The renowned Bikel has been a major figure in American theater for so long, it's easy to take him for granted. But stage acting doesn't get any better than his turn in The Chosen at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. As an anguished rabbi, Bikel was both a deeply emotional character and a short course in understatement: What he didn't say and do was as powerful as what he did.

Every view of Miami Beach or downtown Miami is studded with this symbol of that most recurrent theme in Miami's history -- the land boom. In the early years it was all about selling swampland to speculators and suckers. The only difference today is that the sprawl is vertical instead of horizontal. Folks, don't be left behind! Line up here for your chance to buy that shoebox in the sky!

Every view of Miami Beach or downtown Miami is studded with this symbol of that most recurrent theme in Miami's history -- the land boom. In the early years it was all about selling swampland to speculators and suckers. The only difference today is that the sprawl is vertical instead of horizontal. Folks, don't be left behind! Line up here for your chance to buy that shoebox in the sky!

This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his guests. His urge to spread cheer didn't stop there. He arranged to send magnums of Dom to all the other lounge areas. Then he ordered up a round of New Year's drinks for everyone at the bar. Engel's midnight munificence set him back roughly $10,000. The high-spirited bon vivant wasn't done yet. Each hour on the hour he sent a new round of champagne magnums circulating through the lounge. Total by night's end: $65,000. A generous man indeed, and equally generous with the B.E.D. staff. To his bill he added a $30,000 tip. With taxes, Benno's big night came to a whopping $96,000. Prosit!

This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his guests. His urge to spread cheer didn't stop there. He arranged to send magnums of Dom to all the other lounge areas. Then he ordered up a round of New Year's drinks for everyone at the bar. Engel's midnight munificence set him back roughly $10,000. The high-spirited bon vivant wasn't done yet. Each hour on the hour he sent a new round of champagne magnums circulating through the lounge. Total by night's end: $65,000. A generous man indeed, and equally generous with the B.E.D. staff. To his bill he added a $30,000 tip. With taxes, Benno's big night came to a whopping $96,000. Prosit!

Fortune's Fool opened a year ago at the Caldwell Theatre up in Boca Raton, a bit too late to honor this actor in last year's issue, but the memory of Wade's performance lingers on and now's the time to pay him his props and give him his award. As a supercilious Russian aristocrat, he was a model of acting style and craft, balancing superb comedic timing with sudden, unnerving moments of casual cruelty.

This North Miami company devoted to African-American playwrights and culture has managed to survive a looong time, through thick and thin (mostly thin). Past work has been all over the map in terms of quality, but this season it all came together for the Ensemble. Jerry Maple, Jr., and John Pryor's resourceful directing and an increasingly assured team of talents are backed by solid production and technical support in the company's newly renovated studio space. Each show of the season -- The Piano Lesson, Strands, and now Flyin' West -- has been a significant step up in quality and power. What the "M" stands for must remain a mystery, but we do know what it should stand for: More!

Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Every time you cross this classic causeway you can virtually hear the sound of money dancing back into your pocket. As long as the slow-motion construction continues on a new toll booth (modeled on the original), there will be no charge to use the Venetian Causeway. One of the most beautiful thoroughfares in South Florida, it offers great views of the downtown skyline, Biscayne Bay, waterfront homes dotting the Venetian islands, and the hordes of bikers, bladers, and joggers who constantly are zipping about. Be sure to cram in as many trips as you can before July -- that's when the new toll booth is scheduled to open.

Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Every time you cross this classic causeway you can virtually hear the sound of money dancing back into your pocket. As long as the slow-motion construction continues on a new toll booth (modeled on the original), there will be no charge to use the Venetian Causeway. One of the most beautiful thoroughfares in South Florida, it offers great views of the downtown skyline, Biscayne Bay, waterfront homes dotting the Venetian islands, and the hordes of bikers, bladers, and joggers who constantly are zipping about. Be sure to cram in as many trips as you can before July -- that's when the new toll booth is scheduled to open.

PS 742
While the powers that be in this town have pinned all their most delirious PR pipe dreams (and taxpayer dollars) on ill-conceived money pits such as the Performing Arts Center and more arenas than we have teams, it's the small art spaces and their starving inhabitants that are building the real-deal cultural infrastructure of temporal Miami. This Little Havana space, run by Artemis's lovely Susan Caraballo, is one of the city's sensory treasures. Surreal Saturdays, in particular, tend to mix different genres of art, from passive forms like sculpture and photography to performance art such as plays, interactive dance troupes, music, and intriguing social experiments presented as art. PS 742 has also played host to much of the Subtropics Experimental Music Festival, which, rest assured, will never be booked into the PAC.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®