Best Movie Shot on Location
Courtesy photo

A casual trip to the grocery store turns into a sharp, funny indictment of the pregnancy-industrial complex in Rhonda Mitrani's short film SuperMarket, which wittily skewers society's treatment of the so-called miracle of life. Shot at a local Sedano's, the film follows Jasmine (Heather Lind), a woman in her mid-30s, who finds herself in a Twilight Zone-esque alternate universe the moment she strides through the supermarket's sliding glass doors — and discovers she's pregnant. Filled with bizarre baby products and eerily well-meaning women who bombard Jasmine with unsolicited advice and opinions, SuperMarket will resonate with any viewer who's been publicly pregnant and therefore privy to the belly-touching and concern-trolling that comes with growing a fetus in the U.S. With equal parts sarcasm and compassion, Mitrani offers a hilarious and cringe-inducing reflection of a society hell-bent on encroaching and capitalizing on one of the most deeply intimate experiences a woman can have. But despite the heavy subject matter, SuperMarket is also a bright, light, even cautiously uplifting comedy.

Best Street Artist
Photo by Ben Morey

Loud and proud Miamian Ahol Sniffs Glue is prolific as hell. This tattooed, bearded, golden grill-wearing street artist has painted his sleepy eyeball murals and tags all around the city — on electrical boxes, metallic store shutters in downtown Miami, inviting walls in Wynwood and South Beach, and the interiors of residential, commercial, and office spaces. Ahol is devoted to the Magic City's art hustle. In the last year, he opened a downtown pop-up souvenir kiosk that sold "A hole in one" golf balls and other knickknacks, dropped an art book titled Cellular Fuckery, added solid 14K gold necklaces in the form of his quirky Miami character illustrations to his luxury jewelry line, and partnered with a Brazilian shoe company to release a line of chancleta sandals. And though he's been invited to show his art and do projects all over the world, Ahol is fully committed to his hometown of Miami, frequently reinforcing his love for the 305 with his signature tag line: "Miami Full Time."

Best Play
Photo by Justin Namon

When you're angry and overheated in Miami, nothing relieves the tension quite like saying the f word. For the sake of the children, swap your usual for ¡Fuácata!, a Cuban term that is the phonetic equivalent to the sound of a slap, and the title of a hilarious one-woman play by Elena María García in collaboration with Zoetic Stage director Stuart Meltzer. Written by a Latina about Latinas and performed by a Latina, ¡Fuácata! explores the spectrum of the Latina experience in Miami through the satire and parody of over 20 female characters found in the Magic City, from the stereotypical Miami party girl obsessed with selfies and fun drinks to an ultraconservative Cuban immigrant running for political office. ¡Fuácata! sold out its 2017 run at the Arsht but will be returning to the venue's Carnival Studio Theater August 1 through 19, with tickets starting at $50.

Best Theater Company
Photo by Rodrigo Balfanz

Fort Lauderdale's Slow Burn Theatre Company is the crown jewel of the Miami musical theater scene. The company is known for its diverse programming, such as past productions of Tarzan, Avenue Q, Rent, and Little Shop of Horrors. Audiences have laughed, cried, and screamed along with the cast and crew during the nonprofit theater company's nine years in existence. This season, Slow Burn's selection of popular picks will make any contemporary musical theater lover squeal with excitement, from the new adaptation of family film favorite Freaky Friday (October 18 through November 4) to queer classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch (November 8 through 25) to the musical version of Elle Woods' law school revenge saga, Legally Blonde: The Musical (December 13 through 30). Omigod, omigod, you guys!

Colony Theatre
Courtesy of the GMCVB

"We're not interested in what was popular in New York last season; we want what's perfect for Miami this season." That is the artistic mission statement of the Colony Theatre as told by its artistic director and cofounder, Michel Hausmann. The 415-seat venue opened in Miami Beach in 1935 as a Paramount Pictures movie theater. Over the decades, it has transformed into an intimate performance space presenting Miami's top dramatic pieces with a multicultural flair. The building itself is a masterpiece, from its iconic art deco exterior to the pelican mural that greets guests inside the theater. This past season's highlights included Hausmann's multilingual, Miami-centric reimagining of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and the spicy drama Queen of Basel.

Scarlett's Cabaret
Courtesy of Scarlett's Cabaret

This is South Florida and there are many places to see boobs. The occasional European on the beach? Sure! The periodic drunk lady at the grocery store who wants to show you her, uh, melons? It happens! But there is one place where the experience is almost transcendent: Scarlett's Cabaret. This is a true gentlemen's club and an entertainment destination. In 2017, the Hallandale Beach institution was acquired by strip club conglomerate Rick's Cabaret International, resulting in all-new furniture, fixtures, carpeting, and more. The place is swanky, the light shows are mesmerizing, and the sound system gets people moving. Oh yeah, the girls are hot, too. Scarlett's is a utopia you never really need to leave — you can even order some chicken tenders or filet mignon as you watch a performance or the latest UFC fight. Is this real life?

Is Aunt Gladys in town, wanting an authentic Miami experience? Make sure she naps and gets fully energized, then hit Hoy Como Ayer, located on Calle Ocho in Little Havana. This Latin club has been going strong for 18 years. The keys to its ongoing success are regular performances by some of the best Latin acts in the city, ranging from singers such as Amaury Gutierrez to music groups like Los 3 de La Habana. A cozy dance floor and wonderfully strong mojitos enhance the experience. Obviously, this place isn't just popular with visiting Aunt Gladys. Nearly two decades in, Hoy Como Ayer continues to grow its loyal, local fan base.

The Ground Miami
Karli Evans

Being a music fan in Miami can be hard if your favorite genre isn't house, techno, or EDM. Much-loved venues such as Grand Central often pass on simply because Miami's geographic isolation makes it difficult for certain acts to schedule a tour stop in South Florida. When Club Space opened its ground floor as a live music space called the Ground, it made a much-needed impact. Now metal bands, up-and-coming rappers, R&B acts, and even experimental percussion ensembles are playing at the 555-capacity venue alongside unconventional DJs. Downtown Miami isn't just for dance music anymore.

CMX - Brickell City Centre
Courtesy of CMX

If you're the type of unpretentious film fan who didn't make a beeline for the "Best Arthouse Cinema" category, you'll probably enjoy Brickell City Centre's CMX theater. It's a high-end experience for people who feel no shame about their excitement for the latest Disney-Marvel-Star Wars CGI-explosion slugfest. This is the place to go to make an event out of an event movie. Amenities include blankets and pillows, high-end audio and projection, portable caption devices for non-English speakers and the hearing impaired, and in-theater food service — because why should you have to miss Black Panther's latest battle to go order some jalapeno poppers?

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
Iwan Baan

Last year, just in time for Art Basel, the ICA Miami reopened in its new permanent location, an immaculate metal-faced building in the ritzy Design District, just a stone's throw from Tom Ford and Maison Margiela. Its debut exhibition, "The Everywhere Studio," featured work by artistic heavyweights such as Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Yves Klein. While the art world can often seem elitist and impenetrable, the ICA is different. It comes down to a single policy: The museum does not charge admission. Simply provide your email address and take in three floors of world-class art, as well as a backyard sculpture garden. The works you'll see are not only made by artists with blockbuster names. ICA also includes conceptual pieces from rising international artists, as well as work from local, regional, and immigrant artists. At a time when museums elsewhere are making access to art more difficult, this small Miami museum is taking an egalitarian approach.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®