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The Ten Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

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Thursday, March 3
Like a warm summer wind, "Sinatra: An American Icon" breezes into HistoryMiami this Thursday for a three-month stay. The exhibition, which originated last year, is a celebration of Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. It's a deep, multifaceted look at the singer's humble beginnings in Hoboken, New Jersey, through his becoming Ol' Blue Eyes. Visitors will see the transformation of one of the 20th Century's greatest and most recognizable voices.

Curated by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and presented in cooperation with the Sinatra Family, Frank Sinatra Enterprises, and the Frank Sinatra Collection, the exhibition leaves no aspect of his musical career, his time in Hollywood, or his personal life unexplored. His daughter Nancy Sinatra is fully on board with the traveling show. "Dad always said, 'I'd like to pass along to people what I know and what I do.' With this exhibit, the Sinatra family proudly shares personal and professional insights into the life and times of Frank Sinatra."

This shrine to the Rat Pack leader includes never-before-seen family photos, personal items such his plaid fedora and a belt buckle given to him by Ronald Reagan, and his various gold records and film awards. For both casual and longtime fans, it is about as close as they'll ever get to the legend himself.

The grand opening of "Sinatra: An American Icon" takes place Thursday at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St., Miami). Tickets for the event cost $47.12 to $98.37 and include Jack Daniel's cocktails. Doors open at 7 p.m. The exhibition will remain on display through May and is accessible with museum admission.

Two hit men bicker in a basement while anxiously awaiting instructions. When the order to kill finally comes, will it be any easier?

That's all we can give away about Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter's critically acclaimed one-act presentation The Dumb Waiter. As one of the most influential modern dramatists, the British author penned more than 30 plays for stage and television, as well as dramatic sketches, radio plays, and screenplays. The Dumb Waiter, full of witty, realistic banter and tempered with a healthy sense of absurdism, debuted in 1957, following the successful The Birthday Party, and solidified his place in theatrical history.

It's a tale of struggle against man and power. It's a story of conflicted humanism and perhaps the ultimate loss thereof. It's rich in dialogue and captivating from beginning to end, and the best way to experience Pinter is to witness it live at the Gleason Room - Backstage at the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). A series of performances kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m., with additional performances Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 5 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20, and all ages are welcome. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.

Friday, March 4
It's March, everybody, and you know what that means for Miami's cultural scene. It's time for the Miami International Film Festival. And what better way to kick off the fest than with the opening-night film and its accompanying parties. That's right, there's not one, but two parties this Friday.

Opening night begins at 7 p.m. with the premiere of Álex de la Iglesia's My Big Night, with the film's star Raphael in attendance at the Olympia Theater (174 E. Flagler St., Miami). The fun continues after the screening and Q&A with the first of two parties at the Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building (169 E. Flagler St., Suite 5, Miami) at 9 p.m. Guests can expect plenty of dancing, music, cocktails, and food. While that party goes until after midnight, another wild time will happen at Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) beginning at 10:30 p.m. Dubbed the PAMM Remix afterparty, it's a night of celebrating film.

Three ticket options are available: $30 for the film alone, $125 for the film and one party, and $225 for the film, the party, and the afterparty. So take your pick and get your MIFF viewings started right. Visit miamifilmfestival.com. See our MIFF coverage beginning on page 25. 

A lot of fundraising galas promise celebrity appearances and exciting gift packages, but how many offer the king of the jungle himself? Zoo Miami (12400 SW 152nd St., Miami) opens its gates to very special guests looking for an up-close-and-personal meal with the zoo's star attractions. At Feast With the Beasts, you and your friends can enjoy the thrill of world-class noms, danceable beats, and all the wild beasts you can stand. This year's presentation is aimed at raising awareness for the zoo's upcoming exhibition, "Florida: Mission Everglades." Learn why our area's ecological treasure is one of the most unique environments on planet Earth, and then, y'know, stuff your face with delicious treats.

Admission costs $250 for main event passes, which include access to the treats, open bar, live entertainment, silent auction, and hookah lounge; big spenders can enjoy the $500 backstage pass, which includes extra-special tastings, a meet-and-greet with American wildlife expert Ron Magill, and personal encounters with furry friends. This is an adults-only event, and guests must be 21 or older to attend. The party starts Friday at 7 p.m. for VIP and 8 p.m. for all other guests. Cocktail attire is requested. Call 305-255-5551 or visit zoomiami.org

There is not enough love for pink wine, as Jess from New Girl so reverently refers to it. Rosé, the delectable vino that incorporates some production elements of both red and white wine-making, now has its own special festival dedicated to it: La Nuit en Rosé. This exclusive fest has taken place only in New York, Los Angeles, and London, but now it makes its way to Miami. For three days, the Mondrian South Beach Hotel will host a trio of poolside events dedicated to all things pink. The fest begins Friday night with the Rosé Wine Pairing Dinner, continues Saturday with the Rosé Sunset Party, and ends Sunday with the Sunday Afternoon Rosé Brunch. Each event is ticketed separately, but overall, the festival will include more than 50 varieties of rosé — from sweet to tart to tannin-filled — and pair them with appropriate culinary creations.

Don't forget to adhere to the dress code by wearing white or pink. La Nuit en Rosé takes place at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel (1100 West Ave., Miami Beach) Friday through Sunday at various times. Tickets cost $85 to $250. Visit nuitrose.com

Saturday, March 5
If you live in South Florida, there's no such thing as a typical ham sandwich. 'Round these parts, it's cubanos or bust. Whether the take is a classic gathering of ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles or a modern variation with smoked meats and specialty grain condiments, the hot-pressed sandwich is a Miami staple. And though we've got the best cubano creators at our fingertips, we can't blame the rest of the world for trying. Thanks to the Annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival, Cuban-sandwich lovers from all parts get in on the snack action, but the second-annual Cuban Sandwich Smackdown decides who will represent Miami at the larger affair.

At the Smackdown, eateries from all over South Florida will join defending champion Sergio's Cuban Restaurant, which took home the title of Best Cuban Sandwich at last year's battle. Celebrity judges include chef Douglas Rodriguez, Hallandale Beach Vice-Mayor Bill Julian, Aventura Commissioner Luz Weinberg, Univision 23 news anchor Jorge Hernandez, and Telemundo Tampa news anchor Cristina Puig. In addition to witnessing the fierce competition, guests will be treated to cultural demonstrations, music, dancing, and food throughout the day.

The Cuban Sandwich Smackdown will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sergio's Restaurant Doral (1640 NW 87th Ave., Doral). Admission is free. Call 305-639-8960 or visit thecubansandwichfestival.com

Food, art, and music — what more can you ask for? The 18th-annual Carnaval on the Mile features three main stages, 30 musical groups, paintings, sculptures, photography, crafts, jewelry, and the inaugural food and wine event, Cork & Fork. On three main stages, located on LeJeune Road, Douglas Road, and Ponce de Leon Boulevard, the performing bands are both local and from out of town. Cork & Fork is a food-and-wine-tasting event where local chefs and restaurants display their culinary masterpieces, along with demonstrations, book signings, and live entertainment. There are four sessions: Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

Carnaval on the Mile begins Saturday at 10 a.m. on Miracle Mile (220 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables). The whole family is welcome, including dogs, and admission is free. Tickets for Cork & Fork cost $53.49 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com or by calling 305-644-8888. Proceeds benefit the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation Future Leaders Through Education Scholarship Fund. 

Bal Harbour Shops doesn't close for just anyone or anything. But to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mall and the 30th anniversary of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the two major institutions are teaming up for an exclusive fundraising event. You can't get in without a hot ticket. Although seats and tables for the dinner have already sold out, tickets to Destination Fashion 2016 are still available.

The Party Ticket includes indulgent cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, plus access to the stores, auction items benefiting the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and the Brunello Cuccineli Spring 2016 Designer Fashion Show. Additionally, all attendees — including celebrities like MC Savannah Guthrie (NBC's Today Show co-anchor), co-chairs Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and actors Tommy Lee Jones and Christian Slater — will get down to the sounds of Pitbull, Mr. 305 himself, who will perform at the end of the night. Destination Fashion 2016 takes place at the Bal Harbour Shops (9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour) this Saturday. The fashion arena and dinner begin promptly at 6 p.m., and the party begins at 8. Tickets cost $300. Call 305-243-4656 or visit themiamiproject.org

Sunday, March 6
If the Grove's two annual art events were political candidates, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival would be Hillary Clinton to the Gifford Lane Art Stroll's Bernie Sanders. The stroll, now in its 18th year, is a wilder, wackier, more communal version of its bigger, fancier cousin. And it's free. (Now that's democratic socialism in action.)

From fences to easels to trees, the artwork will be everywhere along the sleepy little lane. Some seventy-odd artists will display sculpture, portraits, landscapes, jewelry, tile mosaics, large abstract paintings, photography, mixed media, found art objects, and whimsical inventions. Collectors shouldn't be afraid to bargain — haggling is half the fun. Admire the art, listen to the sounds of Solar Dogs, dance in the streets, and pick up an eclectic piece for your living room wall. You might even learn a trick or two from the Coconut Grove Juggler's Exchange. Bask in the offbeat charm of Miami's most colorful enclave, because who doesn't love a good underdog? There will also be a bike valet available.

The event will take place from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday at Gifford Lane, near the Kirk Monroe tennis courts, between Oak and Day Avenues (3200 block, Coconut Grove). Visit Facebook.com/GiffordLaneArtStroll

Tuesday, March 8 
Ready for a five-course meal of local seafood with handmade cocktails and wine? Part of Sustainable Seafood Dinner III is the event Chefs Are Catching On, hosted by Allen Susser. The Café at Books & Books chef will join Alter chef/owner Bradley Kilgore and Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill chef Timon Balloo to cook the haul from an entire day's fishing trip in the Keys. Expect a night of delicious cuisine, as well as environmental education by Susser and Capt. Mike Puller between each course. The two will talk about seafood sustainability, a future for healthy oceans, and eating responsibly caught fish. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Captain Mike's nonprofit foundation, the Fishing Experience, as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force.

The third installment of the Sustainable Seafood Dinner series takes place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Café at Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $82. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Call 786-405-1745, visit thecafeatbooksandbooks.com, or email sharon@booksandbooks.com

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