The Ten Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday, March 31

We are faced with more and more garbage piling up around us by the minute. Future generations will be tasked with figuring out what to do with all the soda bottles, broken iPhone chargers, and Keurig pods their predecessors once found so necessary.

Luckily, places like Florida International University are training innovators to be more environmentally conscious. The school's third-annual Eco Couture Recycling Fashion Show is dedicated to high fashion made with only recyclable materials. Through dance, live tunes, cocktails, and earth-friendly attire, the event is all about promoting sustainability through haute couture in hopes of inspiring Miamians to lead a more conscious lifestyle. This year's show will feature more than 50 reusable outfits, and judges include local TV personality Candela Ferro, journalist Marián de la Fuente, Arquitectonica GEO director Margarita Blanco, and psychoanalyst and artist Constance Silver.

It's the perfect opportunity for summer fashion inspiration — particularly for budgeters. After this show, you might have a use for those old New Times issues. The event begins Thursday at 7 p.m. in FIU's Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building courtyard (11200 SW Eighth St., Miami). Admission is free. Visit eventbrite.com to register. 

As the title suggests, there are only two characters in Tennessee Williams' late-period, less frequently performed The Two-Character Play. The Mississippi native, generally regarded as one of the most important American playwrights of the 20th Century, infuses this especially personal work with darker social themes and mental health issues. The Two-Character Play — released decades after his most famous work, A Streetcar Named Desire — tells the story of Felice and Claire, a brother and sister who are also actors. But while on tour, the theater company abandons the siblings. Together, the two reenact a play within a play, subsequently grappling with their art, professions, and sanity.

The Two-Character Play will run this Thursday through April 26 at various times at the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores). Tickets cost $45 to $150. Call 305-751- 9550 or visit mtcmiami.org

Spring has sprung, and no doubt you've been killing it on your diet, but everybody deserves a cheat day. Vine PR has the sugary sellout for you. It's a full-on Donuts! Festival, featuring delicious doughy delights from Miami's leading sweets shops. Taste the finger-licking treats from Beaker & Gray, Bunnie Cakes, Donut Divas, Dunkin' Donuts, Helen & Meyer's, I Heart Mac & Cheese, Krispy Kreme, Mojo Donuts, Parlour Vegan Bakery, Rhino Doughnuts, Yonutz, and others. Wash it all down with drinks provided by Concrete Beach Brewery, Elephantea, Nuero Drinks, Voss, and Dunkin' Donuts. Work off all those calories with a few rounds of corn hole, table tennis, or life-size Jenga in the backyard.

The hot, sticky fun runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Wynwood Yard (56 NW 29th St., Miami). Ticket prices range from $25 for general admission to $45 for VIP. Regular admission includes unlimited doughnuts and two beer tickets. VIP ticketholders can enter as early as 6 p.m. and enjoy an all-night open vodka bar, plus unlimited doughnuts and two beer tickets. How dedicated to doughnuts are you? Visit the wynwoodyard.com

Friday, April 1

Friday is your last chance to enjoy dinner by starlight when the 100 block of Giralda Avenue shuts down to traffic and fills with decorated tabletops. The evening is beautiful, romantic, and fun for the whole family, and this Friday night is the last edition of Giralda Under the Stars. Downtown Coral Gables' Restaurant Row invites you to sample its wares and make some memories. Nosh on noodles at Bangkok Bangkok or Miss Saigon Bistro. Break out your chopsticks at Ikura Sushi Lounge, or have something light from Divino Ceviche. There will be Italian delights at Castelluccio Ristorante, healthy fare at Green Life Mia, and Mexican favorites from Talavera Cocina Mexicana, and that's not all.

Adult beverages, desserts, and coffees are also on the menu. When you're done eating, enjoy live performances and activities for kids and the young at heart. The festivities will shut down for the hot summer months, so enjoy Giralda Under the Stars now. Tables will be outside from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is free, but food is served at regular prices. Visit shopcoralgables.com

Saturday, April 2

Momentum Dance Company is the oldest continuously running dance company in Florida, but it never rests on its laurels or its celebrated reputation. Marking its 34th anniversary, Momentum presents a collection of spring performances full of eclectic storytelling and artistic expression. The lineup incudes a piece from modern dance innovator Anna Sokolow's 1985 work Poems of Scriabin, which was produced exclusively for the company. In addition to enjoying that number, Miami dance fans will experience three new works: Irresistible Pop, Forms Follow Man, and Dido. In the weekend's most whimsical piece, Irresistible Pop, the sounds of popping bubble wrap replace traditional musical accompaniment as the dancers walk, stomp, slide, and hop on the plastic until no bubbles remain.

Taking things in a darker, but no less imaginative, direction — Forms Follow Man is company director Delma Iles' look at several character portraits, including a beaten-up magical transgender gypsy gambling with the dark side and two destructive teens mixing friendship with power plays. Performed by veteran Momentum dancer Barbie Freeman, the third new work, Dido, studies Virgil's anti-heroine as she struggles through anger and sorrow upon being cast aside by her lover. The program concludes with last season's Birds of the Inner Eye, a display of both tranquility and discipline inspired by the visual artists of Seattle's Pacific Northwest School.

Momentum's spring performances will run Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). General admission costs $30 at the door. Call 305-674-1040 or visit momentumdance.com.

Celebrate the beginning of spring at Sprung! Miami Beer Festival, where you can sample more than 300 craft beers, enjoy live music, and play some of your favorite bar games. Event organizers guarantee plenty of beer for the duration of the event. This year, the fest moves from its usual location in Coconut Grove's Peacock Park to a fresh spot in Wynwood. A variety of breweries will participate, including 26 Degree Brewing Company, Descarga Brewing Company, Hollywood Brewing Co., and Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery. Attendees can play games like corn hole, giant Jenga, bocce ball, and, of course, beer pong.

Be a Beer Socialite ticketholder to get in an hour earlier and receive a backpack and souvenir pint glass. Better yet, become a VIP for access to specialty beers, appetizers, even earlier access, and other perks. Celebrate Sprung! this Saturday at Mana Wynwood (2250 NW Second Ave., Miami). Gates open at 4 p.m. for general admission ($40), 3 p.m. for Beer Socialites ($70), and 2:30 p.m. for VIPs ($90). Call 305-461-2700 or visit igotsprung.com

The Passenger is a one-of-a-kind opera that transcends the normal trappings of art and entertainment. Written in 1968 by Soviet composer Mieczysaw Weinberg, it was suppressed from being performed for half a century. Finally receiving its proper debut in 2010, the opera is based on the radio play and novel The Passenger in Cabin 45, by Polish author and journalist Zofia Posmysz. It's a fictionalized account of her time as a concentration camp prisoner. Posmysz survived both Auschwitz and Birkenau, and in The Passenger, she imagines what it would have been like to come face-to-face with one of her tormentors. It takes place on two levels of an ocean liner headed to South America. One passenger is a former SS overseer on her way to Brazil, where she and her husband plan to begin a new life. The other passenger is someone whom she believes to be one of her former charges from a past she's trying to escape. Composer Weinberg, himself of Polish-Jewish origin, lost most of his family during the Holocaust and wrote a score that captures all of the fear, grief, and rage of mankind at its absolute worst.

For the production's South Florida premiere, Florida Grand Opera will present The Passenger in the same physical format as it was seen in the opera's worldwide premiere at the 2010 Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria. The opera runs this Saturday through next Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $25 to $229. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org

Sunday, April 3

It's no secret Miami loves pork. From ham croquetas and Cuban sandwiches to bacon-infused cocktails and desserts, pig figures prominently in the Magic City. In the ultimate ode to cooking swine, the national Cochon 555 tour returns to dazzle our palates and blow our minds.

Created as a celebration of family farms and a way to bond local chef communities, this year's competition will benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that provides free heritage-breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. The battle for gourmet glory goes like this: Five chefs are tasked with preparing a maximum of six dishes from one whole hog to win votes from hungry guests and renowned judges. In addition to sampling the 36 dishes made with locally raised pigs, guests will learn about specialty wines and culinary cocktails paired with corresponding bites. The winner of the regional event will be crowned the Prince or Princess of Porc and go on to compete for the national title of King or Queen of Porc at Grand Cochon, the tour finale, June 18.

This Sunday, Miamians can dive into deliciousness when more than a dozen chefs battle for porcine supremacy beginning at 5 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach (1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Competing chefs include Anthony La Pape of Ritz-Carlton, Michael Fiorello of Beachcraft, Alex Chang of Vagabond, Diego Oka of La Mar by Gaston Acurio, and Xavier Torres of Drunken Dragon. General admission ($125) includes pig-dish tastings and wine, beer, and spirit pairings. VIP admission ($200) gives guests one-hour earlier access to food, drinks, and mingling with chefs, judges, and the media. Visit cochon555.com

Barbecue fans have strong opinions on the style of their smoked meats. Whether you prefer the vinegar-spiked Carolina style, vinegar-and-ketchup-laced Kentucky style, sweet Memphis style, or even Brazilian churrasco or Argentine parrillada, Wynwood's Grillin N Chillin BBQ Fest has it all. Because barbecue is a truly communal experience, the single-day food festival also includes a pop-up sports bar (admission to which is included in the ticket price), six cooking workshops with professional chefs in the Kitchen Lab, live music, and a kids' area. For those who want to put their own cooking skills to the test, Grillin N Chillin will also host Miami Best Backyard Burger Contest, a competition for amateur chefs judged by Burger Beast.

Grillin N Chillin takes place at Mana Wynwood's RC Cola Plant (550 NW 24th St., Miami) Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $20. Call 305-461-2700 or visit wynwoodbbqfest.com

Wednesday, April 6

Every year, Florida International University students in majors from biology to international relations join forces for an exercise in collective creativity known as "Aesthetics & Values." The annual exhibition is entirely student-run. FIU's Honors College students form committees, contact the artists, raise funds for the reception, negotiate gallery space, et al. The result is an art event worthy of Miamians' high expectations (we are perennial Basel-goers, after all). In years past, guest artists have been on the cusp of superstardom, and this year's roster is no different. It features artists Randy Burman, Westen Charles, Clifton Childree, Brookhart Jonquil, Barron Sherer, Magnus Sodamin, Alex Trimino, Michael Vasquez, and Agustina Woodgate — a few of whom have been finalists and winners of New Times' MasterMind Awards.

"Aesthetics & Values" is the event to attend if you want to be in-the-know about Miami's art-world up-and-comers. Besides, increasing your art knowledge will seriously elevate your Tinder game. The display runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami). Admission is free. Call 305-348-4100 or visit johnwbailly.com/education/aesthetics-values

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