyone who digs sci-fi or old-school radio shows, it'll be worth it to live out this uniquely retro reenactment. WLRN's Sci-Fi Summer event Plan 9 From Outer Space begins at 8 p.m. at the Seminole Theatre (18 N. Krome Ave., Homestead). Tickets cost $20 to $35 plus fees. Visit seminoletheatre.org or call the box office at 786-650-2073.

Making edgy comedy means poking fun at taboo subjects without offensively "punching down" at vulnerable communities. Only a few comics have the skill to navigate that narrow territory. Anjelah Johnson is one. But it hasn't always been that way. Johnson's act is mostly clean, but the characters who made her famous address issues of race and class. While she was on MADtv, a pair of characters she created — a Vietnamese nail salon employee and Bon Qui Qui, a rude fast-food worker who shoots for music stardom — made her a popular cast member. The nail salon bit was her first prominent foray into the general public's consciousness after garnering millions of views on YouTube. Today the skits might be viewed as offensive. But in 2007, they earned her meetings with studio executives for film and TV deals and her life changed overnight. It was all for the better — mostly. Last October, around the release of her Netflix special, Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy, she told Vogue that even though her jokes aren't "mean-spirited," she's become cautious about what she says and even fears visiting nail salons because she's been recognized more than once. Johnson never envisioned herself becoming a standup comic. She moved to L.A. as an aspiring actress and model and landed a gig as an NFL cheerleader with the Oakland Raiders. Fortunately for her, despite the Raiders' period of utter failure, Johnson's career has been on the upswing. She blends edge with safety for a show that's suitable for almost the whole family. Catch her at the Casino at Dania Beach (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania Beach) Friday at 8 p.m. and Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami) Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $30 to $75. Visit casinodaniabeach.com or magiccitycasino.com.

The 21st-annual South Florida Tattoo Expo is one of the longest-running events of its kind in the region. It's also a good way to get to know parlors and tattoo pros before committing to some ink. The expo also comes with a solid charitable aspect. All proceeds benefit Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a world-class facility tackling a myriad of childhood afflictions. So aside from meeting a ton of tattoo artists, attendees can expect a solid lineup of rocking rockabilly outfits such as Spin & the Spinouts and Jeff Vitolo & the Quarter Mile Rebels, tattoo and other vendors, suspension shows, fetish displays, classic cars, celebrities, and more. The expo runs from noon to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Coral Springs Marriott (11775 Heron Bay Blvd., Coral Springs). Admission costs $20 per day or $40 for the weekend. Parental discretion is advised. Call 954-868-7040 or visit floridatattooexpo.com.

Saturday, August 13

With the possibility of electing either a woman or a reality TV star to the highest U.S. office this year, it's clear that whatever path we take, we're living in "the future." And it's about time. Ever since humans have existed, we've been fascinated with predicting and analyzing the times ahead of us. The Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) takes a look at this obsession — with an eye to the past. The museum's exhibition "Visionary Metropolis" showcases French architect Tony Garnier's Une Cité Industrielle. The illustrations he drafted at the turn of the last century showed his concept of a truly "modern city." Between 1904 and 1917, he planned out a harmonious urban environment, with attention paid to the social and environmental needs of our species and the natural world. Using his reason, Garnier demonstrated how we can live in a forward-thinking city that doesn't destroy the Earth. Perhaps our presidential candidates could take a cue or two from the messages conveyed in this "Visionary Metropolis." The exhibit will be on view this Saturday through January 29, 2017. Call 305-531-1001 or visit wolfsonian.org.

Sure, it's still all about the art (just more in a figurative sense), but let's face it — Second Saturday Art Walk has basically become Wynwood's monthly block party on NW Second Avenue between NW 27th and NW 23rd Streets. Though it's true that the days of hitting up the galleries of the 'Wood the second Saturday of the month for the sake of checking out one-of-a-kind art pieces (and snagging free booze) are a thing of the past, there's one thing you have to admit: Second Saturday means can't-miss arty parties. And this month's event is no different. Enter the Secret Garden, where the only secret of this not-so-secret rager is its exact location, which is revealed the day of. This month, the Secret Garden will celebrate five years of Mr. Nice Guy Records with bass and beats by Jesse Perez himself, along with fellow beat-breakers from the Mr. Nice Guy Records crew and "complimentary croquetas and pastelitos." For something less booty-ful and a little more chill, head to the Electric Pickle (2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami) for its Official Art Walk After Party, featuring the self-proclaimed "hipster crossover" vibes of No Regular Play. No matter where you choose to party, be sure you pour one out for the 'Wood. The Secret Garden starts at 8 p.m. Admission is free before 10 p.m. and $10 after; for tickets, visit eventbrite.com. The Electric Pickle's afterparty starts at 10 p.m. Visit electricpicklemiami.com or call 305-456-5613.

It's probably a cool 92 degrees in Miami as you drip sweat all over your desk papers, but that doesn't mean you can't hit the slopes! No, that's not a narcotics joke. It's an exciting promise of a snow day! How is that meteorologically possible, you ask? With a little imagination and what we can only imagine is shaved ice, Coolpad smartphones will launch its Chinese-based brand stateside with a very special Coolpad Snow Day in Miami. This Saturday, Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) will get a whole lot cooler with games and activities built around the theme of a wintery wonderland. There will be sledding and snowball fights, plus plenty of photo ops to take selfies with Coolpad products. You might even get to hang out in a giant snow globe. The party takes over during the hottest hours of the day, kicking off at noon and running until 3 p.m. The event is free and family-friendly. Visit facebook.com/CoolpadAmericas.

You may know Corey Artanis as the man behind 3 Sons Brewing, but he's also got a real thing going on with the Brass Tap in Fort Lauderdale, where he'll celebrate the official launch party for Flagler Village Brewery — the innovative brewing project headed by Artanis. It's technically a brewpub with a two-barrel system, but that's not stopping Artanis from putting out some of the most exquisite beers in South Florida. It's a veritable barrel-aged beer bonanza, whose lineup includes Chocolate Love barrel-aged imperial stout with cacao nibs, cedar-aged Dankness Monster IPA, and some beers from Naples' South Cypress Brewing. A menu of hot dogs, burgers, salads, fritters, and chicken wings will be available all day. The party goes from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Brass Tap (551 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 600, Fort Lauderdale). Admission is free, but drink tickets cost $5 each. Expect lines to be long, but you can avoid wait times by purchasing advance tickets at brasstapflorida.com/flagler-village-brewery-launch. A purchase of 15 or more tickets includes free parking validation; otherwise, valet parking will be available all day for $3 with your Flagler Village Brewery launch wristband. Call 754-200-8648 or visit flaglervillagebrewery.com.

Sunday, August 14

When the news of Prince's abrupt death spread across the world, it was abundantly clear that we had lost something more than an '80s pop icon. Prince was not only a multi-instrumentalist and musical genius but also a symbol of a new, inclusive future. His music was a soulful mix of funk, rock 'n' roll, disco, folk, R&B, and other genres. His look and stage shows were also intermingled. He was at once femme, straight, queer, outrageous, and retro. To celebrate Prince's musical and cultural contributions to the rainbow coalition, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA, 770 NE 125th St., Miami), in partnership with Reading Queer, has mounted Erotic City, a tribute to the artist's life's work. The special performance is a fitting closing to the museum's exhibit "Intersectionality." The event will feature a keynote address by professor Tavia Nyong'o, of New York University's Performance Studies Department, along with a reception punctuated by Prince-inspired beats courtesy of DJ T Lyfe. The festivities kick off at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $5 for MOCA members and $10 for the general public. RSVP is required, and tickets can be purchased in advance at mocanomi.org.

The comic book industry can seem, at first blush, to be as much a duopoly as our political system: There are the big two, and that's it. If you're not published by Marvel or DC, good luck getting prominent placement anywhere but specialty stores. But there's a whole world of inventive books that land outside the superhero spectrum, and they're made by creative writers and artists, many of whom reside in South Florida. That's where Lauderdale Comics' inaugural Local Artist Spotlight comes in. This mini comic convocation welcomes four artists proffering diverse series on independent imprints, all of whom will discuss, sign, and sell their products. Talent includes the indefatigable Kevin Joseph and Chris Brennan, who produce the time-travel fantasy Tart and the anthropomorphized absurdity of UnderWars; Bohdan Neswiacheny, whose eclectic titles explore Native American mythology, crime drama, and wizardry; Glaister Ormsby, the one-man machine behind Silverback Comics; and Jessica Mendelsohn, an artist with Disney-level ambitions who draws in a style "like stained glass," according to Lauderdale Comics manager Matt Sadowitz. In addition to hosting the festivities, his store will offer sales and discounts throughout the event. It all goes down from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Lauderdale Comics (1929 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-530-6722 or visit lauderdalecomics.com.

No one can accuse an award-winning drag star of lacking a flair for the dramatic. In the video for "Purse First," the hilarious dance track recorded by RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen, the singer obscures his face from the camera for a full two minutes. Wearing glittering gold heels, he swaggers into an office while hiding his glamorous visage with an outstretched beaded clutch — walking purse first, in other words. The song and video come across as both parodic and genuine, a delicate tonal tightrope walked by this born entertainer, who excelled at children's theater and standup comedy before devoting his pursuits to drag dominance. He'll showcase some of that comedy at The Queens, a summer tour of fellow Season 8 royalty from the hit LOGO series, headlining a bill that includes Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Thorgy Thor, and Chi Chi Devayne, with Season 7 star Katya MCing the evening. There will be lip-synched performances to spare, but the show will also highlight the queens' ancillary talents, from Bob's standup to Thorgy's violin acumen, Naomi's modeling prowess, and Kim's makeup and fashion style. The party starts at 8 p.m. Sunday at Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $21.50 to $51.50. Call 954-462-0222 or visit parkerplayhouse.com.

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