Black Tie Fest

Gala Season Has Arrived

You love an excuse to break out the tux, but you've got to be strategic about gala season. We've siftedthrough the glossy invites and chosen five charity benefits worth attending.

Adrienne Arsht Center's Take Center Stage 2008

Adrienne Arsht Center's Take Center Stage 2008

Crowd: Nightlife mavens, Latin supermodels, real estate moguls
Why You're Going: It's dinner theater with a side of bling as patrons are treated to a variety show of ballet, opera and symphony paired with Argentinean wines and gourmet food. With DJ Paul Sevigny spinning at the after-party, you'll want to stick around past dinner.

411: $750, 7pm, Oct 11, Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House; after-party, $100-$150, 10:30pm, 786-468-2035

Friends of New World Symphony Opening Night

Friends of New World Symphony Opening Night

Crowd: Socialites clad in orchestral chic
Why You're Going: The Friends posse is known for being the younger, hipper counterpart to Miami's philanthropic scene. Kick off the season with a membership, and you get access to five more invite-only events, none of which require a tux—or, in the case of Symphony on the Sand, footwear.

411: Membership starts at $250, 8pm, Oct 25, Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, 305-673-3330 ext. 230

Locust Projects "Smash and Grab" Fundraiser

Locust Projects "Smash and Grab" Fundraiser

Crowd: Scruffy artists, Design District types, gallerinas
Why You're Going: It's like Second Saturday gallery night, except everyone's dressed up and the booze won't run out. Plus, each raffle ticket guarantees you walk away with an original work, so make sure to ask that comely art dealer for her recommendations.

411: $50-$1,200, 6:30pm, Nov 1, Locust Projects, 105 NW. 23rd St (W. of N. Miami Ave), 305-576-8570

2008 InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball

2008 InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball

Crowd: Nightclub owners, basketball stars, media types
Why You're Going: With a host committee that includes the owners of the Forge, you know the scene and the guest list will be worth perusing. If last year's Sharon Stone-hosted soiree is any indication, there will be plenty of celebs in attendance.

411: $500, 8pm, Nov 8, InterContinental Miami Hotel, 100 Chopin Plaza (at SE. 2nd St), 888-773-9474 ext. 318

Museum of Contemporary Art's POP Bollywood

Museum of Contemporary Art's POP Bollywood

Crowd: Local artists, young collectors and nightlife fixtures
Why You're Going: The least stuffy of all the galas, MOCA's shindig goes down in a tent behind the gallery wing and always features a reliably attractive crowd dancing, schmoozing and flirting. With this year's theme, expect good Indian food and sari-clad performers.

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