The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thurday: Big Sean
Thurday: Big Sean
Courtesy of artist's management
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Whether he's making light of death — describing captions for medical examiners' photos as "really great poem titles, my favorite being: extensive mildew on the face of a recluse" — or deftly crafting accounts of family life and personal reflection, David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, is one of the best essayists and storytellers in popular culture. His self-deprecating humor and borderline-cruel observations of the world make for insightful and hilarious narrative. For this edition of Live at Knight, Sedaris will read new work, answer questions, and sign books. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $45 to $75.

The idea behind a bar crawl is simple: If you can't choose just one watering hole for your night of debauchery, let someone else curate a tour of possible black-out points. Enter Rumba Crawl in Brickell. Not only is it the only Latin-themed monthly bar crawl, but it also includes a free drink at each venue and the benefit of not having to persuade your drunk friend where to go next — all for a bargain. So squeeze into that pencil skirt, practice your "like, leeterahlee"s, and shimmy your way through El Capo, Tu Candela, and other bars. 7 p.m. Thursday at Barú Latin Bar, 901 Brickell Plaza, Miami; rumbacrawl.eventbrite.com. Admission costs $20.

If the "Moves" music video is any indication of Big Sean's dance moves, you probably wouldn't have wanted to be seen in a club with him before he was famous. Thankfully, the song is more about his rap skills than his choreography. Shortly after the success of his album I Decided, the Detroit native embarked on his first headlining national tour. And if how quickly his Miami show sold out is any indication, he won't need to be doing any bouncing back anytime soon. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets are sold out.

It's not uncommon to hear someone's grumpy aunt mumble, "I could make this," in a contemporary art museum. But even though some work can seem simplistic, there's still more than a few pieces that can make you stand open-mouthed in admiration. Toba Khedoori's work falls into the latter category. With precision and patience, the artist uses oil paint to create incredibly detailed and subtle works. Many of the artist's new paintings are being shown at a major museum for the first time at this exhibit. Stick around the terrace for Telekinetic Walrus, LoLo, and Mikey R at the Vinyl Invasion. 6 p.m. Thursday at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org. Admission costs $16.

Friday: TransAtlantic Music Festival
Friday: TransAtlantic Music Festival
Photo by Melissa Phillips


Representation becomes more important as narratives of queer and trans experiences enter into the mainstream with increasing frequency. That's why events such as the MiFo LGBT Film Festival are more significant than ever — and with 19 years of film programs under its belt, it's also a Miami institution. The ten-day fest will screen nearly 50 films showcasing LGBT talent from all over the world, as well as offer a peppering of parties and national and world premieres. Expect stories covering a wide variety of subjects, including queer stereotypes, adolescence, and the intersection of immigration and gay rights. 8 p.m. Friday through April 30 at various locations; mifofilm.com. Admission varies depending upon the event.

The MLK Day shooting in Brownsville was a shock to many Miamians. The time and setting of the senseless act left many dismayed and disappointed. The universality of such violence prompted the creation of Trigger, a traveling program integrating performance, outreach, and creativity. Hosted by Miami Dade College Live Arts, the night of choral music and hip-hop will include work by MDC students generated by Trigger workshops. After the performance, the audience will participate in a town hall meant to address the effects of local gun violence. 8 p.m. Friday at Lehman Theater, MDC North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami; 305-237-3010; mdclivearts.org. Admission is free.

In light of recent events, some Americans have been questioning whether they want to be inhabitants of their own country anymore, whether or not they belong here. So it's apropos for Reggie Wilson — founder of the Fist and Heel Performance Group — to create Citizen, a dance piece addressing community, the individual, and the public and private tensions of belonging. In his piece, five dancers perform solo works, at times simultaneously. As part of the outreach aspect of the show, HistoryMiami will host a panel discussion of the performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-324-4337; tigertail.org. Admission costs $25 to $50.

The influences of Latin America and the Caribbean in this city are obvious. But it's less common to focus on the pan-African roots of Miami culture. The TransAtlantic Music Festival is doing just that with two days of music, one featuring Miami artists including the Afro Cuban House Experiment (ACHÉ), Los Herederos, and DJ Lazaro Casanova. Day two will celebrate Afro roots through Sudanese musician Sinkane, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, and the all-female Haitian band Symbi Roots. While you're getting your cultural enrichment, enjoy food, drinks, and activities. 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5202; transatlanticfestival.com. Tickets cost $15 for one night, $25 for two.

Most of us can't afford to live the Wynwood life — at least not its latest, gentrified version. But that doesn't mean we can't show up in Wynwood and say things like, "Wynwood gives me liiiiiife." For a taste of what you're missing, check out the Wynwood Life Street Festival, chock full of all the art, music, and boozy treats you know and love. With almost two dozen musical acts, including DJ Craze; a half-dozen fashion shows from brands like Thrifter; and art-making onsite, this event is sure to enhance the usual sensory overload of Miami's arts district. But we wouldn't have it any other way. 5 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday and Sunday at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; wynwoodlife.com. Admission is free.

Click next for more things to do this week in Miami...

Friday: Citizen
Friday: Citizen
Photo by Paula Court


There are plenty of ways you could have been introduced to Todrick Hall: American Idol 2010, Kinky Boots on Broadway, or countless YouTube videos (check out "4 Beyoncé" — you're welcome). One of his largest personal projects is Straight Outta Oz, a YouTube visual album/film based on his life. From growing up in Texas to starting his career in "Oz Angeles," Hall chronicles his story in R&B, pop, hip-hop, and classic Broadway numbers you'll be humming on your way out of this live rendition. VIP tickets include a meet-and-greet with the star backstage. 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; browardcenter.org. Tickets cost $27.50 to $98.

Maybe you've seen the small cart while browsing in your favorite local bookstore. The traveling and evolving Exile Books pop-up is one aspect of the experimental literary project meant to garner exposure for independent artists. Its current home is also the site of this year's Miami Zine Fair, an annual gathering of local, national, and international publishing entities organized by Exile. Browsing about 150 exhibitors, you can spend the whole day at the largest zine fest in the Southeast, but don't miss out on the workshops, performances, and live printing happening onsite. 11 a.m. Saturday at the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-3535; exilebooks.com. Admission is free.

Since your drum circle days, when you dressed in hemp and fake leather, Earth Day and jamming have held a special place in your hippie heart. This year, the part of you that loves Mother Earth more than your own mother will enjoy the SoundWaves Earth Day Music Festival, taking place bayside on Virginia Key. Sway with the waves to the Colombian reggae style of Locos por Juana as you chow down on beachy cuisine and cocktails while picking up some local goods crafted by human hands. 6 p.m. Saturday at Rickenbacker Marina, 3301 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. Free with RSVP via facebook.com/prismcreativegroup.

People love pot for a reason that's even better than its high. It has a slew of health benefits and was recently legalized for medical use in the Sunshine State. Kaya Fest wants everyone to know about marijuana's higher powers and will spread the good word through live music. The all-day event will be hosted by Sway Calloway and present performances by huge names such as Ziggy Marley, Lauryn Hill, Sean Paul, and Wyclef Jean. And if those musical giants weren't enough, a symposium will feature pot experts of the medical and sales sorts. Get high on and get educated about this holy plant. 1 p.m. Saturday at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 541-778-5863; kayafestivals.com. Tickets cost $80 to $200.

The sweetest of popular liquors is most definitely rum. You can get it white or spiced, but simply mixing it with a splash of Coke creates a dessert-like libation that'll have you smacking your lips with buzzed delight. Celebrate this sugary intoxicant with the Miami Rum Festival. It's geared toward rum-makers and fans — those who want to learn more about the beverage at seminars and those who want to celebrate its roots by drinking tiki-themed cocktails. 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel & Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami; miamirumfest.com. Admission costs $30 to $125.

Watching experienced professionals whip up a vat of paella is like witnessing Goya at a canvas. The rice and seafood dish is a Spanish delicacy that will be celebrated with gypsy tunes, dancing, and fútbol (that's soccer, ya gringo) at this year's Beer, Wine, and Paella Festival. And because everything is bigger in Miami, master chef Miguel Angel Rebolledo and his cooking team are creating one of the largest portions of paella ever. There will also be a cooking contest and music spun by former Pacha Ibiza resident DJs Lu.Pon and Jonathan Cowan. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Autism Soccer Foundation. Noon Saturday and Sunday at Omni Park, 1234 N. Miami Ave., Miami; beerandwinepaellafest.com. Admission ranges from free to $1,700.

Saturday: Miami Zine Fair
Saturday: Miami Zine Fair
Photo by Francisco Javier Moraga Escalona


When meeting new people, it's always nice to have a crutch — something to break the ice or start a conversation. At Floatnik on Haulover Beach, the sun, sand, and a simple pool float can help you bond with old friends and meet new mates. This is a free event, and its organizers, the folks of South Florida's Grown and Sexy (SFGS), simply ask one thing of attendees: "Put the trash in the trash." So make new pals while you keep the beach clean, and get a tan in the buff or fully clothed — whatever floats your raft. But be warned: this event is not sanctioned by Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces, which says that using floatation devices on its beaches is a violation of city code. 10 a.m. Sunday on Haulover Beach, 10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; facebook.com/floatnikfloatparty. Admission is free.

Miami's AIDS Walk has always been special and well attended. Culturally, it was embraced by this southern city with a huge gay community that has been greatly affected by the virus. Sadly, the Magic City continues to have one of the highest rates of the disease in the nation. The 5K walkathon is tasked with helping more than 15,000 people living with HIV/AIDS locally by collecting funds for Care Resource and Food for Life Network, which raises awareness and works to prevent the spread of infection. 8 a.m. Sunday at SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-751-WALK (9255); aidswalkmiami.org. Admission is free.


ArtCenter/South Florida recently got a makeover. It's hosting a series of seminars designed to expose the public to artistic discourse. Sessions are titled Parallax Drift and are taught by ArtCenter fellows and experts. Session G will concentrate on complex territories. It starts with the question: How do art, architecture, and other cultural practices respond to situations of political urgency? It's something to chew on in today's political climate. 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; the lecture takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at ArtCenter/South Florida, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-8278; artcentersf.org. Admission is free.


Not many authors of young-adult literature capture teen angst as poetically as S.E. Hinton. Though known for writing about the trials of boys, Hinton is a woman. Her most famous book was made into a popular movie of the same name, The Outsiders. But one of her lesser-known novels grabs you by your tear ducts and makes you wish you could ride off on a Harley into the sunset, away from your sad imagined Oklahoma life: Rumble Fish. The Francis Ford Coppola-directed flick stars Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper. Another fun fact about this underrated cult flick: The Police's Stewart Copeland wrote the score. 7 p.m. Tuesday at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 786-385-9689; gablescinema.org. Tickets cost $11.75.


If you've danced at an indie venue in the past 12 years, you have danced to "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth." The song, though nearly impossible to understand, still inspires you to sing along using your own nonsensical words. It's not the only indescribably emotional and danceable tune sung by the Philly-founded Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Poplife Presents is bringing the band that rose to fame on the shoulders of internet bloggers to Wynwood for what is certain to be a night of much swaying and sweating from hands clapping and feet tapping. 8 p.m. Wednesday at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com; poplifepresents.com. Admission costs $20 to $25.

Thanks to O, Miami, by the end of April, Miamians will have devoured tons of poetry after seeing it on stages and buses and everywhere in between. But just when you think you've heard enough beautiful words strung together with great meaning, Edible Odes proves you wrong. Presented by O, Miami and WLRN, the event will show that Vizcaya Village is a new cultural hub by celebrating the winners of the Edible Odes contest there. The goal of the competition was to use 40 words or fewer to honor South Florida foods. You can enjoy not only spoken word but also tacos, Tito's Vodka, and Biscayne Bay Brewing beer. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Vizcaya Village, 3250 S. Miami Ave., Coconut Grove; 305-250-9133; vizcaya.org. Admission costs $5.

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