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Things to Do in Miami: Arts and Culture Events 2021-2022

October

Frankenstein. If you caught Zoetic Stage’s 2018 production of the stage adaptation of Bram Stroker’s Dracula, you’ll be stoked to know the company is tackling another Gothic icon for its 2021-22 season opener. Directed by Zoetic artistic director Stuart Meltzer, Frankenstein brings Mary Shelley’s classic tale to life on the stage — reminding us yet again that man is the real monster. Zoetic’s production comes from the 2011 stage adaptation by Nick Dear, first presented at the National Theatre in London under the direction of Danny Boyle (he of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire fame) and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Taking over the role Cumberbatch made famous is New World School of the Arts grad Gabriell Salgado. Thursday, October 14, through Sunday, October 31, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $50 to $55.

“Hello Gorgeous.” The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU pays tribute to singer, actress, director, producer, and dog cloner Barbra Streisand with its exhibition “Hello Gorgeous.” The museum celebrates Streisand’s life through costumes, photos, videos, album covers, and other objects. It can’t be overstated how Streisand’s rise in 1960s Hollywood was unfathomable at the time. She was seen by many as “too Jewish” for mainstream America but proved them wrong when she went on to reprise the role that made her a Broadway star in the 1968 film adaptation of Funny Girl. She won the Academy Award for “Best Actress” for her effort, then moved on to blockbusters like Hello, Dolly! The Way We Were, and A Star Is Born. Now the EGOT’s legacy is on display in Miami Beach for everyone to admire. Thursday, October 14, through February 20, 2022, at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5044; jmof.fiu.edu. Admission is free by appointment only.

Outshine Film Festival. South Florida’s biannual LGBTQ+ film festival kicks off its Fort Lauderdale edition on October 14 with a screening of its opening-night film, Firebird, at Autonation IMAX at the Museum of Discovery & Science. Directed by Peeter Rebane, the Estonian film is a touching love story set in the Soviet air force during the Cold War. Overall, the festival features a mix of in-person and virtual screenings, including Lauren Hadaway’s lesbian romance The Novice, Turkish film Not Knowing (Bilmemek), and Horacio Alcala’s Finlandia, which takes a closer look at the Muxes — a third gender — in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Thursday, October 14, through Sunday, October 24; at various locations and online; outshinefilm.com. Ticket prices vary.

“FloodZone.” Photographer Anastasia Samoylova’s ongoing photographic series, “FloodZone,” is a response to the environmental changes taking place in South Florida’s coastal cities. Despite the climatic risks, the area continues to see a surge in population growth, with its western suburban fringes continuing to extend into the wetlands. The 46-image installation at HistoryMiami takes a closer look at how residents and visitors interact with the unnatural urban landscape as the threat — and denial — continues to grow year after year. The museum will also present a companion exhibition of historical storm and flooding images from its permanent collection in the adjacent gallery. Friday, October 15, through April 17, 2022, at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-1492; historymiami.org. Tickets cost $5 to $10; free for children under 6.

“Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight.” Ninety-five-year-old artist Betye Saar is known for her assemblage works of readymades and found objects, through which she examines Black identity and intersectional feminism. Few have had the chance to encounter Saar’s site-specific installation, but the Insitute of Contemporary Art, Miami hopes to change that with “Serious Moonlight.” The Design District museum will display the artist’s radical work, many of which will be exhibiting at ICA for the first time in decades. The exhibit will include pieces like House of Fortune (1998), a mediation of spirituality featuring a card table, tarot cards, and vodou flags, and the altarpiece Wings of Morning (1992), which explores traditions surrounding death and mourning. Thursday, October 28, through April 17, 2022, at Insitute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-901-5272; icamiami.org. Admission is free.

The Turn of the Screw. IlluminArts presents Benjamin Britten’s 1954 chamber-opera adaptation of the 1898 Henry James novella at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. The multimedia presentation will take over the courtyard of the main house as the backdrop for the chilling tale. Directed by Laine Rettmer, the site-specific production will weave live video, projections, and historical photographs for a remix that intertwines the opera’s plot with Vizcaya’s history. Joshua Gersen will conduct Nu Deco Ensemble alongside a cast led by Grammy Award winner Karim Sulayman. 7 p.m. Thursday, October 28, and Sunday, October 31, at Vizcaya Museum & Garden, 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-250-9133; vizcaya.org. Tickets cost $10 to $25.

click to enlarge Malpaso, by Dominican filmmaker Héctor M. Valdez, will screen at Slamdance Miami. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SLAMDANCE MIAMI

Malpaso, by Dominican filmmaker Héctor M. Valdez, will screen at Slamdance Miami.

Photo courtesy of Slamdance Miami

Slamdance Miami. The Miami offshoot of Slamdance, the edgy film festival that occurs simultaneously with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, kicks off Thursday, October 28. Three years in the making, Slamdance Miami will celebrate emerging filmmakers from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Florida at the North Beach Bandshell. The festival will feature 18 films from filmmakers in nine countries, beginning with Malpaso, by Dominican filmmaker Héctor M. Valdez. Films screened at the event will be eligible for nomination for the Oscars and the BAFTA awards. Thursday, October 28, through Saturday, October 30, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami; 786-453-2897; slamdance.com/miami. Tickets cost $15 for individual screenings and $90 for a three-day pass.

November

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. FLIFF returns for its 36th edition, which takes place November 4-21. A mix of in-person and virtual screenings, the festival kicks off with Iman Zawahry’s directorial debut American-ish, followed by British coming-of-age comedy Soundtrack to Sixteen on Thursday, November 4, at Cinema Paradiso Hollywood. Other highlights include the Gérard Depardieu-led Robust, Israeli comedy Forgiveness, thriller Tall Tales, and Cannes Film Festival hit France. Thursday, November 4, through Sunday, November 21, at various locations; fliff.com. Tickets cost $8 to $15.

Miami Film Festival Gems. The Miami Film Festival’s fall mini-event returns November 4-10 at Tower Theater in Little Havana. Opening the festival: Parallel Mothers, the latest film from acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar that stars Penélope Cruz. Closing things out on the other end will be the Danish documentary Flee, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In between: Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award winner Belfast, Brazilian film 7 Prisoners, and Happening, a timely French thriller set in 1960s France that concerns a student seeking an abortion at a time when it was illegal. Thursday, November 4, through Wednesday, November 10, at Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-237-2463; towertheatermiami.com. Tickets cost $13 to $50.

“Hreinn Fridfinnsson: For the Time Being.” After closing for renovation, Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design returns on Saturday, November 6, with “Hreinn Fridfinnsson: For the Time Being.” The first American museum exhibition of the Icelandic artist, the exhibition spans six decades of Fridfinnsson’s work and highlights his ability to transform everyday materials into poetic, allusive, and revelatory works. The exhibit is curated by MOAD executive director Rina Carvajal with assistance from Isabela Villanueva. Saturday, November 6, through May 1, 2022, at Museum of Art and Design, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Second Floor, Miami; 305-237-7700; moadmdc.org. Tickets cost $5 to $12.

click to enlarge NightGarden will illuminate Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden once again. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KILBURN LIVE

NightGarden will illuminate Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden once again.

Photo courtesy of Kilburn Live

NightGarden. Since its debut in 2018, NightGarden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has quickly become one of the season’s most anticipated events. After the sun goes down, the lush gardens can be seen in a whole new light. Visitors can expect stunning light installations, special effects, and a few fun surprises that’ll brighten the experience for the entire family. Fairchild has always been one of the area’s most beautiful attractions, but NightGarden amps it up by transforming Miamis tropical treasure into an ethereal landscape fit for fairies and other magical creatures. Friday, November 2, through January 2, 2022, at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; thenightgarden.com. Tickets cost $19 to $24.

The Price. GableStage artistic director Bari Newport kicks off her debut season with Arthur Miller’s The Price, the final play directed by the company’s former artistic director Joseph Adler before his passing. Newport has used Adler’s notes to bring his vision to life. The two-act play premiered in 1968 on Broadway and had a revival in 2017 with Danny DeVito as Gregory Solomon. Company members Patti Gardner, Michael McKenzie, George Schiavone, and Gregg Weiner will star in GableStage’s production. Friday, November 12, through Sunday, December 12, at GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.org. Tickets cost $35 to $65.

Dimension Dance Theatre’s “Program I: World Premieres.” Founded in 2016 by Miami City Ballet dancers Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg, Dimension Dance Theatre of Miami is on a mission to shake up ballet and engage with South Floridians who might otherwise consider the art form stuffy. The company will kick off the season with “Program I: World Premieres” at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. True its name, the program will premiere “Preludes” by Ariel Rose and “DECO: ECO: Danzón of Eclectic Cultural Origin” by Kevin Jenkins — the latter commissioned as part of the Knight Foundation’s Knight New Work grant. 8 p.m. Saturday, November 13, at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211st St., Cutler Bay; 786-573-5300; smdcac.org. Tickets cost $25 to $75.

Miami Book Fair. After taking place entirely in the virtual sphere last year, the Miami Book Fair returns to some in-person events, though many sessions will again transpire online. The fair runs November 14-21, the street fair November 19-21. In a city best known for excess and vice, the Book Fair proves reading can be sexy too. Founded by Books & Books owner/local treasure Mitchell Kaplan and presented by Miami Dade College, the fair brings literary heavyweights to the college’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami for readings, lectures, meet-and-greets, and book signings. Check the Book Fair’s website for the 2021 lineup, which will be released any day now. Sunday, November 14, through Sunday, November 21, at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-237-3258; miamibookfair.com. Ticket prices vary.

click to enlarge "My Name Is Maryan" presents four decades of work by Polish-born artist Maryan. - PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUS OVER MANHATTAN, NEW YORK

“My Name Is Maryan” presents four decades of work by Polish-born artist Maryan.

Photo courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan, New York

“My Name Is Maryan.” Curated by Alison Gingeras, “My Name Is Maryan” presents four decades of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and films by groundbreaking Polish-born artist Maryan. Showing never-before-exhibited works, the show is the first retrospective to examine all periods of Maryan’s life and work. Born in 1927, the post-expressionist painter spent his youth in the ghettos, labor camps, and concentration camps set up by the Nazi regime and was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. His work rejected the push for total abstraction in contemporary art in favor of bright colors and expression. Wednesday, November 17, 2021, through March 20, 2022, at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211; mocanomi.org. Tickets cost $3 to $10.

Middletown. GFour Productions, winner of over 40 Tony Awards, helps Actors’ Playhouse kick off its 2021-22 season with Middletown. Dan Clancy’s play is described as the “story of two couples — Peg and Tom, and Dotty and Don — as they endure the rollercoaster of life together in this exhilarating and universal depiction of love, life, and friendship.” The production is remarkable for the total absence of blocking: just four podiums where the actors stand with the script before them. The cast stars Didi Conn (best known for her role as Frenchy in Grease), Donny Most (Happy Days), Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H), and Adrian Zmed (Bachelor Party and Grease 2). Wednesday, November 17, through Sunday, December 12, at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293; actorsplayhouse.org. Tickets cost $55 to $90.

Hotel Desiderium. Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz presents the world premiere of Hotel Desiderium at the On.Stage Black Box Theatre at Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Set in a South Beach resort, the play explores the relationship between three young artists visiting Miami for an arts festival. Cruz was the first Latino awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2003, for his play Anna in the Tropics. Thursday, November 18, through Sunday, November 21, at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-547-5414; miamidadecountyauditorium.com. Tickets cost $25.

“Naama Tsabar: Perimeters.” Known for her sound sculptures, Israeli-born, New York-based artist Naama Tsabar lands at the Bass with a new site-specific installation. “Perimeters” focuses on the artist’s most recent series, “Inversions,” presenting new versions of works Tsabar has explored previously. The exhibition will bring together elements of sculpture, music, performance, and architecture, transforming the Bass itself into a playable instrument. Sunday, November 28, through April 17, 2022, at the Bass, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530; thebass.org. Tickets cost $8 to $15.

“Shameless.” Dutch designer and artist Bas van Beek makes his U.S. debut at the Wolfsonian with an immersive exhibition. “Shameless” presents new works from the museum’s collection, along with other highlights from the artist’s career. Van Beek is known for repurposing historical designs and exploring the relationship between the “old” and “new.” The exhibition, which takes over the Wolfsonian’s ground floor, is part of the museum’s ongoing series of engaging contemporary artists in interpreting its collection and building. Monday, November 29, through April 24, 2022, at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1001; wolfsonian.org. Admission is free.

click to enlarge Bob Dylan's One too Many, 2019 - COURTESY OF BOB DYLAN

Bob Dylan’s One too Many, 2019

Courtesy of Bob Dylan

“Retrospectrum: Bob Dylan.” Organized by Shai Baitel, the artistic director of the Modern Art Museum Shanghai, “Retrospectrum” is the most in-depth exhibition of Bob Dylan’s artwork ever to be shown in the U.S. The show includes over 180 paintings, drawings, ironwork, and ephemera created by the Nobel Prize-winning artist. While Dylan is rightly famed for his body of musical works, this exhibition spotlights a lifelong visual practice that’s remarkable in its own right. Tuesday, November 30, through Sunday, April 17, 2022, at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; frost.fiu.edu. Tickets cost $12 to $16.

December

Art Basel Miami Beach. Following last year’s virtual presentation, Art Basel returns December 2-4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. For serious collectors, the Swiss-based fair opens on November 30 and December 1, with the vernissage taking place on December 2. Spread across the convention center, visitors will find the leading galleries from across the globe, ranging from emerging artists to 20th-century masters. As the centerpiece of Miami Art Week, the fair attracts satellite events all across town, from fairs like Art Miami, Scope, and NADA to hundreds of smaller activations. Art Basel will enforce strict COVID-19 guidelines, including proof of negative test or vaccination. Thursday, December 2, through Saturday, December 4, at Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; artbasel.com. Ticket prices TBA.

A Wonderful World. Miami New Drama presents the world premiere of A Wonderful World at the Colony Theatre. The musical, written by Opa-locka native and TV writer Aurin Squire (This Is Us, The Good Fight), focuses on the life of jazz legend and American icon Louis Armstrong and is told through the women of Armstrong’s life. The show is directed by Drama Desk winner and Tony Award nominee Christopher Renshaw, with music arranged by Annastasia Victory and Michael O. Mitchell. Saturday, December 4, through January 16, 2022, at Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-1040; miaminewdrama.org. Ticket prices TBA.

Dance Now! Miami’s “Program I: Dances for the Holiday Season.” Dance Now! Miami presents an evening of the work of American dancer Isadora Duncan as part of the company’s Masterpiece in Motion series. Considered one of the founders of modern dance, Duncan explored feminism and brought to dance an intimate quality that rarely had been seen in ballet. The evening will also include the world premiere of Dance Now! founders Diego Salterini and Hannah Baumgarten’s “One, No One, Everyone,” a story of longing, isolation, and community. Saturday, December 11, at Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores; 305-571-9550; dancenowmiami.org. Ticket prices TBA.

click to enlarge Andrew Levitt (AKA Nina West) from RuPaul's Drag Race will star as Edna Turnblad in the touring production of Hairspray. - PHOTO BY MARC J. FRANKLIN

Andrew Levitt (AKA Nina West) from RuPaul’s Drag Race will star as Edna Turnblad in the touring production of Hairspray.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Hairspray. If the only version of Hairspray you’ve seen is the 2007 film starring John Travolta, stop whatever you are doing and watch the 1988 nonmusical John Waters film — and then head to the Adrienne Arsht Center to watch the musical on the stage. When the Tony Award-winning production stops in Miami, it will be led by Andrew Levitt (AKA Nina West) from RuPaul’s Drag Race as Edna Turnblad and Niki Metcalf as Tracy Turnblad. Hairspray is the story of 16-year-old Tracy in 1960 Baltimore as she sets her mind to dance her way onto a TV show, breaking every rule along the way. Tuesday, December 28, through January 2, 2022, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets subscription cost $191 to $764 for the five-show Broadway in Miami series.

January

Art Deco Weekend. The Miami Design Preservation League celebrates the area’s most iconic architectural and design style during Art Deco Weekend. The theme for 2022 is “Art Deco Celebrates the Radio.” The event takes place January 14-16 along Ocean Drive; details haven’t been announced, but expect plenty of activations that highlight the turn-of-the-century style. Previous editions have featured a classic car show, an antique market, guided tours, and lectures. January 14-16, 2022, at Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; artdecoweekend.com. Admission is free.

Beethoven 5. Part of the New World Symphony’s series at the Adrienne Arsht Center, “Beethoven 5” features New Jersey Symphony music director Xian Zhang conducting the symphony through Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. The night is highlighted by the return of pianist Gabriela Montero and NWS conducting fellow Chad Goodman. 8 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $26 to $162.

A Streetcar Named Desire. Florida Grand Opera opens its season with the operatic adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire by André Previn. Set in New Orleans in the 1940s, the opera follows its three iconic characters: Blanche DuBois, Stella, and Stella’s husband, Stanley. Sung in English, A Streetcar Named Desire is the perfect contemporary production to introduce novices to the art form. Saturday, January 22; Sunday, January 23; and Tuesday, January 25, 2022; at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $20 to $234.

click to enlarge Miami City Ballet kicks off its season with a classic, Swan Lake. - PHOTO BY GARY JAMES

Miami City Ballet kicks off its season with a classic, Swan Lake.

Photo by Gary James

February

Swan Lake. Miami City Ballet leaps into its 2021-22 season with a classic. The original version of the world’s most famous ballet has been reconstructed by celebrated choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and MCB will hold the exclusive North American premiere. Audiences at this production of Swan Lake can expect more than 50 dancers telling the story of Prince Siegfried, Princess Odette, the evil Baron, and the impostor Odile alongside Tchaikovsky’s iconic score performed by a live orchestra. Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13, 2022, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $37 to $120.

Dear Evan Hansen. Winner of six Tony Awards and the 2018 Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album,” Dear Evan Hansen stops at the Adrienne Arsht Center February 15-20. The musical recently got a film adaptation starring Ben Platt, who starred in the original Broadway production. The release raised questions about whether the story is about a bullied teenager trying to find his place in the world or a manipulative villain who uses a suicide to boost his own popularity. Critics did seem to agree that Dear Evan Hansen works better as a stage musical. Make up your own mind when you see the Broadway in Miami production. Tuesday, February 15, through Sunday, February 20, 2022, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Ticket prices TBA.

Coconut Grove Arts Festival. South Florida’s longest-running outdoor arts festival, Coconut Grove Arts Festival returns to full capacity February 19-21. More than 360 artists will showcase their work along the bay, accompanied by live music, culinary demonstrations, and a Family Zone to keep the kids entertained. The festival attracts more than 120,000 people to Miami’s quirky neighborhood over Presidents’ Day weekend. Saturday, February 19, through Monday, February 21, 2022, at S. Bayshore Drive between McFarlane Drive and Pan American Drive; 305-447-0401; cgaf.com. Ticket prices TBA.

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