A Rollicking Roast of Broadway in Aventura
The award-winning Forbidden Broadway: The 35th Anniversary Tour comes to Aventura with reworked songs, spot-on casting, and glorious costumes in this musical roast of classic Broadway plays like Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Pippin, Kinky Boots, Les Miz, and Matilda. Performances at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) are set for Thursday, January 5, and Friday, January 6, at 8:00 p.m. See why the New York Times calls it a godsend. Tickets: $40. www.aventuracenter.org.
Wine and Music Pairings in Miami Beach
Enjoy a different kind of wine pairing as musicians from the New World Symphony play a concert-length program to help you savor your vino during Heard It Through the Grapevine at the New World Center in Miami Beach (500 17th St.) on Friday, January 6. Cellist Hilary Glen thought up the idea to “explore how combining music and wine enhances the enjoyment of both.” She will perform, along with other NWS musicians, while master sommelier Virginia Philip leads the audience through the wine selections. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $40. www.nws.edu.
Paddle Boarding for Beginners at Oleta
Sure, standup paddle boarding (SUP) looks easy, but it can make for a wobbly time if you’re new to it. Never fear -- BG Oleta River Outdoors (3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach,) offers a class in Stand Up Paddle Boarding for Beginners that runs every Saturday (January 7, 14, 21, and 28) from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. A SUP instructor will teach you the basics of maneuvering with a short land demonstration, followed by water instruction. Price: $40 plus tax (includes board rental.) Meet at BG Oleta River Outdoor Center within the park. Register online at www.bgoletariveroutdoor.com.
Jewish International Film Fest Turns 20
This month the Miami Jewish Film Festival celebrates 20 years of bringing international films to the Magic City. From Thursday, January 12, to Thursday, January 26, more than 60 films from 20 countries will screen at nine venues throughout Miami, including O Cinema in Miami Shores, the Miami Beach Cinematheque, and the Coral Gables Art Cinema. Many of the filmmakers will be present to discuss their films after the screening. From thrillers like A Grain of Truth to feel-good films like The Women’s Balcony, there’s something for everyone. Tickets for adults: $13; students and seniors: $11. www.miamijewishfilmfestival.org.
Art Deco Weekend on Ocean Drive
Join the street party during the famed Art Deco Weekend Festival, hosted by the Miami Design Preservation League to promote and celebrate Miami’s unique Art Deco architecture. Ocean Drive in South Beach, between 5th and 15th streets, will be closed to vehicles as it’s transformed into a free fair from Friday, January 13, through Sunday, January 15. Now in its 40th year and with more than 150,000 attendees, it will feature live music, a classic car show, arts and craft vendors, food trucks, and even a Bark Deco Dog Show, along with a ticketed Jazz Age Lawn Party. www.artdecoweekend.com.
World Music Quartet Makes U.S. Debut
Blending folkloric sounds of the West with modern jazz of the East, treat your ears to the U.S. debut of Black String, presented by the Jazz Academy Miami at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) on Friday, January 13. The Korean quartet uses hand-carved string, flute, and drum instruments, as well as electric guitar, in a blend of traditional melodies and new world sound. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., there will be a pre-show Q&A before the ensemble plays at 8:00 p.m. To purchase tickets ($15 to $30), visit www.aventuracenter.org or call 877-311-7469.
Fairchild Hosts Three-Day Chocolate Festival
Mark your calendar for a three-day extravaganza celebrating a decadent treat with the 11th annual International Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables,) from Friday, January 20, to Sunday, January 22. From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, enjoy chocolate samples, learn about the cacao plant during a guided ChocoWalk tour, and see chocolate cooking demonstrations. There will be potted cacao trees for sale, kids’ activities, and frozen hot chocolate, among other beverages and food available for purchase. Free for Fairchild members. Adults: $25; seniors: $18; children (ages 6-17): $12; free for children 5 and younger. www.fairchildgarden.org.
A Walking Tour of Coconut Grove
Explore and learn the history of Coconut Grove, Miami’s oldest neighborhood, during the Architecture and History in the Grove walking tour, presented by HistoryMiami on Saturday, January 21. The two-hour guided walk past famous landmarks and architectural gems will be led by Christopher Gongora, a graduate architecture student and lifelong Coconut Grove resident. Depart from CocoWalk (3015 Grand Ave.) at 10:30 a.m., and see structures like Ransom Everglades School’s Pagoda, a school building that opened in 1902, and the Pan American Seaplane Base. You’ll visit Peacock Park, famous for its hippie love-ins, and learn why sailors, artists, millionaires, and Bahamian settlers all flocked to this piece of paradise. Members: $20; non-members: $30. www.historymiami.org.
Miami’s First Haitian Band Rocks the Bandshell
The pioneers of Haitian music in Miami will perform under the stars at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) on Saturday, January 21, with a blend of Afro-European kompa sounds that will make even the most stiff-limbed among us sway to the conga drums, horns, and guitar. The Rhythm Foundation’s Magnum Band 40th Anniversary Concert will feature songs from some of the 35 albums the band has produced since brothers Dadou and Tico Pasquet founded the group in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood in the mid-1970s. The three-hour show starts at 7:00 p.m. Advance tickets cost $27 on www.rhythmfoundation.com, or $30 at the door.
Afro-Cuban Meets NOLA Soul
To experience the ultimate night in jazz, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami (770 NE 125th St.) for Jazz at MOCA: Oriente, where Cuban-born guitarist Eddy Balzola and four other Oriente bandmates will blend trumpet, trombone, guitar, and drums with a sound described as Afro-Cubano seduced by New Orleans soul. They’ve toured with the likes of Celia Cruz and Willie Nelson, produced four records, and attract a following when they play at famous New Orleans jazz venues. Hear them for free Friday, January 27, starting at 8:00 p.m. on MOCA’s outdoor terrace, rain or shine. www.mocanomi.org.
Compiled by BT contributor Caitlin Granfield. Please send information and images to