Gladys and her Knights, On the Radio: See SaturdayEXPAND
Gladys and her Knights, On the Radio: See Saturday
Courtesy of the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center

The Nine Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday, December 31

Despite the fact that the last episode of Baywatch aired almost 15 years ago, its iconic, red-swimsuited star, Pamela Anderson, is as smokin'-hot as ever. And her beauty isn't only skin-deep. A devoted animal activist and compassionate human being, Anderson is constantly campaigning in support of the planet's most vulnerable beings, from farmed animals to captive marine life to persecuted whales.

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Now, in honor of her turn as Playboy's last nude centerfold, Anderson is making her way to Miami to ring in 2016 for NYE With Pam Anderson. She'll host a party at Viceroy Miami's rooftop Fifty Ultra Lounge, all to benefit the Pamela Anderson Foundation's awesome advocacy work. "I love Miami, and I think that Fifty Ultra Lounge will be a fun spot to bring in the new year. The view should be amazing 50 floors up," Anderson says.

There will be music by the pool, a premium open bar from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., and a champagne toast at midnight. A Playmate, philanthropy, and a killer 360-degree view — what better way to say what's up to 2016?

The party starts at 9 p.m. Thursday at Fifty Ultra Lounge, the Viceroy Miami (485 Brickell Ave., Miami Beach). General-admission tickets start at $100 per person; VIP tables start at $700 for up to four guests. Call 866-781-9923 or visit fiftymiami.com

Every year, hundreds of hot dogs take to the streets of Key West for a one-of-a-kind procession. We are referring, of course, to the long-bodied canines, not the mystery meat.

Despite its name, the Key West Dachshund Walk, now in its 11th year, doesn't exclude other breeds. "Wannabes always welcome," organizers say, and what dog doesn't wanna be a dachshund for a day?

The pooches' parade runs three blocks and is accompanied by a police horse escort, a supply wagon (poopie bags are a must), and a grand marshal (this year, a 10-year-old service dog named Zeus). Festive attire is encouraged, and elderly participants can hitch rides in wagons or strollers. Spectators who want prime seats for the wiener walk can set up anywhere along the route, which begins at the Key West courthouse (500 Whitehead St., Key West), goes one block on Fleming, turns right down Duval Street, and ends up on Appelrouth Lane.

There's no entrance fee or signup, but participants are asked to bring a bag of dog food for the community pet pantry — a small price to pay for your pup's 15 minutes of fame. The parade starts at noon Thursday. Call 305-747-0877 or visit facebook.com/keywestdachshundwalk

Whether you had a great time in 2015 or would rather soon forget it, a new year is about to make an appearance. Why not get gussied up and greet it with a dance and a smile? The Edition Hotel (2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) cordially invites all Miamians to get down on the dance floor of its own Studio 54-esque space, getting a deep and dirty start to a new you at Basement for NYE.

Say goodbye to the past while grooving to the tunes of DJ Mateo, the same man who set the musical tone of the Vanity Fair Oscar party eight years running. Headliner JUS SKE, one of Jay Z and Pharrell's favorites, will keep the party going with hip-hop style, and when peak celebration hits, none other than Questlove of the famous neo-soul band the Roots will build a feel-good ready-for-it-all atmosphere to inspire greatness and positivity in the year to come.

The party starts at 10 p.m. this Thursday. Tickets cost $250, and VIP table packages start at $2,500. Entrance includes open bar until 1 a.m. Call 786-641-7119 or visit basementmiami.com

Feel the rhythm with Mr. Pauer at the Vagabond Hotel: See Saturday.
Feel the rhythm with Mr. Pauer at the Vagabond Hotel: See Saturday.
Courtesy of the artist

Friday, January 1

A third of the way into the 2015-16 season and the Miami Heat looks good — not great, but good enough to sit atop the Southeast division. The same could be said about the Dallas Mavericks, who are in the second spot of the Southwest division. Old enemies from their two NBA Finals showdowns in 2006 and 2011, with the teams splitting those series, the Heat and the Mavericks are almost mirror images of each other. Both have aggressive, intelligent management willing to spend money and unafraid to take roster chances to win championships. And both have an aging superstar with no quit in his game. At this point in the season, however, the Heat seems to have the edge in its upcoming game against Dirk Nowitzki and company. Miami is 12-5 at home, the fourth-best home-court record behind San Antonio, Golden State, and Cleveland. It should be a close contest and a fun alternative to ring in the new year.

Catch the latest and always entertaining rematch between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks New Year's Day, Friday, at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m., and tickets start at $65. Call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Saturday, January 2

On the Radio has actually been making the rounds on the stages of South Florida for years. The musical revue has previously come to the Coral Springs' Broward Stage Door Theatre and Stuart's Lyric Theatre, finally making its way to Aventura's Arts & Cultural Center to welcome a new year. Led by Miami-raised singer Mimi J and Fort Lauderdale-based director-choreographer Kevin Black, On the Radio traces the history of one of the greatest decades in music. While one part of the 1970s bloomed with psychedelic rock, punk, and the early stages of hip-hop, the mainstream brimmed with disco and funk. Mimi J performs nearly four dozen songs from the era, manipulating her versatile voice to work everything from Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" to Abba's "Dancing Queen" to Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia." Plus, a set of backing dancers supports the singer's performance, adding extra authenticity by doing the bump, the hustle, the bus stop, and, of course, the John Travolta.

Time to bust out the bell-bottoms and oversize sunglasses for this one. On the Radio takes place at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) Saturday at 8 p.m. Call 305-466-8002 or visit aventuracenter.org

It may be a new year, but there's still room for old favorites, especially when that favorite is Latin Grammy nominee and Miami music mainstay Mr. Pauer. The Venezuelan-born transplant has turned heads around the globe for spearheading the Latin-electronica fusion movement, but to us locals, he's the guy with the thick glasses who lays down the funk. Latin music has always been about rhythms and passion on the floor. Blending the Caribbean sounds of salsa, cumbia, kuduro, and others — the sounds of his childhood — with the driving bpm of American club culture was a no-brainer for Pauer. His signature sound has eventually become all but inseparable from Miami's modern cultural fabric.

Keeping 2016 in line with tradition, Pauer will continue to explore the relationship between those sounds in a special Saturday-night DJ set at the Vagabond Hotel (7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The set goes down at the hotel pool, making it even more enticing for those who celebrate winter in bathing suits. The party kicks off at 8 p.m., and admission is free. Call 305-400-8420 or visit thevagabondhotel.com

It's comedy for a low price — you won't even feel it: See Sunday.
It's comedy for a low price — you won't even feel it: See Sunday.
Courtesy of Yuval Ofir

Sunday, January 3

Short on cash but long on funny. That's perhaps the best way to describe the comics populating the lineup of Just the Tip Comedy Show at Yo Space in Wynwood. Hosted by comedian Paul Julmeus, the monthly event tries to do right both by the audience and the performers. It's the brainchild of Yo Space owner Yuval Ofir, a Miami native and a major proponent of the local arts scene. In addition to supporting standup, Yo Space houses permanent resident visual artists as well as showcasing visiting artists.

"I got the idea for having a tip/donation-based comedy show just as a way to give comics the chance to earn some kind of [extra] money," Ofir says, "since most of the rooms that have comedy nights usually just pay them in drinks (and not even that in some cases)." Equally valuable to the comics is the time allotted to them. "The other thing that sets us apart from most of the comedy shows around town is the fact that we have fewer comics each night, so that some of the more established people are able to get behind the mike for up to 15 minutes, as opposed to the usual five to ten. This gives them the chance to fine-tune and flesh out their sets for when they take the leap to the bigger rooms or TV specials."

Support local comics at Just the Tip, a "real-life crowdfund," at Yo Space (294 NE 62nd St., Miami) this Sunday. The show begins at 7 p.m. and is free, but if the comics are funny and you're not a terrible person, you know what to do. Visit yo-miami.com

Wednesday, January 6

Keeping New Year's resolutions are pretty much the worst. Most people subscribe to some sort of self-improvement — whether by starting a diet or committing to that elusive goal of getting in shape. But in 2016, North Miami Beach's VK Dance Center will host dance lessons by All Swing Productions that will actually inspire you to break a sweat. The first Wednesday of the new year, All Swing Productions (formerly known as Hip Swing Dance Studio) will offer another session of its weekly Swing Basics class. Yuval Hod and Jul Slavikas lead the weekly sessions, and in particular, this course will teach participants how to do the Charleston, one of the most popular dances of the 1920s. Named for the South Carolina port city, the Charleston involves elements of tap and fast, flashy heel kicks.

Although Swing Basics: '20s Charleston has only two classes of its six-week session remaining, All Swing Productions offers opportunities like these multimonth package deals regularly. But for those leery to commit, single classes are available for only $20 each. Get your swing on at VK Dance Center (3363 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach) Wednesday at 7 p.m. Call 305-944-4725 or visit iswing.dance/miami

Fans of Peter Jackson's brilliant Lord of the Rings trilogy have been comforted by enjoying his follow-up series of The Hobbit films that have trickled out over the past few years. For those who've already checked out the first two segments — An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug — Miami Beach SoundScape (500 17th St., Miami Beach) will dish out the third installment this Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hops back into action by following Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellan), and company through the final leg of their adventures — the Orcs and Wargs versus Men of Dale, Elves, and Dwarves — and the journey back home. Just a year after the film's release, SoundScape is presenting it in all of its two-and-a-half-hour glory, which may seem lengthy, but it breezes by.

As usual with SoundScape, the film will be shown under the night sky for free, so it's easy enough to set yourself up for nothing but comfort for the long journey. Blankets, pillows, food, lawn chairs, and even umbrellas (the show goes on rain or shine) are welcomed and encouraged. So pop the first two into your DVD player to prep yourself for a free night on the town with Peter Jackson's final entry into Middle Earth. 

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