Best Actor in a Female Role 2023 | Jeni Hacker | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by Justin Namon

Jeni Hacker's mantra must be: "Bring it on." One of her most memorable roles was in Zoetic Stage's 2019 production of Sweeney Todd, in which she put her own zany spin on the serial killer's accomplice and Cockney cook, Mrs. Lovett. There've been other comedy roles, and serious ones, too. This season, as the lead in Zoetic Stage's Next to Normal, Hacker showed the entire spectrum of her skills, from her knack for comic timing to a vocal range that wrapped around the rock musical's score (during her post-college days in Miami, she led an R&B band). Hacker mesmerized the audience with her layered portrayal of Diana, a woman with bipolar disorder, trying to keep her family intact and her own head above water. Ronnie Larsen, who cast her in his play Grindr Mom in 2019, commented that since working with the actress he has become "the president of the Jeni Hacker fan club" — of which, in South Florida theater circles, there's no shortage of members.

Miami comedian and commentator George Harris grinds out material that slays week in and week out. Harboring a seemingly endless reserve of energy for the stage, the Venezuelan transplant has struck a chord with observational bits about immigrants' experience assimilating into American culture. Since getting his start playing comedy shows in Miami to a handful of attendees, Harris has climbed up the comedy rungs to the point where he's a household name in Spanish-language comedy, with millions of followers on social media. He headlines a long-running weekly show aptly titled "El Show de George Harris" on Thursdays at La Scala de Miami on Brickell Bay Drive. His Hijo Unico tour dates stretch around the globe from Mexico City to Madrid.

Juicy Love Dion's not just the ol' cartwheel diva. The former FIU cheerleader calls herself "Miami's Afro-Cuban dancing doll" and has a a mug that leaves no crumbs. Her high-energy lip-sync routines regularly fill venues wall-to-wall. Not only can she flip midair and land into a split with the ease of an Olympic gymnast, but she does it all while serving impeccable looks with nary an eyelash out of place. At 22 years old, Juicy's roots in the Haus of Love have taken her performances from South Florida hubs, like R House and Queer Parties, across the world to the luxurious JackieO' Town Bar in Mykonos, Greece.

On Friday nights starting at 8:30, the Outcasts Show brings a flirtatious cast of drag performers to Georgie's Alibi Monkey Bar in Wilton Manors. Hosted by Nicky "The Cock Destroyer" Monet, the party features regulars like androgynous showgirl Sin Silva and glamorous Fantasia Royale Gaga, but it's a welcoming space for emerging queens, too. Oh, and there's no cover and cocktails are two-for-one all night long.

Photo courtesy of Mayami Mexicantina & Bar

Thursday is spelled F-R-E-E D-R-I-N-K-S at ladies' nights across Miami, and the competition is stiff. Mayami in Wynwood emerges victorious thanks to its generous three-hour timeframe for free liquor (7-10 p.m.), combined with a trippy ambiance and solid menu. Decked out with chandeliers, Mayan-themed fixtures, and lounge-inspired décor, the place is a chic, albeit slightly disorienting, spot to get stuck in. The place turns into a nightclub after hours complete with fog machines, fire-spinning performers, flickering lasers, and a bass-purveying DJ. So the night need not end early. One caveat: Leave your flip-flops and cargo shorts at home, because the dress code (outlined on the lounge's website) is strictly enforced.

The art of cabaret gets a progressive twist with Uncut Gems, a lesbian burlesque troupe founded by Rae Jenae of the lesbian event organization Lezchic. Catering to LGBTQ audiences, this sultry salute to the art of burlesque pops up once a month at Hamburger Mary's in Wilton Manors. Equal parts enticing and empowering, each month the roster of performers (known as the Gems) highlights a new theme that, coupled with drink specials, DJs, and go-go dancers leads to a dizzying and intoxicating night.

Cristian Costea

You might not always win money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. But, with more than 2,700 of the latest slot machines to hit planet Earth, table games upon table games (roughly 200 of 'em), a 45-table poker room, and world-class entertainment venues on the property, you're sure to leave a winner. There's no other place in South Florida where you can double down on a blackjack table, catch an act like the Rolling Stones at the 7,000-capacity Hard Rock Live, rage all night with the likes of Tiesto at the DAER nightclub, and taking a nap in your hip suite within the curiously shaped (though aptly named) Guitar Hotel. There's more to the Seminole Hard Rock than gambling, and that makes all the difference.

In January, when a Chili's banner was seen draped over the likeness of a certain British prime minister at the shuttered Little Haiti location that had once housed Churchill's bar, it didn't take a profound cognitive leap to imagine an American restaurant chain known for its 3 for Me value meals "opening soon" on the hallowed grounds of what was once the city's grungiest live-music venue. Though some seemed tempted by the promise of pairing vinyl-shopping trips at nearby Sweat Records with margarita specials and baby back ribs, the news infuriated keyboard metalheads and punk rockers across social media. But soon we learned that it was a prank pulled by local actor and comedian Andrio "Rio" Chavarro, who goes by the moniker @riodiosmio on Instagram. Joke's on us all, though: Months later, Churchill's remains still closed and Miamians continue commuting to Bayside and Kendall for their Chili's fix.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®