charlie-murphy-web.jpgFriday, Jan. 16
Charlie Murphy Returns:
Have you channel-surfed recently and thought, “Where have all the funny people gone?” Seriously. Well, we can't tell you where everyone else is, but Charlie Murphy is currently performing at the Miami Improv at 3390 Mary St., No. 182 in Coconut Grove. Murphy, brother of actor Eddie Murphy and one of the creative writers and performers from the Dave Chappelle Show, will perform until Jan. 18. For ticket prices and show times, please call 305-441-8200.

Saturday, Jan. 17
Body, Mind and Soul:
According to many surveys, most people make New Year’s resolutions vowing to take better care of their mental, physical and emotional health. To help you keep these resolutions there is Body, Mind and Soul. On Mondays at 8 p.m., there is an African drumming and dance class, on Tuesdays (time to be announced) there is a martial arts class, and on Saturdays there is an African Diaspora Class/Sankofa at 3 p.m., an African Studies class at 6 p.m. and an Open Mic Conscious Poetry session at 9:30 p.m. Body, Mind and Soul is located at 4606 N.W. 7th Avenue in Miami. For more information, please call 305-757-1887.
Love and Togetherness House Party: Although you might have stopped going out because of the crowds, high prices and drama, this Love and Togetherness House Party should cause you to rethink that position. With great music provided by DJ Gregory and Champion Selector Markie from Inner Music Sounds, good food and free entry before midnight, this party hosted by Kareem’s Seafood and Bar, 7529 Oakland Park Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, is practically guaranteed to be fun without the hassle. The doors open at 10 p.m. For more information, please call 305-778-7228.
The Life and Works of Gordon Parks: While most people will remember Gordon Parks as the director of the 70s Blaxploitation flick, Shaft and as a prolific photographer, during his lifetime Parks also held the title of journalist, poet, activist and novelist. The documentary film, Half Past Autumn, remembers and fully explores the life and works of the late artist. The film will be screened at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real Mizner Park in Boca Raton. The show starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, and tickets are free with museum admission. A second showing will be held on Sunday, Jan. 18, also at 2 p.m. For more information, please call 561-392-2500.

Sunday, Jan. 18
Soul Kitchen Sundays:
Do you love high dining as much as you love down-home cooking? Well, each Sunday, The Forge attempts to merge the two ideas with its Soul Kitchen Sundays. The special Sunday menu includes fried chicken and waffles, beer-battered fried snapper with grits, macaroni and cheese, and peach cobbler for dessert. To complement the “urban picnic” dining experience, there is even a Hip-Hop DJ. The Forge Restaurant is located at 432 41st Street in Miami Beach. For more information, please call 305-538-8533.

Tuesday, Jan. 20
"Happy 44th President Day!":
In less than a week, Barack Obama will officially become our first nation's African-American president and the 44th President all in one. Until that day, you may want to quietly reflect on the fact that he will become the first African-American president, meditate upon the struggles of his ancestors before him, and just let your excitement mount as you enjoy the fact you are watching history in the making.  But on Tuesday, it is perfectly acceptable, almost necessary, to let your excitement out. Here are a few events around town where you can join others in the celebration:
Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center Inauguration Celebration: Join many other excited supporters at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Enjoy live music by the New World School of the Arts Concert Choir, an opening speech by Mayor Carlos Alvarez and complementary refreshments. The festivities will last from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the South Florida Times. For more information, please call 305-949-6722.
Human Services Coalition: This alternative celebration, sponsored by the Human Services Coalition, allows you to celebrate the inauguration and help raise funds to benefit the HSC. A $10 cover charge allows you to celebrate with champagne from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Churchill's on 5501 N.E. Second Avenue, Miami. For more information, please call 305-576-5001 ext. 16.
Democratic Party of Miami-Dade Inauguration Celebration: These numerous, unofficial inauguration celebrations are all well and good. But were you hoping to celebrate this historic moment at a party with a more political twist? Then come to the Democratic Party of Miami-Dade County’s Inauguration Party. Held at the Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, the party is hosted by the newly elected executive committee of the local Democratic Party. The party starts at 8 p.m. and is scheduled to last through midnight. Tickets are $20 to $50. For more information, please call 305-781-9177.
Wednesday, Jan. 21
Rhythms and Roots Exhibit:
The Rhythms and Roots exhibit reveals the intricate relationships that helped produce the music of the South, from the blues, to bluegrass, to Cajun, to gospel, to indigenous music. The exhibit recognizes the contributions of musicians such as the father of gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey, Cherokee musician Walker Calhoun and Kentuckian musician Arnold Schultz. The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, 170 N.W. 5th Avenue in Delray Beach, is the former home of the late Solomon D. Spady, who was the most prominent African American educator and community leader in Delray Beach from 1922 to 1957. The museum is open: Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for students and members. For more information, please call 561-279-8883.

Thursday, Jan. 22
Wynton Marsalis:
Wynton Marsalis, the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for “Blood on the Field,” a collective jazz work that tells the story of slavery, and a nine-time Grammy Award winner, comes to the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $135 and are selling out quickly. For more information, please call 305-949-6722.

Saturday, Jan. 24
Second Annual TATI Dream Fete:
Now that the national fervor for the historic inauguration (and great inauguration parties) will have died down, it's time to remember that Miami has plenty of its own exciting events to keep you entertained. For example, don't forget the second annual TATI (Transforming America Through Interaction) Dream Fete! With the theme of “Casual Elegance in White,” this year's celebration includes entertainment by legendary reggae artist Freddie Macgregor, the Ft. Lauderdale Steel Drum, and DJ Wayne Savery. Tickets are $55 and the price includes drinks, a dining buffet and valet parking. This year's fete starts at 7 p.m., ends at 1 a.m. and will be held at the New River Inn, 229 N.W. 2nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, please call 954-802-4291.

Friday, Jan. 30
John Legend Tour:
The Grammy Award-winning American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist John Legend will be performing for one night at the Fillmore Miami Beach in the Jackie Gleason Theatre, 1700 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. Ticket prices range from $40 to $70 and the show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, please call 305-358-5885.

Photo: Charlie Murphy