Power, Fragility in Nature and Art
The artist Mira Lehr, whose career stretches decades and who has shown in institutions from New York to Los Angeles to Miami, is known for delicate works, with nature imagery that incorporates surprising techniques and elements. She might use translucent Japanese paper and infuse it -- literally -- with gunpowder; or manipulate the canvas with resin or metal to create the sense of a morphing environment, like that around us. “Second Nature” features current work that underscores nature’s fluid state, in the appropriate venue of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables). The exhibit runs through Sunday, October 2, with an artist’s talk on Saturday, September 10, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; www.fairchildgarden.org.
Talk About Weird and Wondrous
Two of South Florida’s most beloved authors -- Dave Barry and Carl Hiassen -- talk about life in this relentlessly bizarre region at Books & Books readings at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables). On Tuesday, September 6, at 7:30 p.m., Barry celebrates our “much maligned state” while discussing his latest book, Best. State. Ever.. And on Wednesday, September 28, also at 7:30 p.m. at the church, Hiaasen will read from Razor Girl, based on partly true events in the Sunshine State. Book purchase required at both; www.booksandbooks.com.
That Pink Elephant on the Stage
A little pink elephant in the African Congo was ostracized by his herd and banished to the jungle. But in exile he met other creatures of all shapes, all a little different. He gained confidence and returned home, only to see his family hunted for their tusks. Now it’s his turn to lead. Luckner “Lucky” Bruno has created a multidisciplinary circus-theater-dance adaptation of The Legend of the Pink Elephant, premièring at the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores). With original music, puppets, stilts, and eight actors, the child-friendly play runs Friday, September 9, through Wednesday, September 24, Tuesdays through Sundays, with matinees and evening performances; tickets $15-$25. For details and times go to www.mtcmiami.org.
The Bakehouse Finds New Voices
The Bakehouse Art Complex (561 NW 32nd St.) was the first arts institution to arrive in Wynwood. Thirty years on, it’s been undergoing another makeover, and hired a new executive director from the National Museum of Qatar this spring, with the aim to broaden the artistic expression. This season’s debut includes two exhibits -- one from a local sculptor and the other from a New York designer duo -- both based around the art and material of bronze; opening September 9, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm.; free; www.bacfl.org.
For the Love of Zouk, Dance at the Bandshell
The French Caribbean band Kassav’ is the godfather of zouk, the fast-paced party music that combines all kinds of traditions, from compas and calypso to reggae, funk, and rock. The big band has been touring the world for three decades and arrives at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), courtesy of the Rhythm Foundation, on Saturday, September 10. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; tickets cost $42. Go to Northbeachbandshell.com, rythmfoundation.com; or call 305-672-5202.
Savor the Vibrant Subcontinent
Indian culture is not only one of the oldest in human history, but it is also one of the richest. Having absorbed numerous civilizations over thousands of years, what has emerged is a stunning mixture of flavors, in food, art, music, dance, and design. Family Fun Day: The Arts of India at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) offers a great opportunity to indulge in this cultural medley. On Saturday, September 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., it’s time to sample the cuisine, join in craft activities, listen to storytelling, and watch performances of classical Indian dance (1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.); admission $10, $5 for children (under six free); www.historymiami.org.
Follow the Money in Stories
The oft-told scam of selling the gullible a piece of swamp in Florida is as old as the state itself. And the proud tradition continues in amazing new ways. So dig up your own tales and bring them to the Olympia Theater (174 E. Flagler St.) for The Moth -- StorySLAM. Sponsored by WLRN, this is open-mic night, when you sign up to rivet the audience for five minutes spinning yarns on the theme of money; or just come and listen. The program starts at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13; tickets are $10; themoth.org, www.olympiatheater.org.
Our Oceans, Ourselves: Clean Up the Coastline
In 2015, some 17,500 pounds of marine trash were collected during International Coastal Cleanup Day along Miami-Dade shorelines. This year more than ever, we need to help rid the ocean and bay of pollution -- not just because they are major tourist attractions, but because the health of locals and marine life depend on it. On Saturday, September 17, from 8:30 a.m. till noon, gather up a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat, and get to work at numerous locations throughout the county -- there’s room for everyone! For sites and to RSPV, go to www.volunteercleanup.org.
Frame It on Rio
The Rio Olympics have come and gone, and aside from a few snafus and a swimmers’ scandal, it did allow the world to see some of the vibrant culture that makes Brazil unique. The 20th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami should give us a closer and less problematic look, starting with the U.S. première of a mystical tale, Enchanted Amazon Island, at the New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park; continuing with documentaries and a special focus on female Brazilian directors at the Miami Beach Cinematheque; and concluding with competitive Miami premières at the Colony Theatre. The festival runs from Saturday, September 17, through Saturday, September 24, at Miami Beach outlets; ticket prices vary; go to www.infinito.com for details.
Edwidge Dandicat and the World of Basquiat
What a perfect complement to the exhibit Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks running through October 16 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd.): a talk by Edwidge Dandicat on Saturday, September 17, at 2:00 p.m. The acclaimed Haitian author will delve into the life and art of one of the most iconic contemporary figures, Jean-Michel Basquiat -- whose father was born in Haiti -- who died at an early age but had an outsized impact. Oh, and the exhibit examines how text, poetry, and words influenced the artist; pamm.org.
Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to