Basel schmazzle. Forget the art onslaught about to hit in a few short weeks and brace yourselves for a weekend of the A-Z-list as the Miami Book Fair International brings down a motley mix of authors, nerds, celebrities and even Andy Cohen. In addition to the fair’s famous street festival, there is now a new command central for all things Florida freaky: The Swamp on the Miami Dade College Campus, where you can lounge, sip a local brew, and even reminisce with Judy Blume about her racy Forever days when she takes to The Swamp with Alicia Zuckerman for a Sally J. Friedman Walking Tour down memory lane. Among the other unorthodox literary events, Sunday’s star studded soulful panel of Sheila E, Questlove, and George Clinton talking about their memoirs. The street fair is free on Friday and $8 per person the rest of the weekend. Check the website for information on various readings, author events, and Swamp happenings.
And while the book fair takes place all weekend, happening one night only, Saturday, is a not so random screening of 1974 indy cult classic Phantom of the Paradise, about an evil record tycoon, at the Coral Gables Cinema. And get this–none other than Miami Sound machinestress Gloria Estefan is hosting the Q&A. Why? Because Paul Williams starred as the aforementioned evil tycoon and wrote the score and he is one of her idols. He also happens to be in town for the aformentioned book fair so don’t be surprised if he shows up at the screening too. In fact, expect it. The screening starts at 11:30 pm and tickets cost $11.50 and are available at the theater website.
Another celluloid great, Liv Ullmann, will also be in town for a Q& A at the Bill Cosford Cinema Sunday following a screening of the Ingmar/Ingrid Bermgan collabo, Autumn Sonata, at 6 pm Sunday, November 23. The 1978 movie, or, ahem, film, rather, stars Ullmann as the daughter of an ice queen concert pianist played by the legendary Ingrid Bergman. It will be fun to hear Ullmann wax cinematic on her experience with director and actress Bergmans.
And finally, if all this celebrity has you a feeling a bit out of sorts, get grounded Sunday from 11am to 4pm at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden’s Botanical Bazaar, a free day of yoga, local art, performances by the Florida Grand Opera, plants, arts and crafts, children’s activities, a paper making workshop (!), food art, and more. Assuming the weather wll be nice, it sounds like a splendid, somewhat peaceful Sunday before the city (and the Botanical Garden) is besieged by Baselites. The event is free, but if you want to make paper that you may be able to pass off as Art Basel entries, that will set you back $20. Click here for more info.