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ISSUE #4 | 01/26/12


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TAKE CONTROL Free and Confidential HIV/HEP C/Syphilis Screenings Incentives & Food Tuesday, February 7, 2012 12:00-5:00 p.m. For more info contact SOBE AIDS Project (305) 535-4733 PINK FLAMINGO CERTIFICATION TRAINING Tuesday, February 7, 2012 7:00-9:00 p.m. Reservations required MGLFF GLOW SCREENING Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:00 p.m. Reception 8:30 p.m. “Going Down in La La Land ” Screening at the Miami Beach Cinematheque

ANNOUNCING PLUG IN @ THE LGBT VISITOR CENTER The LGBT Visitor Center is seeking funding to support “Plug in @ the LGBT

Visitor Center”. This valuable on-line computer Center on Miami Beach will allow travelers to do quick searches to enhance their trips, provide limited access for job searches by locals and become your off site mini office when you need to check your e-mail or find info when you are between meetings on the beach. All donors will be recognized with signage at the LGBT Visitor Center.

LGBT Visitor Center Activities 1130 Washington Avenue • Miami Beach, FL 33139 1 FEB

BUSINESS BUILDERS LUNCHEON Wednesday, February 1, 2012 @ Seasons 52; 11:30am- 1:30pm

For more information on the LGBT Visitor Center activities please call 305.397.8914

9 FEB

1ST ANNUAL “STATE OF OUR COMMUNITY” LUNCHEON Thursday, February 9, 2012 @ Hilton Miami Downtown; 11:30am- 1:30pm Focusing on the coming years most important legislative issues with particular attention to those topics that impact the LGBT Community. Featuring Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor, Miami-Dade County; Tomás Regalado, Mayor, City of Miami; Jim Cason, Mayor, City of Coral Gables; and Matti Herrara-Bower, Mayor, City of Miami Beach. Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director, Equality Florida and CJ Ortuno, Executive Director, SAVE Dade will conclude the luncheon with a summary of the local/state LGBT Legislative items.

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For more information or to make a 100% tax-deductable contribution to support Plugged in @ the Visitor Center, please contact Cindy Brown, Executive Director at cindy@gogaymiami.com or 305.397.8914

12 FEB

4TH ANNUAL LGBT EXPLORE / EXPO Sunday, February 12, 2012 191 NE 40th Street (Moore Building - Design District); 12pm- 5pm Over 100 vendors, suppliers, companies, and organizations sho wcasing their products and services. In partnership with the GMCVB, LGBT Visitor Center, Miami Herald, Miami.com, and with the participation of the GLBT Travel Expo. FREE event open to the public. Drawing for great prizes including trips to Latin America, hotel stays, and restaurant gift certificates. www. gogaymiamiexplore.com


PUBLIS

A m e r i w N i ? Jo r A e y A N e EDITOR IN CHIEF’S w! iT’S Be woNOTE ties taking

nd par a ts n e v e ly WHEELS: YOUR CAR ON DEMAND ve probab ay of a d h d k n e a e , w o t p s x la E d Magazine section This week I want to introduce anWire parade, weeourk new s his a m o called WHEELSTby showcasing a novel and exciting program in h T r g a co er fo in v d e lu s c k the City of Miami Beach that should become aw bige hiteamongst in e r t a s e ie yw whCarvajal residents and tourists n the bus . Rafa e beealike. in z a g a m Publisher/Editor in Chief map of w ire r w u o n y s a g Have you ever asked yourself “DooI rreally need aocar if I live in e in s k u canPublisher d I isw nanswer oodAssociate Miami Beach?”a The definitely no for many people, yet I g y r e v e. f o le know quite a few people that still keep a car becausec they pneed udowheels Jesse Spencer es to be ther o a m r ti o F d to drive sometimes. Ith is y time to ditch that expensive set of n W ? orking aEditor w and trade it in for a Hertz on Demand car-sharing program mem- been e v inha bership. Owning a car full-time includes thee expense of your James Cubby sonsor:leaseW apurchase d vestment in the rcar payment, car insurance, n e o c e s r u exte g o parking, maintenance, and gas. This new program allows you to have access to ad great to in c t u n a o Design & Production Director r w p o n ls o car without all these expenses. You could save a carload e a Gonzalez f JoseW o very haofrdcash! n io it d e r’s join us fo o t c to On Tuesday I attended the press conference for the unveiling of this innovative new transe u ll o o y c e m e o Columnists lc Prid weBarrios portation solution. I was so impressed byehow works, its benefits, and cost vether program k you Alfredo that I already went online to www.hertzondemand.com and signed up for free – it tookthat we thin hote e th t – a Alyn Darnay e y t r in z a me about three minutes to do so. The car program was started with a minimum of 20 a P l ag Poo e itsm Dane Steele Green In . vehicles and will eventually grow to 100w cars ir during full implementation. The first 20 h g u o r th Ken Hunt ding together cars will be located in eight parking garages (between two and five vehicles per garage), a t e u r p y to jo n d e e Dr. Gregg A Pizzi id y c ll and it will include an array of different cars ranging to regular cars deSasser easmall/compacts will rfrom everMichael t s r fi and SUVs. e th n sy o o te r p u to o c -s n , o e Kevin Wynn n id r g P in orkInsurance and gas are e year’s The only cost for renting your car will be the hourly beeorndailywrate. in o z ls a a g a e v m a h e e ir rental and the vehicle even comes with a Hertz credit card so you canh W comp Writers ,w e th ic h ditioinnyour w in adincluded , n y t fu r buy gas if you need it - at Hertz’s expense. Hourly rental rates will run you from $9 to a e Thomas Barker havFrias ol P h Andrew Po itNeil w e r id $15.75; daily rates from $63P tor$170. During Tuesday’s press conference I had the o t ic y V a l rade G e a t l Arnaurd Simeray, national sales manager for Hertz P o e h th icia of meeting on Demand, who e f t f n th Antwyone Ingram e opleasure t a m le 7th comp ilOnce1you explained that “All you have to do is become a member. receive your welcome prThe . A Remy Walker s r , y o s a n d r o p tu s a s S package and activation card, just rent spontaneously. online portal will direct you to a ila ride, a t othennjust swipe your card at the door and drive away.” P u f q hosYou o e T s ill vehicle. e a wyour g r ta u s d in a Staff Photographer ma nd herr a a k Henry Perez d o V ia lagontodthe following Miami Beach municipal parking garages to hop into your incan additional fu FYou e m o s r Hertz on Demand set of wheels: 7th Street Garage, 12th Street Garage, 13th Street Gafo e Photographers ce w in s y rage, 16th Street Garage, 17th Street Garage, 42th Street Garage, City Hall Garage, b e n o g 7 p.m Javi Giovanni y d to a e . lr m a and 5th and Alton Garage. . s p a h 1 r a m Juan Mironoff o fr at a ye eLuis,Saco in vetotha car, z e a li g e a b m Santiago to e ir rd a If you a want to save money, yet still have access I strongly encourage you to give W h f spinni y ison Demand Miami Beach car-sharing program llaetry.ctor’s Edition o Ittherenew llHertz Dale Stine iik will be o m e in lacLocal er Pride C v p e t g rs in fi k e ta th in inlan d a F Advertising e g h y r also inethea listo remind you that we are giving away a brunch. forPritwodateVidaislocated ta c ubwant n n pIFontainebleau e o m li p advertising@wireweekly.com Miami Beach. Visit www.wireweekly.com/dining your chance to win. caassewe enjoyedforputting rs in com emuch e th d a ly re e it r n u fi I hope you enjoy reading this week’s issue as it together for o e ll d a t is t thatto The Palace for turning 24! uCongrats b rchase. hope tha National Advertising Rep. u you. e p w t e d k n c a ti y a is rd th njoy Media | 212-242-6863 this Satu to eRivendell e c n a h Cheers, c a e v miami Beach a Editorial ale will h d r e d ottenSubmissions u g a l e v t r a Rafa h o editorial@wireweekly.com F ’t n d n ld a u co stop by e to iami W e m r . u n s io it e k d E a s m Publisher & Editor in Chief tisers,Information Collector’ rContact e e v d d ri a P r u 0 o 1 f rafa@wireweekly.com | Fax: 786.272.0123 of this we 0 o 2 Tel: 305.520.WIRE t r ’s o p p u s week e th copy r d u n Email: info@wireweekly.com o a y t, r o h p c p u u s m ery Avenue, #2004, Miami, FL 33129 definitel ll your ks vBrickell an1541 h T . ff ta s e ir here without a but W t, s e te th f n o o c rs e b m Wire Magazine is published, produced, and owned by all the me celeb ! Wire Media Group L.L.C. All Rights Reserved le to ib r s s to sponsors, and o ic p V is l th te o Fort Lauderdale hand Distributed in Miami, The Beaches, g us make in lp e h r fo e n o to every ty. We will r a p l CoverePhoto o o p in thNoel Leon te Model: a ip c ti r a p to itional fun le Photo by: Dale Stine d b d a a e e b m l o il s w ancillar y e that you e p th o h f o o y ls n a a e s m 4 |W wire magazine | issue #4, 2012 | www.wireweekly.com | facebook twitter y, p| lu a d r tu a S n o ies Pride festivit PHOTOS BY RAFA CARVAJAL


FEBRUARY

FebruaryWire_print 1/18/12 2:45 PM Page 1

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL

SUNDAY

Z ZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE

C CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATER

MONDAY

TUESDAY

PIANO MASTER

JEAN-IVES THIBAUDET

WEDNESDAY

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Florida Grand Opera: Rigoletto 2 PM Z Starring Michael Fabiano, “who must now be recognized as a fully invested member of the fraternity of great Danizetti tenors!” Examiner.com

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PIANO MASTER

GARRICK OHLSSON

Your Backstage Pass to the Adrienne Arsht Center!

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Miami City Ballet: Giselle 2 PM Z The captivating story of a young peasant girl who comes back from the grave to rescue her lover!

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 2 PM Z “A national treasure!”

FRIDAY

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Florida Grand Opera: Rigoletto 8 PM Z The tale of a father’s revenge!

Decadancetheatre 7:30 PM C “The pioneering allfemale hip-hop group…a fearless coalition of b-girls!”

SATURDAY 4

Decadancetheatre 2 & 7:30 PM C

The New Yorker

Florida Grand Opera: La rondine 8 PM Z

Florida Grand Opera: Rigoletto 8 PM Z

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Garrick Ohlsson WROCLAW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Chopin: Piano Concert No. 2 8 PM K

Free Adrienne Arsht Center Tour 12 PM Z

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Free Adrienne Arsht Center Tour 12 PM Z Florida Grand Opera: Rigoletto Z 7:30 PM Raul Esparza in Concert 8 PM K

February 10

12 FREE TOURS 13 MONDAYS AND SATURDAYS AT NOON!

7

THURSDAY

Florida Grand Opera: La rondine 8 PM Z

February 1

5

Jean-Yves Thibaudet TSCHAIKOWSKI ST. PETERSBURG STATE ORCHESTRA Liszt: Piano Concert No.2 8 PM K

P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA

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RAÚL ESPARZA

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23-26 MAKE 305.949.6722 GREAT GIFTS! arshtcenter.org

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Miami City Ballet Carnival for the Animals 2 PM Z Miami City Ballet: Giselle 8 PM Z New World Symphony: From Russia with Love 8 PM K

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Free Adrienne Arsht Center Tour 12 PM Z Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 2 & 8 PM Z “Spectacular dancing that thrills you to your marrow!”

Reggae Jam THIRD WORLD & INNER CIRCLE 8 PM K

San Francisco Chronicle

BLUES & SOUL FEB.

Free Gospel Sunday 4 PM

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 8 PM Z “A must-see!” The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times

The Philadelphia Tribune

TICKETS

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 8 PM Z “One of the nation’s most successful dance troupes!”

Blues & Soul 8:00 PM K Jazz Roots brings together two magnificent artists, Robert Cray and Shemekia Copeland! Miami City Ballet: Giselle 8 PM Z

FEBRUARY 3

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ROBERT CRAY & SHEMEKIA COPELAND

FEBRUARY 17 ON-SITE DINING

Visit us on Twitter and Facebook for a chance to win tickets to a JAZZ ROOTS CONCERT!

3 COURSESFOR $39!

Convenient parking is plentiful! Info: arshtcenter.org/parking


WIRED ON THE ARTS

WANNA SEE A SEX-CRAZED DUKE IN ACTION?

BY JAMES CUBBY

JANUARY - 26 - FEBRUARY 1 CONCERTS

THEATRE South Florida Symphony Orchestra Song Man Dance Man returns to the presents Fire and Ice on January 26 Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre, at the Gusman Concert Hall at 8 p.m. starring Jon Peterson, thru January 29. REO Speedwagon hits the stage of the Magic City Amphitheatre at Mag- GableStage at the Biltmore presents ic City Casino on January 27 at 8 the Broadway hit The Motherf**ker p.m. with the Hat thru February 5. The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the Next to Normal, the controversial top-five orchestras in the U.S., plays Broadway hit, comes to the Actors’ at the Arsht Center on January 27 & Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre thru 28 at 8 p.m. February 12.

MIAMI HERALD

BEST BET 2012

Alexander Markov, one of the world’s most accomplished virtuoso violinists, brings his critically acclaimed Rock Concerto to the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden on January 27 at 9 p.m.

R D I’S E V

Michael Fabiano

Nadine Sierra

Enter the court of the womanizing, sex-crazed Duke, where his court jester Rigoletto mocks the husbands and fathers of the many women whom the Duke has seduced. When a curse is cast upon Rigoletto, his own daughter falls victim, and his vow for revenge ends in a tragic twist of fate. With Metropolitan Opera singing sensations Michael Fabiano and Nadine Sierra.

JAN 28 - FEB 11 PU

CCINI’S

NOW - FEB 4

FGO.ORG

WWW.

800.741.1010

Rigoletto is made possible by a generous gift from Stephen A. Keller and Lesleen Bolt in loving memory of Stephen. Fort Lauderdale performances sponsored by Mrs. Rose Miniaci. Rigoletto photo © Ken Howard for San Diego Opera. La rondine photo © Gaston de Cardenas for Florida Grand Opera.

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Jersey Boys, the smash-hit Broadway musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons, plays at the Broward Center thru January 29.

Free Shakespeare in the Park presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Mark Wigglesworth conducts Ritual The Shell Lumber Stage from January Dances from The Midsummer Mar- 27 thru February 29. riage and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe at the New World Center on Janu- COMEDY ary 28 at 7:30 p.m. Wallcast on the Comedian Tommy Davidson, best SoundScape. known for his performances on the television show In Living Color, Jimmy Buffett, best known for hits brings his humor to the stage of the like “Margaritaville,” performs at the Ricochet Bar & Lounge on January 30 American Airlines Arena on January at 8 p.m. 28 at 8 p.m. Music in Beautiful Spaces series continues with a performance of the South Beach Chamber Ensemble at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on January 29 at 6 p.m.

DANCE

The Carnival Studio Theater’s Dance Up Close series launches with the premiere of Why Patterns & RECESS at the Arsht Center on January 27 & 28. The Pointer Sisters, three-time Gram- Tigertale Productions presents the my Award-winners, will be perform- 12th annual danceAble event at the ing at the Hard Rock Live on January Colony Theatre on January 28 at 8 29. p.m. Piano virtuoso Jean-Yves Thibaudet OPERA performs with the Tschaikowski St. Pe- Florida Grand Opera presents Puctersburg State Orchestra at the Arsht cini’s La rondine from January 21 – Center on February 1 at 8 p.m. February 4. Magda’s aria “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” is one of Puccini’s Motown legends The Four Tops & The most beautiful. FGO also brings us Temptations will be bringing their hits Guiseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, from Janto the Broward Center on February 1 uary 28 – February 11, both at the at 8 p.m. Arsht Center. Visit www.wiredonthearts.com to view the contact information for all our Wired on the Arts venues.

Submissions for Wired on the Arts should be sent to: cubby@wireweekly.com


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CUBBY’S BIRTHDAY BASH @ CHALK PHOTOS BY HENRY PEREZ

O N LY S O U T H F L O R I D A S H O W !

“South Beach Star” author and Wire Magazine Editor James Cubby celebrates another year of an ultra fab South Beach life. The birthday bash took over Chalk Lounge Friday night with a mix of South Beach original socialites and friends.

FEBRUARY 12

TICKETS! 305.949.6722 • arshtcenter.org TO VIEW ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THIS & OTHER EVENTS VISIT: WWW.WIREWEEKLY.COM 7 | wire magazine | issue #4, 2012 | www.wireweekly.com | facebook | twitter

KNIGHT CONCERT HALL


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SHOPPING BAG

ON THE GO: TRAVEL

HOT READS HARD BODY CHRONICLES In a world where every desire can easily be fulfilled, life is a luxurious escapade of excess and indulgence. Follow the exploits of eight gay men, who become four infamous couples, as their lives humorously intersect and tragically intertwine against the backdrop of the international gay party scene. These four couples scheme, maneuver, and struggle their way through a star-studded world virtually unknown to those on the outside. The HardBody Chronicles captures the spirit of that moment and unveils the glamour and absurdity that enveloped it. From Miami’s stunning White Party to the inferno of naked flesh at the Black Party, from the 24-hour clubs of Ibiza to the joyous Morning Party on Fire Island, it was a time to celebrate life. Available online at Book & Books for $12.99 SOUTH BEACH STAR Glitz, glamour, and scandalous celeb debauchery have made South Beach one of the sexiest destinations in the world, and local author and current Wire editor, James Cubby, does a fantastic job of showcasing the salacious side of all that glitters in South Beach. “South Beach Star is a must-read for star chasers, lovers, and aficionados!” said one reviewer. Labeled a modern day Valley of the Dolls, South Beach Star follows the adventures of Kidd, a nightlife reporter who worked for a weekly publication similar to Wire. Available locally at Books & Books and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, cover price: $14.95. GAY IN AMERICA In this first-ever photographic survey of gay men in America, stereotypes are laid to rest and an intimate, honest picture of contemporary gay life is revealed through stunning personal portraits and narratives. Photographer Scott Pasfield traveled 54,000 miles across all 50 states over a three-year span gathering stories and documenting the lives of 140 gay men from all walks of life. At turns joyful and somber, reflective and celebratory, each narrative and image is an enlightening look into the variety of gay life in the United States. Available locally at Books & Books and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, cover price: $45.00. PAUL ON HOMOSEXUALITY For the last 2,000 years, Christians have been taught to believe that Apostle Paul condemned homosexuality. Get ready for a change, a new discovery documents that he deliberately acknowledged that it does not prevent anyone from entering heaven. This discovery by internationally acclaimed cryptographer Michael Wood removes the final barrier to full societal acceptance of gays and lesbians. With a controversial topic and rave reviews this is a must-read. Available for $12.95 on Amazon. Many of the books featured can be purchased for lower prices online at various marketplace stores and are available in E-book versions for an even lower cost. 10 | wire magazine | issue #4, 2012 | www.wireweekly.com | facebook | twitter

HOT STUDS READY TO PARTY IN THE SNOW BY DANE STEELE GREEN

Winter is now in full swing and in most mountainous climates that means lots of snow and awesome skiing. The idea of plunging down a piste or shivering in blankets of white might not equate sexy to you, but the beaches of Mexico and Brazil aren’t the only place to find hot studs ready to party. Gay ski weeks are just getting started this year and from the Alps to Aspen each offers plenty of debauchery, scores of hunky snow bunnies, and of course, incredible skiing. In Colorado, both Vail and Telluride have growing gay weeks, but Aspen remains king, which took place this past weekend. Here are a few of our top picks of the ones that haven’t already skied to glory: GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE celebrates its twentieth year with a jam-packed, eightday calendar, with headliner DJ Manny Lehman at the Snowball 20, where thousands will dance the night away. Whistler City Hall has finally endorsed the festivities and is officially declaring it “Pride Week.” Other notable trouble on the schedule: A Cowboy party (one can’t go wrong there), the Gender Bender Drag Ball, the Pool party, Furrocious Bear party, Snowstorm where the Twinks take control, Purrlesque (a bi-sexual / lesbian party), Shred Betties (an event for the ladies), and “Up Yer Kilt” Party at the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub at the Pan Pacific Whistler hotel. For those on the hunt for more intimate settings, head to a variety of après-ski fun: culinary events for the foodies; as well as snowmobiling, dog sledding, a ZipTrek, and bungee jumping. gaywhistler.com Over in Utah, Tom Whitman Presents is planning to create quite a blizzard, with its second annual Elevation Utah at Park City, February 23-26. Aside from enjoying some of the best skiing in the world, there will be nightly DJ sets and the legendary Cherry Pop party (replete with delectable go-go boys).He will stage a similar affair at Mammoth, March 14-22, which will be the event’s tenth year. Mammoth Elevation is the third largest gay ski week in North America and sees 2,500 LGBT revelers reek havoc. tomwhitmanpresents.com On the other side of the pond, European Gay Ski in Alpe d’Huez remains popular and will take place March 24-31. Expect drag queens on snowboards, shirtless beer blasts, and outlandish sauna parties. Another ski week that gives us the shivers is the Gay Snow Happening, March 24-31, in Sölden Austria. The beautiful boys that plague this week-long rager will enjoy moonlight bowling, crazed dance parties with top DJs from Berlin and London, a special performance from drag superstars Melli & Mataina, and fantastic trails. gaysnowhappening.com Steele Luxury Travel recently announced a brand new travel experience: the Sweet Taste of India 2012 taking place November 6 - 16, 2012. Full details of this majestic travel experience can be found at www.steeletravel.com/india. You can also visit Steele Travel Blog (www.steeletravelblog.com) for more travel information.


LOOKING GOOD

POP FEVER THURSDAYS @ SCORE PHOTOS BY HENRY PEREZ

TEMPER, TEMPER!

Get into it Thursday nights at POP Fever in the Creme Lounge at Score with DJ Daisy D & VJ Jon. Hosted by Danny Ferro with the fabulous Chyna Girl at the door and no cover. Don’t miss one of the most raved about parties in South Beach.

BY KEN HUNT OWNER OF STEEL GYM AND AFI-CERTIFIED FITNESS EXPERT We have all seen this behavior at the gym. It’s the guy or girl in the corner making faces, yelling, grunting and looking like he is ready to explode. He attacks the weights as if it’s an opponent in a mixed martial arts combat. Clearly he believes that anger and rage will build up explosive power to lift a hunk of steel over and over. Not so! In most cases, sports psychologists now say getting riled up will ultimately produce apathy and a loss of momentum. Anger and aggression are actually associated with increased ‘arousal’ and a sense of defeat. Anger from frustration or failure can have a negative effect on your performance. If you can release anger and negative thoughts, you can improve your strength and form, and decrease the chance of injury. Try some diffusion strategies to promote relaxation while enhancing concentration. • BREATHE deeply. Repeating positive thoughts or images. Channeling forgiveness of yourself or someone else. (We can all use this even when are not at the gym). • WRITE down any feelings of anger, or any other negative thought patterns, along with how well you do in your training. This ‘Anger Log’ will help you identify when and how getting mad affects your performance. • BEFORE hitting the gym, the track or the basketball court, visualize the physical exertion as a method of processing excess energy. You’ll often find that your mood improves greatly after you’ve been sweating for a while. • WHEN you’re angry with yourself, turn your focus to what you’re going to do next. This will keep you from dwelling on mistakes you’ve just made. • ELIMINATE negative “self-talk.” It’s lethal to performance. Substitute a positive phrase like “I can do this” or “I feel strong.” • WHEN anger paralyzes you, free yourself from it. Count to ten, take deep breaths, and recite your favorite song lyrics (or if you are really mad, try singing them). • IDENTIFY situations that have made you angry in the past. Then re-visualize them. Replay the event. Then imagine yourself handling things in a more positive way. • CHANGE your mood with cue words or phrases. When you are in the middle of a great performance or experience, think of a phrase you’d like to associate it with, such as “relax,” “powerful” or “eyes on the ball.” The next time anger is sapping your concentration, think of the phrase to help you relax. Remember your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Taking control of negative energy can have a dramatic and positive effect on your workouts. Just give one or two of these suggestions a try and let me know how they work for you. Good Luck. TO VIEW ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THIS & OTHER EVENTS VISIT: WWW.WIREWEEKLY.COM 11 | wire magazine | issue #4, 2012 | www.wireweekly.com | facebook | twitter

Ken Hunt is an AFI-certified trainer and fitness expert who owns New York and Miami’s Steel Gym. Steel Gym has been named the No. 1 gym in New York two years in a row by the American Fitness Institute. In Miami, Steel Gym is located at 5556 NE 4th Ct. 305.751.7591. www.SteelGym.com


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BY RAFA CARVAJAL

DINING

HUNGRY? HAVE A SANDWICH, NOT A BURGER! Living the life of a magazine owner and publisher can be both fun and hazardous to your health. I go to a plethora of events and dinner invitations, so, before I knew it, a few pounds sneaked in and I really needed to lose some weight for both health and looking good reasons. So towards the end of last year I decided to get serious about working out and eating better than I had for some time. It worked. I lost a bunch of weight and was delighted to hear all the nice compliments I received from many people for my new look. That was really nice. One simple rule I applied was lose the burgers and the fast food. I am always so busy and on the run that I fell into the fast food, high calorie trap because it was very easy to stop by a fast food joint on the way home from a long day and grab a burger. That will certainly make the pounds pile up quick. What was I thinking? Well, I wasn’t! If you are uber-busy you understand what I mean.

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Fortunately, the moment I stopped to think and consider some reasonable alternatives I realized that there are some great ones out there. My favorite is the sandwiches from La Sandwicherie. Yes my darling, you can eat a sandwich made with delicious fresh ingredients! Order for delivery or pickup by calling or going online, or eat on site at their location in Miami Beach at 229 14th Street or in Miami on Brickell at 34 SW 8th Street. I picked up a sandwich for dinner last night, after a very long workday. My favorite sandwich is the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella combination sandwich with everything. The folks from La Sandwicherie have been serving heavenly sandwiches in South Beach since 1988 by bringing diners the
best of French savoir-faire with daily fresh ingredients, crisp 
baguettes or croissants, plus the added magic of their infamous vinaigrette. They are now exporting their mouth-watering creations to the mainland with their Brickell location. Visit www.wireweekly.com/dining for more information about this and other great Wired Dining destinations.

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WIRE COVER: PALACE: 24 DRAGALICIOUS YEARS ON OCEAN DRIVE

BY JAMES CUBBY / PHOTOS BY DALE STINE

The Palace, the only gay bar on Ocean Drive, has been a popular hotspot for South Beach locals and tourists for almost twenty-five years. Since its opening in 1988, the Palace has racked up quite a history with several owners. Three years ago the Palace experienced a transformation as new owner, Tom Donall took the reigns. Tom and his team have not only improved the Palace but have regularly given back to the community. Now the Palace has shows every night except for Tuesday and has once again become one of the hottest spots on Ocean Drive. Noel Leon has become one of Palace’s star performers and also acts as emcee. Noel hosts the shows twice a week: Elite Night on Wednesdays and the fabulous Sunday Brunchic. Originally from New Jersey, Noel came to Miami six years ago. Since Noel is one of the faces of the Palace, we thought Noel would be the ideal person to share some Palace news with Wire’s readers. How did you get your name? Noel is my given middle name and Leon is Noel spelled backwards! What’s the hardest part of becoming a fabulous entertaining diva? You can never stay the same -- you always have to keep reinventing yourself (costumes, music, makeup and hair) and this can be very expensive! So I learned these skills (sewing, costume design, makeup and hair) to keep new and current. If you keep the audience guessing they will live for you! SHANAYA BRIGHT

What’s your role at the Palace? I am a drag performer and emcee.

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What’s it like performing on the sidewalk in front of a screaming crowd? It is an extreme rush. Your heart starts pumping and you do things that you never thought you could do on cement. I have scars on my legs from the sliding splits and back pain from the forward rolls I do but when I hear the crowd roar, it all goes away. What are some of the programs that you’re spearheading at the Palace? I was crowned the 1st annual Miss Palace 2011 and am looking forward to this year’s pageant. We have really upped the ante in terms of our weekly programming. Almost every night of the week has its own fabulous drag diva as a host. I host Wednesday nights for Elite Nights. The fabulous Missy Meyakie hosts Stiletto Thursdays. The large and in charge, Latrice Royale hosts Drag Madness on Fridays. Tiffany Fantasia works it out on Saturdays for Drags Gone Wild. Sundays are really great because we have the brunch, and we will be launching a new Monday night party with Latrice Royale. She competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Palace will be Logo’s official viewing party for Miami. What’s in the future for you and the Palace? Success. When you take a fabulous staff, amazing location, and great environment, everybody is bound to succeed. Jerry Torres has recently joined the Palace team as general manager. We caught up to Jerry so he could share his insights on the Palace, past, present and future with Wire’s readers.


WIRE COVER: PALACE: 24 DRAGALICIOUS YEARS ON OCEAN DRIVE

When was the first time that you stepped foot in the Palace? I have been coming to South Beach for years, and, from the very first time, I have always found myself spending my afternoons at Palace after a day at the beach.

PAIGE EYAKIE LE MISSY M

How do you feel taking over the reins of a South Beach gay landmark? I have always loved Palace. The staff, the drag performers, and the customers have always made Palace one of the most unique places to grab a drink in South Beach. My family has worked in the restaurant business for years, which is why it was a perfect fit for me to come over to the Palace. As the general manager, it has been an incredible experience. For 24 years Palace has played such an important part in the gay community, and I was and still am very excited to be a part of Palace’s history in Miami Beach. What is your vision for the Palace? I want to first and foremost maintain all of the qualities that have made Palace such a unique place. A couple of years ago, Palace had some issues with the city, our neighbors, and the drag queens performing on the sidewalk. It was a very difficult time, because we had to fight to continue doing the shows the way we’ve been doing them for 24 years. It was amazing to see the community come out in support of the Palace, our shows, and incredible performers. In a way, it was also a blessing in disguise because it really proved to city officials that Palace is truly a Miami Beach landmark. As for the future of the Palace, we will be growing our weekly line-up of events. Every night of the week will offer something different for people - but always with a little bit of drag mixed in, we will continue to grow with our block parties bringing internationally known DJs and performers for our guests to enjoy.

LE LATRICE ROYA

What’s your favorite memory of a Palace event?

TIFFANY FAN TASIA

I have so many memories but the one that comes to mind right now is when we did the White Party Block Party, we had our Sunday Brunchic on 12th Street, the weather was great, the crowd was amazing and the host, Noel Leon, did a toast that gave me goose bumps. The Palace has been here for 24 years and is stronger than ever. I think there are many more memories to come.

their support of President Obama. The Palace has always played an important role in the history of Miami Beach, but for a brief moment, we all felt like we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. When President Obama took office, it was an incredible feeling to know that the Palace played a part in electing the first African American President.

What are some of the great stories that you’re heard from the old days of the Palace?

What are some of the changes that you have made, and plan to make now that you’ve taken over the Palace?

Since working at the Palace, I can tell you that I hear stories from our regulars and out of towners all of the time. From people meeting the love of their life to others really getting the chance to be a part of the Miami Beach LGBT community, we have really heard it all. One story that really stands out was when Barack Obama was really focused on getting the LGBT community to come out and vote for him. Cynthia Nixon from Sex in the City came to the Palace to speak to our customers and ask for

Since the management of the Palace changed, we have made a lot of changes. The first priority was to make sure the sound system and the entertainment were completely updated, which is why we replaced all of the speakers and upgraded the sound system. While doing that, we really focused on creating a delicious menu, so the community could grab some really great food, as well as a great drink. In terms of entertainment, we have really raised the bar in regards to our entertainers and DJs. The team of drag performers we have right now is so talented and they are constantly reinventing themselves. I also could not have accomplished any of this without the support of a really great staff. I love the fact that some of our bartenders, performers, managers, and waiters have been with the Palace for more than a decade. That really does say something about the longevity of the Palace.

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WIRE COVER: PALACE: 24 DRAGALICIOUS YEARS ON OCEAN DRIVE

“Back in the early ‘80s Miami Beach was raw, rundown but, ripe to visionaries to recreate a new era for this Art Deco Mecca and become as famous as it once was back in the late ‘40s and ’50s when the “In-Crowd” was once very well and alive, as it is today! My husband and I made a decision to open a little healthy cafe on Ocean Drive serving nothing but healthy, fresh foods and beverages. Needless to say, our menu grew through the years, due to popular demand. Anyway, my husband and I, drove up and down Ocean Drive for over a year trying to decide where we thought would be THE BEST location for our little cafe, as there were so many available spots

MARY D. Producer / Promoter/ Special Events “The Champs-Élysées, Broadway, Rodeo Drive - all famous streets in their own right, but none compare to the beauty of Ocean Drive and the daddy of all locations on it - THE PALACE. Home to many a happy hour and Sunday T, residents and tourists alike for almost a quarter century know 12th & Ocean because of it. No other restaurant screams gay in the world – literary – as the Palace. There are so many wonderful memories since I first had my first burger there many moons ago. Michele and Steve Polisar were at that time the owners, Michele had THE BEST chest on Ocean Drive and Steve was always a doll. They made the Palace a welcome place for all. Two of my most favorite memories was when Brazil won the World Cup in ’94, and also when during a drag show years ago a Rolls Royce convertible was driving down Ocean Drive only to be chased by a drag

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queen offering a jar of Grey Poupon to the occupants - they took it! The Palace Bar & Grill was, and still is, a vital thread in the fabric of our community, the same community that built South Beach into the #1 destination it is today. They go hand in hand – the Palace and South Beach, the lime with the coconut.” LES SUPERNOR Waiter at Palace from 1994-1998. If you were a customer at the Palace during 199498, you surely remember the very friendly and often flamboyant waiter named Les Supernor. Les was outrageous and had lots of fun with the customers and had his picture taken with his favorites. “I had the time of my life at Palace,” he recalls. “I waited on everyone in the world including Steven Tyler, Bob Dylan, Billie Myers and Chayenne.” One of his favorite memories is the time he waited on 63 different tables during one eight-hour shift, making quite a lot of money. “It was a wild time and everyone stopped by. I’ll never forget it.” DALE STINE Photographer

R

“I moved here in 2001 when the Palace doors were already SHUT! So all I heard in those days were comments like “Oh, I miss the Palace…I wish we had the Palace back…” Then, in 2003, I was asked to do a cover for WIRE…. first of MANY Wire Covers…Douglas and Henry were “bringing GAY back to the beach.” That was one of their primary purposes in making the purchase. They were very clear on that and I always held them in great esteem (and of course, still do to this day) for making that move.”

BY LES SU PERNO

We also decided to research the history of the Palace for this year’s anniversary cover story and many locals stepped up and shared stories and memories of the old days of Palace. Read some of them below and more at www.wireweekly.com. MICHELE POLISAR Original Owner of Palace

of real estate to choose from. The Carlyle Hotel was the “only” nice place with an open piano bar on the strip of Ocean Drive. The rest had empty terraces, some boarded up and a few had elderly senior citizens sitting in chairs just passing the time away, day after day. We didn’t realize how successful we would become. One evening Steve and I attended a party on Star Island where we bumped into one of Steve’s old friend’s/college buddies from Michigan State, Larry Schwartz (may he rest in peace), who just moved to Miami after living in Jamaica for fifteen years. Steve told Larry about our upcoming business venture and Larry immediately wanted to be a part of it. We finally chose our location, which was 12th and Ocean. At that time, you could see the ocean so clearly from the terrace and the balmy breeze was as delicious as was our food. That was in 1985/1986. We built it in 1987 and opened it in 1988 on an Art Deco weekend. We knew exactly how we wanted our little cafe to look and the menu we wanted to serve. We already had our corporation formed so, we just needed to pick a name for our healthy/fresh food cafe. We finally decided on...The Fruit Palace! As we were building it, we took notice that the 12th Street beach was growing as a hub location with a newly gay populated beach. If you were originally from Miami Beach, one knew the gay beach was 21st/23rd Street and Collins Avenue. That was the real artsy area of Miami Beach for years. It had all the “glitzy” lights and photos of beautiful women on the walls of the Burlesque Houses. It was quite glamorous years ago. Anyway, we decided to drop the word “Fruit” so as NOT to offend anyone. Our sign above on the 1200 building and d/b/a/ became known as The Palace Bar & Grill. However, our real legal d/b/a remained The Fruit Palace. We opened the liquor bar side, one year after the restaurant was in full swing!!! We NEVER considered The Palace...a Gay Only restaurant/bar on South Beach. We welcomed EVERYONE, ANY & ALL! NO matter your gender, race, or creed. However, I “do” recall refusing service to a few open bigots. Thanks you to ALL who remember and fight to keep it REAL & ALIVE!!!”

PHOTOS P ROVIDED

E COVER BY DALE STIN


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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL @ TWIST PHOTOS BY HENRY PEREZ

THIS WEEK THURSDAY, January 26 ANGLERS: Tonight is the premiere of LOCO 4 Locals Thursdays at the Anglers. Enjoy 2-4-1 Well Drinks and $15 Beer Bucket specials. Sit back with a live DJ and enjoy 20% off the menu tonight from 5 – 8 p.m. 660 Washington Ave.

No night out would be complete without TWIST, and Friday nights are some of the best. Guests of all kinds couldn’t wait to get some late night fun at TWIST with great beats, hot dancers, and a variety of bars for your choosing. “Never A Cover… Always A Groove.”

JOHNNY’S MIAMI: It’s all about the show tonight at Johnny’s Miami for STRIP Thursdays, South Florida’s largest amateur contest. Take the stage for your chance to win $1000. No cover before 10 p.m. 62 NE 14th Street, Downtown Miami. MOVA: Stop by for happy hour from 3 to 9 p.m., followed by Vanity Girl presented by the ladies of MOVA. Vanity Girl Thursdays gives you gorgeous girls, great music by DJ Zehno. Located near the corner of Lincoln and Michigan. PALACE: Palace hosts Stiletto Nights with fierce drag shows by host Missy Meiyakie and special diva cast members. Show starts at 6 p.m. Enjoy weekly drink specials all night. 1200 Ocean Drive. SCORE: Enjoy cocktails out on the patio and watch the famous Lincoln Road traffic pass by. Later in the evening Score hosts the Pop Fever Thursday night party with fab beats by DJ Daisy D & VJ Jon paired with an incredible crowd of delicious partygoers and $6 Long Islands all night. 727 Lincoln Road. TWIST: Don’t miss out on a fabulous night at TWIST with seven different bars, DJ Pride, stiff drinks, and beautiful dancers. And if you’re looking for some hot papis, DJ Adora will be hosting Sabroso in Bar 5! “Never a cover... Always a groove.” 1057 Washington Ave. FRIDAY, January 27 DISCOTEKKA: DISCOTEKKA: Tonight Jaguar presents FIRE inside inside Mekka. Mekka. Grown & Sexy, all male, all grown, grown, and and all sexy 21+ event. Don’t miss this special special night night with exotic dancers from NYC, Miami, Miami, & & Houston and exclusive one-time show show by by Ms. Raquell Lord. Drink specials all night night long. long. Please use 2nd Ave. for entrance to to this this event. event. 950 950 NE NE 2nd 2nd Ave Ave EROS LOUNGE: Friday nights at Eros brings you Born to be a Drag! Hosted by Tiffany Fantasia with heart pumping performances. There’s no cover to get in and amazing $5 Stoli cocktail specials all night. 8201 Biscayne Blvd. JOHNNY’S MIAMI: Towel Night Fridays! Get your taste of locker room fun tonight with 30 dancers in nothing but towels. Steamy live shows all night, and private VIP rooms available. Hosted by Josie Love.

TO VIEW ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THIS & OTHER EVENTS VISIT: WWW.WIREWEEKLY.COM 20 | wire magazine | issue #4, 2012 | www.wireweekly.com | facebook | twitter

MOVA: Edison Farrow presents HYPE Fridays tonight at MOVA with DJ Bryan Zero. Enjoy $7 Finlandia and $8 Stoli vodka cocktails all night long. Snag a bottle of Finlandia for $100 to party in style. PALACE: Tonight is Drag Madness with fierce

shows by the hot-n-heavy Latrice Royale and her gaggle of guest entertainers! Get ready for the biggest show on South Beach at 6 p.m. SCORE: The Penny Back Boyz host the weekly Friday night party Filthy Gorgeous Fridays with DJ Mac spinning a true open format of music and videos, while Score’s hottest Go-Go boys work the speaker boxes. TWIST: Don’t miss out on a fabulous night at TWIST. Get in for the free Happy Hour BBQ at 6 p.m. Tonight legendary DJ David Padilla will be in the house. Enjoy seven different bars, stiff drinks, beautiful dancers, and of course, the only place where there’s “Never a cover...Always a groove.” SATURDAY, January 28 DISCOTEKKA: Downtown Miami’s only gay dance party delivers one hell of a shindig every Saturday night. Get ready for some hot and heavy beats with DJs Carlos in the main room and DJ Spin working the turntables in the Hip-Hop room. Tonight you can expect amazing shows by guest Poizon Ivy. $150 VIP special. Sky and Absolut Vodka. EROS LOUNGE: Head over to Eros Lounge for a great happy hour from 3 – 9 p.m. today and then get in on tonight’s Dancing With the Goddess party featuring music by DJ Mac at 10 p.m. Shows start at midnight featuring Miss Vinna Rouge. MOVA: Stop by for happy hour from 3 to 9 p.m., followed by FLASH Saturdays with the hottest music videos and visual entertainment by VJ Chris Racine till 3 a.m. with $9 Grey Goose cocktails all night. PALACE: Enjoy a special day of drag shows, great food, and stiff cocktails, as the Palace Bar hosts Drag Gone Wild with Tiffany Fantasia and her gaggle of performers! Heels hit the pavement at 6 p.m. sharp! SCORE: Tonight Score presents Welcome District Sin City. Get ready for the largest gay dance party on the Beach with fun beats by DJ Alex Infiniti and shows by Chyna Girl $6 Chambord Vodka Drinks and $5 cover all night long. Hosted by Alex Prieto. TWIST: Happy Hour 2-4-1 with Tommy and the locals from 1 to 9 p.m. on everything. Come tonight and enjoy a full house of hot men and some incredible beats by DJ Mika. “Never a cover...Always a groove.” SUNDAY, January 29 ANGLERS: If you are looking to nurse that hangover with some unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys, look no further than 660 at the Anglers. Enjoy great food and delicious libations in one of the most beautiful boutique resorts Miami Beach has to offer. 660 Washington Ave. DISCOTEKKA: Get ready for the performances of your life at tonight’s Drag’s a Bitch Sundays at Discotekka. Prepare yourself for jaw dropping shows by Justice Divine, Erika


Norell, TP Lords, Athena Dion & Melissa Hilton with Daisy Deadpetals as your MC. In-The-Biz get in free, $5 for everyone else. Enjoy a free drink with your college ID & $5 well drinks all night. Show starts at midnight sharp. EROS LOUNGE: Head over to Eros Lounge for a great happy hour from 3 – 9 p.m. today and then get ready for Sundance Margaritas with the best retro music in town for this new throw back party. MOVA: It’s time for one of the wildest parties in SoBe, as Sookie Stacks hosts the most scandalous party in South Beach, Out-n-Ugly Sundays with DJ Latrice. Beginning at 9 p.m. enjoy $3 beers, $4 Herradura Shots, and $5 Finlandia. No cover. PALACE: South Beach’s most legendary drag brunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with two seatings: one at 11:30 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Enjoy over-the-top performances by Noel Leon paired with a delectable menu. Afterwards, check out the sexiest Sunday T Dance in SoBe with local DJs working the turntables. When the T Dance ends, the BAR CRAWL Begins, take the party to MOVA to finish off the Sunday fun. SCORE: If you’re looking for a taste of Caribbean music paired with the best in hip-hop and Latin beats, look no further than Score tonight. Club Boi in association with Score presents Hip Sundays, a fabulous night of the best beats from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. TWIST: 2-4-1 happy hour from 1 to 9 p.m. on everything. Afterwards, see one of the most scandalous shows you’ll ever witness with Pussila’s amateur strip contest. Upstairs DJ Paulie will be working it out on the main dance floor. At TWIST: “Never a cover... Always a groove.” MONDAY, January 30 MOVA: Get ready to be a star at MOVA’s weekly Shout karaoke party with VJ AJ Reddy. Enjoy half-priced drinks all night long and $5 glasses of wine. PALACE: Stop in for Palace’s 2-4-1 Absolut flavored cocktails all day, while enjoying the amazing view of Ocean Drive, and don’t forget to enjoy a snack or two while taking in the scenery. SCORE: Swing by for one of the best happy hours in Miami Beach where all drinks are 1/2 price, followed by Video Freak where you can request your favorite music videos and enjoy $5 vodka cocktails, $7 martinis and $3 beers. No cover. TWIST: Happy Hour 2-4-1 drinks ‘till 9 p.m. Then it’s “I’m A Local” night, with $3 drinks for anyone with TWIST’s “I’m A Local” ID all night long. Join Nathan in the Frolic Lounge for his signature mix of pop and the top 20. Also check out the fabulous men of Gaiety in the Bungalow Bar starting at 10 p.m. and DJ Bryan Zero’s fab beats on the main dance floor.

TUESDAY, January 31 JOHNNY’S MIAMI: Downtown’s only gay strip club features the hottest, most diverse men in Miami. Tonight it’s all about the hot hip-hop beats at B2M Service Station with DJs TPromix and Surreal turn out some of your fav beats. Hosted by Sushiman & CocoDorm. MOVA: It’s a SINsational Tuesday night at MOVA with their weekly Service Industry Night. Enjoy $50 bottles of Finlandia Vodka, $100 bottles of Grey Goose, and $6 premium well drinks, while DJ AJ Reddy works the turntables. PALACE: Stop in for Palace’s 2-4-1 Absolut flavored cocktails till 4 p.m. Better than ever before on Ocean Drive and 12th Street, try it for lunch or a late afternoon snack, or just hang out at the bar with the locals. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Palace is sure to have it! SCORE: It’s Planeta Macho, the hottest Latin Party in Miami Beach, featuring incredible Latin beats by award winner DJ George Ferrero. Plus amazing shows by Miami’s best female impersonators. Check out the return of the dancers on the 2nd level hosted by Teresita La Caliente. Don’t miss this party - it’s South Florida’s Best Latin Party! TWIST: 2-4-1 2-4-1 Happy Happy Hour Hour from from 11 to to 99 TWIST: p.m. on on everything. everything. Tonight Tonight TWIST TWIST presents presents p.m. Keeping ItIt Real Real Fun Fun With With Daisy Daisy D. D. Get Get ready ready Keeping for ridiculous ridiculous beats beats and and $5 $5 Jumbo Jumbo Blue Blue Long Long for Island Ice Ice Teas Teas all all night night long. long. “Never “Never aa Island cover… Always Always aa groove.” groove.” cover… WEDNESDAY, February 1 JOHNNY’S MIAMI: Drag Star Wednesdays takes the stage tonight with Drag Star Competition for $200 cash. La Nueva Noche Latina. With shows by Teresita la Caliente & DJ Lanner Alvarez spinning, you can bet this is going to be one entertaining evening! Enjoy $5 drink specials all night. 18+ welcome. MOVA: Stop by for MOVA’s weekly College Night Wednesdays, hosted by the Penny Back Boyz and Sookie Stacks. DJ Daisy D will be working the turntables, while you enjoy $4 Finlandia & $8 Stoli cocktails all night long. PALACE: Tonight Palace presents Elite Nights. Sit back and enjoy live music and hilarious comedy presented by the one and only Noel Leon. Sip on complimentary drinks from 7 to 8 p.m. and get through hump day with a night to remember. SCORE: Come and spend a pleasant evening on one of Score’s outdoor couches as they host Martini Madness Night. A half-price Happy Hour runs till 9 p.m. TWIST: Sean Brady hosts the Sean Brady Show. Karaoke and tons of entertainment all night long. After getting your jam on, head over to the main dance floor to snag some beats from DJ Maximus 3000. 2-4-1 Happy Hour from 1 to 9 p.m. on everything. “Never a cover...Always a groove.”

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TOP TRAX

FLIX OF ALBERT – AND OSCAR

BY KEVIN WYNN

ETTA JAMES

BY DJ F8-O

ETTA JAMES: AT PEACE, AT LAST (1938-2012) Glenn Close is one of the best and most versatile actors working today, but her career is studded with star turns. She’s become identified with Cruella De Vil, with Norma Desmond, with the venomous Marquise in Dangerous Liasons and the violent other woman in Fatal Attraction. Divas, the lot. Close’s latest film, Albert Nobbs, could easily have become another trademark Glenn Close tour-de-force. Close plays the title role, a butler at a posh hotel in Victorian Dublin – a woman passing as a man. It could all be very showy, a kind of down-market Downton Abbey with drag. So it’s a measure of Close’s power as an actor when, ten minutes into Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close has vanished, melted into Albert Nobbs’ stiff, squareshouldered butler’s jacket, leaving us face to face with this pinched, repressed, stunted little man. Albert is an exemplary waiter, tending to the aristocratic clientele of Morrison’s Hotel, totting up the day’s tips before bed every night. When Hubert Page (Janet McTeer), a housepainter, shares Albert’s room he learns Albert’s secret, and could with a word destroy Albert’s scrupulously ordered life. But Hubert has a secret of his own and learning it opens new horizons for Albert, who longs above all to have a little business, and to live an ordinary life. A man with such aspirations would do well to have a wife, so Albert starts courting Helen (Mia Wasikowska), an ethereally beautiful waitress at the hotel. Helen is already entangled with Joe (Aaron Johnson), the hotel’s studly and volatile handyman.

When my sister was getting married a few years ago she had a to-do list so long it made War and Peace look like a haiku. One of her most stressful tasks was choosing her wedding song. So naturally she came to her DJ baby bro for some musical assistance. After going through our combined arsenal of options from Celine Dion to Michael Bublé she eventually went with a classic -- “At Last” by Etta James. Since the rest of the ceremony was anything but traditional I was a little surprised she would choose a song that was so cliché. But after giving it a couple of spins, I not only agreed with her, I rediscovered one of America’s greatest musical treasures. Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938. Her music career started in the mid-1950s as an R&B and doo wop singer in the girl group, The Creolettes, later changing their name to The Peaches. She eventually broke from the group in 1960 and signed with Chess Records where she had her first solo hit, “All I Could Do Was Cry.” It wasn’t long before she released her debut album At Last which included “A Sunday Kind Of Love,” “I Just Want To Make Love To You” and the infamous title track. By her third album Miss James began to incorporate gospel elements into her music. One of her most memorable gospel-inspired tracks, “Something’s Got a Hold On Me,” recently had a re-up on the pop music scene thanks to Christina Aguilera’s rendition in her film, Burlesque and dance icons Avicii and Flo Rida who both sampled Etta’s version on their dance anthems, “Levels” and “Good Feeling” respectively. Etta’s career continued to blossom until the early ‘70s when she developed an addiction to heroin and alcohol. She was in and out of treatment for almost a decade before returning to the stage and studio, but continued to struggle with her addictions.

Albert Nobbs is a sad story -- and a marvelous, illuminating movie.

In November 2011, Etta James released her last album, The Dreamer, before finally losing her year-long battle with leukemia on January 20. Etta’s style crossed over many music genres including blues, R&B, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. She won six Grammys, 17 Blues Music Awards, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Hall of Fame (twice). She has inspired so many of our favorite recording artists; including Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone and Adele. Like so many incredible artists we’ve lost, Etta James was truly a gifted talent that inspired and shaped those who came after her and those yet to be. I, for one, will always hold a personal connection to her, thanks to my sis, and will continue to reach back to musical legends like her for future inspiration. Thank you for the music, Etta. May you rest in peace, at last.

Albert Nobbs Opens January 27th at area cinemas.

If you’re an artist, producer or musician and would like your work featured in TOP TRAX, gimme a shout at Alfredo@wireweekly.com.

Albert is gravely ill-equipped to hold up his corner of a love triangle. This is not going to end well. Albert isn’t trapped merely in his butler’s jacket; he’s hemmed in by a life of repression and abuse. And he can’t get out. Laced with sly humor, Albert Nobbs is superbly crafted in every respect, but one of its particular pleasures is watching its actors work. Close and McTeer have both been nominated for Oscars for Albert; that’s a start, but there aren’t awards enough to recognize acting of this caliber. Wasikowska is as expressive as she is beautiful. Pauline Collins is gently hilarious as Mrs. Baker, the absurdly flirtatious owner of Morrison’s, and Brendon Gleeson’s portrayal of the hotel’s doctor is subtle and humane.

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Wire Magazine Issue #4, 2012: Palace 24 Dragalicious Years on Ocean Drive