The cheap seats: culture bargains
You don't need a Richard Gere to take you to the opera -- enjoy some culture on a budget (without putting out).
Just because you're po-folk now doesn't mean you have to get your culture from the poster section at Wal-Mart. From free readings by famous authors and free monthly gallery prowls to $10 opera seats and special cut-rate admission prices to concerts and the theater, the cultural bargains abound. Here's a sampler:
Miami Art Museum offers free admission on the second Saturday of the month. Children under 12 and students with ID are always admitted free.
Museum of Art l Fort Lauderdale offers free admission to children 5 and under, college students with ID and children 6-17 who possess a Broward County library card. Everyone gets in free from 5 to 8 p.m. every third Thursday.
Museum of Contemporary Art offers free admission to North Miami residents, city employees and children under 12. 305-893-6211.
Wolfsonian-Florida International University offers free admission from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays. Free admission also is available daily for Miami Beach residents with ID, children under 6 and students, faculty and staff of the state university system.
Florida Grand Opera offers $10 tickets for tier 4, upper-balcony seats at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and $21 tickets for upper-balcony tickets for performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The rates apply for selected performances. FGO's season opens Nov. 15 with Verdi's La Traviata.
The Chopin Foundation of the United States offers a Chopin for All series led by pianist Hubert Rutkowski. Free admission at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale, and at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at Granada Presbyterian Church in Coral Gables. Other free performances monthly through May, 2009. 305-868-0624.
Octavio Campos throws wild, most budget-friendly events at Camposition Studio on the second floor of 801 Projects between Little Havana and Brickell. Includes performance art, experimental dance, cheap wine, political/art/party happenings. 786-399-7375.
Transit Lounge has live music on weekends that ranges from rootsy Cuban rumba to Miami-style jamband fusion to indie rock. Or check their J.A.M. (just another Monday) jam sessions. No cover and no attitude, but there is a pool table, a bunch of board games and a friendly crowd.
Churchill's, Miami's original punk rock-and-soccer haven is still your classic funky (you can smell the array of beers on tap) rock bar and still packing them in for punk, indie and even jazz on Mondays, with a cover that rarely passes $7.
Tobacco Road has the city's oldest liquor license and hosts blues, rock, jam and inimitable Miami fusion, usually for a $5 to $10 cover. Don't miss happy hour for the masses, 96-cent drinks for 96 minutes on Fridays starting at 6 p.m.
Miami's Mad Cat Theatre, riffing on the idea of a custom-made tape (or CD), is performing Mixtape, an original multimedia collection of eight short plays, a film, photo play and poetry. Performances Thursday-Saturday through Nov. 22. Opening night is a fundraiser, but Saturday's show is a budget-friendly $25 ($10 for students), cash or check only. Mad Cat performs at the Light Box in Miami. 305-576-6377.
GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, offers $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets for select performances of David Mamet's hilarious November, about an inept U.S. president who will go to any lengths to make sure he's remembered as a great man, through Nov. 13. 305-446-1116.
Promethean Theatre, Black Box Theatre, Nova Southeastern University in Davie, offers first-rate professional work at prices that won't hurt your budget, especially if you're a student ($10) or over 65 ($15). The theater is staging the southeastern premiere of Barton Bishop's Still the River Runs through Nov. 2. Performances of the play, about two brothers who decide to swipe the corpse of their newly deceased grandfather and bury it in the Central Florida area where the three used to hunt, are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
HEAPS OF CHEAP
WLRN Public Radio and Television partners with the Theatre League of South Florida to offer same-day, half-price theater tickets at most professional theaters in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Visit www.culturalconnection.org each day before 5 p.m. to find out what shows are being offered, purchase tickets with a credit card, and pick them up at the theater's box office. There's a $4.50 per-ticket fee, but you'll still save substantially.
Miami-Dade County's Department of Cultural Affairs offers free and discounted tickets to arts performances.
Culture Shock Miami offers $5 tickets to select performances to students ages 13-22 and two tickets-for-$5 admission for Miami-Dade museums (the first ticket must be used by a student, but the second can admit anyone).
Adrienne Arsht Center offers a Ticket Access Program with a variety of discounts for students, seniors, members of the military and groups.
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